I love chicken biryani. But I don’t love how long it takes to make a chicken biryani. All that marinading and browning the chicken in small batches and then steaming it with the rice for a long time, I only have the patience for that a couple times a year. Besides, I try to avoid animal protein.
Yesterday, I was hungry for lunch and just staring at my the contents of my fridge when I saw a half packet of cremini mushrooms just languishing there. Suddenly, inspiration struck! I thought I could just substitute the mushrooms for chicken and do a quick version of the traditional biryani.
I tried it and loved it. So I decided to share it with you. Hope you love it too!
- 10 oz mushrooms, in about 1/4 inch slices
- 1 1/2 cups Basmati Rice, rinsed at least 3 times
- 2 tbsp oil, separated
- 1 tsp salt, separated
- 1/2 tsp turmeric, separated
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 2 tsp garam masala, separated
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
- 1/2 tsp ginger, grated
- 1 onion, sliced pole to pole
- In a medium sized pot toss in the rinsed rice add 2 1/2 cups of water, 1/2 tsp of salt and 2 tsp of oil.
- Bring to a boil on high heat, cover and lower heat to lowest setting immediately. Cook for 8 minutes. The rice will be mostly cooked but not all the way.
- Take out 1/2 cup of the par-cooked rice in a bowl. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric and 1 tbsp of water and mix. This will make the pretty yellow rice.
- Fluff par cooked rice with a fork and turn out onto a plate.
- While the rice is cooking, heat 1 tsp oil in a saute pan and toss in the mushrooms. Add 1/4 tsp salt.
- Turn the heat on high.
- Cook the mushrooms, stirring a few times, until nice and golden brown. The mushrooms will shrink a lot.
- Add 1/2 tsp garam masala cook for 1 minute and turn off heat.
- In a small bowl, toss in the yogurt, 1 tbsp of water, 1 1/2 tsp of garam masala, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp salt, the garlic and the ginger. Mix.
- **This not technically a marinade because I don’t even leave the mushrooms in it for more than 15 minutes. But I add the mushrooms while they’re still hot in hopes that they will absorb more flavor. It’ll work either way.
- Toss the hot mushrooms into the yogurt mixture.
- In the same pot that the rice was cooked, add 1 tbsp of water, 1 tsp of oil and 1 tbsp of yogurt. Whisk it together with a fork. This should coat most of the bottom layer of the pot. If it doesn’t, add 1 more tbsp of water.
- Now, layer a third of the par-cooked white rice on top of this water, oil and yogurt later.
- Layer half of the mushroom yogurt mixture on top of the rice layer. Spread it around.
- Layer a second third of the rice on top, followed by another layer of mushrooms.
- Then layer the last third of the white rice.
- Top with the 1/2 cup of yellow rice.
- Drizzle 2 tbsp of water over the layers.
- Cover and put the pot back on the stove over high heat for 30 seconds. Lower heat to the lowest setting and let cook for 15 minutes.
- In the same pan that the mushrooms were cooked, heat 1 tbsp of oil.
- Cook the onion slices on medium high heat until deeply browned.
Top the biryani with the fried onion slices and serve.