12 November, 2008

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto with Some Crabby Bites...

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

Disclaimer: Author can not be held responsible for any pain in the eyes or fingers caused by reading this lengthy post and scrolling the page and also if you were to get caught sleeping/dozing during office hours. So proceed with caution.
Inspiration for this article: Mumbai Meri Jaan (Of course, a Bollywood movie) and 24/7 News channels

Do you know the consequence of watching 24/7 news channels continuously for one week? I know. And I can tell you that they have helped me in making life changing decision. I am going to become a TV news reporter.

It sounds really exciting, isn’t it? No more sitting in front of a monitor and hitting the key board and then hitting my head on wall or my desk or whatever that can take my head banging sessions when the latest code/program I am working on goes haywire! Becoming a TV reporter is my free ticket to exciting world tours (well at least some trip to Jhumri Thalayya or Timbuktu) and chit–chatting with all those so called hot celebrities. I’ll get to hang on the top branch just outside the celebrity’s house where everyday I will be breaking the 'breaking news 'on how and when they sneeze, how it sounds, how different it is from common man’s sneezing! And other days when I get a glimpse of them, I will be able to report another breaking news of colour and type of dress they are wearing which sure will become season's trend setter in the fashion world. Who knows I may even get to hear juicy gossip from Ramu Khakas and Driver John and create a big scoop of the year.

And since I have closely watched all the breaking news in the past one week I also have learned how to be a good interviewer. It is so easy that even a kid in diapers next door can do it. All you need is an ability to ask probing, intelligent questions which will extract juicy information that will make the couch potatoes like me to get glued to their TV screen. Hear these tips and tricks I have collected after watching one of the top 24/7 news channel and you will kow how simple it is! Well, only one question is enough to start your budding TV reporter career, “Aap ko kaisa lag raha hai?” Ask this same question with different tones, depending on the place and situation. When you see this devasted farmer looking sadly at the flooded water in his farm which has completely destroyed his hard work of past 6 months and his family is going to starve for next 6 months you simply have to push the furry mike to his face and ask “This flood has destroyed all your crops. Aap ko kaisa lag raha hai?” When you see a victim of serial bomb blast who is bleeding to death and waiting to be taken to the nearest hospital, you just have to ask him “you have lost your family members in this serial blasts. Bhai saab, Aap ko iske barey mein kya kehna hai aur aap ko kaisa lag raha hai?” When you see the family members of a rape victim fighting for justice, all you need to do is hold the mic high and ask “So you will continue to fight for justice for your daughter who was raped and then brutally murdered. Aap ko kaisa lag raha hai?” you know what is the best part? I can get away asking the same question as I am yet to see any interviewee slapping/hitting the interviewer back and asking “Ab aap ko kaisa lag raha hai?” Well, this kind of freedom is impossible in my current work place! And I can save all the money which goes to my monthly healthy insurance and spend it on shoes and books! How cool is that?

Well, I can see all the awards I will get for all my “breaking news” and I can see my bright, rosy future as a TV reporter. Who knows, I might even own my 24/7 news channel in near future. And I have already thought about the name for my news channel and its tag line: “24/7 Breaking News Channel… Aap ko rakhe aage…Pechey se…

Oh yes, the crabby in me is wide awake and ready to bite!!! So all “breaking news” reporters back off…

And all foodies, here is today’s recipe. A simple, delicious and comforting bowl of Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto which is perfect for this cold weather. This recipe is from my archive which I had made some weeks back when there was sudden dip in temperature in our neck of woods. One spoon of this creamy delight and we could feel the warmth spreading. I have made risotto many a times but wonder why I haven’t posted it till now. So without much delay let me give you a simple recipe of this delicious Risotto. And this bowl of creamy goodness is packed for Valli’s Rice Mela.

Roasted Butternut Squash

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Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 60-70 mins (including roasting time)
Serves: 2
1 cup Arborio or other Italian risotto rice
1 small Onion, finely chopped
2 medium Garlic cloves, finely chopped
¾ - 1 litre Vegetable Stock, heated
¼ cup White Wine (Optional)
1-2 tbsp Butter
1-2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Small handful of fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
A pinch of Saffron
Cheddar or Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Black Pepper Powder to taste

For Roasted Butternut Squash:
½ medium Butternut Squash, peeled, deseeded and diced into ½ inch cubes
1 tsp Dried Italian Herbs
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper Powder to taste
Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

