The gradual addition of small quantities of liquid at steady high heat gradually dissolves the soft starch surrounding the kernel, which begins to swell. Constant stirring rubs away the dissolving starch and at the same time distributes it, binding it uniformly to every single grain of rice and to all the ingredients in the pot. It is only through that sustained stirring motion that you produce the marvelous amalgam, the creamy fusion of swollen rice and vegetables, or seafood, or meat that is risotto.
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