You know how all recipes start with a story. I won’t do that here. Recipe first, stories later!
Note that this is a vegan recipe. You can substitute for non-vegan options if you prefer. Options are given below.
Serving size: Makes for 2 adults (or 2 adults and 1 child)
- 10 medium sized florets of cauliflower
- 15 pieces of cashews
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cup Arborio Rice
- 2 cups vegetable stock (I use stock powder if I don’t have fresh stock handy)
- 1 large onion
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic
- ½ cup peas
- A few strands of Saffron
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Garlic Chips*
- Nutritional yeast
- Parsley (optional)
- Boil the cauliflower, save half a cup of the water and drain the rest.
- Once it cools, grind the cauliflower and the half cup water with the cashews.
- Season and keep aside.
- Heat a large pan or skillet on medium heat.
- Add butter then chopped onions and garlic.
- Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the washed rice and sauté for another minute.
- Add the peas.
- Slowly add the stock half cup at a time. Keep stirring the rice, adding more stock as it keeps getting absorbed by the rice.
- With the final ladle of stock, add the saffron strands and seasoning.
- Pour in the cauliflower sauce and let the rice cook.
- Make garlic chips by frying thin garlic slices. Fry till light brown. Remove from oil and keep aside to get it crunchy. Garnish on top just before serving.
- Nutritional yeast gives a nice cheesy flavour to the risotto.
- Olive oil can be replaced by butter
- Vegetable stock can be replaced with chicken stock. Water can also be used although the flavour won’t be as rich.
- Add cooked prawns or chicken pieces if you prefer.
- You can add parmesan cheese instead of nutritional yeast
I have never been able to make a great risotto. It either turns out too dry or the flavour doesn’t match my expectations. This however, exceeded my expectations.
My cooking style rarely follows any recipe, even my own. I need things simple, preferably in one pot, and completed ASAP.
I had some cauliflower that I needed to finish, and low motivation to enter the kitchen. So while I contemplated where I can order lunch from, I thought up this recipe to metaphorically kill two birds with one stone; I can use up the cauliflower and muster up some motivation to cook something other than everyday food.
Cauliflower and cashew sauce is a great vegan alternative for white sauce, especially for the lactose intolerant. Even if you’re not vegan, it’s a much healthier option than the regular cheesy version. I don’t like the milk version because it dries up too thick. An added advantage is that you’ll get vegetables into kids (or adults) who are picky eaters.
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