Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Indian risotto!

Cold-ridden again and sneezing away on this suddenly chilly April evening, and what with the two of us afflicted with a slight belly ache, we wanted something light healthy and simple. I suddenly craved the tomato rice I make occasionally, with more ginger even than usual. Husband suitably shared the craving. There was no basmati rice in the house, though, for the usual method - only some vialone nano for risotto.

Well, why not make an Indian risotto? I began the usual way, a soffritto of one small shallot and lots of chopped fresh ginger, but added a few fresh curry leaves (from India by way of New York - I keep them in the freezer), a dried red Calabrian chili, and the tiniest super hot green chili I could find in the fridge. Then I added a good amount of quartered tomatoes - a mixture of the local, rounded type and the fabulously sweet "datterini" one finds here, already ripe, either from southern sun or from well appointed greenhouses, I still haven't determined. Then, the rice, salt, curcuma, and cold water. I brought the whole thing to a boil, added a mixture of cumin, coriander seeds and yellow mustard seeds, all ground together in the mortar; one clove, two whole peppercorns. Stirred as one does with risotto; added some fresh chopped ginger; needed more water, so boiled some in the kettle and added it, together with a little more salt, and a few pinches more of the ground spice mix. Took out all the curry leaves but one. Switched off the flame, added some ground black pepper.

Well: here is an avowedly strange dish that, what with the ginger, chili and specific spices, delivered all the medical properties required for our little ailments. But the result, I must confess, was excellent.


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