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
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)
- Cook rice as per directions.
- Grind shredded coconut, mint leaves, ginger, and garlic with some water to form a paste.
- In a pan, heat oil. Sauté chopped onion and bell peppers, till onion changes color.
- 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.
- Add the coconut-mint paste to the pan and sauté till it loses its raw smell.
- Take off the heat and mix with cooked rice.
- 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.
Sometimes, only handful of things, the usual fare out of your pantry or refrigerator shelves, are enough to create most memorable of your meals. This dinner of ours on a weekday night was one such. The recipe is really crisp, so I will keep my preface the same to match it. Just two words- Classic delight 🙂
2 servings of noodles (cooked al dente, as per the directions)
About 8-10 mushrooms (I used baby bella)
1 white onion
Handful of spring onion/ Scallion
1 inch of ginger
4-5 cloves of garlic
2-3 green chili peppers
Olive oil to stir fry (about 3-4 tablespoons)
Tamari sauce to taste
Vinegar to taste
- Heat a wok. Swirl it with dashes of olive oil for stir-frying
- On high heat, fry thinly chopped green chili peppers, garlic cloves, and julienned ginger, till fragrant.
- Add half-sliced onion, over it till it turns translucent.
- Add sliced mushrooms and fry till slightly seared. Do not cover the pan.
- Season with tamari and vinegar.
- Mix in the pre-cooked al dente noodles. Stir-fry everything for a moment.
- Sprinkle with thinly chopped scallion/ spring onion leaves and it is ready!
I love to have couscous in my pantry for its quick and simple mode of preparation. There are days, when I don’t have time to cook a pot of rice or even quinoa. Yet, I am not too keen to have any kind of bread either. On such days, couscous is my friend. It steams to its grainy and fluffy self, in just five minutes of soaking in hot water (or stock, to raise the flavor profile). Today, I decided to make this couscous into a veggie-mushroom pilaf, as a quick, light, and tasty workday lunch.
MUSHROOM COUSCOUS PILAF
1.5 cups of couscous
1.5 cups of vegetable stock (or water)
1 cup of green peas
1 medium carrot
1 small onion
1/2 pound of mushrooms (i.e. 5-6 of baby Bella mushrooms for me. And well… I had only 1/2 pound of mushrooms left…If I had more, I would have happily used them all up. More the merrier :))
3-4 cloves of garlic
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
Salt and red chili flakes/ pepper to taste
Dried/ Fresh herbs of your choice (I used dried basil)
1-2 Lemon wedge for serving (optional)
- Take couscous in a large serving casserole/ bowl with a lid.
- Heat stock/ water (no need to boil though).
- Pour the hot stock/ water on couscous. Cover with lid and keep aside for five minutes. Fluff with a fork, afterwords.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet heat olive oil.
- Slice mushrooms lengthwise and sauté with thinly chopped onion, garlic, and sprinkles of salt, chili/pepper, herbs. On a medium-high heat, it would not take more than five minutes.
- Transfer to the pot of couscous
- With another dash of olive oil on the skillet, stir fry green peas and grated carrot, on a tempering of turmeric powder and cumin powder. Season with salt.
- Transfer to the couscous pot and mix everything thoroughly with a fork.
- Enjoy, maybe with a squeeze of lemon juice.