Preheat oven at 200 degree Celsius/400 degree Fahrenheit/Gas mark 6. Line a backing tray with aluminium foil and keep it aside. Take all the ingredients listed for roasted butternut squash in a large bowl and mix well. Spread them in a baking tray and pop it into the oven and let it roast for 10 mins till it roasted well. After 10 mins, open the oven and take out the baking tray and gently toss the butternut squash pieces and roast again for 10-15 minutes till it is cooked through. Keep it aside until needed.
Heat 1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large pan and add finely chopped onion and garlic. Sauté till they turn translucent.
Now add Arborio rice and stir it for a minute till every grain is coated with oil. Pour in a good ladle of hot stock and the white wine, if using, and stir continuously until it has cooked into the rice. Turn the heat down so the stock is simmering gently.
Keep adding ladles of stock as it cooks into the rice, stirring the rice continuously. Add salt and pepper to taste along with a knob of butter and good pinch of saffron in the halfway. It will take about 15-20 minutes for the rice to become soft but still have a bit of bite left in it. Remember that the texture of the risotto should be thick and creamy, but not runny. Add extra stock if necessary. It may seem tedious standing and stirring but the end result will be worth it.
Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir the roasted butternut squash and finely chopped coriander leaves into the risotto with the parmesan or cheddar cheese and the remaining butter. Adjust the seasoning and add any extra stock if the risotto seems particularly thick. Cover the pan with a lid for a couple of minutes as this will give the risotto an even creamier texture.
Serve this delicious, creamy Risotto topped with extra gratings of cheese and enjoy this creamy delight.


  1. Sia, dear Sia, I'm lost for words...my sides are splitting...but honestly, tell me, after letting out all the fumes, aapko kaisa lag raha hai? :-D

  2. Hey Risotto is my all time fav . but hvnt tasted wth butternut squash.

  3. Yeh risotto bahot acchi hai. Aap ko kaisa lag raha hai?

    I just recalled the way the media guys harassed the family (Father's brother) in the Aarushi murder case. They almost went to the extent of deciding the killer!

  4. Ab aap ko kaisa lag raha hai?

  5. How come people say TV is leaving bad impact on people. Hmm. They should learn from you, how much enthusiasm and hope these breaking news channels raised in you. Congratulations Iam with you. Nice channel name and tage line is superb! (HEHEHE)Comming to the recipe. Iam hungry. Looks appetizing and gr8. Nice entry to the event.

  6. Hi Sia, Roasted butternut squash looks yummy!!
    I also invite you to visit my blog, there is an award waiting for you..;)
    C ya

  7. Feel the winter confort in ur plate :)

  8. Nice & new to me.. looks wonderful

  9. I can't stop laughing...thats a hilarious post. Even I am watching a 24/7 Top indian news channel here and they keep showing how the "celebrity" wives are shopping toys for their kids. Another funny thing is they take a clip from a movie(like sharukh getting slapped) and say Jaya bachan wants to slap SRK. Oh my god...don't they get any news at all?
    The latest one is who is Indian equivalent to Obama...

  10. thats one delicious meal sia .. looks delicious

  11. Lovely Sia,I too like Risotto and completely agree with you in the 'kaisa lag raha hai?' thing.I used to get so irritated with such questions and breaking news that I have stopped watching such channels.The last time was when every 5 minute one channel was airing 'chiranjeevi's run away daughter and her husband 'saga.ugh.garbage.Now looking back,I feel funny.

    Sure start a channel,I will watch all the cookery breaking news there:"Taaza khabar--Sia aaj risotto bana rahi hai,Aap ko kaisa lag raha hai?,dekhte rahiye ek chotte se break ke baad."

    Sorry for the long dialogue.Its pure fun intended and not to be taken otherwise.Lovely Risotto again :D Cheers

  12. super comfort food in winter! nice pic as usual.

  13. Lovely picture.. nice recipe.. sounds interesting.

  14. Perfect risotto for the season, Sia! Looks delicious! Please drop by my blog for a sweet surprise. :)

  15. Oh well....I noticed your disclaimer and took ur warning and dint read after that ;-)

    This risotto is one of my all time fav followed by mushroom and pumpkin.

    Hopefully when I am done with my head breaking on code - i will come back to read the rest - :)

  16. Great pictures, they are way too appetizing, wish I had a squash sitting around!

  17. I've never made a risotto. It does look like something that I'd thoroughly enjoy though. Just don't have the patience to stand and stir forever!

    Just noticed- you have another blog? What does one do to be a part of the inner circle? ;-)

  18. yummmmmm..... Loved the first picture! It really looks delicious

  19. Now I want that bowl full immdiately. After laughing and rolling on the floor I feel I need some energy and u're risotto should be the perfect one...and yeah we are having a not-much-expected-prolonged chilly weather here ! So...I have never watched these 24/7 channels for more than 5 mins ;)

  20. Hilarious post Sia!!
    Risotto looks lovely..gr8 pics too

  21. Join in the Sweet Event going in my blog!

  22. That must make for one romantic dinner :)

  23. Oh Sia, I enjoy your reading. Yo have so much to say in all your posts and I feel loss of words all the time.
    Me, not a huge fan of Risotto, but loved the first picutre.

  24. you just made it perfect by adding that pinch of saffron to the recipe Sia! looks awesome!:)

    PS: I'll not ask the same question:)D

    btw, you could send this in for my vegetarian thanksgiving recipe event!:)


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