Black Rice Rissoto/Kavuni Arisi Rissoto

60 Minutes
Serves 6 People
Author: Rajni Ram
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Black Rice is certainly making a comeback and I’m so happy about this. Black Rice also called Kavuni Arisi in Tamil, has always been used in the southern and north-eastern parts of India and many countries in Asia. It is only now that it is gaining popularity world over.

Why this rice variety has become popular, is because Rice as a grain is making a come back. Some decades ago Rice was shunned and was cited as a reason for weight gain. Wheat became popular then. Today it is the reverse, because someone blamed it all on “gluten”, Wheat is not good any longer. Anyway coming back to Black Rice, it has become popular because of a higher content of Anthocyanins(which gives the rice its colour), it is rich in antioxidants, and has a higher protein content than regular white rice. These antioxidants help protect us from many diseases. Our ancestors had the wisdom to use unpolished grains like these, and lived a better and healthy life. I’m happy my generation is seeing this now, and is willing to bring back healthy grains.

As for me, I believe in eating everything in moderation. I’m not partial to any grain, be it Rice, Millet or Wheat. I include them all in my diet. I don’t believe or do diets. I believe that when eaten the right way and in the right quantity “Food is medicine”.

Well, why a Rissoto with this rice, one may ask. And I ask- Why not? Though this grain takes a relatively longer time to cook, the possibilities are endless. Also in todays world of globalization, where food knows no boundary(and should not), people are looking to experiment with taste and food. So I feel a traditional grain offered as fusion dish will motivate people to try. Besides that, I’m in a fusion mood right now, so making the most of it.

Rissoto is an Italian Dish made of Rice. The rice is cooked in broth until it becomes creamy, and then cheese and wine are added to enhance the flavour. While different vegetables like Zucchini, Mushrooms, Broccoli etc can be used for the Risotto, this time I have used Green Peas and Spring Onion greens.

In this recipe I have used some homemade Red Wine given by a dear friend. We are a family of teetotallers, and this red wine is used only when I make Rissoto. Imagine having a bottle of homemade wine lasting 4 years.  That said, using wine is optional. The wine helps to bring out the taste of the rice and cheese. Black Rice has a naturally nutty flavour, so using wine is not critical to the recipe.

While you are here check out the other recipes on the blog like-  Mushroom Rissoto with Daliya, Orange Cauliflower, Carrot Pumpkin and Almond Soup, Stuffed Sweet Peppers, and more…

 

 

Ingredients

  1. Black Rice/Kavuni Arisi/Wild Rice 1.5 cup
  2. Butter 20 gm
  3. Vegetable Stock(or) water 4 cups
  4. Onion 1 small finely chopped
  5. Garlic 3 cloves finely chopped
  6. Green Peas 1 cup cooked
  7. Spring Onion greens 1/2 cup packed
  8. Red Wine 1 tbsp (optional)
  9. Salt as required
  10. Pepper 1 tsp
  11. Parmesan Cheese 1/2 cup

 

 

  1. Wash and soak the Black Rice for 4 to 5 hours. Later Rinse again, drain and keep aside. Now to a hot pan add the butter. When the butter melts, add the crushed garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Further add the onions, and saute until they turn transparent. Take care not to brown them.
  2. Now add the Black rice, followed by a cup water or broth. Stir well and cook covered on medium high for until almost all water evaporates. Now add a cup of broth, stir and cook covered again on low flame for 5 minutes or until the rice is almost cooked. A little aldente is ok at this stage.
  3. Now open the lid, stir and add another cup of water or broth. Add salt, and pepper powder, cover and cook again until the rice is soft(read notes).
  4. Now open the lid, stir and add the wine if using. Further add the cooked Green Peas and the Spring Onion greens, add another cup of broth or water and cook over a low flame, uncovered. Now the rice gets creamy, to fasten the process, keep mashing with the back of a ladle, whenever you stir. Finally add the Parmesan Cheese, and keep stirring until until all the cheese melts and combines with the rice. The final result must be creamy. At this stage turn off the stove, sprinkle some cheese and serve hot.

Wash and soak the Black Rice for 4 to 5 hours. Later Rinse again, drain and keep aside. Now to a hot pan add the butter. When the butter melts, add the crushed garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Further add the onions, and saute until they turn transparent. Take care not to brown them. Now add the Black rice, followed by a cup water or broth. Stir well and cook covered on medium high for until almost all water evaporates. Now add a cup of broth, stir and cook covered again on low flame for 5 minutes or until the rice is almost cooked. A little aldente is ok at this stage. Now open the lid, stir and add another cup of water or broth. Add salt, and pepper powder, cover and cook again until the rice is soft(read notes). Now open the lid, stir and add the wine if using. Further add the cooked Green Peas and the Spring Onion greens, add another cup of broth or water and cook over a low flame, uncovered. Now the rice gets creamy, to fasten the process, keep mashing with the back of a ladle, whenever you stir. Finally add the Parmesan Cheese, and keep stirring until until all the cheese melts and combines with the rice. The final result must be creamy. At this stage turn off the stove, sprinkle some cheese and serve hot.

Notes:

  1. Black rice cooks rather slowly as it has the bran intact. Therefore the dish takes longer to cook than a regular Risotto.
  2. Wine is optional and doesn’t have to be substituted. However I will recommend broth over water.
  3. At the time I cooked this dish, I had about 1 cup broth, as I had used most of mine in a soup.
  4. Always stock up all the water from cooked vegetables and freeze them, it is better than buying the store bought ones. I stock up through the week, and use over the weekend.
  5.  The Black Rice has a naturally earthy fragrance and nutty flavour which adds to the dishes flavour.
  6. At any point in the recipe, if you feel you need to add more broth or water, and the rice needs to further cook, then surely do so. A grainy dish cannot be called Risotto.
  7. Different quality rice may cook differently, I added about 4 cups (water+broth), some might take longer. Just pour.

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