Hello folks... being a North Indian Muslim- Biryani is my obvious choice when I think of a yummy rice dish... and our Indian Biryani has numerous versions from different states.... Awadhi to Hyderabadi to Kashmiri, to Kachcha Gosht Biryani etc and etc.
But what if you dont want all the spices and the meat... then you can go for a North Indian rice favorite like the "Tehri" a simple rice dish cooked with minimum spices-yellow in color because of the turmeric and potatoes and peas... served with papad and desi ghee...ummm...
Or Khichdee... a rice and pulses (daal) combination (daal can be different for different tastes) with ooodles of ghee and yummy pickle..... fantastic comfort food!
Or the South Indian favorite which I love- curd rice... fragrant, light and oh so healthy!
But here we are not talking about our Indian or desi favorites....
We are talking about a dish called Risotto... a creamy rice dish which traces its origins to Italy and uses a special kind of rice called "Arborio Rice"
If you are living in a big city, arborio rice is easily available in most gourmet stores, and I suggest you use that for an authentic risotto!
But if you are living in an out-of-the-way place like me, where even getting a simple thing like Nutella is a struggle, then you can use normal small grain rice that one gets everywhere.
Don't use the Biryani long grain rice because we are not making biryani... we are making "risotto"!
So here goes...
I have used pre cooked rice wherein I haven't strained the rice but cooked it in its own starch, so its soft.
But if you have pre-cooked left-over rice that you had cooked and strained the starch off-don't fret, you can use that too because we will be recooking it in broth to make it more creamy and soft.
Creamy Veggie Risotto (with left-over rice)
1 cup mix veggies- peas, diced carrots and sweet corn kernels
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
3 cloves garlic- crushed and minced
2 tsp red chilli flakes
2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups cooked rice
1 and1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup milk
(if cooking with Arborio rice then take a cup of rice and cook in 1 litre of broth/stock or go on whats written on the package)
1- Boil a couple of cups of water with a pinch of salt and dunk the veggies in it. Give it a boil, strain and keep aside
2- Heat a heavy bottomed kadhai or wok and add the oil.
3- Add the onions and garlic and saute till fragrant, then add the blanched veggies that you had kept aside along with the chilli flakes.
4- Now lower the heat and add the cooked rice, stir for two minutes, then start adding the vegetable stock, little by little, stirring continuously so that it doesn't stick to the bottom.
5- Once you've added the stock let it bubble on low heat for a while...
6- Add the milk and the grated cheese (reserving a tbsp for garnish)... check the seasoning to see if the salt and pepper are ok. Let it bubble on low heat for another 5 minutes.
7- Garnish with chopped coriander and remaining cheese (and if you like-some chopped olives also taste good!)
8- Serve warm.