Indian-style rice salad with turkey

    50 min

    The spicy aromas of this satisfying salad make it tempting fare at any time of year. The rice, with its slightly chewy texture and Indian spicing, provides the perfect backdrop for tender turkey (or chicken), crunchy raw vegetables, sweet grapes and toasted nuts. It's a great way to use up leftover roast poultry.

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    Serves: 6 

    • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 375 g (13 oz) brown basmati rice, well rinsed
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp grated fresh root ginger
    • ¼ tsp garam masala
    • ¼ tsp ground coriander
    • ½ tsp medium-strength curry powder (or mild or hot, if preferred)
    • 750 ml (1¼ pints) hot chicken or vegetable stock, or water
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 3 large celery sticks, chopped
    • 4 spring onions, chopped
    • 1 large carrot, grated
    • 140 g (5 oz) seedless red grapes, halved
    • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) skinless cooked turkey or chicken meat, cubed
    • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
    • Oak Leaf or other soft lettuce leaves
    • 75 g (2½ oz) toasted pecan nuts, roughly chopped, or toasted flaked almonds
    • Citrus vinaigrette
    • 4 tbsp orange juice
    • 2 tsp lime juice
    • 4 tsp sunflower oil
    • 1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:50min  ›  Ready in:50min 

    1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the rice and stir to coat thoroughly, then cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Add the onion, ginger, garam masala, coriander and curry powder, and continue cooking for 3–4 minutes, stirring, until the onion starts to soften.
    2. Add the stock or water and bay leaf, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the rice is tender. Discard the bay leaf and transfer the rice to a large bowl to cool.
    3. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, whisk together the orange and lime juices, oil and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    4. Add the celery, spring onions and carrot to the cooled rice. Reserve half the grapes and add the remainder to the rice together with the chicken or turkey and the parsley. Drizzle over the dressing and turn the salad gently to combine everything.
    5. Arrange a bed of lettuce leaves on each of 4 plates and pile the rice salad on top. Scatter the remaining grapes and the pecan nuts or almonds over the salad and serve.

    Plus points

    Unlike white rice, brown rice retains the germ and bran of the rice grain and therefore contains higher levels of the B vitamins and almost 4 times as much fibre as white rice. * Grapes provide useful amounts of potassium and a variety of phytochemicals that help to protect against heart disease and cancer. Naturopaths consider grapes to have healing and regenerative properties. * Without the skin, turkey is very low in fat, and it contains more vitamin B12, niacin and zinc than chicken.

    Some more ideas

    Peel 3 oranges and divide into segments, working over a bowl to catch the juice. Use the juice in the dressing and garnish the salads with the orange segments. * For a herby brown rice salad with salmon, cook the rice with the onion as in the main recipe, using fish stock if you wish, but omitting the spices and ginger. Leave to cool, then stir in mixed fresh herbs – 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or dill, 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives and 4 tbsp chopped parsley – plus a 12 cm (5 in) piece of cucumber, quartered lengthways and sliced, 1 large grated carrot, 3 sliced celery sticks and 2 heads of chicory, slivered, or 5 radicchio leaves, torn into thin ribbons. Dress with the citrus vinaigrette and toss gently to combine. Heat 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil in a small frying pan and sauté 400 g (14 oz) skinless salmon fillet for 3 minutes on each side or until just cooked through. Break into large flakes and fold very gently into the rice salad, taking care not to break up the fish too much. Garnish with halved cherry tomatoes.

    Each serving provides

    A, B1, B12, E, niacin, copper * C, folate * potassium

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