Mushrooms are an absolutely delight for me. The flavors and textures of mushrooms vary and that gives the dish an ultimately different approach. I have always liked working with button mushrooms as they are incredibly easy and they adapt very well with anything - be it rice, noodles, pasta, couscous etc. I even make curries out of it. Whereas, the usage of Shiitake mushrooms in my kitchen is quite limited.
You can use a mix of mushrooms in the recipe mentioned below. I just happen to have a tin of button mushrooms at that time that is the reason why I used it. You can easily use chopped Portobellos, Enoki, Shiitake etc. It depends on what kind of mushroom you like. I suggest using the Shiitake in less volume as it has an exceptionally strong flavor.
I have used soy nuggets but you can always substitute it with frozen/fresh Edamame beans.
Also please note that I have used excessive chilies in my recipe. You can adjust it accordingly to your liking or completely omit chilies if it doesn't suit your palate.
For the Pilaf:
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup button mushrooms (sliced)
1 cup soy nuggets
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup potatoes diced
½ cup onions (sliced)
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp mild olive oil
1 tsp dry red chili flakes
2 green chilies chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
Handful of raisins
3-4 cups chicken stock
Wash the basmati rice in some cold water and soak it for 15-20 minutes. In this time we can take care of the vegetables and rice.
Heat the chicken stock until it starts boiling. Add the carrots and potatoes to it and cook it partially. We are doing a little more than blanching but we are not cooking it completely. Once the carrots and potatoes are partially done, use a sieve and take it out of the liquid and keep aside.
Add the soy nuggets to the same boiling stock and cook the soy nuggets completely. Once they are done, you need to keep it under cold water and then squeeze out the liquid completely.
Add the washed rice to the stock and bring it to a boil. You will see that after about 10 minutes of boiling, the liquid starts to thicken up and the rice looks plumper. The rice should not be cooked completely. It should be done two-thirds. The rest of the cooking will be done by the microwave.
Strain the rice and keep aside.
In the same pan, heat the butter and mild olive oil. Add the onions and cook until they are gorgeously golden. The garlic powder, chilies and chili flakes goes in next followed by the chopped mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms until they get some color. Add the partially cooked vegetables and soy nuggets and stir. Season it well with salt and sugar. Throw in the raisins.
Once they are well sautéed, add the rice. Combine thoroughly without being harsh as it will break up the grains and become mushy.
Transfer the contents to a microwave safe bowl; add about 3-4 tbsp chicken stock. Cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes.
Serve hot as a side dish or it can be eaten with raita.