It won't be sattvic meal any more, but this rice would also be a terrific side with salmon, sea bass, barramundi (Asian seabass, bhetki in Bengali), or cod.
Ghee and black pepper are the big flavours in this dish, so if you use olive oil, the flavour will be very different. Butter will certainly work very well if you don't have ghee but it's heavier than ghee and not really a sattvic food.Mushroom and Asparagus Rice with Toasted Black Pepper
Makes: approximately 4 servings (1-1/2 cups per serving)
- 1 cup basmati rice, soaked (at least 30 min, up to 24 hours)
- 3/4 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 in. pieces
- 8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 3/4 - 1 tbsp. toasted black peppercorns, coarsely ground
- 1 tbsp. spiced ghee, regular ghee, or butter
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 4 tbsp. finely chopped parsley (i.e. finely chop enough parsley to make 4 tbsp.)
- In a large pan on medium-high, heat the ghee. Lower the heat to medium and add the toasted peppercorns.
- Add the mushrooms, then minced garlic and saute (turn the heat down to medium-low if needed until the mushrooms release water, then turn it back up to medium to evaporate the water and finish sauteing the mushrooms.)
- Drain the rice well and set aside - you want minimal water on the rice.
- When the mushrooms are sauteed, keep the heat on medium and add the asparagus and drained rice and saute for 3-5 minutes or until the rice is opaque and looks mostly dry.
- Add the 1-1/2 cups water to the rice and vegetables and turn the heat up to high. Let the water come to a boil, add salt and stir.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the water is almost all absorbed. Then lower the heat to low, cover the pan and cook the rice until you can't see any water.
- Take the lid off and serve garnished with 1 tbsp. parsley per serving.
- It's really not necessary to laboriously wipe the dirt off each mushroom. Give the mushrooms a quick wash and dry them thoroughly with paper or cotton dish towels before slicing.
- Trim off the dried bit of each mushroom stem, and keep the rest of the stem on, or remove and slice separately if it's easier to handle the mushrooms that way. If you must discard the stems from mushrooms for a recipe, save them and use to make mushroom stock, or use in a recipe where you can use sliced or diced mushrooms.