Curry Rice Salad

Years ago when I was living in Japan I bought a high-tech rice cooker with a 14 hour timer and settings for white and brown rice. Occassionally I would make much too much rice, especially brown rice. Not wanting to eat it plain, I invented this curry rice salad as tasty way to stretch out my rice leftovers. Over the years the recipe has expanded beyond curry, cilantro, apples, and raisins to include many other ingredients, again usually whatever might work that’s in the fridge. This curry salad is ideal to cook ahead as the flavors blend better after the salad has sat in the refrigerator overnight. And it is easy to cook in large quantities for summer potlucks and barbeques.

Curry Rice Salad Recipe

  • Yield: 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.

Ingredients

  • Short grain brown rice - 1 to 1 1/2 cup, best is organic
  • One large yellow onion - chopped.
  • Curry paste or curry powder - yellow or red Indian (not Thai)*
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Chili pepper
  • Sesame oil
  • Cilantro - chopped
  • Raisins - one cup
  • One apple - cored and chopped (not peeled)
  • Honey
  • Salt
  • Celery - chopped
  • Snow peas - stringy ends chopped off, then chopped
  • Bell pepper, red, green, or yellow - chopped
  • Green onions - chopped

Italics = optional ingredients

*If cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free curry paste or powder

Method

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.

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16 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    Elise — this looks and sounds absolutely delicious! And, I’ll bet, being a left-over lover, I would be eating these left-overs right out of the bowl, standing beside the open fridge…yum.

  2. elise

    Jennifer – It is leftover heaven indeed.

    Shaun – Regarding the cumin I think either would work though I usually use ground cumin.

  3. Tom

    I was looking for a rice dish for a special reunion event and found this glorious recipe – I used all the optional stuff and everything else hanging around in the fridge and it went down a storm! Thanks!

  4. aqua

    This is a fabulous recipe. I prepared it for a party and it was a big success. And it does get better a few days after it’s prepared, as flavours blend magically!

  5. deirdre

    I made this salad last night and my husband and I were just blown away. The combination of ingredients and the simplicity of it made it a real star in my household. Thanks! I think I’ll make more of your recipes.

  6. Laura

    I have made this several times with quinoa instead of the rice. It just gets better and better, I add peanuts to mine when I have them, too. Adding anything crunchy that I might have to round out the textures. Holds up well all week, I use this at summer potlucks, since there is no mayo to worry about and rarely anyone else brings a curry flavored dish, and many have not had quinoa before.

  7. tomg

    We love curry! I grew up Japan too. Anyway, curry flavor is great with veggies and rice. I have high tech rice cooker too. It is good recipe. Thanks.

  8. Maureen

    This was great. I used Jasmine Rice, it’s my favorite and I added about 1/2 cup of roasted chopped almonds which is a nice touch with the raisins.

  9. ROGENE MANAS

    Oh my gosh this is a great recipe. So low in fat compared to so many other salads. I made it with tofu that I sauteed with the onions, oil and curry. And then I also added some toasted slivered almonds to add another crunch. Next time I plan to add cranberries instead of the raisins. And it does taste so much better the longer it sits in the fridge.

  10. Mame Martin

    Does anyone know if this is good warm? My husband is NOT a fan of cold dishes, but I really wanted to try this …

  11. maureen

    I love this recipe! I usually use dried cherries instead of the raisins. Also, I use canola oil instead of the olive oil and I add some turmeric, too. Next time I’ll try adding toasted almond slivers.

  12. Barnmaven

    I just made this yesterday in bulk for lunches. It is SO good! I used red curry powder, so it is a little spicy, which contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the raisins and apple. Next time I will add some nuts for more crunchy texture.

    @Mame Marten, I tasted it while still warm and liked it very much warm. Its good both ways.

  13. Adrian

    This was only ok I thought. Made it tonight and although I’ll keep the leftovers and eat for lunches this week, I just felt something in the flavor was missing. Not sure what. But ok overall and quite healthy. Just don’t know if I’ll make again.

  14. Mary Clements

    I made this last night for the first time – initially we had it whilst still warm -really good and pretty spicy. We just tried it again today and it’s just so yummy and delicious…not as spicey as last night. It’s a fantastic recipe and I’ll do it again. I added craisins (dried cranberries)to the recipe and they worked well.

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