Oyster Mushroom Shila Plavi

Oyster Mushroom Shila Plavi

This oyster mushroom shila plavi is a vegan Georgian dish which is somewhat similar to a risotto, though it plays by its own rules!

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time40 min
  • Ready in40-60 min
  • Yield4 servings


  • 2lbs (approx. 1kg) oyster mushrooms
  • 1 small pinch saffron threads OR 1 teaspoon (2g) turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) cooking oil or lard
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cilantro roots, finely minced (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons (4g) ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) white wine
  • 1 cup (200g) short or medium grain rice
  • +/- 5 cups (1250ml) water
  • Fresh herbs (cilantro, dill, parsley) to garnish
  • Good quality olive oil to garnish



Pull the oyster mushrooms apart, discarding any tough stem bits. 

Cut into bite-size pieces. 


Heat up 2 tablespoons (30ml) of water. 

Add the saffron threads (if you have a mortar and pestle, crush them into a rough powder first) to a small bowl and pour the hot water over them. Let them steep until the recipe is ready for them. 

If using turmeric instead, add later (when called for in recipe). 


Heat the fat or oil up in a deep skillet or wide pot over medium high heat. 

Add the mushrooms and onions and cook for 8 minutes, stirring often. 

Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric (if using), salt, and pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes. 

Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom. 

Add the rice and the saffron water (if using). Stir well. 


Turn the heat to medium low and add 1 cup (250ml) water. 

Cook, stirring once in a while, until the water is mostly gone. 

Add another cup of water and repeat. 

Keep doing this until the rice is soft and tender. Add a last cup of water and cook it down just until the rice is creamy and somewhat soupy. 

This took 5 cups of water and about 30-40 minutes for me to do, but depending on your rice and the heat from your stove, it may take you more or less time and water. 


Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, or cumin if it needs it (it will likely need more salt).

Transfer to bowls and drizzle with good quality olive oil, then scatter fresh herbs on top to serve. Enjoy! 

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