Beetroot Risotto: A humble attempt at my Restaurant Favourite

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My nephew celebrated his 21st Birthday at Cafe Zoe,in Mumbai a couple of weeks ago.The entire family was invited to a sit down lunch.Cafe Zoe is a cosy resto downtown and serves up a great European fare.It’s amongst my favorite places for lunch,more so as they make an absolutely beautiful Beetroot Risotto.My sister who hosted the lunch was keen that the menu be planned up ahead so as to avoid any confusion, as we were a large group.Grilled Fish in almond butter and Capers,Beef Tenderloin,Roasted chicken with pink peppercorns and Beet Risotto were our choice of mains.I was ever so happy see the Risotto feature on the menu and settled for just that.

So well, let’s say I’ve had  Risotto making on my mind since the lunch and have been reading some great blog posts and recipes too.I had promised the dear son that I would make some for his lunch this afternoon.Now I do  make a fairly decent one with Mushrooms and quite happy the way it turns out.I was just looking at a variation,so decided on a twist on the classic recipe by using some Beets.

I must say I was quite happy with the outcome.A humble attempt to replicate the one I normally indulge in at Cafe Zoe,none the less a delicious one.I’ve chosen to boil the beets and just puree them,all though you may even roast them and roughly grate them if you wish.I somehow felt that the route to a good Risotto was cumbersome and trying.How wrong have I been!The key really is just a little patience.It’s very important to toast the rice in the butter when you start off so that each grain gets warmed up and only then one could go ahead with glazing it with some wine.I’ve actually used some red wine in this recipe as I thought it would go well with the beets.

This is really a simple yet impressive meal and the beetroots lend a gorgeous colour and a hint of sweetness to the Risotto.The Parmesan shaving and drizzle add a hint of style making it quite eye-catching and an elegant presentation.This recipe is for keeps and I can’t wait to try it out again.

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Ingredients:

  • 320 grams Gallo Arborio rice
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 medium Onion chopped
  • 2-3 pods garlic (minced)
  • 2 small beetroot (boiled and pureed)
  • 40 grams butter
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • Freshly grated Parmesan shavings
  • 2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions till translucent.
  2. Then add in the minced garlic  and sauté further.
  3. Add the rice and let sauté till rice is transparent.
  4. Add in the wine and stir till it evaporates.
  5. Now keep adding spoonfuls of the stock and let it simmer on a slow flame.
  6. Do keep adding more stock as the stock is absorbed by the rice.
  7. When you have used about 2/3 rd the amount of stock,you may start adding the beetroot puree a little at a time.
  8. Continue adding the stock and bits of puree till  the rice is cooked al dente and is creamy in texture( approx. 20-25 minutes).Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Add the parmesan shaving and season with some salt if necessary.
  10. Drizzle with Avocado Oil.
  11. Garnish with Parmesan Shavings.
  12. Serve hot.

A Chef’s Recipe:Beetroot Halwa

 

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Bangalore, a city in southern India most popularly know as the Pub City is also host to a plethora of South India restaurants and eateries. The cuisine offered  can range from authentic Karnataka cuisine to even delicacies from Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad.A recent trip turned out to be a quite a delightful one indeed with the hubs and me partaking in the ever famous Hyderabadi Biryani at Nagarjunas,the finger-licking good Dosa’s and Wada Sambar at MTR, going down the foodie trail at the ever so vibrant Fraizer Town and of course bar hopping in the evenings.We stayed at The Gateway Hotel which is located in the older part of Bangalore and is still as charming as ever. Since most afternoons and evenings were spent exploring the streets of the city,our breakfast most often would be a choice from what was offered at the hotel buffet. Now you are probably wondering why one would give such importance to a hotel buffet?

Well lets say his one was a quite an exceptional fare of a mix of Indian breakfast items and a reasonable selection to appeal to the International palette as well.On one such morning after having a small portion of the regular South India fare,I decided to indulge some Beetroot halwa that stood simmering on a burner at a central display of an assortment of desserts.Rather unusual to serve that for breakfast I thought! Just as well,it was the most delectable halwa I’ve ever sampled.Every morsel just a delicate hint of softened beetroot with hints of fresh Mawa and crunchy pistachios. I absolutely had to ask the hotel kitchen for this recipe.I went right ahead and let the wait staff know of my intentions and asked to speak with the Chef for the restaurant. Continue reading

Warm Beetroot & Feta Salad on Parmesan Crisps

 

Aaah, summer – that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends…

Darell Hammond

 

Beetroot watermark

 

It’s been over five months having  moved to Mumbai. Time sure flies! Also we are facing the onslaught of a very hot Indian summer,something one had all forgotten about. Well yes we’ve lived in the Middle east for over 15 years,but some how never bore the brunt of it. I guess the luxury  of being in  air-conditioned comforts all the time made a huge difference. I find myself being outdoors a lot more here in Mumbai with either making quick runs to the fabulous fruit and vegetable markets in the neighbourhood, or a stroll on the beach or just walking from point to point. Continue reading