Onion Curry Risotto Recipe (Fusion Dish)

Onion Curry Risotto Recipe (Fusion Dish) Recipe

On any given night, there are dishes from two or more cultures on our dining table. And I often combine the leftovers to make something new the following day. As an example, we recently had some extra  dopiaza (onion duo curry), which I used to flavor risotto. The onion gravy melded with the creamy Arborio rice and came out beautifully.

I've come up with several recipes using this flavorful curry, such as onion tatin tart, onion-filled manicotti and gratin casserole dishes. If you browse through the site, you'll find other recipes to help you waste less food and save money at the same time. It works for my family, so it should work for yours as well.



Yields: 6 servings

1 (10-ounce) bag pearl onions, peeled (see tips)
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 green cardamom pods
¼ cup canola oil
½ teaspoon red chili powder
3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (see tips)
1-¼ teaspoons garam masala
6 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cups Arborio rice
3 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium vegetable broth, warmed for 2 minutes in the microwave
1 tablespoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon curly parsley, finely chopped


Making dopiaza (onion curry sauce):

In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil. Cook the yellow onion for about 6-8 minutes until soft and nicely golden. Leaving as much oil as possible in the pan, transfer to a platter. Set aside.

In the same saucepan, add 1 more tablespoon oil. Add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, cardamom pods, red chili powder and garam masala. Once the ginger garlic paste is fragrant, add the cooked yellow onions and the yogurt. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.

Transfer half the amount of cooked sauce into a blender. Coarsely blend the mixture and pour it back into the saucepan. Add the whole pearl onions. Add 2 cups of water; the water should barely cover the pearl onions. Bring to a boil then lower to a gentle simmer; cook, covered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt (1 teaspoon) half-way through the cooking process (it will bring out the natural flavor of the onions and they'll be more tender) and keep stirring every now and then so the onions don't stick to the bottom of the pot.

Check the liquid and periodically add more water. If you're afraid that the onions will burn before getting tender, add a little more water if the liquid has reduced. The texture of the pearl onions should be soft but they shouldn't fall apart. Adjust seasoning.

Making risotto:

In a deep saucepan, heat the rest of the oil. Add the minced garlic clove and cook until golden. Add the rice. Make sure that each grain is coated with oil. Stir until light translucent. Add 1 can of warm broth. Stir constantly.

After bringing the liquid to a boil, add 3 tablespoons onion curry and lower the heat to medium-low; cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Check the liquid and periodically add ¼ to ½ cup of broth (and 1 cup warm water once all the broth is used) when all the previous liquid is absorbed. Let simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

Assembly time:

When the rice is almost cooked, add 3 (or more to your taste) tablespoons onion curry. Check the seasoning and add salt (if necessary) and pepper. Stir well. Let sit for about 5 minutes. 

Sprinkle with parsley. Cover and let sit until you're ready to serve.

Bon appétit!


Little reminder on how to make ginger garlic paste: Clean one (2-inch) chunk of fresh ginger, carefully removing any dirt. Peel the ginger root with a paring knife or the edge of a spoon, then finely chop it. Place the chopped ginger and 5 cloves of garlic in a blender and add about 2 tablespoons (or more) of water for a smooth flow. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator. You can keep this paste for at least a week in the refrigerator.

An easy way to peel pearl onions is to blanch them. Place the whole pearl onions in a saucepan filled with boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain the onions and transfer to a bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water. Let them sit for a few minutes until the onions are cool. Drain the onions and you'll see they're much easier to peel.

If you want to save some time, you can use frozen pearl onions that you've thawed. I find the texture to be slightly different. The frozen ones release their water and shrink in size, whereas the fresh pearl onions have a better consistency.

You can either make your own garam masala spice mix or buy it at any Indian store.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on March 27, 2012.


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