Curried Rice Salad

curried-rice-salad-nzdadsRice salad is a classic dish come summer and BBQ season, and over the years I’ve tried many different varieties. All of which are delicious. Often they are dressed with soy sauce, and contain nuts and dried fruit. Personally (unless it’s baking), I’m not a fan of dried fruit. More so, with gluten and nut allergies, which can be present when it’s a ‘bring a plate’ scenario, soy sauce and nuts are not always suitable.

This rice salad is gluten free and nut free, and is a twist on another favourite dish of mine: Kedgeree. Kedgeree is a warm, lightly curried, rice dish; containing peas, smoked fish and hard boiled (or poached) eggs. Originating in India, mixed with lentils, it is known as Khichri, however the popular version is more British and often found on cafe menus.

My version is a take on the British version and can be served immediately and warm, or set aside to chill and served later. The subtle spice means it’s great served alongside BBQ’d meats, fish, or even eggs.

Ingredients: (Serves 4 as a main, 8 as a side):

  • 2 cups of brown basmati rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp curry powder – depending how mild or hot you like it
  • 2 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup sliced spinach or silverbeet leaves – optional, but if you have them in the garden it’s always a nice addition
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 capsicum, diced
  • 1 cup steamed peas or sliced beans – 3 or 4 minutes steamed or boiled, then refreshed under cold water
  • 1 juicy lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste

In a large saucepan place rice, water, salt, butter (or olive oil) and curry powder. Mix to combine and bring to the boil. Once the water begins to boil, reduce the heat to a minimum and place the lid on the pot. Simmer according to the packet directions (usually 22-25 minutes). Keep the lid on during this time and don’t be tempted to stir.

After the time, test the rice, and if cooked, drain any excess liquid, then pop the lid back on and leave to steam for 5 – 10 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the vegetables. Place the sliced spring onion, chopped parsley, sliced spinach or silverbeet, diced tomato and capsicum into a large salad bowl with the steamed peas or beans. Squeeze over the juice of the lemon and olive oil. Mix well to combine.

Stir the warm rice through the vegetable mix and salt to taste. Chill if you are not serving immediately.

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