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Fruity & Nutty, Curried Brown Rice Salad

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Fruity & Nutty Curried Brown Rice Salad

I hope you all had a fun and relaxing Christmas and New Year’s. We had a rather quiet one but it’s been super chilled and I think we really needed that, so everyone is relaxed and as ‘happy as Larry’ in this house. 🙂 It’s ‘Hot as hell’ though, so blessed to live by the sea!

I would’ve liked to have had this salad recipe done before Christmas but I’m sure you won’t mind as you know how mad it is in those last few weeks. However, with a few months of summer BBQs and get-togethers left you still have time to make it for your favourite people. It also happens to be a fantastic winter salad.

During my time spent as a vegetarian, my friend bought me a book which is now one of my most used and worn. It’s called ‘The Vegetarian Adventure Cookbook’ by ‘Rowan Bishop & Sue Carruthers’. This Curried Brown Rice Salad recipe is from that book and it’s one of my family’s absolute favourites. I’ve changed the ratios of all the ingredients quite a bit, but have hardly changed the dressing (that would be criminal as it tastes amazing). And, of course, I have done my usual step by step instructions.

This salad is a sure crowd pleaser. It makes quite a lot and is filled with fruit, vegetables and toasted nuts, all mixed in a delicious curried mayonnaise. (A mayonnaise made from scratch too I might add!)

Sometimes I go for weeks without eating meat and will enjoy eating this by itself but will cook some green beans, chicken, pork, chops, sausages or steak for my hungry carnivores.

Now, I’m not going to lie, this salad takes a little effort, but it makes heaps so even if you are making it just for your family, you can enjoy it for two or three nights with different meats.
If you are having people over, there’s a note on what you can prep the night before, allowing you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time chatting and enjoying a wine or two with your friends.

 

 

INGREDIENTS

Dressing
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from ½ juicy, medium-sized lemon)
2 medium-sized cloves garlic
1 medium-sized egg (size 6)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons / 280 ml canola oil
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
2 teaspoons medium or mild curry powder
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon ground or cracked, black pepper

Salad
1 ½ cups / 300 g medium or long grain brown rice
1/3 teaspoon salt
½ cup/ 80 g raw, unsalted peanuts
¾ cup / 100 g raw, unsalted cashews
1/3 cup / 30 g sliced almonds
1 small or ½ medium-sized red onion
1/3 cup / 50 g sultanas
¼ cup / 40 g blackcurrants
1 x 425 g can peach slices
1 very small or ½ medium-sized red capsicum
1 celery stalk
1 small crispy red apple

 

Serves 8

 

Notes

  • Just be wary of rice that’s been in the pantry longer than a few months, you wouldn’t think so but it does go rancid.
  • I toast the nuts for this salad as it intensifies their nutty flavour so that they don’t get ‘lost’ in the salad. It also helps them to stay crisp in a moist salad. Of course, you don’t have to if you don’t want to but it’s worth the extra 10 minutes, it really does take the salad to the next level of ‘deliciousness’.
  • Things you can prep for the day before are: Chop up the peaches. Toast the nuts. Make the dressing (you can even do this 3 days ahead). Measure out the dried fruit.
  • Best to use canola or sunflower oil for the dressing as other types of oil like Olive or Bran oil will change the flavour of the dressing.
  • One last note. I never use the rice/water ratio on the back of the brown rice packet. My rice always ends up mushy when I do. I tend to stick to 1 ¼ cups of water to 1 cup of medium or long grain rice.

STEP BY STEP

Dressing

First, squeeze the lemon to get the 2 tablespoons of juice you need. Leave it aside for now.

Next, peel and crush or finely grate the cloves of garlic. Leaving it aside also.

In a food processor (using the blade attachment) place the egg, vinegar and ½ teaspoon of the salt.

  • Here you will be making mayonnaise from scratch. The secret to successful mayonnaise is slowly drizzling in the oil whilst mixing it very quickly so a food processor is perfect for this. As I have here you can also use the balloon whisks that come with your electric beaters. The last resort would be your typical beater attachments.

Using medium-speed for the processor or whisk attachments (high for regular electric beater attachments) mix it together for around 30 seconds or until well blended and frothy.

Whilst still running the processor or beaters, add 1 cup of the oil in a slow trickle until it’s all gone, not stopping mixing at all whilst doing so.

  • It should end up nice and thick like bought mayo. If it isn’t, one of two things may have happened. The oil was added too fast and/or the mixing speed was too slow. If it’s very runny like oil, the salad will be oily so is best to start over I’m afraid. 🙁

Next, add the lemon juice, crushed garlic, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, sweet chilli sauce, curry powder, honey and the pepper.

  • If you only have hard honey, first, melt it in a little saucepan or in the microwave.

Turn the speed down to low or use the pulse setting on the processor to mix the added ingredients in until just combined. Set aside, for now, to use later on.

Salad

First, place the rice in a sieve and with the help of your fingers, thoroughly rinse it under cold water.

  • There’s not a lot of starch in brown rice so just rinsing it is enough, just so that it’s nice and clean. 

Place the rice and the 1/3 teaspoon salt in a medium-sized saucepan and add 2 cups / 500 ml cold water.

With the lid on, bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, turn the heat down to where its just simmering (softly boiling). 

Stirring only occasionally, simmer the rice for around 30 minutes or until it’s cooked and has absorbed all of the water.

