Sunday, January 29, 2012

Brown Rice Salad with Chickpea

I love the aroma of cooked Brown Rice wafting in my kitchen and the steam venturing into every crevice and corner of my abode. It brings back memories of my Ammama (Grandma) cooking a large pot of brown rice for our jumbo joint family of over a dozen. We enjoyed it soupy with a drizzle of Ghee and Whole Raw Mango Pickle (Appe Midi Nonche). The other dish she made was Brown Rice Mini Dosa (Ukhdo Tandla Bhakri). Now, conventional wisdom says - cook the brown rice and eat it like a porridge. At least my South Indian upbringing would vouch for that. Well, that's what I believed for the longest time.

One day at work, my American colleague got a lunchbox of Brown Rice Salad. I peeked into her box and wondered how Rice can be eaten as a Salad! Rice as a Salad was an explored territory for me till then. She gave me a lowdown on Salads and the conversation offered a healthy dimension to my creativity in kitchen. I got a stash of this nutty, chewy aromatic grain from Whole Foods and loved the texture upon cooking. My colleague's word of advise while constructing a salad - have at least five different colors and textures of food components. I dished out a simple salad and adored the portability of this dish. It travels well and is great for outdoor picnics.

~ Brown Rice Salad with Chickpea ~
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Brown Rice (short grain) - 1 cup
Chickpea (soaked and cooked) - 1/2 cup
Carrot (chopped) - 1/2 cup
Red Onion (chopped) - 1/3 cup
Coriander leaves (chopped) - Just a sprinkle

For Vinaigrette -
Light Olive Oil
Lime juice - 1/2 tsp

Wash and rinse rice in multiple changes of water. Cook in an electric rice cooker with a pinch of salt and fluff with a fork once done. Make a Vinaigrette of Olive Oil, Lime juice, Salt and Pepper. Add rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and pour the dressing. Mix well and serve immediately.

Note - A Salad takes very less salt, so add with a deft hand.

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