Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 July 2019

My key ingredient: Arborio rice

Sudhanshu Nirmal, the executive chef at Aloft Al Ain, explains why Arborio ride is perfect for making risotto

Arborio rice. Getty Images
Arborio rice. Getty Images

Sudhanshu Nirmal, executive chef, Aloft Al Ain

“Risotto is a versatile dish in the modern kitchen, and chefs around the world use it as a main course or as a complementary component. I love Arborio rice due to its versatility and texture.”

Sudhanshu Nirmal, executive chef, Aloft Al Ain. Courtesy Aloft Al Ain
Sudhanshu Nirmal, executive chef, Aloft Al Ain. Courtesy Aloft Al Ain

Three Continent Risotto


3 tbsp olive oil

2g garlic, minced

20g celery stick, crushed

160g Arborio rice

300ml chicken stock

80g chicken tikka, cooked and sliced

1 tbsp chicken tikka marination

80g avocado, peeled and diced

20g spinach

20g unsalted butter

20g Parmesan cheese

Ingredients and method for the chicken tikka masala

80g chicken

1 tbsp ginger paste

1 tbsp garlic paste

500g plain yogurt

1 tbsp cumin powder

30g fresh coriander

A pinch of red colouring

A pinch of chilli powder

25g mustard oil

A pinch of salt

1 tbsp lemon juice

Method for the chicken tikka masala

Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl to create a paste. Keep one tablespoon to the side for use later. Mix the chicken pieces into the paste and marinate for one hour. Bake in the oven (a tandoor oven is ideal) for about 10 minutes at 265°C.

Method for the risotto

Heat the olive oil in a flat, heavy-bottomed pan. Add garlic and celery, and sauté for one minute. Add the Arborio rice and cook, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, until it is pearly in colour.

Add half of the chicken stock and simmer, stirring frequently. Add the chicken tikka and continue cooking, adding more stock as required until nearly all of the stock is used up. Then add in the tikka marination, avocado and spinach, and continue cooking for another 1 or 2 minutes.

Pour 1 tablespoon of stock or hot water into the risotto. Add the butter and Parmesan and toss to emulsify. Check the seasoning and place on a serving plate. Garnish with finely grated Parmesan cheese through a fine grater. Serve immediately with warm bread.

The three continent risotto. Courtesy Aloft Al Ain
The three continent risotto. Courtesy Aloft Al Ain


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Updated: August 23, 2017 12:16 PM