Toots & Kakes Explore Post-Grad Boredom

Culinary Adventures by Amateur Chefs

Posts tagged italian

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Tadka Walla Risotto


Toots made a joke when she saw this post in our drafts section. She said, “You always post risotto!” On the contrary I have only posted one risotto recipe which was these scrumptious Risotto Cakes. But, it does show that I always cook risotto. Irregardless, when I found this recipe and it’s non-traditional ingredients I wanted it in my mouth. This recipe also proves that you can add just about any ingredients and risotto will always be a supper treat. 

Side note..

Maneet Chauhan and The Food Network came to my friend’s new restaurant, Bida Manda, to promote the culinary achievements of the Laotian restaurant. Saying this enviously, another friend of mine was invited to the event and got to eat a meal prepared by Maneet herself. To finish the night she also got a signed copy of her cookbook, Flavors of My Wold. As we have acquired this culinary treasure, we are attempting to cook as many of her global-indian food fusions as we can. 

Considering many of these ingredients are hard to find, we did our best to substitute authentically. This is not Maneet’s exact recipe but the variation we prepared.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted, unsalted peanuts, crushed 
  • 1 whole red chili pepper, cut below the stem 
  • 4 basil leaves, roughly torn
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed 
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Serves 2 with hungry stomachs (and leftovers) or 4 with normal appetite. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large saute pan and add the brown mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Cook until sizzling. My sizzled right away, if your oil is just as hot, just watch that the seeds don’t burn. 


Add the chopped peanuts. Cook until golden brown. 


Add the onions. Cut the stem of the pepper and toss in whole. Add the basil and squeeze half a lemon. Cook until onions are translucent. 


Add cilantro. Stir around all the spices, herbs, and onions. Smell the goodness. 


Add the rice. Stir to coat with onion mixture and cook for a couple minutes. 


Pour in the skim milk and heavy cream. I would have used whole milk and heavy cream, but we only had skim on hand. The skim milk didn’t seem to cause any problems.   


Sit until milk mixture is absorbed. 


Eyeball about 1 cup of vegetable stock and stir rice until absorbed. Continue adding stock until rice is fully cooked. About 20-30 minutes. Remember to stir continuously to ensure the rice doesn’t burn. 


Turn off the heat and add the parmesan, mozzarella, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. 


Now eat your gooey cheesy spicy herby food-gasm. 


Love and thanks Maneet Chauhan, 

Toots and Kakes

Filed under dinner recipe risotto italian indian fusionfood

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Risotto Cakes

Post study abroad in Florence, Italy, I came back to the states with an unabashed love affair with cooking, Chianti, Italian food, and especially risotto. If you read my last post, Three Cheese & Veggie Baked Penne, I have been on a cheese and carb kick. So naturally, I was craving my infamous risotto. I learned how to cook the Italian delicacy while enrolled in “Paring wine and Food” during my semester in Florence. Ever since then, risotto has been one of my favorite dishes to cook for family and friends. Considering the numerous times I have prepared the dish, when I found the recipe for these risotto cakes on, I knew I had to take my risotto to the next level: Fried.


  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice 
  • 1 glass dry white wine, plus more to sip on
  • 2 quarts chicken stock 
  • 1/4 cup parmigiana, grated 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs, divided 
  • 1/2 cup fontina cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chives, chopped 
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 large eggs
  • Canola oil, for frying 
  • Extra parmigiano & fresh chives for garnish 
In a large large sauce pan heat the chicken stock and keep on a low heat through the duration of cooking the risotto.  
Heat a large saute pan to medium high. Melt 4 tablespoons butter. 

Toss in onions and cook until translucent. 

Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. 

Add rice and stir to coat evenly with onion and garlic. 

Pour in about one glass of wine and stir until wine is fully absorbed into rice. Don’t forget to pour yourself a glass too. This helps to ease the pain of stirring for 20 minutes! 

Add one ladle of chicken stock. Stir evenly until fully absorbed by rice. Repeat the process for about 20 minutes or until rice is al dente. I always pour and stir in one extra ladle of chicken stock when my rice is done for good luck. 

Your rice should look puffy and creamy like show below.

Transfer risotto to a 13 x 9 baking pan. Stir in 1/4 cup parmigiano and season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely. I transfered my risotto to the fridge for a faster cooling process.

FYI: Here you have a perfect basic risotto! If you are tired of standing at the stove after that laborious 20 minutes of stirring, you can call it quits and serve dinner now with no regrets. 

Combine and mix 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, fontina cheese, parsley, chives and egg yolk. Then mix evenly throughout the cooled risotto.

Heat oven to 250 degrees. 

Shape risotto into 1 1/2 inch balls. 

Whisk two large eggs in a small shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish add the remaining cup of panko bread crumbs. Roll each risotto cake in the egg wash then thoroughly coat with the panko. 

Heat a medium saute pan with enough oil to half way cover the risotto cakes to medium high. 

Then fry the risotto cakes for about 1 minute per side or until golden brown.

Transfer finished risotto cakes to a baking pan in the oven to keep warm before serving.

Plate and devour. 

Love and tomorrow I’ll start my diet, 

Toots and Kakes

Filed under italian risotto recipe dinner yum