Mushroom and Onion Pilau in a wok
80 to 100g Basmati rice
200g Button mushrooms thinly sliced 1 Small onion finely sliced lengthways 6 Green cardamom pods
4 Whole cloves
1⁄2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
2cm Piece of cinnamon stick
1⁄2 tsp Ground Turmeric
1tbsp Butter 1tbsp Ghee Salt to taste
Place the rice in a bowl, cover it with cold water and let it soak for around 15 minutes.
Meanwhile melt the butter in a wok or frying pan and add the mushrooms. As soon as they hit the pan give them a really good stir so the butter coats them. Continue to cook on a medium heat stirring frequently until the mushrooms darken down and they go soft. Remove them from the pan and set them to one side.
Give the rice a good rinse under cold water, bring a pan of water to the boil, add salt to taste then add the rice and give it a stir.
Bring the pan back to a boil then turn it down to a simmer and cook the rice until it’s almost cooked but with a slight resistance when you bite into it. Around 7 minutes but keep testing it.
Put the rice into a sieve, pour a kettle full of boiling water over it and, let the water drain off then add the rice back to the dry pan. Place a double sheet of kitchen roll over the pan, push the lid on and leave it to stand for around 10 minutes. The rice will finish cooking in it’s own steam.
While the rice is standing, melt the ghee in the same wok then add the cardamoms, cloves, cumin seeds, tej patta and cinnamon stick. Let the
spices crackle in the ghee then add the sliced onions. Give them a stir and cook them until they just start to brown around the edges. Add the turmeric, give it a stir then add the cooked rice. Stir it again until the rice goes yellow then add the cooked mushrooms. Gently stir it all together taking care not to break the rice grains too much and fry it for around three to four minutes. Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve.
If you prefer to remove the whole spices, do that just before you add the rice. That way it’s easier to see them.
You can boil the rice well in advance, cool it quickly and keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Just make sure it’s heated through properly and fry it for a few minutes longer