Brown rice pilaf with mushrooms, caramelised onions and yogurt

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus soaking
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes, plus soaking

Serves: 4


200g brown basmati rice
2 tbsp olive oil
4 onions, finely sliced
400g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
15g unsalted butter
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ small cinnamon stick
3 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
350ml fresh vegetable stock
large handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
lemon juice, to taste


1. Soak the rice in plenty of cool water for at least 20 minutes (or up to 8 hours). Put the oil and onion in a large frying pan set over a low-medium heat and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring, until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer about ¼ of the mushroom mixture to a medium saucepan.

2. Going back to the frying pan, continue to cook the onion and mushrooms for a further 10 minutes, stirring often, until very soft, browned and slightly frizzled (turn up the heat if needed); set aside.

3. Meanwhile, add the butter to the saucepan with the reserved mushroom mixture. Set over a medium heat and stir in the spices. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Drain the rice and add to the pan, stirring to coat with the spices. Add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce to a very gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the rice is tender and no liquid remains.

4. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Add the lemon juice and season to taste. Spoon the browned mushroom mixture over each portion, forking it through slightly. Serve with Greek yogurt and a scattering more parsley, if liked.