As a blogger we generally get invites from restaurant to review their menu/new dishes or we visit newly open restaurant to taste their food and share our experience with food lovers. But this was different, as I had an invitation for masterclass with Super Chef ritu dalmia. I was exhilarated as well as nervous as the session was about cooking with the MasterChef herself.
I reached on venue at time. This event was organized by Fisher and Paykal, an international home appliances company, to promote Chef Ritu’s new book “Diva Green”. This book has collections of various cuisines from different parts of the world; And it’s all about vegetarian dishes!!! -Yes you got it right it’s all about GREENS.
This book also showcases some of the vegetables which she loves and she shared her experiences when she innovated some of those dishes based on her love for some of veggies ( Read Pumpkin).
Her idea of the masterclass was simple. She wanted all of us to participate rather than being just a mute spectator. We also got chance to prepare orange and carrot Arancini
Arancini or arancine are fried rice balls coated with breadcrumbs, said to have originated in Sicily in the 10th century. Arancini are usually filled with ragù(meat sauce), tomato sauce, mozzarella, and/or peas. There are a number of local variants that differ in fillings and shape. The name derives from the food’s shape and color, which is reminiscent of an orange(the Italian word for orange is arancia, and arancina means “little orange”).
We were divided into 3 member teams and were asked to cook 1 dish. Chef Ritu chose 4 dishes from her book.
a) Warm Caramelized Potato and Onion Salad with goat cheese – page No:14
b) Carrot and Orange Arancini – page no: 100
c) Saint’s Day Pasta – page no: 202
d) Sweet Pumpkin Fritters – page no: 50
I had never tried Risotto in my life and hence for the Carrot and Orange Arancini, I had to prepare risotto. I was nervous while preparing as It had to be cooked in Chef Ritu’s presence, however the experience simply had been way beyond I had imagined. Risotto requires Patience is what I learnt and though it came out pretty well – I realized why we have the saying – “one should never walk away from a risotto is true, he says, because it must be watched and lovingly tended to from start to finish”
I also learnt that we do not wash the rice before cooking it. Washing the rice releases the starch, which acts as the binder for the risotto and makes it creamy.
I must say it was a great interacting session with Chef Ritu Dalmia and she is simply one of the most simple yet very focused chef I have come across.
Image Courtesy : Fisher and Paykal Company