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Perfect for Autumn and full of warm earthy flavours. It is surprisingly easy to make. I used the chanterelles as well as chestnut mushrooms because I had them and because they look so pretty but you don't have to. I cooked them separately as they are more delicate than chestnut mushrooms and I wanted them to hold their shape.

Food Tableware Ingredient Recipe Staple food

Ingredients (serves 4)
One large mug of basmati rice
4 - 5 tbs vegetable oil for frying
1 large onion finely chopped
1/2 a large red onion thinly sliced
200g chestnut mushrooms (cut into halves or quarters if large)
100g chanterelle mushrooms (optional - use extra chestnut mushrooms in stage 2 and omit stage 6, if you are unable to obtain chanterelles)
8 cloves
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
2 or 3 pieces of cinnamon or cassia bark
2 blades of mace
A few generous grinds of black pepper
a small handful of fresh curry leaves (I use frozen fresh leaves). You can substitute a few bay leaves.

  1. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil In a large shallow pan. Add the chopped onion and fry gently until golden brown.
  2. Add 1tbsp oil and the chestnut mushrooms, Fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add the rice and fry until the grains turn opaque (a few minutes).
  4. Add the spices, curry leaves and 2 mugs of water and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 20 mins or until all the water is absorbed. Cover and leave to stand for ten minutes.
  5. Whilst the Pilau is cooking add a tbsp of oil to a separate pan and fry the finely sliced onion until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and leave to crisp up.
  6. When the pilau is nearly ready add 1 tbsp of oil to a second pan and fry the chanterelle mushrooms (if using) for a few minutes. Add to the pilau.
  7. Fluff up the grains of rice in the pilau with a fork before serving. Sprinkle with the crispy onions.
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