Warm a few tablespoons of oil, or oil and a slice of butter, in a deep pan over a moderate heat, then add three chopped spring onions and a finely sliced chilli. Cook until the onion is soft then add 200g of chestnut mushrooms, cut into halves or quarters depending on their size. As soon as the mushrooms start to lightly brown, stir in 1 tbsp of your favourite curry powder, fry briefly, then add a 400g can of crushed tomatoes and its juice. Season generously and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes, watching carefully. Serve with warm naan, and if you wish, a little yogurt and mint. Serves 2.
Commercial curry powders vary in heat and flavour, so use one whose qualities you know and trust, or of course mix your own. If you want a creamy sauce, then mix in a couple of tablespoons of yogurt just before you serve. Once any yogurt is added remove from the heat, otherwise it will curdle.
Use paneer or aubergine instead of mushrooms. Make a slower, more complex version by starting with chopped shallots and grated ginger, allowing it to soften before adding the mushrooms. Add more liquid and cook for longer for a gentler, more mellow result. Introduce some appropriate herbs at the end of the cooking time, such as coriander and mint to brighten the flavour.
Email Nigel at email@example.com
"Serve with warm naan, and if you wish, a little yogurt and mint": Nigel Slater's spiced mushrooms on naan recipe. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer