600g mixed mushrooms, I use oyster, chestnut and shiitake, clean and slice thickly
½ red pepper cut into medium-sized cubes or strips
800g cooked plain or pilaf rice or 300g basmati rice, cooked in salted water
Salt to taste and ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs. white poppy seeds, cover in hot water and soak for 10 minutes
1 tsp. fennel seeds, powdered
1 ½ tsp. garam masala powder
2 tbs. plain yoghurt
2 tbs. double cream
Big pinch saffron infused in 3 tbs hot milk
1 large onion, fried until the edges are well browned
Make a paste of the poppy seeds using a pestle and mortar, the finer you grind it the better.
Heat 2 tbs. of the butter in a large sauté pan, add the whole spices from the packet and sizzle for 30 seconds.
Add the rice, some seasoning, the powdered fennel seeds and the poppy seed paste and stir fry for 3-4 minutes to heat through. Set aside.
Add the oil in a saucepan and sauté the prawns and curry leaves for 1 minute. Set aside.
Add the sauces to the pan, along with the garam masala and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-4 minutes and add the prawns back in and cook for another 2-3m. Taste and adjust seasoning and set aside.
Butter an oven proof dish. Layer half the rice over the base. Spoon over half the saffron milk, half the browned onions and dot with half the remaining butter. Add the prawns in the sauce and the remaining rice, saffron and butter. Reserve the remaining onions. Cover well with a lid and when you are ready to eat place in a 180C oven to heat through, around 20-30 minutes or until steaming. Serve hot garnished with the onions.
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