From Pulao to..Walao!! Part Deux
[I just realised that I deleted the first part of my original content by accident yesterday, so I'll invent a new one.]
The more I cooked, the more I am convinced that epic fails are a part of the cooking process.
I think it doesn't define you as a failure, or a loser. But if you have a thick enough skin, a healthy sense of humour, especially the gift of laughing at yourself, teetering on the brink of failure or sometimes just tipping over into it can be quite exhilarating.
I couldn't say that my first .. I don't know what to call it, accidental risotto was a spot on success because it still requires some tweaking, for example skip the cloves, remove the cardamom pods etc (You can refer to my first article here)
But I'm happy with my other two consecutive new risotto recipes or shall I say Malaysianized risotto and I want to share the recipes with you:
This is so easy, the Alfredo Risotto. Also can be known as the Bachelor's Risotto. Also possibly a Drunken Night Out Risotto.
For 1 pax (Meatless):
Japanese Rice - 1/3 bowl
Bay Leaf - 1
Dried Chillies - 3
Garlic Cloves - 3
Onion Powder - 1 tsp
Sliced Cheese - 1
Salt to taste
Wash the rice and set aside
In a sauce pan, add 1 tbsp of oil. Wait for the heat to rise and add bay leaf, dried chillies and garlic cloves
When the aroma intensifies and pan start to dry, add water
Fry a bit more, then remove the chillies and bay leaf
Now add onion powder. After a few stirs, add rice
Add water to just a few mm above the rice. Keep adding water slowly until the rice becomes creamy
Turn fire off and now add cheese. You can add a little salt here if risotto is not salty enough for you
The next recipe is great for Friday night-ins when you want a hearty home cooked meal that warms your tummy. Then you can put your feet up, tune into your favourite channel on Netflix, or in my case Youtube and savour the most comforting mix of soft rice and curried chicken.
Dry Chilli Chicken Risotto
The flavour of this dish is not just derived from the fats and juices from the chicken. It won't be enough, if you don't plan on adding MSG or canned broth.
I love the combination of bay leaf, cardamom pods, ginger paste and dried chillies to flavour the oil and eventually adding another layer to the chicken juices later.
After 1 minute, or if you are eyeballing it, when the dried chillies become brown, quickly remove them along with the cardamom pods.
Next, add the garlic cloves.
Now add curry leaves.
Whenever I cook, curry leaves are never far away from me. Sometimes I find it so odd that I cook dishes like these, because they were never in my family's tradition, so when I have time to reminisce in between the cooking process, I laugh to myself thinking what an oddball I am. But I love spices and chilli.. lots of chilli.
This is one of my favourite parts. The moment the dish turns.
When I add the chopped mushrooms, coriander, cumin, tumeric and a little bit of cayenne powder, the aroma is so beautiful as the mushrooms brown and create the most comforting sauce.
(Add some sea salt here too)
At this point, when you have tasted the sauce and if it's amazing, you have achieved home-run. From here on, it will be smooth sailing. You can breathe easier and probably check your Instagram updates, if you are an IG addict like me.
Add the browned chicken pieces into the mix.
Add water, let the juices and sauce mix. It should be a beautiful golden yellow.
Add the Japanese rice. Watch it slowly boil. This should be about 20 mins of slow cooking.
When rice is about done, if you wish for greens, just add it in.
I'm in the sweet peas phase.
If I could redo this, I would reintroduce the dried chillies I had fishes out earlier for colour and drama.
My list of ingredients as below. Til the next time...:)
Bay Leaf - 1
Cardamom Pod - 6
Dried Chilli - 6
(All the above and remove cardamom pods and chillies to balance the sauce)
Ginger Paste - 1/2 tsp
Garlic Clove - 6
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Cayenne Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/6 tsp
Mushrooms - 5-6 buttons
Chicken drumstick - 3
Sweet Peas (optional) - 1 cup