  • It should have a slight bite to it, like cooked pasta.

After it’s done, remove it from the heat and leave the lid on for 10 minutes to absorb any remaining moisture.

Place the cooked rice into a large bowl and fluff it up with a fork.

  • Whilst toasting the nuts, return to stir it over a few times to help it cool down. 

Next, place a rack in the centre of the oven and turn it to 160°C fan/convection oven or 180°C conventional oven, on bake.

Place the peanuts on a baking tray and once the oven is up to temp, place them in the oven and bake/toast them for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes remove them, give them a good toss and add the cashews and sliced almonds. Return them to the oven for a further 10 minutes.

Once toasted nicely, place them on top of the rice.

Looking and smelling good already, isn’t it?!

Peel and finely dice the red onion and…

…add it to the rice.

Also, add to the rice the sultanas and blackcurrants.

Next, open the tin of peaches, strain them and…

…roughly chop them up (approx 3 – 4 bits per peach slice).

AND…yes…add them to the rice.

Cut the capsicum into wedges, scrape out the seeds and remove the larger bits of pith (the white parts),

Thinly slice the wedges, dice them up finely and…

…you guessed it, add it to the rice!

Very thinly slice up the celery sticks and…

…add it to the rice too.

There’s no need to peel the apple. Cut it through the centre and remove the core and the seeds.

Go on to slice up the halves and then dice them up…

…adding the pieces to the rice.

Isn’t it fabulously colourful?!

Mix it all together well.

Add the delicious dressing and…

…mix it in well.

It’s so wonderfully colourful that it doesn’t even need a garnish. 🙂

Fruity & Nutty Curried Brown Rice Salad

Keepin’ it fresh – This salad will keep well covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Also, best to pop any leftovers back in the fridge straight after dinner.

 

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Fruity & Nutty, Curried Brown Rice Salad

This delicious, vibrant, brown rice salad is filled with toasted nuts, fruit & vegetables, all mixed together in a tasty curry mayonnaise
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice from ½ juicy, medium-sized lemon
  • 2 medium-sized cloves garlic
  • 1 medium-sized egg size 6
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons / 280 ml canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 teaspoons medium or mild curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon ground or cracked black pepper

Salad

  • 1 ½ cups  / 300 g medium or long grain brown rice
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup/ 80 g raw unsalted peanuts
  • ¾ cup / 100 g raw unsalted cashews
  • 1/3 cup / 30 g sliced almonds
  • 1 small or ½ medium-sized red onion
  • 1/3 cup / 50 g sultanas
  • ¼ cup / 40 g blackcurrants
  • 1 x 425 g can peach slices
  • 1 very small or ½ medium-sized red capsicum
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 small crispy red apple

Instructions

Dressing

  • Squeeze the lemon to get the 2 tablespoons of juice you need. Leave aside.
  • Peel and crush or finely grate the cloves of garlic. Leave aside also.
  • In a food processor (using the blade attachment) place the egg, vinegar and ½ teaspoon of the salt. (A food processor is great for this. You can also use the balloon whisks that come with your electric beaters. The last resort would be your typical beater attachments.)
  • Using medium-speed for the processor or whisk attachments (high for regular electric beater attachments) mix it together for around 30 seconds or until well blended and frothy.
  • Whilst still running the processor or beaters, add 1 cup of the oil in a slow trickle until it's all gone, not stopping mixing at all whilst doing so. (It should end up nice and thick like bought mayonnaise.)
  • Add the lemon juice, crushed garlic, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, sweet chilli sauce, curry powder, honey and the pepper. (If you only have hard honey, first, melt it in a little saucepan or in the microwave.)
  • Turn the speed down to low or use the pulse setting on the processor to mix the added ingredients in until just combined. Set aside to use later on.

Salad

  • Place the rice in a sieve and with the help of your fingers, thoroughly rinse it under cold water.
  • Place the rice and the 1/3 teaspoon salt in a medium-sized saucepan and add 2 cups / 500 ml cold water.
  • With the lid on, bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, turn the heat down to where it’s just simmering (softly boiling).
  • Stirring only occasionally, simmer the rice for around 30 minutes or until it's cooked and has absorbed all of the water. Remove it from the heat and leave the lid on for 10 minutes to absorb any remaining moisture.
  • Place the cooked rice into a large bowl and fluff it up with a fork. (Whilst toasting the nuts, return to stir it over a few times to help it cool down.)
  • Place a rack in the centre of the oven and turn it to 160°C fan/convection oven or 180°C conventional oven, on bake.
  • Place the peanuts on a baking tray and bake/toast them for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes remove them, give them a good toss and then add the cashews and sliced almonds. Return them to the oven for a further 10 minutes. Once toasted place them on top of the rice.
  • Peel and finely dice the red onion and add it to the rice.
  • Add to the rice the sultanas and blackcurrants.
  • Open the tin of peaches, strain them and roughly chop them up. Add them to the rest.
  • Cut the capsicum into wedges, scrape out the seeds and remove the larger bits of pith. Thinly slice the wedges and dice them up finely. Add them to the rice.
  • Very thinly slice up the celery sticks and add it to the rice too.
  • There's no need to peel the apple. Cut it through the centre and remove the core and the seeds. Slice up the halves and then dice them up. Add the pieces to the rice.
  • Mix everything together well. Add the dressing and mix it in well.
  • Will keep well covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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