Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tomato Rice and all that's Spice

Yum-yum spicy lamb rump with tomato rice and topped with a fried egg

Chilli and spices seldom make it to our dinner table nowadays as the kids still shy away from eating food that looks red-hot spicy or has little bits of chilli in them. But perhaps that's because I use the word "chilli" to dissuade them from eating certain foods that they shouldn't be eating  (doesn't work on ice-cream and lollies though). I should probably stop doing that and slowly assimilate chilli into their diet. Perhaps last night was a start. Well, I thought the food looked spicy but it wasn't.

I had a half-opened bottle of tomato paste (leftover from marinara night) and some lamb that had to be used up. I didn't want to make a stew with lamb rump, so I decided it would be nice to grill it instead. As for the tomato paste, I decided to use it to make tomato rice, which I haven't made since a department fund-raising event at work many years ago.

Preparing the rice is easy. Here's what I used:


3 cups rice (approx 450g)
3 cardamom pods
1/2 star anise
2 inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves garlic
1 onion, sliced into half-rings
50g butter/margarine
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt
Handful of raisins/sultanas
300ml chicken stock
Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
Fried shallots
Cashewnuts (optional)
Ketchup (optional)

1. Wash rice and put aside. Heat up 1 tbsp of oil with the butter/margarine in a pan/wok, and fry the dry spices. Then add garlic and onion and fry till onion softens.
2. Add tomato paste and mix it in.
3. Add rice, raisins and salt. Fry till everything is well incorporated.
4. Place in rice cooker, pour in chicken stock and add water to top up to correct level (as per cooking normal white rice). Start cooking!
5. Once cooked, stir, taste for seasoning, and serve garnished with chopped coriander, fried shallots and cashews. Add a fried egg sunny-side up for extra yum. Serve with a little ketchup (optional).

Preparing the lamb is even simpler:


400g lamb rump steaks
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
Lemon wedge


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C. Combine all the dry spice ingredients in a bowl. Dip the steaks in and coat evenly with the spice rub.
  2. Heat up a little oil in the pan (the same one used for frying the rice above) and sear the lamb steaks for 1-2 minutes on each side.
  3. Place steaks in a baking dish and bake in oven for 10-15 minutes (or cooked to your liking). Remove and rest the steaks for the same amount of time it was in the oven for.
  4. Cut into slices and serve with tomato rice and a wedge of lemon.
So there you go! How easy was that? Another hit with the family! :)