Mushroom Walnut Pilaf

This pilaf can stand on its own or can be used as a phenomenal side dish for grilled or roasted meats. Replacing water with stock gives the pilaf a lovely meatiness. 

makes ~3.5 cups


1 ½ cups basmati rice

4 Tbsp ghee (or oil)

1 Tbsp cumin seeds

1 Tbsp garlic purée

2 cups (220 g) onion, minced

4 cups (200 g) chopped mushrooms, assorted

½ cup raisins or currants

2 large cinnamon sticks

1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

2 ½ cups water (or stock)

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp salt

2 cups green peas, frozen, thawed

2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped


  1. Rinse the rice 3-4 times in running water then soak it for 30 minutes to an hour. 
  2. Heat the ghee and pop the cumin seeds. Add the garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Then add the minced onion. Cook at medium until onion is dark brown in color, stirring often. 
  3. Add the mushrooms, raisins, cinnamon sticks and walnuts and cook for another 2-3 minutes. 
  4. Add the drained rice. Stir to coat the rice evenly with the ghee. Add the water, chili powder, and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes.
  5. When most of the water has been absorbed, turn the heat off and immediately add the green peas. Let the pilaf rest for 10-12 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

ideas / variations

  • Add 1 lb of cut up chicken thigh with the minced onions.
  • Replace walnuts with pine nuts and currants with chopped dates or apricots.
  • If using dried specialty mushrooms, make it 2 cups & soak them in water. Add in the same step as fresh mushrooms.