Mushroom Pulao

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
I have a confession to make. I actually used canned mushrooms for this dish. Yes, I, who takes an essentially purist approach to cooking. While remaining realistic, I rarely use canned tomatoes or sauces, never purchase pre-prepared dressings, make my own pastry and go with fresh herbs and produce whenever possible. So why would I use canned mushrooms of all things when I can easily pick up a bag of mushrooms at the local grocery story or market?

I can only plead mushroom addiction. Lover of all things mushroom, I was cruising past the kosher clearance bin shortly after passover a few months back at the grocery store near my home when the cans of mushrooms caught my eye. I stopped to investigate and couldn't resist purchasing a can, reminded as I was of the Mushroom Pulao that I enjoy whenever I visit Curry's Restaurant here in London Ontario. I'm not entirely certain Curry's uses canned mushrooms for their rice dish, but I've cooked with mushrooms for many years now and was never able to recreate the texture of the mushrooms. Freshly fried mushrooms cannot be matched but there is just something about the chewy and juicy little slices of 'shrooms languishing in a tin that cries out for consumption. You only live once.

And yeah, I also used frozen peas.

In this recipe, I assume you are using fresh mushrooms, but canned mushrooms can be substituted if you are craving the canned mushroom experience.
Mushroom Pulao

2 cups of water
1 cup of Basmati rice
generous handful of green chilies, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
2 teaspoons of oil or ghee
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 small onion, finely chopped
roughly 1 cup of mushrooms, sliced
1 small tomato, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
sea salt
2/3 cup of peas
parsley, finely chopped, for garnish

Rinse the rice well in a fine strainer. Transfer to bowl, cover with water, swish it around a few times, drain and repeat until the water is relatively clear and no longer cloudy. Drain, cover with water and soak the rice for about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to air dry for 15 minutes or so.

Make a paste of the ginger and chilies in a mortar and pestle. Set aside. Heat the oil in a medium pot or medium-high heat. Fry the cumin seeds until they darken a few shades. Add the onion and cook to soften. Now add the ginger chili paste, stir and add the mushrooms and tomato. Stir and fry for a few minutes. Add the spices and salt, stir and now add the rice to the pot. Stir and fry for another minute or so. Add the peas and pour in the water. Bring to a boil, immediately reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Let sit for a few minutes, fluff with a fork and serve, garnished with a bit of parsley.

Spicy Mushroom Pulao Rice


Kevin said...

That looks good. I use canned diced tomatoes all the time though I have not tried canned mushrooms yet.

Johanna said...

I rarely use canned mushrooms but have used them when I want a particular taste - but frozen peas are a staple

Ricki said...

Years ago, a friend cooked pulau for me, and I was smitten. I will definitely try this dish--canned mushies or no!

Laavanya said...

There is a particular gravy i make for which canned mushroom works the best.. so I can understand :) Pulao looks delicious.

Joanna said...

canned mushrooms never hurt anyone!! i've never used canned ones actually. i guess i just don't cook with mushrooms very much. i didn't even know you could eat them raw until my mom popped one in her mouth. i was like "what are you doing??!?! that's gross!!" hhahahaha

Jennifer said...

It looks very tasty! I think we all used canned this or frozen that every now and then. ;-)

I've been a vegetarian for 12 years now. I look forward to following your blog and getting new ideas!

Usha said...

This pulao looks very tasty, I have used canned mushrooms a couple of times in the past though normally I use only fresh ones, but peas mean frozen peas all the time these days :-)