Create a festive recipe and win R5 000

Cook with heart – and with Spekko – and you could walk away with a cash prize

To celebrate the upcoming festive season, Spekko is running a competition called Cook with Heart. They’re looking for the best festive recipes that incorporate rice. There are five cash prizes of R5 000 each up for grabs, so get cooking!

How to enter

To enter, post your Cook with Heart Spekko recipe, a short story telling them why this recipe means a lot to you and a photo of your dish to Facebook or Twitter. Make sure you add the tags #Spekko #CookwithHeart and #StartWithTheBestIngredients so they can see your recipe. Keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter pages for more details. For the full terms and conditions, go to Find them on Facebook at @SpekkoRice, Twitter at @SpekkoSA, on Instagram at @SpekkoSA or on YouTube on their Spekko Food channel.

Recipes for inspiration

To get you started, Spekko has created three delicious recipes to enjoy this summer. Put on your apron on, tune in to your heart food and get cooking!

Indian vegetable curry in edible rice bowls

Serves: 4

Time needed: 45 minutes, plus 1 hr 15 min for the rice bowls

For the edible rice bowls

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 500g cooked Spekko Long Grain Parboiled Rice
  • 50g cake flour
  • Salt, to taste
  • 25g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • For the vegetable curry
  • 15ml cumin seeds
  • 2.5ml yellow mustard seeds
  • 15ml canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2cm piece ginger, grated
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 10ml ground coriander
  • 5ml ground cumin
  • 30ml mixed masala
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 200g pumpkin, diced
  • 500ml hot water
  • Dash of ground coriander
  • Pinch dried red chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 80ml yoghurt
  • 30ml butter
  • Handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped and extra, to garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

To serve

  • Yoghurt
  • Pumpkin seeds dusted in edible gold powder
  • Pomegranate rubies
  • Naan breads and salsas


1 First make the rice bowls. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line the insides of 4 small bowls or ramekins with foil (the shinier side of the foil should be touching the surface of the bowls, with the less shiny side facing up). Spray well with non-stick cooking spray. This is crucial, otherwise the rice mixture will stick.

2 Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Divide the rice mixture between the prepared bowls and firmly press into the base and up the sides of the bowls. Dip your fingers in water as you work to prevent the rice mixture from sticking to them.

3 Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove and cool for 10 minutes.

4 Carefully peel off the foil and place the bowls upside down on a roasting tray. Bake in the oven for a further 10 minutes to colour on the outside. Remove from oven and set aside until serving.

5 For the curry, toast the cumin seeds and mustard seeds over medium heat in a large pot. Add the canola oil, then the onion. Sauté until translucent and golden, about 10 – 15 minutes.

6 Add the garlic, ginger and tomato to the onions and continue to sauté for a minute or two.

7 Add the ground coriander, cumin and mixed masala. The mixture will resemble a curry paste. Allow to simmer over low heat for 2 minutes.

8 Add the sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, pumpkin and hot water. The vegetables should be covered, so add more hot water if necessary. Allow the curry to simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft and tender.

9 Sprinkle over a dash of ground coriander, red chilli flakes, lemon juice, yoghurt, butter and fresh coriander, stir to combine and switch the heat off.

10 Check for seasoning, add salt and pepper if necessary, cover and steam until ready to serve.

11 Spoon the curry into your edible rice bowls, top with yoghurt and garnish with pumpkin seeds. Serve with pomegranate rubies and curry accompaniments (such as naan breads and salsas of your choice) on the side.

Sweet and spicy beef with coconut and lemongrass rice

Serves: 2

Time needed: 45 minutes

For the coconut rice

  • 200ml water
  • 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 220g Spekko Long Grain Parboiled Rice
  • Juice of 1 lime and 1 piece of lime peel
  • 2cm slice lemongrass, finely grated
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 30ml butter
  • Salt, to taste
  • For the exotic mushrooms:
  • 150g exotic mushrooms
  • Knob of butter, to fry
  • Salt, to taste

For the caramelised pineapple

  • 1 pineapple Knob of butter
  • Handful of fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • Pinch of dried chilli flakes, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • For the steak:
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 sirloin steak (about 350 – 400g – or to your liking)
  • Knob of butter
  • Olive oil, to fry

To serve

  • Lime halves
  • 1 red pepper, charred over a gas flame and sliced
  • Coriander leaves


1 For the coconut rice, bring the water and coconut milk to a boil in a medium pot and add the rice. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Add more water or adjust the cooking time if needed. Let the rice rest for 15 minutes. Add the rest of the rice ingredients and combine.

2 For the exotic mushrooms, cut the ends off the mushrooms so they separate apart easily. Heat a knob of butter in a pan over high heat and once hot, add the mushrooms and fry until cooked and golden, about 3 – 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Set aside and wipe the pan clean.

3 Peel the pineapple and cut into slices or wedges. You will only need half of the pineapple slices; keep the rest for a snack.

4 Using the same pan in which you fried the mushrooms, melt a knob of butter and fry the pineapple slices in an even layer over medium heat, turning after about 2 minutes on each side.

5 Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and dried chilli flakes to taste, season with salt and set aside.

6 Rub the steak generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

7 Heat a pan over medium high heat and add the butter and oil.

8 Fry the steak until cooked to your liking (2 minutes per side for rare, 3 – 4 minutes per side for medium and 4 – 5 minutes per side for well done). Rest 10 minutes on a wooden chopping board before slicing.

9 To plate: Add the rice to bowls, top with the exotic mushrooms, pineapple and steak.

10 Serve with lime wedges and charred red pepper. Garish with coriander leaves and season to taste.

Saffron rice with mussels, prawns and trout

Serves 2

Time needed: 45 minutes

For the rice

  • Drizzle of olive/canola oil
  • 2 shallots or 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 220g Spekko Long Grain Parboiled Rice
  • 300ml white wine
  • Pinch of saffron
  • Water, enough to cover the rice
  • Handful fresh dill leaves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 45ml butter

For the seafood

  • Olive oil, to fry
  • 200g prawns, peeled but tails not removed
  • Butter, to fry
  • Salt and chilli flakes, to taste
  • Splash of white wine
  • 150g fresh mussels

To serve

  • Mange tout and peas, blanched
  • Cooked trout, flaked (optional)
  • Lemon wedges


1  For the rice, heat a drizzle of oil in a medium pot over medium heat and fry the shallots until very tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for a minute. Transfer the shallot mixture to a bowl.

2  In the same pot, add the rice, wine, saffron and water (enough to cover the rice). Simmer for about 20 minutes, adding more water if the rice looks dry. Once cooked, drain off any excess liquid.

3 Stir through the dill and shallots mixture, then season to taste and stir through the butter.

4  Heat a pan over very high heat, add a little olive oil and flash fry the prawns, adding butter halfway through cooking. Season to taste with salt and dried chilli flakes. Remove prawns from pan. Do not overcook.

5 Add a splash of wine to the pan, bring to the boil and add the mussels and cover. Steam until cooked, about 3 – 5 minutes.

6 Spoon the rice into bowls and top with the prawns, mussels, blanched greens and trout (if using). Serve with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing.

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