Garam Masala Arancini with truffle oil and saffron

Garam Masala Arancini with Truffle oil


Garam Masala Arancini with truffle oil is my latest in my crazy experimental laboratory aka my kitchen. Every year I host a Diwali party at my house for my friends and family. There is an expectation that I would be making something exciting and new and of course delicious. The aroma of the truffle oil infused with saffron tickles your nostrils as you take a crunchy bite that delights the tongue

Diwali is a time for old traditions intermixed with new adventures at my house. Trying to celebrate it exactly like I would in India is difficult and does not make sense to me. I want to also celebrate my journey and the place that I currently reside in and at the same time remember y roots.

So, Garam Masala Arancini with truffle oil was born. Arancini is a traditional Italian street food from Sicily. They are basically fried risotto balls. It shares a close relationship with “koftas” that we make in India. Arancinis are stuffed with risotto rice while “koftas” are stuffed with vegetables. Both are coated with bread crumbs and then deep fried.

The first time I had Arancini was at Aji Restaurant in Boulder, CO where I worked as a line chef (with no experience in a professional kitchen). I also learned to make rolled up sushi in seaweed wrapper there (cut my hand so many times trying to cut the sushi in perfect even circles. The chef got so exasperated with my clumsiness that he banished me to prep work for the afternoon).

The Arancini though was a delight to make and I was able to relate to it as it is primarily rice – Arborio rice to be specific. We made 50 of these lovely spheres for a private event along with the sushi.

The Garam Masala Arancini with truffle oil is my take on the traditional Italian fare. I served these as an appetizer on a bed of channa masala, an all-time favorite Indian dish made with garbanzo beans. Or serve with my Lemon Leek Sauce

The truffle oil and saffron adds the richness so necessary for a special occasion. It is extremely easy to make and will make you look like a star in your kitchen. Try it and you’ll see why people at my party loved it!

Dredge in flour
Dip in Cream/Egg Mixture
Coat with breadcrumbs

Garam Masala Arancini with Truffle oil and Saffron

  • Servings: “16
  • Difficulty:
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For Arancini

  • 1 Cup Arborio Rice (Risotto Rice)
  • 3 Cups Vegetable Stock (Water would do too).
  • 2 pinches Saffron
  • 2 Tablespoons Truffle oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tablespoon finely chopped Cilantro (fresh Coriander leaves)
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala (found everywhere these days – in Indian Speciality stores or Amazon or Whole Foods )
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped Pistachios
  • Vegetable oil for shallow frying

For Breading

  • 1 Cup Cream or 1 Egg beaten with a 1/4 Cup Milk 
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Cups Bread Crumbs (Plain)


  1. Melt butter and bring the broth and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the Rice and Saffron reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes (you can cook it in a pressure cooker too like I did).
  2. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let cool completely.
  3. Stir in Truffle oil, Garam Masala, Pistachios and Cilantro.
  4. Set up your breading station like the following…..  Place them one after the other starting with1/4 sheet pan/plate spread with 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour, then1 Bowl with Cream or Egg mixture and finally the1/4 sheet pan/plate spread with Bread Crumbs like in an assembly line. 
  5. Using a large melon baller or small ice cream scoop, and working in batches, drop small balls of the cooked rice first in the flour and toss to coat.
  6. Dip in Cream/beaten Egg, and then roll in breadcrumbs. You will be able to shape it into rounds at this stage.
  7. Loosely cover and refrigerate, at least 1 hour.
  8. Heat 1/2 inch of Vegetable oil to 350 degrees F in a large shallow pan. Working in batches, fry the rice balls, turning, until golden brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Note: Instead of Cream or beaten Egg, use milk but double bread it, meaning after rolling it in bread crumbs the first time, dip it in milk again and roll again in breadcrumbs. This will give you a tighter and firmer coating that will not split when frying.

Caution: Sometimes when frying the Arancinis might burst slightly. Be wary of the errant hot oil splash.

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