KHUMBI PULLAO (mushroom pilaf from India)

KHUMBI PULLAO (Indian mushroom pilaf,for six)


2 cups long-grain, basmati white rice

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 cups water

12 to 15 small to medium size mushrooms (shiitake or crimini, but you can throw in a few enoki if you have them on hand), wiped clean with a damp paper towel, stems removed and discarded and cut into 1/8 inch thick slices

1 small onion, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into thin slices

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

½ teaspoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger

¼ teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon salt


  1. Measure rice into a fine-mesh strainer and place into a bowl of cold water to soak for 30 minutes.  Remove sieve from water and drain rice for 20 minutes.  (Soaking and drying the rice thoroughly are important to remove the starch from the kernels before cooking.  Otherwise, your rice may be gummy.)
  2. Heat oil in a 3-quart, heavy saucepan with a close-fitting lid.  When hot, put in the onions and garlic.  Stir and fry for about 2 minutes or until the onions begin to turn brown at the edges.  Put in the mushrooms and stir for another 2 minutes.  Now put in the rice, ginger, garam masala and salt.  Turn heat to medium-low.  Saute rice, stirring, for 2 minutes, until the kernels are well coated with oil.
  3. Add water, stir well (Do not stir again until rice is finished) and bring to a boil.  Continue boiling 8 minutes, until surface of rice is dry and covered with steam holes.
  4. Reduce heat to lowest possible setting, cover pot tightly (use both a tea towel and lid) and cook 15 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and let rice stand, still covered, 5 minutes more.  Remove cover and fluff rice with a fork.



adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cooking




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