Curried Basmati Rice Salad


This unusual rice salad gets its wonderful perfume from toasted coconut, cardamom and cloves. Brown basmati rice, a long-grain variety favored in Indian cuisine, adds a subtle aroma as well, but if it’s unavailable, you can substitute white basmati or even regular long-grain white rice. The nutty flavor of the basmati is enhanced by cooking it with fragrant Indian spices.

  • 8Servings


  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 3.4 cup pine nuts (4 oz.)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, preferably organic, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup snow peas, strings removed
  • 3 small carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper


Make bouquet garni: Place cardamom pods, cloves and bay leaf in square of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen string.

In large saucepan, bring 2 3/4 cups water to a boil. Add rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, turmeric and bouquet garni and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until water is absorbed and steam holes appear in rice, about 20 minutes.

Remove rice from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Place in large bowl, fluff with a fork and let stand until cool.

While rice is cooking, preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pine nuts on baking sheet and bake 1 minute; remove from oven and add coconut flakes. Bake until both are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Remove bouquet garni from cooled rice, then add chickpeas and 1/2 cup Sesame Dressing and mix gently to blend. Let stand at least 10 minutes to blend flavors.

Bring small saucepan of water to a boil. Add snow peas; cook 1 minute. Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again. Cut each snow pea on diagonal into thirds.

Stir toasted pine nuts and coconut, snow peas, carrots, cilantro, pepper and remaining salt into rice mixture. Add re-maining dressing; toss to blend. Serve over salad greens with Tofu Raita on the side.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 370
  • Carbohydrate Content: 46 g
  • Fat Content: 18 g
  • Fiber Content: 5 g
  • Protein Content: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 5 g
  • Sodium Content: 526 mg