Indian Spiced Mushroom and Asparagus Rice

Indian Spiced Mushroom and Asparagus Rice

Button mushrooms and asparagus are sautéed with cumin seeds and onion creating the flavor base for this Indian-inspired rice dish.  Garam masala lends a hint of warming spice.  This dish is a perfect use for leftover rice, and you can substitute 2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked rice for the uncooked grains.  Make sure the rice has cooled fully before stir-frying with the vegetables or the mixture may become gummy.  Garam masala is an Indian spice blend that includes cumin, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, among others.  You’ll find it at most grocery stores.

 Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 1/4 cups brown (or white) basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups roughly chopped white button or cremini mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup asparagus pieces (1/2 inch pieces) or 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • large handful cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • garam masala, to taste
  • Meyer lemon wedges


  1. Rinse rice in two to three changes of water.  Drain and place rice into a medium saucepan.  Cover with 2 1/2 cups water (or if you are using white rice cover with 1 3/4 cups plus two tablespoons water), bring to a boil, cover tightly and reduce heat.  Simmer gently until water is absorbed and rice is tender.  Do not stir during cooking.  Cool rice completely.
  2. Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add cumin and mustard seeds and cook until they sizzle and become fragrant (no more than 30 seconds).  Add onion and cook for several minutes until the onion starts to brown.  Add the mushrooms and asparagus and stir.  Cook until the mushrooms acquire a bit of deep golden brown color and asparagus is barely tender and still bright green.  The mushrooms should release some liquid as they cook, but if the pan becomes dry and ingredients begin to stick, add a splash of water to the pan.
  3. Sprinkle vegetables with turmeric and salt and add cooked rice (make sure it is completely cool) to the pan.  Fold the rice into the vegetable mixture, adding a splash of water as needed to moisten (especially if the rice has been refrigerated for more than a few hours).  Heat through.
  4. Garnish with cilantro leaves and a sprinkling of garam masala to taste.  Serve with Meyer lemon wedges to squeeze on top.
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