I've realized that mushrooms can be quite polarizing: either you love them or you hate them. Here's a recipe for all my fellow mushroom-lovers out there!
For measurements and the list of ingredients for the recipe, please refer to Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.
Prep: Wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel to clean and slice them. Cut the onion and chilies.
Note: It is important not to wash mushrooms in water to avoid absorbing too much moisture.
Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick and cardamom pods.
Note: Whole spices are added to flavor the dish and are not meant to be eaten.
When the cloves plump up, add onion and green chili.
Sauté until the onion is translucent and edges begin to brown. Add ginger garlic paste and stir fry for 1 minute. Add mushrooms.
Sauté until mushrooms are slightly wilted. Stir in garam masala powder, basmati rice and salt. Mix thoroughly to coat all the rice grains with a thin film of oil and spices.
Stir in 3 ½ cups of water. At this point, you can transfer the mixture to an automatic rice cooker and finish cooking.
Alternative: Bring the rice mixture to a boil and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Cover with a lid and cook for about 20-25 minutes until the rice is done. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork.
Garnish with cilantro.
Note: The recipe in Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen also includes a garnish with paneer wrapped in edible silver leaves. I will leave that extra step for another day.