I had intended to post this recipe on New Year’s Eve, as it takes me back to the 80s when my parents would throw the biggest New Year’s Eve parties ever imaginable! As a child it was the most fun you could hope for, we had a lamb on the spit, kolbasi on the BBQ and close to fifty people picnicking in the backyard. Just before midnight all the kids would dress up as ‘babari’, a tradition from my parents village Capari.
Everyone brought a dish or two to share, be it salads, pastries, or sweets, but one thing Mum always made was her baked rice with garden tomatoes and chillies. It’s vegan, and great with fish and chicken. Just think of it as a healthy and summery baked risotto.
P.S. This weekend is ‘Suro’, the Macedonian New Year. Traditionally maznik is made and baked with a gold coin, for the recipe check out last years Maznik recipe.
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic gloves, finely grated or chopped
2 cups (440g) medium grain rice, washed and drained
4-5 cups (1-1.25L) boiled water
1 teaspoon dried vegetable stock e.g. Vegeta/Massel
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large tomato, sliced thinly into 5mm rounds
2 medium green banana chillies, seeded and roughly chopped (banana chillies are also known as Hungarian or bullhorn chillies, if unavailable replace with a green capsicum)
1) Preheat oven to 250°C.
2) Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant but not browned. Add washed rice and lightly toast (2-3 minutes). Transfer rice and garlic mix to a large baking tray/dish. Pour over hot water, add a sprinkle of salt, vegeta, pepper to taste and stir. Arrange tomato slices and chillies over rice. Place in hot oven and bake for 20–30 minutes or until rice is cooked. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
3) Serve while warm as a light lunch or part of a banquet with grilled chicken or fish and salad.
- For a non-vegetarian version add poached chicken pieces see Baked Chicken with Red Rice recipe (follow steps 1 and 2 and use cooking liquid rather than plain boiled water).
- Another alternative is to add fish fillets to the tomatoes and chillies.
- During winter leave out the tomato and use pickled banana chillies.