Wild Mushroom Pilau

This image courtesy of David Loftus

There are over 100 edible types of mushrooms, from delicate chanterelles to fat meaty ceps, floaty oyster mushrooms to flavor-packed morels. I make the most of them by throwing them into a delicately spiced pilau, which is perfect to eat all by itself.


Cooking Methodsauteeing



Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturesavory

Type of Dishvegetable


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 10 ounces wild mushrooms, such as ceps, chanterelles, oysters, or black trumpets (or 3 ounces wild dried mushrooms, such as porcini)
  • 10 ounces cup mushrooms
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 3/4-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 large red onions, sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 1/2 cups hot vegetable stock
  • 1 ounce fresh dill
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges


  1. Rinse the rice in at least 3 changes of water, until the water runs clear, and leave to soak in a bowl of cold water. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel and cut into ?-inch slices.

  2. Put 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter into a large, lidded frying pan on a high heat. When the pan is hot and the butter starts to foam, add a third of the mushrooms. If you overcrowd them, they'll steam rather than brown. Leave them to cook for a minute without stirring them, then turn them over. When they're nicely browned, season and tip them onto a plate. Use the same amount of oil and butter per batch. Set aside.

  3. Put 2 tablespoons of oil into the same pan on a medium heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, bay leaf (if using), and cinnamon stick. Stir for a minute, then add the onions. Cook for around 15 minutes, or until they are soft and have caramelized.

  4. Next add the garlic, black pepper, garam masala, chili powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and stir well. Drain the rice, add it to the pan and gently stir. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, then cover the pan and turn the heat down to its lowest setting. If you're using dried mushrooms, rather than fresh, add them now.

  5. Cook the rice for 20 minutes, or until tender, then add the mushrooms, folding them in gently so as not to break the rice up, and put the lid back on for a final 10 minutes.

  6. Tear up the dill roughly and scatter over the dish. Serve with the lemon wedges to squeeze over, which will brighten all the spices.


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