Arancini are the famous Italian Rice balls stuffed with Mozzarella. These are a common street food in Sicily. Although these are popular as street food, these make a wonderful appetizer or finger food. These deep fried balls are crusty and crunch on the outside and soft with cheese oozing out on the outside.
I googled for this dish and found many interesting versions with recipes having ground meat, eggs or a mix of vegetables added to rice mix and breading with common ingredients like breadcrumbs etc. These balls are stuffed with mozzarella and deep fried. Rice used is mostly Risotto, though I have used locally available rice.
Depending on the shape, these snacks are either called as “Arancine” for female form when made as spherical or “Arancini” for Male form when it is conical. I adapted this recipe from Sandhya and all of us enjoyed it so much.
Arancini has been on my todo list for so long and I was really glad I picked up street food and I hadn’t made this before, for me to arrive at my list so easily. I had my whole A to Z International List ready in a day’s time as I was keen to recreate my fellow BM’ers recipes. Nothing works like an already worked out recipe, especially a vegetarian version for me.
Leftover rice works best for this, you can always microwave and mash it before making it. Though I had purposely cooked extra rice to make this dish, I had to forgo a couple of times, before I finally made it last week. Somehow I always seem to be working from backward with last week’s post getting done ahead.
If you are landing here for the first time, then let me brief a little bit of history on what this Mega BM is all about. We do a month long nonstop blogging a selected theme, with Sundays off. This time, the broad theme is “Explore the Flavours”, where I had given a list of themes for us to select and I picked up to do A to Z International Street Food. I have tried my best not to repeat a country, and not using adjectives for any of the alphabets.
Since Konda is still busy with her exams, she wasn’t able to help much. Though I made sure she was there for the tasting and when I made these snacks, she was glad of the distraction to help in clicking those near shots after she took a bite and was so happy seeing the mozzarella oozing out. It was a surprise to her and I was so glad I didn’t reveal what was stuffed in. This was one of the dishes that everybody simply loved and wanted more. As you can see, I only had 10 balls to make for this as I was already making 6 other dishes that day.
My Mega BM cooking is always a marathon over the weekend and I try to cover 7 to 8 dishes. If you haven’t checked yet, I am doing A to Z International Flatbreads in Cooking 4 all Seasons. So I had my hands full over the last couple of months. If you are interested to know the Flatbread for A, check this post.
In this A to Z International Street Foods:
A for Arancini / Arancini di Riso: Sicilian Rice Balls
Step by Step Pictures for making Arancini
Arancini | How to make Arancini di Riso
Making the Riceballs
1 cup Rice Cooked
1/4 cup Bread Crumbs
2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp Corn Flour
1/2 cup Onion finely chopped
1/2 cup Capsicum finely chopped
1 tsp Red Chilli Flakes
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Water to drizzle
Cooking Oil for deep frying the rice balls
1/2 inch pieces Mozzarella about 10 to stuff inside the balls
For the breading
1 cup Breadcrumbs
3 tbsp All Purpose Flour
2 tbsp Corn flour
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Making the Rice Balls
If you are using fresh rice, you can mash the cooked rice to a very soft mush and keep it aside. If using leftover rice, warm it up a bit to help mash it easily.
In a nonstick pan, add 1 tbsp of oil and sauté the onion and capsicum until soft. Add salt, red chilli flakes while cooking.
Cool it down a bit and then add this vegetable mixture to the mashed rice. Add the cornflour, all purpose flour and breadcrumbs and mix well.
Take a handful of this mixture and make a ball with your palm. Stuff a piece of mozzarella inside the ball and close it well to form a tight ball. Do the same with the whole mixture and keep it aside.
In a wide bowl, combine the all purpose flour, corn flour, salt and pepper and add about 1/4 cup of water. Mix it well to form a thick batter.
In another wide bowl, add the breadcrumbs and season it.
Heat the oil in a kadai to deep fry the rice balls.
Drop the balls into the flour batter and coat it evenly. Using a fork, remove and drop into the breadcrumbs bowl. Roll the bowl to coat the balls nicely on all sides.
I normally never handle the balls as it tends to lose shape or get more than required flour. Rolling the ball by shaking the bowl, works very well.
Continue with rest of the balls and layer all the prepared balls in a tray. Freeze these balls for 10 to 15 mins if making these right away, else these freeze well for later as well.
Frying the Balls
Once the oil is hot enough, gently drop 2 or 3 balls into the oil and fry until evenly brown on all sides. The oil should be just the right temperature to allow cooking the balls to become crispy on the outside and melt the mozzarella slightly inside. You can start the frying by lowering the flame, and then slightly increase depending on how well it gets cooked on all sides. Using a slotted ladle remove to a kitchen towel.
Serve hot as is or with some sauce on the side.