One chef, one recipe: Chef Dhruv Oberoi makes pumpkin espresso risotto

This popular rice dish from North Italy gets a twist when Chef Dhruv Oberoi adds espresso!

Risotto is a classic dish that combines rice, stock, butter, saffron and parmesan. Italy produces a variety of short-grain rice, arborio, which is used to make risotto. It became popular over the years and soon became a staple in many parts of North Italy, especially Milan.

At Olive Delhi, risotto has been part of the menu since its inception and people have loved it all these years. Chef Dhruv Oberoi, Head Chef, Olive Delhi, Serai, and The Grammar Room tells us that pumpkin is an underrated vegetable that has a lot of potential and can be used anywhere—from salads to pasta to risotto. It goes from a stunning entree to a dessert. “I really love the sweetness which was the inspiration for this dish as it blends well with the saltiness and creaminess of the cheese and grains, and on top of it a little kick of espresso adds the bitterness and a slight kick of umami,” he says. You can try this recipe easily at home.  

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Pumpkin espresso risotto recipe

Ingredients

Pre-prep:

  • 20 grams barley (soaked and boiled)
  • 20 grams red rice (soaked and boiled)
  • 20 grams black rice (soaked and boiled)
  • 20 grams pearl millet (soaked and boiled)
  • 20 grams finger millet (soaked)

For cooking

  • 10 ml olive oil
  • 10 grams onion
  • 5 grams garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 20 ml white wine
  • 100 ml Parmesan or vegetable stock

To finish

  • 15 grams roasted pumpkin puree
  • 10 grams Parmesan cheese
  • 2 leaves fresh Italian basil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black peppercorn (freshly milled) to taste
  • 10 ml espresso

To garnish

  • 20 grams roasted pumpkin chunks
  • Pumpkin seeds (crushed) to sprinkle
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

Method

  • Sauté onion, garlic and thyme in medium hot oil and deglaze with wine.
  • Add all the grains, except finger millet.
  • Gradually add stock and keep cooking the risotto on slow heat.
  • When the risotto is mostly cooked and you see a glossy finish, switch off the flame, and finish with pumpkin puree, espresso, parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
  • Season the risotto with salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with roasted pumpkin chunks, pumpkin seeds and parmesan cheese.

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