Served hot or cold this is an easy dish to add to a range of meals. In my case it went along with a lemon and garlic-stuffed roast chicken and sweet potato garlic mash. There is a little crunchy element with toasted almonds, and a change from plain old brown rice by using brown basmati. A generous amount of curry powder adds a little extra spice. Cumin would be another good spice with this - but you could also go a totally different direction and add basil, oregano, or parsley. Of course you'd have to call it something different then! The chopped roasted garlic adds a bit more interest, but you could skip this and it's flavourful enough. I happen to love roasted garlic with many dishes, this one included. You could add so many things to this - it is rice afterall - always a versatile starter to so many yummy recipes.
Here's the basic recipe to get you started.
- 1 cup brown basmati or brown rice, uncooked
- 1/2 cup almonds, sliced or chopped, and toasted lightly
- 1 cup celery, finely diced
- 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 ml to 45 ml) cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup (50 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) curry powder
- 3 or 4 garlic cloves, roasted and chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook the rice (stovetop or in rice cooker). Set aside. If you want to serve this dish cool allow enough time for the rice to cool down.
Slice the top off of the bulb of garlic (exposing the tips of the garlic cloves), drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and wrap tightly in foil. Place in the oven to roast. Around 30 to 40 minutes at 375⁰ F (190⁰ C) should result in a nice soft bunch of garlic cloves! Let cool and use the tip of a knife or your finger to lift the cloves out of their skins. You can also squeeze them out (this might be a fun job to give the kids). Place them onto a chopping surface and chop. It will be quite soft, which is what you want. You are aiming to break it up more than precisely chop it.
If you don't have sliced almonds on hand, roughly chop the almonds. Heat a saucepan until warm, add the almonds and gently move them around until they get a little toasted.
Finely chop the celery.
Chop the cilantro.
Add the celery, almonds and cilantro to the rice mixture.
Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper.
Add the dressing to the rice and other ingredients. Mix well.
Serve warm or cold.