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Mar 8, 2013 05:12 AM

rice for risotto

Can I use basmati rice for chicken and pea risotto?

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    1. re: Karl S

      Thanks but just had recipe sent using basmati rice. Here's hoping it comes off!

      1. re: grampart

        Thanks very much. Must go get some white wine now!

        1. re: IanFoard

          I've experimented with various rices and have found that flavors such as white wine and herbs can flavor the rice so that you might not necessarily find that the basmati flavor stands out so much anymore.

      2. Risotto is a method for cooking rice, namely Arborio, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano. Technically, you can use basmati and apply this method of cooking. It may not be as creamy as say, Arborio, but if that, along with the flavor of basmati is satisfactory, then yes, by all means, do it.

        4 Replies
          1. re: IanFoard

            It just won't be risotto in a meaningful way, because the basmati rice will, as it continues to absorb liquid, become denatured. The idea does a disserve both to risotto and basmati rice.

            1. re: Karl S

              But doesn't the Arborio become "denatured" as well in a traditional risotto recipe?

              1. re: grampart

                Actually, no, if you keep to the standard cooking time (if you go well over, it will; Carnaroli, however, takes a lot more abuse before that happens to it, so that's why it's the best variety of risotto rice for newbies to risotto...and for restaurants that par-cook their risotti).

        1. You can use basmati, but I just don't imagine that it will achieve that creaminess that is typical of risotto. If you want to substitute in grains, barley or farro have been mentioned in other threads. And I've had great success using barley in a very easy slow-cooker risotto.

          TBH, I love basmati rice for its flavor and texture, especially with Indian food, so the idea of using it in risotto doesn't appeal to me remotely.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Heatherb

            But do farro or barley produce a creamy dish? I have cooked those grains, but haven't tried them with a risotto method. I suspect any creaminess is the result of the added cream and cheese, not the grain starch. This would be especially true if the grains are not pearled.

            Looking at some farrotto recipes, it looks like flavorings have a lot to do with the the 'otto' part, not the cooking properties of the grain.

            1. re: paulj

              I don't know about farro, but the barley, when cooked for a long time, will result in a lot of starchy liquid.

          2. You can make risotto with basmati rice. You can make it with any rice that has a starch coating. Unfortunately, a long grain rice doesn't have as thick a starch coating as arborrio or other short and medium grain rice. The sauce long grain rice creates won't be quite as thick and creamy as with arborrio.

            Risotto is more of a technique for cooking rice. Pilaf is another rice technique.

            I often make risotto with long grain rice because I don't like to use a $3 per pound arborrio when $0.79 to $1.00 per pound long grain is available.

            That being said, many Chowhounders will vociferously disagree. However, Linda Larsen of "" says she makes risotto with long grain rice.

            Bottom line... long grain rice will not make a risotto as well as arborrio but still does adequately.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Hank Hanover

              I'd bet it might still result in a tasty dish. I wouldn't even use the term "risotto" so as to avoid any preconceived notions. Just call it a new rice recipe.

              1. re: grampart

                You might be entertained by this thread I posted when I was fairly new at Chowhound.

                Not only was i new here but i was experimenting with making threads that would generate a lot of responses.

                To complicate things... I really like to argue. I was on the debate team in college.


                1. re: Hank Hanover

                  Very entertaining! It reminds me of similar uproars when I suggested on another food forum site that Chicago Deep Dish Pizza was a casserole or Cincinnati Chili was pasta sauce. Threads that generate a lot of response are Hot Button Issues with which, I suspect, the mods have a love/hate relationship. Have I told you I think tipping is totally voluntary? ;-)

                2. re: grampart

                  "I wouldn't even use the term "risotto" so as to avoid any preconceived notions. Just call it a new rice recipe."

                  Wouldn't it just be a "pilaf?"

                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    Not exactly. The rice mixture is added to all the liquid all at once in pilaf recipes. The ladle by ladle method in this recipe would produce, I suspect, a starchier, stickier product.

                    1. re: grampart

                      True; I thought about that. But is there enough of the right starch in a basmati rice to even make "a starchier, stickier product?" I though you could only achieve that using aborio, carnaroli or vialone nano rice. I guess what i really should have said was, "Won't the end result be more like a pilaf than a risotto?"

                      1. re: ttoommyy

                        It could very well wind up seeming to be a pilaf. I like both rices dishes, so I'd probably be happy with the entire spectrum of results. If I made it for my family, it would end up being called Grampart's Rice.

                        1. re: grampart

                          I'll eat any rice dish you put before me!

                      2. re: grampart

                        I make Lidia's poor man chicken's dish where you add hot broth to arborio, all at once. It's more risotto-like that using basmati rice and risotto technique. I'll just say it's in the eye of the beholder.