Spiced Rice Salad

Spiced rice salad. Photos by Keri White

This dish grew out of a need for a side to accompany grilled koftas—highly seasoned ground meat grilled on kebabs jewishexponent.com/2019/08/14/kofta-kebabs-recipe/  or in patties jewishexponent.com/2020/07/30/turkey-kofteh-patties/.

I had some cooked basmati left over from a previous dinner and started with that. Since the day was hot, a cold salad suggested itself, and I wanted to stay in a flavor palate that complemented the koftes, so I gravitated toward aromatic spices. This did the trick — and the bright color that it delivered thanks to the turmeric, carrots and cilantro added a visual pop to the table. If desired, this could be served warm or at room temp, but given the hot September night in question, chilled filled the bill.

Spiced Rice Salad

You can be as creative as you like here: Use red onions or scallions in place of the white onions; add bell peppers or celery, or swap parsley or mint for the cilantro. Any rice works fine — brown, wild, etc. Or swap out the grain and try it with barley or farro.

3 cups cooked rice
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup onion, chopped
2 carrots, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated ginger
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon salt
1 small handful cilantro, chopped

Mix all the ingredients together. Allow the salad to sit for a few hours to meld the flavors.


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