Mushroom Pilaf Mash Up | Melissa Hemsley
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Mushroom Quinoa Mix up

Vegetarian Mains

Mushroom Pilaf Mash up





This a bit like a risotto mixed with a biryani.  It’s one pot, perfect for vegetarians and simple to make. If you haven’t got all the spices but do have garam masala, add 2 tsps of that instead. I always play with spices, herbs and nuts, just swap in whatever you’ve got but don’t skip the crunchy nuts! I like to serve this with a big handful of watercress or rocket per person with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and citrus or apple cider vinegar.



  1. Toast the cashews in a large frying pan for about 1 minute on a medium heat, tossing halfway through then set them aside.
  2. In the same pan, heat up 1 tbs of ghee/butter and fry half the mushrooms until golden which takes about 5 minutes on a high heat, stirring once in a while. You want to cook off all their liquid which gives them a fantastic texture. Then season and set aside and repeat with the remaining mushrooms and set those aside too.
  3. In the same pan again, heat up the remaining ghee/butter and fry the onions for 5 minutes until softened
  4. Add the garlic and spices for a few minutes, stirring from time to time
  5. Add the rinsed quinoa, stir to coat and let fry for 1 minute to cook off any excess liquid and it brings out the nuttiness
  6. Then stir through the tomato puree and approx 700ml liquid and let the quinoa simmer on medium high for about 12 minutes, adding more liquid as you need it and stirring from time to time.
  7. Add shredded kale, stir and let cook for a final 5 minutes
  8. Finally stir through  the mushrooms to heat through and add most of the lime juice and zest. Taste for seasoning then sprinkle over lots of fresh herbs, the toasted cashews and drizzle over the yoghurt and some extra chilli flakes  – or serve them on the side for everyone to help themselves


  • 2  large handfuls cashew nuts (or any nuts)
  • 375g quinoa (rinsed well and ideally soaked then rinsed)
  • 600g mixed  mushrooms, roughly sliced and stems chopped
  • 2 and a half  tbs butter/ ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 750ml – 900ml quality broth/stock/water
  • 4  large handfuls of chopped baby kale, 150g
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 limes, squeezed & zested



  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon / or 1 small stick
  • Chilli flakes or tiny pinch cayenne or chilli, to taste
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin


To serve

  • Full fat yoghurt
  • 2 large handfuls of fresh herbs like coriander/chives/mint or a mix

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