1. Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry for 30 seconds. Add the shallot and fry for 3 more minutes then add the garlic, ginger, green chile and saffron. Fry for an additional 2 minutes, until the shallot is tender.
2. Add the rice, salt, and the chicken stock to the pan. Stir to mix well. Bring the broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for just 20 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat.
Risotto Cakes are a variation on the original recipe for risotto which originated in Italy as a creamy rice dish that is cooked in broth. It is made with a starchy short grain rice, usually Arborio, that makes it sticky when cooked.
These Spiced Risotto Cakes make a beautiful presentation and are delicious to eat. The key to this recipe is the spice that is added as the risotto cooks. I use traditional Indian ingredients, including: cumin, shallots, garlic, ginger, green chile and saffron. The secret ingredient in all Indian rice recipes is the use of saffron which adds a rich, fresh scent and bold yellow color. The Risotto Cakes can be served in the ramekins or removed and placed on individual plates.
5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let the cakes rest for a few minutes. Run a thin knife around the outer edge of each ramekin. Invert the ramekins over a plate to remove the cakes. Serve hot or cold. Garnish with the cilantro.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease the ramekins with cooking spray.
4. Mix the lemon zest, chives, mozzarella cheese and black pepper into the rice. Adjust salt and pepper if desired. Spoon the rice mixture into each of the ramekins dividing it evenly among them, and level tops evenly.
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 shallot, thinly sliced, rings separated
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2-inch piece ginger, minced
1 green chile, seeds removed and thinly sliced,
1 very generous pinch saffron
1 cup uncooked short-grain white rice
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 Tbs chives, chopped
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Special equipment: 4 ramekins