Risotto is a traditional Italian rice dish cooked with "Arborio Rice"which has very short and thick grains. The cooking procedure is totally different. It requires continuous stirring of the rice while we keep adding broth ladleful at a time until it is soaked into the rice making a soft and creamy texture. Olive oil is used for cooking which gives an authentic flavour though some people use butter. Sometime back I was invited by a friend for lunch. She was making risotto and I had the opportunity to learn it the right way. This dish has to be served immediately after cooking. I have made mushroom risotto, but it can also be made with meats, sausages, seafood...
Arborio rice ... 1 cup
Mushrooms .. 1/2 cup (sliced) I have used shitake.
Spinach ........ few leaves
Basil ............ few leaves
Garlic .......... 1 tbsp
Cheese ........ 2 tbsps. (grated)
Olive oil ..... 6 tbsps.
Salt ............ to taste
White wine ... 1/2 cup ( you can skip if you don't like it .. replace with water)
Vegetable stock .... 4-5 cups ( you can use chicken stock also)
I made the vegetable stock by boiling one cup of vegetables and one small onion.. use any available at home. Boil them with the required quantity of water adding salt and a piece of cinnamon or star anise. Drain and use the stock. Do not throw away the vegetables. knead them with the flour and make rotis.
1. Heat a little oil in a pan and stir-fry the sliced mushrooms. Add spinach and Basil leaves and a little salt. Stir and remove from the pan.
2. Heat about 2-3 tbsps of oil and add the garlic. Stir fry a little and add the rice ( straight from the pack as this is not washed and soaked like in Indian recipes)
3. Fry the rice with garlic for half a minute and add the wine. ( if you are not using wine then add the stock ) Stir and cook until it is absorbed into the rice.
4. Keep adding a ladle-ful of stock and stirring until the rice is cooked to a soft consistency. For one cup of rice I used almost 3 and 1/2 cups of stock.
5. At this point mix the mushrooms which were fried with spinach and basil.Also add the cheese and a spoonful of olive oil.