Tag Archives: basmati

Mushroom Stroganoff with Cardamom Basmati Rice

Recipe adapted from: Feast – Food to Celebrate Life (by Nigella Lawson)

mushroom stroganoff

I didn’t like mushrooms when I was growing up, and I was a fool.

I thought they were slimy and kind of gross, and they always seemed like a “filler” or even an afterthought in sautéed veggies or meaty pasta, which I felt was rather pointless and unnecessary. The idea of truffle being one of the world’s most precious and sought-after delicacies perplexed me more than fish roe and duck liver being the others. Of course I had never tasted truffle at that time, I only knew it was a type of mushroom. And people train pigs to find them in the forest. That sounded as bizarre as “Where the wild things are” to a 9-year old Japanese kid.

Fortunately, my taste bud had caught up to be able to appreciate the fantastic world of fungi by the time I was introduced to this version of mushroom stroganoff.  Still, I was absolutely shocked by how delicious this dish came out despite of the recipe’s simplicity when I made it for the first time. Since then I have made this for many, many occasions, but every time, I’m amazed and almost confused as to how only mushrooms and a couple of spices (paprika and nutmeg) can deliver such a deeply rich and complex flavor. And every time, it makes me regret about all those years when I diligently picked out any mushroom slices I could find from my plate to avoid eating them. Continue reading

Indian Mango Dal

Recipe adapted from: http://www.eatingwell.com

Indian mango dal

I’ve always loved eating Indian foods, and I recently realized I love cooking Indian dishes as much as eating them. There is something magical about the process of layering ingredients and the spices – Aroma changes as each element is added and getting increasingly complex, then once everything is mixed and finished cooking, suddenly all the flavors are merged together to form one perfectly balanced taste as if it was meant to be. Truly fascinating.

I think this dish epitomizes such joy, but without having to go through elaborated steps. Red lentils are cooked with cinnamon and turmeric to bring out the nutty sweetness, while onion, garlic and ginger are pan fried with cumin seeds and coriander. Once the ingredients have completely absorbed wonderful flavor of spices respectively, everything is combined then further cooked with diced mango until the fruit becomes soften and jammy, and lentils are broken down. It is a fairly simple and easy dish to make, but has such an unbelievably intoxicating flavor that will make you cook it again and again. I sometimes serve this for guests and always get asked for the recipe. Continue reading