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Spicy Cashew and Mushroom Rice

publication date: Sep 30, 2010
author/source: Fiona Beckett
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I discovered this recipe through cookery writer Vicky Bhogal, author of  a really good book called Cooking with Mummyji,  Vicky uses fresh tomatoes but you can easily use half a can of tinned ones as I did when I made it last night. It makes a great midweek supper - cheap, easy and delicious!

Serves 2
Time: 25 minutes
Cost: About 75p a head

2 tablespoons oil
1/3 of a mug (about 75g) broken cashew nuts (cheaper than whole ones)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes or 1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp ground coriander
250g button mushrooms, wiped or rinsed clean and sliced
2 medium tomatoes, skinned* and diced or 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
A handful of fresh coriander (including stalks) roughly chopped + a few leaves for garnish
1/2 mug basmati rice
Onion raita or plain yoghurt
Lemon wedges (or a squeeze of lemon) to serve

Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan or frying pan, tip in the cashew nuts and stir-fry for a minute until beginning to brown. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or tablespoon, draining the oil back into the pan. Return the pan to the heat and  add the cumin seeds. Once they start sizzling, add the onion and fry until translucent (about 2-3 minutes). Stir in the crushed garlic, chilli flakes or chilli powder, the salt and the ground coriander then add the sliced mushrooms, chopped tomatoes and fresh coriander. Cook for 30 seconds then return the cashews to the pan, add the rice, stir and pour in about two thirds of a mug of boiling water. Bring to the boil, put a lid on the pan, turn the heat right down and cook for about 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. (If you find it absorbs more quickly add a little extra water.) Turn the heat off and let the rice stand for 5 minutes. Serve with onion raita (see below) or plain or soy yoghurt and a  wedge of lemon (or a squeezy lemon) to squeeze over the rice

Onion raita
Take 3 tablespoons of plain or soy yoghurt and spoon into a bowl. Peel a small onion and finely grate about 1 tbsp into the yoghurt. Season with salt, sprinkle with a little chilli powder or paprika and serve.

* To skin tomatoes make a small cut in the skin just by the stalk and put them into a bowl. Pour over boiling water and leave for a minute then drain off the water and cover with cold water. Peel off the skin which should come away easily.
* The best way to buy coriander is by the bunch with the roots still intact. Put the bunch in a jam jar or tumbler of cold water, cover with a plastic bag and secure with a rubber band. Place in the fridge. It should keep for 5-6 days if you change the water every couple of days. Wash the coriander before you use it.


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