Wild Mushroom and Paneer Pilaf with Urad Dal

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Wild Mushroom and Paneer Pilaf with Urad Dal

Modern Spice by Monica Bhide is quickly becoming a favored cookbook in my kitchen. And best of all, Ms. Bhide includes lots of recipes for paneer cheese! I've been meaning to post this recipe for a while now, but better late than never. The first time I made it, the pictures turned out muddy, so I was loath to share until I could properly capture this pretty dish.

I served this delightful dish with Indian-style beet salad with a yogurt dressing, also inspired by Modern Spice.

Wild Mushroom and Paneer Pilaf with Urad DalWild Mushroom and Paneer Pilaf with Urad Dal
Recipe by
Adapted from Modern Spice: Inspired Indian Flavors for the Contemporary Kitchen
Cuisine: Indian
Published on September 9, 2010

An extraordinary and colorful spiced wild mushroom and rice pilaf served with golden brown fried paneer cheese — a modern-style Indian classic

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  • 1/2 oz (14 grams) dried wild mushrooms
  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup urad dal without skins
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 3 cups fresh wild mushrooms (portobello, oyster, cremini or shiitake), sliced
  • 2 fresh green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or crushed dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 14 oz (400 grams) paneer cheese, cubed
  • handful of fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • In a small bowl, soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid, chop the mushrooms, and set aside.

  • Rinse the rice and urad dal and soak in 2 1/2 cups of water as well as the mushroom soaking water for 20 minutes.

  • Heat the oil or butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic and stir and fry for 5 minutes. Increase the heat slightly and add the dried mushrooms and fresh mushrooms to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms begin to release their liquid and the liquid evaporates.

  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the green chilies, turmeric, cayenne, chili powder, coriander and fenugreek. Stir in the rice and urad dal with their soaking liquid, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the paneer cheese and fry, stirring often, until the paneer is golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon.

  • Fluff the rice and mushrooms with a fork. Transfer to serving plates, top with the fried paneer cheese, and garnish with parsley or cilantro.

Makes 4 - 6 servings

Wild Mushroom and Paneer Pilaf with Urad Dal

Other recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen you will be sure to enjoy:
Paneer Mushroom Masala
Shredded Paneer with Tomatoes, Chilies, Mushrooms and Chickpeas
Chickpea Vindaloo

On the top of the reading stack: Great Masters: Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian

Audio Accompaniment: Laughing Stock by Talk Talk


Unknown said...

Wow, very new recipe, love the look of it.

Tanvi said...

Wow...I love anything with Paneer.Liked the use of wild mushrooms a lot!
Sinfully Spicy

Johanna GGG said...

rice spice mushrooms and paneer - this sounds perfect for you - I think I would love it too esp with the beetroot salad

FewMinute Wonders said...

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for blogging about different Indian Cook books. It makes it easier for one to consider buying such books. The paneer pilaf looks awesome.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

As always a delicious dish Lisa. Monica would be inspired.

Torviewtoronto said...

delicious rice

madge @ vegetariancasserolequeen said...

Yes! Paneer is the best! The dish Looks so delicious.

eatme_delicious said...

This looks so good! I love the big cubes of paneer mmm.

PicnicIdeas(Chen) said...

The recipe and the pic look great.I loved this combination.
This recipe is a winner!