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Friday, January 27, 2012

Vegetarian Risotto

Italian Restaurants are good for Pizzas or Pastas. I am happy to munch on garlic bread and try few starters with assorted sauces and pesto’s.

But I have never really relished risotto because I find them too bland and too rich with butter and cheese. I have seen people dumping various sauces to improve its taste, to suit their palate, but eventually, destroying the authenticity of a real risotto dish.

A properly cooked risotto is normally rich and creamy, still has some resistance or bite and should have separate grains. Its’ traditional texture is fairly fluid but still not too watery like a broth. It is served on a flat dish and it should easily spread out but should not have excess watery liquid around the perimeter.

The rice that is used in this recipe is short-grained type which has good absorbing properties, has an ability to release starch to make it stickier than the normal rice, giving it a creamier effect.

Italians use rice like carnaroli because this variety of rice keeps its shape better than other forms of rice during the slow cooking, that is required for making risotto .

For me, a rich dish is rich if it contains not only assorted vegetables but also the right quantity of cheese and olive oil. A tasty dish for me is one that is spicy too. 

Normally, in a traditional risotto, they use wine and vegetable/meat stock to cook rice, but I have not used wine, (wanted to make it completely vegetarian) and also have used vegetable stock ‘cubes’ instead of vegetable stock that they normally make.

Oh! And yes, I love green chilies.

Since no restaurant will serve me the way I like, I prefer making it on my own.

What you need to prepare before cooking

As usual, chop all the vegetables required for this dish and bring out all the other ingredients from shelves or fridge or wherever you have stored them......

5-6 garlic pods, 
1/2 inch ginger, 
2 green chilies, 
1 vegetable stock cube, 
1 cup rice.
2 tbsp olive oil
5-6 mushrooms, 
1 carrot, 
1 medium green capsicum, 
1 medium Zacchini, 
1 medium red capsicum, 
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1 tsp 5-spice-powder
1 tsp red chilly flakes
1 tbsp black pepper sauce
10-12 olives, 
1 cup grated cheese,

So now that you are ready, lets begin.

Step 1

Pound garlic, ginger and green chilies in the mortar

Step 2

Fry the garlic, ginger and chili in olive oil

Step 3

Add rice and vegetable stock cube and toast it well

Step 4

Add water, let it cook on slow flame.

Step 5

In a separate pan, stir fry vegetables in olive oil 

Step 6

Add basil leaves, red chilly flakes, 5 spice powder, black pepper sauce and salt.

Step 7

Transfer the stir fried veggies into the rice pan

Step 8

Mix it well and add 1 more cup of water and let it cook till the rice is tender.

Step 8

Remove from flame and add grated cheese and chopped olives, mix it well.

It must be eaten at once as it continues to cook in its own heat and can become too dry with the grains too soft.

Hope you like it. I had made chilies in vinegar, which tasted quite good when I sprinkled on it.

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