A Taste of Yellow: Spiced Mushroom Pilau
LIVESTRONG Day is the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s (LAF) grassroots advocacy initiative to unify people affected by cancer and to raise awareness about cancer survivorship issues on a national level and in local communities across the country. LIVESTRONG Day 2007 will occur on Wednesday 16 May.
As Barbara says, everyone has been touched by cancer – I know my family and friends have – and she herself is currently undergoing treatment. For A Taste of Yellow she asked that we make a dish using a yellow food. I immediately thought of turmeric, a spice that I find myself using more and more for its warm, earthy flavour and vivid colour. The fact that it has recently come to attention for its reputed anti-cancer properties makes it all the more perfect for this event.
To showcase the colour and flavour of the turmeric, I decided make a one-pot dish of pilau rice. While this would make a good accompaniment to an Indian curry, particularly a tomato-based one, it is also good eaten by itself and makes a good lunchbox filler for a portable lunch.
Spiced Mushroom Pilau
Sunflower oil – 1-2 tablespoons
Onion – 1, sliced thinly
Mushrooms – 2 cups, quartered
Turmeric – 3 teaspoons
Cardamom pods – 5, gently crushed
Cinnamon stick – 1, broken in half
Yellow mustard seeds – 2 teaspoons
Fenugreek – ½ teaspoon
Bay leaves – 2
Basmati rice – 2 cups
Boiling water – 4 cups
Lemon – 1, juiced
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
Heat the sunflower oil in a deep heavy-based saucepan. Fry the onions and mushrooms over a moderate heat for 3-4 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the turmeric, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, fenugreek and bay leaves and fry for another 2 minutes until the spices release their scent.
Stir in the rice and turn everything over in the pan until the grains are all nicely coated with the spicy mixture. Pour in the 4 cups of boiling water and season well with salt and pepper. Stir once, bring to the boil then put the lid on and turn the heat to its lowest setting and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Squeeze over the lemon, fluff with a fork, taste for seasoning and serve.