Sunday, December 11, 2016

Mushroom Biryani

Yum
It's good to be back... especially with flavorful dish like Mushroom Biryani.

How to make mushroom biryani recipe at www.oneteaspoonoflife.com

I've had a family filled weekend since my last post and days and days of writer's block.

I attended the first family wedding in over 2 years and what fun it was! I got to meet my cousins, aunts and uncles, eat good South Indian food and the best part was I got to dress up. Out came all those heavy Silk Sarees that I had tucked to the back of the cupboard. LOVED wearing every one of them.

Before the wedding, my palate had somehow mellowed down and I was more for eating less spicy and blander food. No known reasons for the change, but it was definitely not welcome. But the spicy South Indian Rasam-Rice managed to wake up the taste buds and then they craved more spice.

When I think of spicy food, I always think of Biryani. Biryani is usually meat cooked along with lots of spices and rice. But in India, we vegetarians are super lucky, cause there is always a vegetarian version of a non vegetarian dish, so we never miss out on the flavors. I've made vegetable biryani many times before, but this was my first time making Mushroom Biryani and with all my love for Mushrooms, there was really no way I could not LOVE this biryani.

How to make mushroom biryani recipe at www.oneteaspoonoflife.com

Unlike the biryanis I've made before, I did not half cook anything and layer anything. This is a simple biryani - cook the rice until done, cook the mushroom masala until done and then just mix the two well to get a flavorful Mushroom Biryani.

To make the perfect Mushroom Biryani, you need 3 things:
  1. Rice:  Biryani is as much about the rice as it is about the meat or the vegetables. Different regions use different varieties of rice, with Basmati being the most popular rice. Long grained fragrant Basmati Rice is perfect for Biryanis, and that is exactly what I used. Rice is washed and allowed to soak for 30 minutes, until it is cooked along with whole spices to enhance its taste.

  2. Mushrooms: The hero of the dish is definitely the mushrooms. Either keep the mushrooms whole or half them. Anything smaller than that and the mushrooms will be lost in the Biryani. Mushrooms are cooked along with onions, ginger-garlic, tomato puree, yogurt, spices and herbs. In traditional style, a paste of browned onions is also added to the mushroom masala. Use any large mushrooms you can find. 

  3. Spices: Any biryani is incomplete without an array of whole spices. A mix of cinnamon, clove, pepper, green cardamom, black cardamom, cumin seeds, bay leaf and nutmeg is added to the rice as well as to the mushroom masala. Whole spices have a long shelf life and it's good to have your pantry stocked with them. However, if you have run out of spices or don't use them much, you can replace the spices in the mushroom masala with store bought Biryani Masala ( spice powder).
Always serve your Mushroom Biryani piping hot. Raita or Salan make for great accompaniments with the Biryani.

How to make mushroom biryani recipe at www.oneteaspoonoflife.com


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Mushroom Biryani


How to make mushroom biryani recipe at www.oneteaspoonoflife.com
Mushroom Biryani is Basmati rice cooked along with whole spices and mushrooms.

Recipe Type:  Main
Cuisine:            Indian
Prep Time:     10 minutes
Cook time:     45 minutes
Yield:                Serves 2-3

Ingredients:


For the Biryani Rice:


1.25 cups Basmati Rice
1 Bay leaf
2 Cloves 
1 Green Cardamom
0.5" piece Cinnamon
1 tsp Salt
2.5 cups Water

For the Mushroom Masala:


15-20 Button Mushrooms
2 Onions, large
1 Tomato, medium
0.5 cup Yogurt
1" piece Ginger
5-7 Garlic cloves
0.5 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
0.5" piece Cinnamon
1-2 Cloves
1 Bay leaf
5-6 Black Peppercorns
0.5 tsp Cumin seeds
0.25 tsp grated Nutmeg
1 Green Cardamom
1 Black Cardamom
0.5 tsp Garam Masala
Handful of fresh Mint leaves
Handful of fresh Coriander leaves
5-6 Tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

Method:


Wash the rice twice and keep is aside.
Halve the mushrooms and keep aside.
Slice the onions.
Chop the tomatoes finely or puree the tomato.
Crush the garlic and ginger to form a paste.
In a pan, heat 3 Tbsp of Oil. Once the oil is hot, add 3/4 the onion and fry on low heat until the onions brown. Stir frequently, taking care not to burn the onions.
In a large kadhai or saucepan, add water, salt and spices and allow it to come to a rolling boil.
Add the washed rice and cook on medium heat until the rice is almost done. Drain out the excess water and spread the rice out in a large plate to cool. This will prevent the rice from becoming sticky.
Heat the remaining oil in a clean pan or kadhai.
Add the remaining onions and the whole spices and cook until the onions are cooked.
Add the ginger garlic paste and fry it for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 4-5 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.
Add the halved mushrooms and salt as required. Cook for 5 minutes on low heat.
Keep aside 1 Tbsp of browned onions, and puree the rest.
Add the onion puree to the mushrooms and fry for 1 minute.
Whisk the yogurt and add it to the mushrooms. Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and garam masala and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
Add chopped mint and coriander leaves and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Pick out the whole spices from the rice and fluff up the rice with a fork to separate the rice grains.
Add the rice to the mushroom masala and mix well. 
Add salt as required and mix well.
Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Garnish with the remaining browned onions and serve hot.


How to make mushroom biryani recipe at www.oneteaspoonoflife.com




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