men who cook risotto ram venkateshan

Men Who Cook: Mushroom Risotto by Ram Venkatesen

The latest in our Men Who Cook series is a delicious, luxurious Mushroom Risotto that we just couldn’t get enough of. While walking home from that dinner, we might or might not have had shameless thoughts of going back upstairs and asking for a little take away box of left-overs.

The creator of this particular risotto is a creator in general of some amazing stories. Ram left a straight and narrow, 9-to-5 career and launched himself into the world of creative writing. Along with science fiction short stories, Ram has also created a successful comic book series called Aghori. And all this extreme coolness come through in person too. A gracious host, entertaining story-teller, husband to a gorgeous, creative wife (who’s also shared a recipe with us), and human to an adorable dog, Loki, we’re excited to feature Ram and his recipe.

This risotto was fragrant and perfectly cooked. Considering how hard they make risottos look on Masterchef, Ram fared supremely well. Not a gluggy bite anywhere. Only luscious mouthfuls of golden risotto.

Mushroom Risotto
Serves 2


3 Large Onions
1/2 cup chopped Mushrooms (Porcini if you can get them, button mushroom will do as well)
4-5 cloves of Garlic
2 tbs Olive Oil
100 gm Butter
1/2 cup Dry White wine
1/2 cup Risotto Rice ( Arborio )
500 ml Vegetable stock
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese


Lightly saute the chopped mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and keep aside. Start heating the vegetable stock in a pot so that it’s simmering hot when you start using it.

In a large pan add olive oil and fry the garlic until golden. Add chopped onions and fry until translucent. Add the arborio rice to the pan. Stir until the rice is coated in oil. Add 100 grams of butter. Cook until the rice takes on a golden color. Keep stirring to ensure rice doesn’t stick to the pan.

Add 1/2 cup white wine. Cook the alcohol out. The rice should begin to expand now, having absorbed the wine.

Add boiling vegetable stock to the rice mix – one ladle at a time – stirring until the rice completely absorbs the stock each time. The whole process should take 20 – 25 mins for the rice to be fully cooked.

Taste the rice to make sure it is al dente but not raw on the inside.

When the rice is cooked, stir in 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese until you see a silky, creamy texture. Add the cooked mushrooms. Season to taste and serve.

Flat leaf parsley can be added as a garnish.

*The key is to keep stirring the rice and add the stock a ladle at a time to get the rice cooked uniformly and just right.


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