Category Archives: rice

Lamb paprika with spiced rice

I haven’t shared a dinner with you for quite a while and there has been a very good reason for this.  A few weeks ago Chele at The Chocolate Teapot said she had lost her baking mojo (only temporarily, she soon found it again), well I seemed to have lost my making dinner mojo.  I burned quite a few things, some things I undercooked, some I just didn’t season right.  Poor old Mr OC, he has had to suffer some disappointing meals.

This is why I was so pleased when this dinner made from Sunday’s leftover lamb was so tasty.  I do hope my making dinner mojo is back for good! (And so does Mr OC).

For the Lamb paprika:

Cooked lamb (however much you have left from a roast, or put another way, enough for two greedy people)
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
5-6 fresh tomatoes or 1 tin of plum tomatoes
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp sugar (if you are using fresh English tomatoes)
salt and pepper

Method

If you are using fresh tomatoes, place them in boiling water for 1 minute, drain, allow to cool and then peel off the skin. Dice the tomatoes, keeping the juice.

Fry the onion and pepper in a little olive oil over a medium heat until the onion is translucent and the pepper is softened.  Add the cooked lamb and the paprika and cumin and cook for a few minutes, stirring all the while so that the spices don’t burn. Add the diced tomatoes and their juice or the tin of tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and add the sugar if using fresh tomatoes.  Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked down and the juices have reduced to a pulpy sauce.  Whilst this is happening cook the spiced rice.

For the spiced rice: (generously serves 2)

200ml basmati rice
300ml water
25g butter
1 scant tsp salt
1-2 tsp cumin seed
5-6 cardamom pods
generous handful of raisins

Method

Measure the rice in a measuring jug and rinse several times with water and then leave to soak in a jugful of water for 30 minutes if you have time.

Melt the butter in a heavy based pan and add the cumin seeds and cardamom pods and cook for a minute, stirring all the time.  Drain the rice and add to the buttery spices, stirring carefully until coated with butter. Add 300ml of fresh water and the raisins and salt.  Stir once gently, cover with a tight-fitting lid, bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.  Take off the heat, take off the lid and cover with a clean cloth and leave to stand for five minutes.  All of the water should have been absorbed and the rice will be perfectly cooked.

Serve the rice and the lamb and tuck in.  A spoonful or two of yoghurt wouldn’t go amiss.

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Pea and mint risotto

pea and mint risotto

The adventures in the kitchen today included pea and mint risotto, which tasted very good.  The mint in the garden has flowered and is now shooting again and as a result tastes stronger than summer mint and really added a lovely fresh taste to the risotto. I served it with pork chops that I roast until almost done and then smother with wholegrain mustard and maple syrup and then finish off under the grill.

Generously serves two.

2 oz (50g)butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 oz (150g) frozen peas
200ml arborio rice
1 pint (570 ml) hot vegetable stock
good slug of white wine (or you could use the juice of half a lemon if you don’t happen to be drinking white wine whilst making dinner)
½ oz (10g) parmesan cheese, grated
handful fresh mint chopped

Method
Melt the butter in a frying pan over a low heat, add the garlic and the frozen peas and cook for two minutes.  Scrape out the peas and garlic into a bowl, keeping as much of the butter in the pan as you can, and keep to one side.  Put the pan back on the gentle heat. Add the rice to the remaining butter in the pan and stir for a minute to make sure that every grain of rice is covered in the buttery juices.  Add the wine and stir until the wine has evaporated away.  Now add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring as much as you can until you have pretty much used all of the stock (or you may need a touch more and if you do plain hot water is fine to add at this point) and the rice is cooked. Put the peas and garlic back into the pan and add the chopped mint and place back on the gentle heat to heat the peas through. Stir the parmesan through and serve.

Spiced Coconut Rice

Spiced Coconut Rice (serves 4)
300 ml Basmati rice (measured in a pint jug)
300 ml coconut milk
150 ml water
25g butter
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 piece cinnamon stick
4 cloves
6 cardamom pods
1 bay leaf
1/2 – 1 tsp salt
Method
Measure the rice in the measuring jug and rinse under running water several times until the water runs clear and then soak the rice in 500 mls water for 30 minutes.  Drain the rice into a sieve. Measure the coconut milk and water into the measuring jug.

Melt the butter into a medium sized pan, when it’s foaming add the spices and cook gently for a minute or so until they release their delicious smells. Add the rice and stir carefully until the rice is coated in the spicy butter.  Add the coconut milk and water mixture and the salt to taste. Stir once to make sure the rice is all covered.  Bring to the boil. Cover the pan tightly with foil. Turn the heat to low and cook the rice for 25 mins.  Remove from the heat and take off the foil and cover with a clean tea cloth and leave to stand for 5 mins before serving.

Tip: If you would prefer to make this without the coconut milk just omit and use 45o ml of water.  It is just as delicious.