Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Saffron Risotto Balls with Tomato Chutney

Risotto balls are one of my husband's favorite treats, and this was no exception. This recipe is loosely based on a recipe I found in a cookbook, which called for coloring the balls with yellow food coloring. I figured it was much better to use saffron, the most expensive spice in the world, which creates a wonderful flavor for the rice, as well as a lovely yellow color. I served the riceballs with some spicy tomato chutney (leftovers from serving with chicken for the night before) and the combination was so perfect, that I am sharing the recipe for the chutney as well. However, just about any chutney would be perfect with these.

Sasha's Saffron Risotto Balls (makes about 18)
1/2 lb arborio rice
1/6 cup cream
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup freshly grated hard mild goat cheese
1 T sugar
pinch of saffron threads
1/4 cup bread crumbs
canola oil

Cook the risotto according to the package instructions, along with the pinch of saffron threads. Then combine the cooked risotto rice with the egg, cream, grated cheese and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Divide the mixture into one inch balls. Place the breadcrumbs on a plate. I used the bread crumbs that ShopRite sent me and they worked perfectly for these delicious treats. Next, heat 4 T of canola oil in a skillet and cook, turning occasionally until completely (and evenly) browned on all sides. Drain the excess oil on paper towels.

Below is the chutney recipe, loosely based on the cookbook, with several modifications (including about half the amount of sugar as recommended).

Bengali Style Tomato Chutney (loosely based on the recipe in the cookbook At Home with Madhur Jaffrey, a terrific Indian/regional cookbook)
2 T olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fennel
2 cups canned tomato puree
1 small can cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
3 T raisons

Combine the oil with the cumin, fennel, tomato puree, cherry tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, pepper flakes and salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook on low, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Add the raisons and cook for another ten. The chutney should be thick and have a glazed appearance when done.  I found multiple uses for this chutney, both on chicken and with the saffron rice balls. Yum!



  1. Mmm... fried rice balls with cheese? Sounds good to me!

  2. This is something really nice! I like the idea of cheese bursting out of the balls.

  3. The chutney sounds fabulous!!! Perfect with the risotto balls!


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