Sunday, May 31, 2009

Curry Grain Salad

adapted from: Simply Recipes

Ok, so...the recipe below is the original recipe from Simply Recipes. I only used this as a basic template, and ended up winging a lot of it along the way. For starters, I used a mixture of half wehani rice (if you haven't tried it yet, do so. It's aromatic and nutty and delicious) and quinoa. I cooked the grains in chicken broth instead of water. I put a bit of sriracha in the curry/onion mixture instead of chili pepper. I also cooked up a handful of diced celery with the onion mixture. I sauteed up some baby bella mushrooms and added that to the salad, too, because we keep getting mushrooms in the farm share pickup and I don't know what to do with them. So, they went in the salad with a bunch of scallions, too. So far this salad is tasty right out of the bowl. I still need to pick up some apples at the store to add to this. I think that will be just the right crunch and tartness that this needs. I'm also wondering how some crushed peanuts would go with this, as suggested by one of Elise's commenters. At any rate, I'm a sucker for grain salads, and this was another tasty variety that I can add to my lunch repertoire.

Short grain brown rice - 1 to 1 1/2 cup, best is organic
One large yellow onion - chopped.
Curry paste or curry powder - red or yellow Indian (not Thai)
Olive oil
Chili pepper (I used Sriracha instead)
Sesame oil

Cilantro - chopped
Raisins - one cup
One apple - cored and chopped (not peeled)
Celery - chopped, optional
Snow peas - stringy ends chopped off, then chopped, optional
Bell pepper, red, green, or yellow - chopped, optional
Green onions - chopped, optional

I added baby bella mushrooms, sliced and sauteed first


1 Prepare the brown rice.
Put rice in a big pot, add 1 3/4 cups of water for every cup of rice, bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat on very low, let simmer for 45 minutes, take off heat and keep covered for at least another 10 minutes.

2 Prepare onions and curry oil.
In a large saucepan put 1/4 cup of olive oil on medium high heat. Add a couple heaping tablespoons of curry paste (if it is mild) or add a couple of tablespoons of mild curry powder. Add a dash of chili pepper and cumin and a few drops of sesame oil if you have it. Let the curry simmer for a minute. Add the chopped yellow onion and cook until translucent.

3 Mix rice and onions.
In a large mixing bowl, put in the hot rice and then fold in the onions with the curry infused oil in which they were cooked. You'll need to use a strong wooden spoon to mix. Taste test the rice at this point. If it needs more curry flavor, heat some more curry powder, chili, and cumin in olive oil for a few minutes and add to the rice to desired spiciness.

4 Add other ingredients to taste - cilantro, raisins, apple, celery, snow peas, bell pepper, green onions. Add a couple tablespoons of honey. Add a dash of salt to taste.

5 Chill and serve. Serves 4 to 6.

The secret to this recipe is the cilantro, raisins, and chopped apple. Sesame oil is a nice touch.

You can also add shrimp, large or small, to it to make it more of a cold main salad dish.

The salad gets better the longer it sits in the fridge (to a point) because of the absorption of the curry oil. So it is a good idea to make a big batch because the leftovers are even better.

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