link rel = "image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” / expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' link rel = "image_src” href=”preview-image-here.jpg” / expr:content='data:blog.metaDescription' Sukanya's musings: VEGETARIAN RISOTTO WITH TOMATOES AND CHEESE

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Sunday, November 27, 2011


It’s vacation time here in Singapore and the kids are at home demanding for interesting food. So I decided to make this Italian dish for them which is rich in proteins, calcium and carbohydrates essential for kids.
Risotto is an Italian dish and I recently had this at an Italian joint here in Singapore and kind of liked it a lot. I felt it tasted very much like our Rice Khichdi / Pongal. They usually make this with Arborio rice which is a special kind of Italian short grained rice, this rice is named after the town of Arborio, in the Po Valley, where it is grown. When cooked, the rounded grains are firm, creamy, and chewy, due to its higher amylopectin starch content thus it has a starchy taste but blends well with other flavours. It is used to make risotto. But in my recipe I used normal Indian short grained rice. I also used fresh tomatoes and cheese to make it interesting for my kids.

Arborio rice – 1 cup
Onion – 1
Tomatoes – 2 ripe ones
Garlic – 2 cloves (optional)
Olive oil – 2 tbsps
Italian seasoning – 1 -2 tsps
Salt as per taste
Pepper – 2 pinches or as per taste
Fresh basil – ¼ cup
Fresh parsley – 2 tsp
Parmesan cheese – 3 heaped tablespoons

In a wok, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, don’t allow it to fume. When it’s mildly hot, add in the garlic and the finely chopped onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Once the onions are transparent, add in the finely chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are squashy and soft. Add the risotto rice and cook, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Allow to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until rice just starts to brown.
At this point add 1 cup of water and stir well to combine. Add a dash of salt and pepper. When most of the liquid has been absorbed, add one more cup of water, add in the   finely chopped fresh basil and parsley and stir well.
As the water gets absorbed into the rice, continue to add water one cup at a time, stirring frequently, until the rice is cooked. After this I lay this cooked Risotto in a glass bowl and
Sprinkled it with some parmesan cheese and some Italian seasoning (Italian seasoning is a dried mix of popular Italian herbs, this is easily available in the markets) and  put it in the microwave on a high until the cheese melted and became golden brown. After this I cut the Risotto like a cake and served it to my kids. The kids enjoyed it and asked for more helpings.

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