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The Hirshon Georgian Mushroom Funeral Rice (Shila Plavi) - სოკო შილა პლავი

The Hirshon Georgian Mushroom Funeral Rice (Shila Plavi) – სოკო შილა პლავი

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  • Author: The Generalissimo


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  • 2 Tbsp. sunflower oil (preferred) or canola oil
  • 2 1/4 lbs. fresh porcini mushrooms, brushed clean (NOT washed!) – stems removed and saved for future stock making
  • 2 tsp. Svanetian salt (STRONGLY preferred, but this is a TFD addition to the original recipe) or Diamond Crystal kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed – preferably a Georgian cultivar
  • 3 cilantro roots, finely minced (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 1/2 cups short-grain rice – TFD prefers Kohuko Rose brand
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds, finely-ground
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds, finely-ground
  • 1/2 Tbsp. freshly-ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup semi-dry white wine, preferably Georgian Anakopia, but a semi-dry Gewurztraminer or Riesling can be substituted – TFD substitutes Orgo winery Kisi from Georgia
  • 4 cups hot lamb, beef, or chicken stock, mixed with 2 Tbsp. khmeli sunneli seasoning and 2 Tbsp. dried porcini powder (adding khmeli sunneli and porcini powder are optional but recommended TFD changes, omit them for original) – TFD prefers chicken stock in this particular recipe – use vegetable stock if you HAVE to keep it vegetarian
  • 1 cup additional meat stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian), reserved if needed
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature – use sunflower oil if you have to keep it vegetarian – TFD prefers KerryGold Irish butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Georgian kviteli kvavili (ground marigold petals) (strongly preferred!) or use saffron or turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh dill fronds
  • 1 Tbsp. torn Cilantro leaves (can substitute dill if you don’t like cilantro)
  • 1 cup coarsely grated pecorino romano or other hard sheep’s-milk cheese (TFD prefers Sardinian Fiore Sardo), plus more for garnish – can be omitted for vegetarian, if you must


  1. Take the mushrooms and cut them into small cubes. Chop up the onions and fry them in an oiled saucepan over high heat until translucent. Add ½ the ground marigold, crushed garlic, washed rice and mix.
  2. Three or four minutes later, add chopped mushrooms and let the mixture cook for 5 more minutes. Add wine, stirring continuously until absorbed.
  3. Stir in the cumin, caraway and black pepper, then pour in the wine and cook, stirring continuously, until the liquid has mostly evaporated, about 1 minute more.
  4. Turn the heat to high and add 2 cups of stock and the bay leaf. When the liquid boils, turn the heat down to maintain a strong simmer and cook, stirring every minute or so, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining 2 cups of stock, the cilantro root (if using) and the remaining ½ of the ground marigold petals.
  6. Return the liquid to a boil, then simmer, stirring frequently, until the rice is cooked to your liking, about 8 minutes for al dente or 11 for soft. Use the extra cup of stock if needed to achieve your preferred consistency. Remove from the heat.
  7. Add the dill, cilantro leaves, butter and pecorino and stir until both have melted, about 1 minute. Season the shila plavi with Svanetian salt to taste, then serve immediately, sprinkled with more cheese and black pepper.
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