We got an email from the HR yesterday that today would be a holiday due to the strike. With me being down with the flu, I was anyway planning to take a leave so this came as a blessing. I did not want to have a regular sick meal so yesterday I started scavenging for some good recipes that would help my condition :P. Moreover, since I did the groceries a day before, I had a lot options to pick from.
With mushrooms stocked up in my fridge, I thought of making a stir fry… but then we had stir fry last week: yada yada yada the idea of mushroom pilaf cropped up. Well, I must be honest that the idea came about more so because I saw a show of Simon Hopkinson where he made a mushroom and bacon pilaf. I LOVE mushrooms so I thought of doing a vegetarian version of the pilaf, thereby helping me to zero down on what to make today for lunch.
To add more color and texture to the dish, I added some bell peppers – red, yellow and green. A good tip shared in the food show was that when making rice, the ratio of 1:1.5 ( rice:water) works best, giving it that soft yet non sticky texture. Adapting from all ideas, I was quite happy with my version of the pilaf. Here goes the recipe:
Mushroom and bell pepper pilaf
- 300 g rice
- 500 ml water
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4-5 fat cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 Medium size bell peppers, (red, yellow, green each), chopped
- 250 g mushrooms, cleaned with a damp cloth and chopped
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp rosemary
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 4 tsp oil
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tsp vinegar
- Start by preparing the rice. Wash the rice and set aside. In a fairly large pot (I used a 9 qt. pot for cooking 300 g rice!), heat up 2 tsp oil with the butter (adding oil stops the butter from burning). When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and fry on low heat till the onions sweat out all their liquid and are lightly caramelized.
- Add thyme, rosemary and rice and stir to coat the rice well. Cook the rice for 2 more minutes, stirring it well.
- Add the water and salt to taste.
- Keeping the pot on low heat, cover it and let it cook till almost all the water evaporates.
- Once the rice soaks up all the water, switch of the heat but keep the rice covered for 15 more mins. This helps the rice to fluff up.
- While the rice is resting, take a non-stick wok or griddle and heat the leftover oil. The wok should be HOT.
- Add the mushroom and sautee till they let go of their water.
- Add salt, crushed black pepper, bell pepper, vinegar and cook on high flame till all the water has evaporated and the mushrooms and peppers are cooked through (peppers should be crunchy but cooked at the same time).
- Check the rice: they should be all fluffed up by now. Tip the mushroom mixture in and mix well. serve hot.