Sudhanshu Nirmal, the executive chef at Aloft Al Ain, explains why Arborio ride is perfect for making risotto
My key ingredient: Arborio rice
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.”
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 unsalted butter
20g Parmesan cheese
Ingredients and method for the chicken tikka masala
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.