The curry leaf tadka in this risotto recipe brings much-needed magic to dreary February days. Keep things simple here: Whole spices, leaves and chiles don’t burn like chopped or finely ground ingredients, so you can avoid scorching your first few batches. If done right, the fried curry leaves will shatter like glass into the finished dish, creating stunning flavor and texture.
Coconut Risotto with Curry Leaf Tadka
Serves | 4 |
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp ghee
- ½ cup finely chopped shallots
- 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- ¾ cup unoaked Chardonnay
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup cashews, finely chopped
- 1 medium lime, quartered
- ¼ cup ghee
- 1½ tsp whole cumin seed
- 4 to 5 byadgi dry whole chiles
- 16 fresh curry leaves
| Preparation – Coconut Risotto | Heat stock in a medium saucepan until simmering. Meanwhile, heat ghee in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; cook until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add rice and salt; stir to coat and then cook until fragrant and toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine; stirring slowly and continuously, cook until liquid is absorbed. Add ½ cup stock to rice mixture; stirring slowly and continuously, cook until liquid is absorbed. Repeat process with remaining stock, adding ½ cup at a time. Repeat process with coconut milk, adding ½ cup at a time. The entire process should take 20 to 25 minutes.
| Preparation – Tadka | Heat ghee over medium high heat. Add cumin seed; stirring continuously, cook, 15 seconds. Add chiles; stirring continuously, cook, 45 seconds. Add curry leaves; stir once to coat and then immediately remove from heat. Continue to stir gently for a few seconds as mixture cools slightly.
| To Serve | Divide risotto onto plates. Drizzle 2 teaspoons tadka over each serving and top with four curry leaves from tadka. Sprinkle with cashews and garnish with one chile from tadka. Serve with a wedge of lime to squeeze over top. Enjoy immediately.