INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup basmati rice
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
4 black peppercorns
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 green chile, minced
1/2 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped
2 Tbs cilantro, chopped
Dressing:
2 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

STEPS:

1. Rinse the rice in cool water until it runs clear. In a medium pan on medium heat, bring the rice, water, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom and peppercorns to boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and the grains are just tender. Do not overcook. Remove the pan from the heat. Discard the whole spices then fluff the rice with a fork. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the cumin seeds, ground cumin, turmeric, garam masala and coriander then stir to mix into the oil. Cook for 1 minute, just long enough to bring out the flavors. Add the onions and fry until translucent and sweet. Remove and let cool.

3. Mix the Dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

4. Transfer the rice to a large bowl. Add the onions and spiced oil. Gently mix. Add the vegetables. Drizzle the Dressing over the salad. Give the salad a quick toss. Test for salt and add more if needed then serve promptly.

TIP:

- Can be served as a main dish at lunch or as a side with dinner, especially grilled meat or fish.

Summer Rice Salad [Indian fusion Recipe]

In this recipe I take advantage of the abundant fresh summer vegetables and combine them with Indian basmati rice to create a cool Summer Rice Salad. This easy to make recipe can be modified to include your favorite vegetables. It is hearty enough to be an entrée but is healthy enough that I would not feel guilty about having seconds.