Risotto with mushroom, onion and carrots

Remember the various palm reading and face reading discussions we used to have in school for the fun of it. No one knew anything, but everyone wanted to have a say in it. I remember one such game. My friend used to ask me to bend my thumb backwards. And the degree to which it bent, showcased the adaptability of the person. Lesser it bent, the more stubborn the person was. Being a tauran, it came as no surprise to me that my thumb was as stiff as rock. Something I was very proud of, then. After all true tauran has to show its' traits too.

With the passage of life, I came to understand the virtues of adaptability. I learnt that its not a weakness to change, but it requires tremendous courage to give in, to adapt. A lesson well learnt, which is helping me now to acclimatize myself in new countries, new environments.

And if our pantry is a classroom, then there's one ingredient that can very well be the teacher of adaptability. The one which is a staple, yet royally ignored. But has such a clout that it can very well replace the old saying “We are what we eat” to “We are, by how we eat rice”. Yes I'm talking about the simpleton rice stocked in every kitchen, across the world.

In India itself, in every region rice is eaten in its own unique ways. In West Bengal, macher bhaat, in Kashmir – rice and mutton, in south – curd rice, lemon rice and what not and in north – its simple dal chawal. The companion of rice varies from place to place and time to time, yet it remains the same in character, though form may change.

And when it crosses the boundaries, then it takes to their culture, their flavours. So while in China, it loves to be soaked in soya sauce, in Italy it prefers to be enriched with cheese and wine. Now what could be more adaptable than that. Risotto is the common rice dish of Italy, where short grain rice like arborio is cooked in broth to a creamy consistency. Though its quite popular with mussels too, here I made it with mushrooms, along with caramelized onion and carrots. 

Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Arborio Rice - 3/4th cup
Button Mushroom - 1 cup (Stems removed and chopped in 4 or 6, depending on size)
Butter/ Olive oil - 1 tbsp

Parmesan Cheese - 1/4 th cup

Vegetable stock - 3 cups

Onion - 1 large, sliced

Carrot - 1/3 rd cup, diced

Salt & Pepper - as per taste

Dried herbs - 1/2 tbsp

Chilli Flakes - 1/2 tbsp


  1. Soak rice in water for about 20 mins.

  2. Bring stock to boil in a pan. I used 1 1/2 Maggi cubes in 3 1/2 cup water. If using 2, adjust salt accordingly. Keep it on simmer.

  3. Melt butter in another pot/pan. Add sliced onion with a pinch of sugar and caramelize it. Add diced carrots and chopped mushroom. Saute for 2-3 mins, till mushroom turns dry.

  4. Now add drained rice along with 1/2 cup hot stock. Use a sorted spoon, so that rice doesn't break and keep stirring frequently. Once all the stock is absorbed, add more. Remember to add not more than 1/2 cup at a time, always hot stock and to stir constantly. 

  5. After about 15 mins, add salt, freshly crushed pepper, chilly flakes, and dried herbs. Mix it well. Once the rice is almost done, add grated cheese, and stir it to melt to make it creamier.

  6. Adjust seasoning and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve hot.

Note: You can also add tbsp of cream to make it richer and wine or brandy for extra flavours. Also it dries up fast, so serve it immediately. 

Glad to share it with Converted Food Event of Pumpkin Farms and with HCC: Lunchbox.

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