Mushroom Coconut Rice with Mint

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Mushroom cooked in coconut milk is one of my favorite food combinations. Coconut milk imparts perfect creaminess without overpowering their natural flavor. Mix in some cooked rice to that and you have a comforting lunch bowl. Over the years, I have cooked number of variations of this combination. Most often, I prepare it just with a tempering of whole garam masala (with spices such as clove, bay leaves, star anise) and red chili pepper. Today, however, I made some more tweaks to the recipe, using fresh and frozen supplies from our fridge.

MUSHROOM COCONUT RICE WITH MINT

Ingredients:

1 cup rice
10-12 Baby Bella mushrooms
1 cup grated fresh coconut (I used frozen)
Handful of mint leaves
1 cup of fajita veggie mix/ half a onion and some chopped bell peppers
1 inch ginger
3-4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoon oil (I used coconut oil)
Salt to taste.

For garnish: chopped scallions and nooch i.e. nutritional yeast (optional)

Method:

  1. Cook rice as per directions.
  2. Grind shredded coconut, mint leaves, ginger, and garlic with some water to form a paste.
  3. In a pan, heat oil. Sauté chopped onion and bell peppers, till onion changes color.
  4. Add chopped mushrooms to it. Season with salt. Stir fry for two more minutes. Mushrooms will start cooking in its own water that is released due to salt.
  5. Add the coconut-mint paste to the pan and sauté till it loses its raw smell.
  6. Take off the heat and mix with cooked rice.
  7. Add garnish of your choice. I used chopped scallions and nooch flakes.

The result is as creamy as its master recipe. Plus, mint adds a pleasant aroma and color.

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Guacamole Black Bean Pasta

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Am I a fussy eater? Goodness, I can almost see my entire family here, nodding in affirmation of said doubt… But no, today is not the day when I agree to that. Although, black bean spaghetti has made me wonder about it. Unlike buckwheat or rice noodles, I did not warm up to black bean noodles immediately. First few of my stir-fry attempts with it always seemed to miss something. As a result, its box soon slipped into an overlooked corner of my pantry.

The other day however, after a long overseas call, I realized that I had only about 20 minutes to fix a lunch. As fate would have it, I was out of my usual favorite flat noodles. So, I decided to try black bean noodles once again. For a moment, I froze… but then found two perfectly ripened avocados in my fridge. I thought to go for a noddle salad using those. If black bean and avocados wouldn’t go together, the world would just make a little less sense. This ought to work…

It did. So much so, that by the time it occurred to me to take a snap for this blog post, I was almost halfway through my bowl. Here is what I now fondly call as Guacamole Black Bean Pasta.

GUACAMOLE BLACK BEAN PASTA

Serves two

Ingredients:

2 portions of black bean spaghetti (about 4 cups)
2 ripe avocados
1 small onion, or better, 3-4 sprigs of spring onion
1 medium tomato
Lemon juice and salt to taste
3 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 green chili peppers

Method:

  1. Cook black bean noodles per instruction. Drain and keep aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat olive oil and fry thinly chopped garlic and green chili peppers in it till fragrant. Remove from heat. Pour over cooked noodles and mix.
  3. In a bowl, mash avocado flesh to pulp. Add chopped tomato and onion. Season with salt and lemon juice.
  4. Mix this guacamole with tempered noodles.
  5. That’s it. Serve and Tuck in.

You can also mash raw garlic and chillis with guacamole, if you like. But I just thought that using a tempering to season black bean noodles would add that perk 🙂