Monday, June 23, 2014

Mushrooms & Peas Pilaf

Mushrooms & Peas Pulao
Here is a vegetarian pilaf that is as satisfying as its meaty counterparts. Mushrooms are the key ingredient that give flavour to this rice dish. Any kind of mushroom will work, including rehydrated shiitake mushrooms which pack a strong flavour punch. Aged Basmati rice is my long-grain rice of choice for making pilaf, but jasmine rice or other long-grain rice are also viable options. 

1 lb. assorted mushrooms
2 cups Basmati rice, washed, soaked and drained
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. shah jeera or cumin seeds
2 large onions, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
2 Tbsp. Shan Palao/Biryani spice mix
1 tsp. Shan Tandoori masala
2 Tbsp. deep fried onions
4 cups simmering water or vegetable broth
salt to taste

  1. Wash rice, cover with water, soak for 30 minutes, drain & set aside.
  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat and sputter cumin seeds.
  3. Add sliced onions and stir-fry until onions turn translucent.
  4. Place palao/biryani spice mix in a tea strainer, sprinkle over onions in pan and stir well.
  5. The strainer will retain the whole garam masala bits so package these into a tea ball infuser or tie in cheese cloth.
  6. Stir-fry drained rice with the onions, garlic and spices until rice turns white. Do not allow  rice to brown
  7. Add simmering water or vegetable broth, stir and drop the tea ball infuser into the pan.
  8. Bring contents of pan to a boil, cover and simmer over lowest heat for 25 minutes.
  9. Add peas tossed with tandoori masala to pan, fluff with fork and leave covered for half an hour.
  10. Remove tea ball infuser, transfer to a serving dish and garnish with fried onions before serving.

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