Wild Mushroom Pilaf
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 2 black cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 6 black peppercorns
- 4 cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- Large handful raw cashew nuts, whole
- 7 ounces fresh wild mushrooms (girolles, morels, cepes, oyster mushrooms, etc., wiped clean with a damp kitchen towel, and cleaned of any grit)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Kosher salt
- 10 1/2 ounces basmati rice, washed well, and soaked in water*
- 14 ounces water
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- *Cook's Note: Soak the rice while you chop the mushrooms.
Heat the oil in a large wide saucepan. Add the green cardamom pods, black cardamom pods, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cloves, and cumin seeds, and cook for 20 seconds, then add the onion and cashew nuts. Be careful as they may splatter a bit. Fry for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and start browning at the edges. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and salt, to taste, and saute over a high heat for 4 to 5 minutes.
Drain the rice that's been soaking and add the rice to the pan along with the water. Bring the rice mixture to a boil, then cover and lower the heat to very low, and cook for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, check a grain of rice to see if it is tender. If not, leave for another minute. Take the pan off the heat, remove the lid and allow any excess moisture to evaporate. Gently stir in the lemon juice, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary and stir gently with a fork.