Curry Rice Salad

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.

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 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 (optional)
  • Snow peas - stringy ends chopped off, then chopped (optional)
  • Bell pepper, red, green, or yellow - chopped (optional)
  • Green onions - chopped (optional)



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 heat 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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  • Clare Gail Henry

    I made the salad this morning – it is DELICIOUS. Thank you. A character in a novel I was reading about Nantucket mentioned a Curried Rice Salad and i thought, MMMMM. And, yes, indeed, it is. Thank you thank you thank you.

  • Christine

    I made this salad the other day for some guests and everyone raved! It paired perfectly with grilled lamb chops. Like many grain salads, it was even better the next day. I used an 8-grain blend of brown rices which made it especially beautiful. I skipped the sesame oil. I can imagine countless variations: add roasted cashews, edamame, cubes of baked tofu, cucumber. Thank you for a delicious recipe!


    • Elise Bauer

      Oh, I’ve haven’t seen an 8-grain blend of rice in the market. Sounds great!

  • Eleonor

    I love this recipe .i made every time I had guest for BBQ and all my guest wants the recipe.thanks a lot

  • April

    I added a chicken breast and half a cup of sliced almonds, and squeezed half a lemon over at the end. It was great! My mom’s go to potluck dish when I was a kid was a curry rice salad and I was trying to replicate it. This is even better!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 …

  • hannah

    It’s great.


    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • elise

    Jennifer – It is leftover heaven indeed.

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

  • Shaun

    By the way– are you using ground cumin or toasted cumin seeds here?