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Curry risotto is a multicultural, spicy rice dish. Risotto is characterized by a thick, starchy sauce created by cooking specific types of rice with broth until a creamy sauce develops. Curry is a term typically associated with a mixture of Indian or Thai spices including cumin, turmeric, and coriander, although the term is also synonymous with stocky soups or stews. As such, curry risotto can be seen as a thick, creamy rice stew with a distinct spicy flavor. Recipe variations include adding ginger, milk or cream, peas, onions, mushrooms, or any number of additional ingredients to suit the meal.
Curried dishes are often associated with the cuisines of India, Thailand, or other pan-Asian cultures. Regional cultures each adapt curries and curry spices to compliment different dishes, such as fish, poultry, vegetables, or grains. What constitutes curry spices in Thailand, for example, may include different spices than a curry in India. Such variations in spicing options lends to the second understanding of curry as being a stocky soup or stew, since most dishes include a sauce or gravy. Given the vast array of cuisines and varying personal tastes, recipes for curry risotto can differ greatly, depending on how and where it is served, as well as what other dishes are served through the course of a particular meal.
While cultural considerations, personal tastes, recipe options, and accompanying dishes may vary, the basic preparation of curry risotto remains the same. Typically, short grain white rices are preferred, due to the fact that such grains absorb more liquid and release more starch. Arborio is a common rice choice, although other short grains, as well as long grain white rice, can be substituted. Rice may be cooked in meat broth or vegetable stock, depending on the recipe used and accompanying meal choices. Some recipes for curry risotto call for adding wine or sherry to the broth or stock.
In preparing curry risotto, the spices and a small amount of olive oil are added to a pot first, to better blend flavors. Broth and rice, as well as any additional ingredients are added next and cooked until the desired consistency is reached. Milk or cream, if added, are usually added after cooking to produce a creamier sauce. Depending on when and how a particular curry risotto dish is served, garnishes such as lime, chutney, or peanuts may be served on top or on the side. Curry risotto can be served as an appetizer, as a side dish, or as a bed for certain meat dishes.