Here’s one of those authentic Asian Indian rice dishes to add to your repertoire of Indian recipes that’s versatile enough to serve with any grilled fish or meat; in fact whenever you’re thinking of serving rice on the side, try this for a change.
Delicious enough to eat on its own, it has a hint of ginger, garlic, onion and garam masala, an Indian ‘finishing’ spice available in the Asian spice section or from http://a1spiceworld.com/.
You can use any cultivated (or knowledgeably-foraged edible wild) mushroom.
I like to use brown beech mushrooms, as they look mischievously trippy; good supermarkets sell them as living ‘shrooms in small sealed packets.
I’ll combine the brown beech with some baby portabellas/brown chestnut/crimini mushrooms. I don’t recommend using large, open flat mushrooms as the dark gills will yield a somewhat dirty-looking result but the taste will be just as good so that bit is up to you.
Any long grain white rice will do. I prefer basmati rice for its lovely aromatic flavor and delicate, separate grains.
You could freeze this dish but the rice grains may become brittle.
Basmati rice measured to the 15 fl oz (425ml) level in a measuring jug
5 oz (150g) of mushrooms, wiped clean if necessary
2 oz (50g) of finely sliced onion
1 fat clove of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons (45ml) of vegetable oil – I use grape-seed or canola oil
½ teaspoon of peeled and freshly grated ginger
¼ teaspoon of garam masala
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 pint (570ml) of water
If you’re using basmati rice that doesn’t say ‘pre-washed’ on the packet, rinse it under running water for about a minute then put it in a large bowl and cover with plenty of water. Soak for 30 minutes to remove any excess starch then drain thoroughly.
Depending on what type of mushroom you’re using, slice them thinly and separate the wild-looking ones.
Heat the oil in a heavy pan that comes with a tight-fitting lid and add the sliced onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes or until the onions have softened and started to brown at the edges.
Add the mushrooms and stir for another 2 minutes. Now add the rice, ginger, garam masala and salt and stir the rice for 2 more minutes.
Pour in the pint of water, stir well and bring to a rapid boil. Cover with the lid and immediately turn the heat to its lowest setting.
Cook undisturbed for 25 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave it covered for another 5 minutes. Do NOT be tempted to lift the lid. This last 5 minutes will ensure that the rice doesn’t break apart when you fluff everything with a fork.
You can make this beforehand; dot the rice with some butter (or butter alternative), cover with foil and heat it through gently in a warm oven.
(A Madhur Jaffrey recipe)