The first time I had risotto was at Jamie’s Italian and right from the name itself you would know how good was the quality of the dish in terms of aroma, texture and flavors. I find Risotto an interesting way to consume rice and veggies as one-pot meal cooked along with lots of cheese, wine and stock. However, this recipe is Indian flavored and does not contain cheese, butter or wine. Normally I would not cook risotto with Indian spices but this time round I was craving for a “spicy” risotto! You can blame it on my bloodline! But the end result was pretty good I must say. Since it is completely vegan, it takes the dish to a whole new level with a flare of Indian spices.
The usual way of cooking a risotto is time-consuming wherein it involves extensive stirring and cooking until the grains of rice are fully cooked. Since this recipe involves black-eyes peas which in general take a lot of time to cook, I decided to use my handy-dandy pressure cooker. It was indeed a good decision as the risotto was ready in no time and the rice was fragrant, creamy, aromatic and delicious.
I prepared this risotto for a quick weekend lunch. It is a trusted recipe for Vegans out there! It is healthy, delicious, filling, appetizing and highly pleasant to the taste buds.
Arborio rice – 1 cup
Black-eyed peas – 3/4 cup (washed and soaked for at least 1 hour)
Carrots – finely chopped
Green beans – finely chopped
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Bay leaves – 2-3
Cloves – 4-5
Whole black peppercorns – 4-5
Onions – 1 large (thinly sliced or finely chopped – depends on your preference: I kept them thinly sliced for this recipe)
Tomatoes – 1 large (finely chopped)
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder / Cayenne pepper – 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Ground cumin – 1/2 tsp
Goda masala powder – 1 tsp (Optional: You can substitute it with any standard curry powder)
Kasoori methi powder – 1 tsp (You can substitute it with chopped cilantro leaves)
Salt – as per taste
Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Pressure cook the black-eyed peas. Cook on high until the first whistle and then cook on low heat for 10 mins. Once done, keep it aside.
Take some oil in a pressure cooker. Add the whole spices – Cumin seeds, cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves. Stir for a few seconds. Let the cumin seeds splutter.
Add the thinly sliced (or finely chopped) onions and fry until translucent.
Then add the crushed ginger-garlic paste. (I crushed them using a mortar and pestle. You can even blend them into a paste). Cook until the raw smell of ginger and garlic is gone.
Then add the chopped carrots and saute for 2 mins.
Add the chopped tomatoes. Saute for 2-3 mins.
Add the ground spices – turmeric powder, red chilli powder, ground cumin, garam masala powder and goda masala. Mix well and saute until the oil starts separating out.
Now add the cooked black-eyed peas. Mix well.
Usually risotto rice is not washed. However for this recipe, I gave the arborio rice a quick wash and drained out the water. Add in the risotto rice and stir for 2 mins.
Add water or vegetable stock. For 1 cup of rice, I added one and 3/4th cups of water.
Add the kasoori methi powder, black pepper powder and salt as per taste. Be careful with salt if you are adding store-bought stock as the stock might have sufficient salt already.
P.S: You could have added chopped green beans when we added the carrots. However, I already had some cooked beans from the previous night. So I just added them at this stage. Give everything a good mix.
Put on the lid of the pressure cooker. I cooked on high until the first whistle and then on low for 7-8 mins. (The technique and cooking time for every pressure cooker varies depending on the brand. It will be useful to check on how much time your cooker would take before you start off the cooking).
Once done switch off the flame and let the pressure release naturally. Carefully remove the bay leaves before serving.
The risotto will be ready. Serve it hot! My husband preferred it with some Indian mango pickle and a side-salad. Enjoy!!