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Brown rice, chickpea and spinach risotto in InstantPot

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After all the Holiday cooking, whether entertaining or not, January seems to be the month for a culinary ‘reboot’ a.k.a get back to some simple, wholesome, homely meals. Continuing on the same theme, today’s recipe is a fusion rice dish combining Italian with Indian seasonings.

Risotto is a creamy rice dish from Italy. A specific type of rice called Arboria rice is used. Here I am using brown rice along with chickpea (channa) to get the same texture as a risotto.

This recipe literally takes only 10 minutes to assemble and it is very warming especially on cold winter nights. The garam masala flavor goes well with chickpeas and spinach. The advantage of this recipe is that the chickpea needs no overnight soaking. Put everything in the InstantPot and set it to cook for 30 minutes. It does the magic of high pressure cooking and comes out well done. InstantPot may be recognized as electric pressure cooker in other countries. A well-worth investment. The recipe can also be replicated using a regular pressure cooker, but cooking times need to be adjusted since every pressure cooker works differently. 

Basically start with SAUTE mode, and fry the seasoning and spices. While that is going on, quickly chop the spinach. Fry onions, garlic, ginger and turmeric. Add the brown rice, chickpeas and spinach. Add salt and garam masala for flavor – this brings out the Indian touch, which can also be replaced with Italian seasoning if preferred. Put the lid on and cook. Garnish with cilantro. 

This risotto can be served with a spicy mixed vegetable kurma – following this recipe -but replacing the bean mix with vegetable mix. 

Risotto Recipe

Ingredients –

  • Brown rice 2 cups 
  • Chickpeas 1 cup 
  • Spinach chopped 1 large bunch 
  • Onions chopped 1 small 
  • Garlic chopped 2 pods 
  • Ginger shredded 1 tsp
  • Turmeric root shredded 1 tsp 
  • Cumin seeds 2 tsps 
  • Bay leaves 6 
  • Garam masala powder 1 tbsp 
  • Salt to taste 
  • Oil 

Procedure –

  1. Start the InstantPot on SAUTE Mode
  2. Add oil, cumin seeds and bay leaves
  3. Add chopped onions, garlic, ginger and turmeric and mix 
  4. Add brown rice, chickpea and spinach 
  5. Season with salt and garam masala powder
  6. Add 5 cups of water and set to pressure cook for 30 minutes
  7. Once timer is done, let it cook down for 15 minutes 
  8. Open carefully after releasing pressure, mix well, sprinkle chopped cilantro and serve

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