Halal and Haram Risotto

The end of the school year often feels like a manic race to the finish line. With so many papers to hand in and finals to take, it’s pretty normal college student behavior to skimp on meals, sleep, and socializing. And then, like magic, somewhere toward the very end perspectives shift. There’s growing recognition that the year is finishing, that so much has happened and (hopefully) been learned in the past few months, and that we’ll all be saying goodbye soon. And suddenly, it becomes more important to make every moment last, to take things slow, to see your friends and enjoy your time with them and squeeze in those last few goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the semester.

Enter the impromptu potluck. One Sunday night, a fellow resident of Villa Jasmin suggested that those who could take a break from studying come together for dinner. And despite (or perhaps, because of) the two finals I had the next week, I decided it would be worth it for me to make one of my favorite meals that I’ve always wanted to prepare myself: risotto.

Risotto is a creamy Italian rice dish, made with arborio rice. The trick to this recipe is patience — you have to slowly add the broth ladle by ladle to make the rice puff up and stick together. I made two versions — I used about 1/4 of my box of rice to make halal risotto and the remaining 3/4 for a “haram” risotto (with bacon and white wine). Both were delicious in their own way, and both followed this basic and infinitely variable recipe.

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