Malaysian Tomato Rice to chase the rainy day blues away…

Tomato rice,  beef korma,  chicken in red sauce and pickled vegetable salad.

Tomato rice, beef korma, chicken in red sauce and pickled vegetable salad.

It rained last night, and it has continued to pour all day here, in Kuching. While I love the rain, unfortunately too much rain makes me want to snuggle under my comforter, surrounded by my pillows and snooze continuously.  Fortunately, (or otherwise depending on how you look at it,) housework never ends. It meant saying buh-bye to my bed and hello to my dusting cloths, vacuum cleaner, mop and bucket. By midday I was happy to be able to put away laundry and start on dinner.

If I felt lethargic all day, I can only imagine how hubby and son were faring out there. A look in the fridge showed me some leftover canned tomatoes, half a carrot, half an onion and it dawned on me to use up whatever leftovers I had in the fridge and make Tomato Rice.

It has to be said that this type of rice was never popular in this household because it can be rather sour. Hubby has really low tolerance to sour stuff, however, I thought by using canned tomatoes instead of tomato paste, the tartness can be toned down.

Traditionally too, the spices and onions were sautéed in ghee or clarified butter. This has now been replaced in this household with extra virgin olive oil resulting in a cleaner and lighter tasting rice.

When hubby and son walked into the house, the smell of the rice and accompaniments wafting from the kitchen told them that they are in for a treat. The happiest moment of the day for me is when we are all sitting around the dining table and I get to listen to the chatter while serving what I know would be a wholesome meal, cooked with love to the two most important people in my life.


Tomato Rice (for 4)

  • 1 star anise, 3 cardamom pods, 3 cloves, a cinnamon stick about 5 cm long
  • 4 shallots, 2 cloves garlic, 1 inch fresh ginger (all sliced thinly)
  • 1 fresh lemongrass (bruised)
  • 2 cups basmati rice (soak 30 minutes)
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup canned tomatoes + juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh milk
  • A small handful fresh coriander
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat olive oil in rice cooker pot. Sautee whole spices, sliced items and lemongrass. Gently cook until onions turn amber.
  2. Add canned tomatoes and 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional.) Break tomatoes up into small pieces and stir to ensure tomato paste is incorporated.
  3. Add chicken stock and milk. Season with salt.
  4. Add soaked and drained rice. Stir gently. Let liquid come to a boil
  5. Add fresh coriander. Cook rice as per normal.

Beef Korma

  • 500 gms stewing beef
  • 6 shallots, 3 cloves garlic, 1 inch fresh ginger, 1/2 tablespoon whole black pepper – all blended finely
  • 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tablespoon Korma spice powder
  • 2 potatoes cubed golf ball size
  • 1 carrot sliced (not too finely)
  • 1 red onion – quartered
  • 1 tomato – quartered
  • 1 each red and green fresh chillies (halve length wise)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  1. Cube beef according to preference.
  2. Put beef in a pot with blended ingredients, Korma powder, some water and salt. Boil covered till beef is tender (this can be done in pressure cooker)
  3. Once beef is tender, add potatoes and carrots.
  4. When potatoes and carrots are soft, add red onion, chillies, tomatoes.
  5. Lower heat, add yogurt, taste seasoning. Sauce should be thick.


To add to the aroma, finely slice 6 shallots and 2 cloves garlic. Sautee in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When caramelized, pour everything into the Korma pot. Cover pot tightly. Sprinkle fresh coriander just before serving.

About mumstech
Retired at 40 after working in various industries including banking and financial services, oil and gas as well as higher education.Now a stay-at-home mum, cheerleader for husband and son, cleaner, nutritionist, cook, laundry lady, driver, clerk cum administration assistant, public relations, personal assistant... I never knew that squeaky clean floors can give me such satisfaction!

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