I don’t like to chuck food and always try to make something out of leftovers. But honestly speaking I often don’t like food which lingered in the fridge. I could never do meal prep or so, as the thought of 3 day old quinoa gives me the shudders. Thus I didn’t expect much when I tossed some old rice and leftover spicy tomato sauce in a pan.
But once I tasted it I was staggered – it was better than the day before! I suddenly remembered that my grandma used to cook something similar when I was very little and that I loved this combination already as a toddler. She used much less spices though.
I mainly used black cardamom here as it’s one of my favourite spices and adds a smoky depth to the tomato rice. Black cardamom has big, rough pods and is stronger and less floral in flavour than its green cousin. Traditionally the pods get dried over open fire, therefor the smoky flavour.
You can cook the tomato rice from scratch or use leftover rice for it. I’ll explain both versions below.
Black Cardamom Tomato Rice
For 3 - 4 portions.
You need thick bottomed a pan with a lid
- 2 medium sized onions
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 piece of ginger (3cm), peeled & grated
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 4 black cardamom pods
- 3 cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tomatoes, cubed
- 100 ml red wine
- 150 ml tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 - 2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoon cream
- 200 gram long grain rice (washed) or 3 cups pre-cooked rice*
Open 3 of the cardamom pods slightly with a pestle. Take the seeds out of the 4th pod and crush them in a mortar, keep the powder aside.
Heat the oil I a pan and add the 3 cardamom pods, cloves and cumin (slowly and one after the other in exactly that order, from big to small). Fry them for a minute or so till it smells aromatic. Add the onions and salt and fry for about 5 minutes. Now add the garlic and ginger and fry for another 2 - 3 minutes, till the raw smell goes away. Keep stirring and add the tomatoes, cardamom powder (from the 1 pod you crushed), fry till the tomatoes loose their shape. Deglaze with the wine and then add the tomato puree, cayenne, cream and sugar.
If you use raw rice please proceed as follows:
Add the washed rice and pour in water till it stands about 1cm above the rice. Stir and close the lid. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes (please also refer to the cooking directions on the package of your rice, as cooking times vary widely)
If you use pre-cooked rice, please proceed as follows:
Add 200m water, stir and close the lid of the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Then add the pre-cooked rice, sir carefully (if it feels to dry add a bit more of water). Simmer for a few minutes till the rice is hot.
Serve with fresh herbs, boiled or fried eggs, salad, pine nuts, etc.
*you could use pretty much any rice, but check for cooking time and amount of water and cooking time needed. Basmati and jasmine rice are more fragile than long grain or brown rice and you have to be carefully to not break the grains while stirring.