Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mushroom and Chickpea Pulao

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Our toddler has got a new activity these days... We call it the " the pouring activity" and needless to say that he is loving it.  Keeps him busy for quite sometime.

He does it with much concentration and enjoys it completely.. I am loving the way he picks each of the white peas and puts them into jar. They are so cute these days... :)

On the kitchen front I made this Mushroom and Chickpea Pulao. The recipe is from the cookbook "American Masala" by Suvir Saran. The book has recipes from around the world modified to suit the indian palette. 
 Honestly I am not a big fan of mushroom. I always thought it lacked taste and it never looked pretty to me. But this recipe is a sure winner.  No onions, no tomatoes and no ginger-garlic paste. Only whole  spices make the mushrooms delectable, to say the least. I got a thumbs up from Vijay too. 

Mushroom and Chickpea Pulao
(Adapted from "American Masala" by Suvir Saran)

What's needed :

For the rice:
1C of rice ( I used sona masoori rice. You can use basmati if you like )
1 inch stick of cinnamon
6 cardamom cloves
3 cloves 
5 peppercorns
4C of water

For the mushroom mixture :
8oz pack of button mushrooms sliced
3 dry red chillies
6 cardamoms (black or green)
3 tsp sambhar powder
5-6 pepper corn
2 cloves 
2 tsp coriander powder
1C slightly thick buttermilk
pinch of turmeric
3-4 tbsp olive oil or canola oil
1/2 C canned or cooked chickpeas (optional)

salt to taste
1/2 bunch of cilantro chopped ( dont skip this )

  • Combine the ingredients for the rice and allow it to come to a boil. Strain and set aside. Do not cook the rice completely. We want it half (or even less) cooked.
  • Over medium heat combine the oil, cloves,peppercorn and cardamom till fragrant.Then add the dry red chilles.
  • Once the chillies brown up add the turmeric, coriander and the sambar powder. Cook for 1-2 min. Take care not to burn.
  • Add the mushrooms. The mixture will now release a lot of moisture so stir on medium-high heat till it reduces a bit. 
  • Finally add the buttermilk and salt. There will still be a lot of liquid now. Cook for 5-7 min.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning. The mushrooms should taste one level saltier and spicier than you want the final rice to be. At the end add the chickpeas.
  • For a biryani layer the rice and the mushrooms in a rice cooker or normal cooker and cook for 30min. If the water from the mushrooms is not enough you can add more. I did not need to add though.
  • If not cook in a heavy bottomed pan on high heat. Once the rice is cooked cover and simmer for 15min. I mixed both the rice and the mushroom mixture in a rice cooker for a pulao.
  • Serve with boondi raita.
The mushrooms are the star ingredient of this dish. Its almost like a chicken pulao but only vegetarian. We loved it for a quick and tasty weekday dinner.

For finger licking good boondi raita :
Combine :
1C yogurt (homemade is the best) beaten till smooth
1/4 tsp coursely crushed cumin seeds
pinch of coriander powder
pinch of chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chopped cilantro/mint or both (i used cilantro since i was out of mint)
Mix well and cool in fridge for an hour before serving.
Add boondi and serve. I add boondi at the end since we do not like soggy boondi. 

Aamod did not have the pulao. He feasted on boondi raita though...


Pushpa said...

Love this yummy mushroom rice accompanied by boondi raita.

Priya said...

Yummy spread, pulao and boondhi raita both together makes me drool..he looks adorable..