Caramelized onions & mushroom gravy with crispy polenta

  • Servings : 6
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 10m
  • Ready In : 20m

This was more of a Thanksgiving food for me, but if you need a vegetarian gravy recipe, Akshayapaatram: Caramelized onions & mushroom gravy with crispy polenta turned out really well. – Thornmallow


  • 10-12 - baby portabellos (or any assortment of mushrooms shud work)
  • 1/2 cup - sliced Onions
  • 1/8 tsp - dried Rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp - dried Thyme
  • 2 tsp - Olive oil
  • 1 tsp - butter
  • 1 tsp - all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup - milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup corn meal/polent
  • 1/2 cup of warm milk


Step 1

Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium heat and add the sliced onions. Sprinkle some salt over them and let the soften and caramelize gently.

Step 2

Add the dried herbs and sliced mushrooms next and spread them in a even layer, trying to get all of them to be in contact with the pan's surface. Cook for 2-3mins, turn them around and cook for an additional 2-3 mins so they brown evenly on both sides. Salt them at this stage, adding salt beforehand brings out the water and ends up steaming them instead of browning them.

Step 3

In the meantime warm the milk in a microwave. Move the browned mushrooms and onions to a corner of the pan, add butter and, as it melts sprinkle the flour and stir well. Cook for a minute until the flour gives out a nutty aroma and slightly changes color.

Step 4

Slowly add the warm milk, stirring continuously to avoid lumps and blend with the veggies. You do not have to use up the entire amount of milk, stop when it reaches a consistency you like. Grind some pepper and check for salt. Simmer the gravy for a 1-2mins allowing it to thicken and transfer it to a serving bowl (it will continue to thicken in the residual heat in the pan otherwise)

Step 5

Spoon it over some pan-crisped polenta and enjoy!

Step 6

For the polenta, bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a deep bottomed saucepan since the polenta has a tendency to bubble violently as it cooks, so be extremely cautious. Salt the water and add spices/herbs if you choose, I used red chilli flakes. Gradually add 1 cup corn meal/polenta and stir continuously, cooking on medium heat. As it cooks and thickens add 1/2 cup of warm milk to make it extra creamy, you could also add a pat of butter or drizzle some olive oil at this stage, but stirring all the time. When the polenta starts to move away from the sides of the pan, its your hint that its done. The cornmeal should be soft to touch without a raw interior. Transfer it onto a plate and spread evenly. When cooled it will firm up and you should be able to easily slice it. This gives me a 10" dia, 1/2" thick round of polenta. For creamy polenta, add a little extra milk/cream/water and cook for the same amount of time.

Step 7

To serve crisp, add a few drops of oil to a saute pan, and crisp the polenta slices on both sides, about 3mins each side. I tried broiling the pieces instead but did not like the end product. You can store the unused polenta in the fridge wrapped in foil or in the air tight container for a few days.

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