Its been long since i posted a recipe here. I got busy with this and that, spent a couple of months trying to recover with as much patience as I could from several things besides a very severe case of bronchitis. The year ended, a new one came and I still couldnt post anything. I have been cooking though everyday food continues to be a serious maze of quick fixes.
Amma spent 6 weeks with me and recently returned to bangalore. As always I try to make interesting meals when she is around. This is a biryani I tried for the first time, making up most of it as i went. But it was highly praised. My friend D cant believe i became a vegetarian and with her nose turned up in the air at me, asked if I have a halfway decent mushroom biryani recipe. This one is for her.
Its the second half of february and now is as good a time as any to do something about the lack of pace around here. I’m hoping to get back to being more active on the blog. I have so many other things happening around me, that this tends to suffer. But I have missed it almost as much as it missed me I would like to think.
Earlier I made most biryanis in the pressure cooker and tho i always had fluffy grains of rice, I have switched to stove top cooking in a large kadai or open heavy bottomed pan. I find that the grains retain their shape so much better and you can enjoy each separated long grain of rice this way.
Chettinadu Style Mushroom Biryani – serves 6 generously
2 cups of basmati rice washed till water runs clear, and soaked in 2 cups of water for 30 mins
3 cups of onion sliced fine, heat a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil and shallow fry till golden brown, set aside on a plate
For the marinade
250 gms mushrooms
2/3 cup curd
1 tablespoon Ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 half teaspoon garam masala
1 cup of the fried onion
salt to taste
1/2 cup each of fresh mint and coriander leaves.
Mix all of the above together and set aside in the refrigerator for about 30 mins.
In a thick bottomed kadai or deep pan, heat two tablespoons of oil and one tablespoon of ghee. Add two bay leaves, 2-3 cloves, two small sticks of cinnamon and a couple of star anise, one teaspoon of shahi jeera and 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds.
When it splutters add the marinating mushrooms with the entire marinade and cook on med flame for five mins till the mushrooms begin to shrink and the oil is coming to the sides of the pan.
Add one cup of coconut milk, cook for a few minutes. Drain the water that the rice is soaking in. reserve the same water to be used to cook the rice. Sauté the rice gently so that it doesn’t break till it is well coated in the masala, add the drained water from the soaking rice, check for salt and add more if needed, also add half teaspoon of garam masala powder.
Cover with a loose lid and cook for 15 mins till the rice is done but fluffy. The water should be fully absorbed by now. Leave closed for 15 mins. Fluff with a fork. To serve put it on a plate and sprinkle the remaining fried onions, some mint and coriander and enjoy…
Note: its important to note that basmati rice may require varying proportions of water according to the age and quality of the rice. As a thumb rule, i use roughly double the quantity of water ( 1 cup rice , 2 cups water) if i cook in an open pan and one and a half times the amount of rice & water ratio if cooking in a pressure or rice cooker. please check the instructions on the package of basmati rice and follow that.