Risotto is an Italian rice dish especially from Northern Italy.It is the most common rice preparation in Italy and is cooked with broth from either meat,fish or vegetables until it reaches a creamy consistency.The kind of rice used in preparing risotto is a medium or short grain white rice which is high in starch (amylopectin) and low in amylose.Risotto preparation unlike other rice dishes does not require rice to be pre- rinsed,boiled or drained as this would remove starch required for the creamy texture of the dish.It is very much comparable to Indian khichdi with respect to its appearance and ingredients with only rice,onion and garlic being common but the method of cooking is what makes it different from our Indian khichdi.The basic ingredients of risotto are shallots,rice,butter,dry white wine,parsley and parmesan cheese cooked in broth.It can be made vegetarian and non vegetarian both.The recipe that I am going to share is of mushroom risotto which is very close in taste and texture to which I happened to taste in Florence during my Italy trip.Only to suit our Indian palate I have spiced it up a bit using chili flakes and dried parsley generously.Lets quickly move to the recipe to checkout how it turned out.
- 1 cup Risotto rice or any short grain variety (I have used Arborio variety)
- 1 medium size onion finely chopped
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 200 gm roughly chopped mushrooms
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup fresh cream( optional)
- 50 gm Parmesan cheese grated
- Salt to taste
- Dry or fresh parsley
- Chili flakes (optional)
- Olive oil
- Warm up the vegetable stock and keep aside for use.
- Heat 2-3 tbsp of olive oil along with 2 tbsp of butter in a vessel.
- Saute chopped onions till translucent.
- Add minced garlic and saute till fragrant.
- Toss in Arborio rice along with chopped mushrooms and give it a nice stir for 3-4 minutes.
- Add white wine and stir till it gets fully absorbed.
- Add about ladle of vegetable stock and cook while stirring on low to medium heat till it is absorbed by the rice.Repeat this process of adding little stock at a time stirring and getting absorbed by the rice till rice gets fully cooked and the texture becomes soft and creamy without becoming runny or stiff and gooey.This takes about 20-30 minutes and needs full dedication.
- Add salt to taste.
- To finish off stir in cream,parmesan cheese ,parsley to taste and some chili flakes.Mix well and put off the flame.
- Serve hot drizzled generously with extra virgin olive oil and Enjoy…..to your hearts content.
Tips & Tweaks:
- Different varieties of risotto rice are available and can be easily found in super markets.It is also available online.
- The cooking technique of risotto is very important to follow to get the desired consistency and texture.Never add too much stock or liquid at a time.Adding little amount of moisture and stirring till it gets absorbed helps in release of the starch which imparts creaminess to the dish.
- I have used home made vegetable stock.You may also use water in place of stock if it is not available to you.
- Use warm stock or water to cook.
- Never wash,drain ,soak or boil the rice.
- Mushrooms can be sauteed and can be added later on also just before adding cream and cheese.
Enjoy!!!………………………………and Happy Cooking and Eating!!!…………………………till I am Back Again……………………..