This easy one-pot cold curried brown rice salad with bright citrus notes and raisins, nuts and cilantro folded in makes a very flavorful side dish.
The smell of curry seems so much like home to me. Which is strange because my mom never made curry and probably never used the spice when I was younger.
Our next-door neighbors growing up, however, were Indian and I could always smell the wafts of curry spilling out of their house.
Their grandmother lived with them and besides her early evening walks, always dressed in the most beautiful saris, I imagined she was inside cooking these magnificent smelling meals all day long.
My older brother was not a fan of the smell of curry. At all. Still isn’t. #lovehimanyway
We moved in high school and he possibly hasn’t smelled curry again. (OK, OK, he did a couple short stints in New York City, so surely it made a return to his life at some point.)
But in college for me at Northwestern, I lived with two Indian roommates and once again had the sweet perfume of curry in my life.
And I crave it still. So I’ve taken to making it in my own kitchen, like with today’s recipe.
Curried brown rice salad
This flavorful curried rice has an entire tablespoon of curry powder that blooms in the oil, onion and garlic mixture, then coats each kernel of rice while they cook up to plumped, tender, fluffy perfection.
I mean, really, swoon!
(If you love these flavors like me, you should also check out my curried wild rice salad. So addictive!)
The curried rice has a serious citrus kick underlying it and I fold in sweet raisins, salty chopped nuts and fresh cilantro for a side dish that will seriously wow your taste buds.
So many great flavors and textured mingled together here.
But note, this is best served cold. I’ve tried it hot before — couldn’t wait! — and the citrus flavor was a bit overpowering.
Once the rice salad has cooled, the citrus soaks in and brings a bright fresh taste without dominating the other flavors. Cooled, the curry flavor really shines through, as it should.
Bring the beautiful color, aroma and flavor of curry to your table with this easy curried brown rice salad.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or sub chicken broth or water)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice (I like both ways!)
- extra kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup raisins (regular or golden)
- 1/3 cup chopped nuts (see notes)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or sub parsley)
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent and tender, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds.
- Add curry powder and ground cumin to pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. This helps “bloom” the spices, or bring out their flavor.
- Add the brown rice and stir to coat with curry powder and oils. Add chicken or vegetable broth, salt and pepper and cayenne pepper (if using). Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer on low for 30-35 minutes, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
- Let stand, covered, for 5-10 minutes.
- Stir in lemon or lime juice and remaining one tablespoon olive oil. Let the rice cool slightly then refrigerate until completely cool, about an hour.
- When ready to serve, fluff the rice then stir in raisins, cilantro or parsley and nuts. Taste and adjust seasonings: sometimes I add a little extra lemon or lime juice, salt or pepper.
I usually use chopped walnuts or peanuts here because it’s what I always have on hand. However, slivered almonds or chopped cashews would also be great!
This curried rice is best served chilled, so please plan accordingly to allow it to cool down and spend at least an hour or so in the refrigerator.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 995mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 5g