Science term – gelatinisation
You need to use risotto rice as it contains a high amount of starch and gives a soft, creamy texture but the grains remain chewy when cooked.
As you cook this risotto you can see the starch in the rice grains changing as the grains swell, absorb the liquid, swell and release the starch into the cooking liquid.
What can I cook?
Pea and carrot risotto
100g onion, finely chopped
150g risotto rice
7g vegetable stock cube
600g boiling water
100g frozen peas
1 carrot (60g), grated
30g finely grated Parmesan cheese
5g of parsley finely chopped
Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and add the chopped onion. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until onion is soft.
Stir in the rice and coat the grains in oil.
Dissolve the stock cube in boiling water and gradually stir into the rice.
Cook for 15 minutes as the rice absorbs the liquid. Add the peas and grated carrot and stir.
Taste to see if rice grains are soft and serve with chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese.
chopping board, sharp knife, large pan, wooden spoon, grater, measuring jug
Energy per portion (270g) 2371 kcal, Protein 7.5g, Sugar 1.2 g, Fat 3.9g, Salt 0.9g
The science bit
As the rice is cooking, the stirring helps the starch grains release starch into the cooking liquid. The grains soften as the starch gelatinises, and the starch in the liquid thickens the sauce giving the risotto its creamy texture.