One of my clients requests low-fat vegan meals with no added oil. My challenge today was to make a risotto that was creamy and rich without using olive oil or soy margarine. I decided to do a twist on traditional risotto made with pearly and plump arborio rice by using the less starchy and more aromatic basmati rice.
Basmati is a staple of Indian cuisine and usually finds its home in a dish such as biryani, which is sort of like a pilaf. I wanted the creaminess, but I also wanted some spice, so to achieve that perfect combination I cooked the rice with some lovely little red lentils, onion, garlic, curry powder, sea salt and an extra cup of water.
After about twenty or so minutes of cooking, the lentils had broken down and the rice was soft. I slowly stirred in more water to achieve the consistency of risotto and added some fresh basil leaves for a little more flavor. To accompany the risotto, I made a "carrot and peas" side dish with baby carrots, whole snap pea pods and carrot "butter" sauce made with pureed carrots, miso and water that was thickened with corn starch. The sauce was just the right thickness, clinging to the carrots and peas without sticking, and glistening without being greasey. I must say: Success!