Friday, April 22, 2016

Bejewelled Black Rice Salad

Black rice salad
A salad of black rice, chicken, cucumber & pomegranate
There has been quite a few posts of black rice on my blog and my latest is a salad that I made yesterday. I had been looking at options about using black rice and a friend suggested a salad. And since I was expecting guests yesterday it made sense to create something different.
For rice-eaters like us, recipes that call for rice in other forms rather than the main dish isn't anything to get excited about. Anyway for years that was the case with me. It's only in the last couple of years that I have actually tried steamed cabbage rolls with rice and minced meat filling.:) But black rice is in a class by itself. First of all the colour is stunning, it is rich in antioxidants and it has a nutty texture and is extremely fragrant.
This recipe serves 4-5. Like most of my recipes this one does not call for exact measurements. Feel free to play around with the ingredients as well as the quantity.
Ingredients:
1 cup black rice
2 chicken breasts(pan fried after marinating for 20 minutes in a dash of ginger/garlic pastes and onion juice. A touch of salt, black pepper and olive oil were the rest of the ingredients).
Pomegranate seeds
Cucumber cubes
Mint leaves
For the dressing:
The juice of 1 small lemon (about 2 tsps)
Salt to taste
A dash of honey
1 tsp coarsely grated black pepper
A quarter tsp chilli flakes
Some extra virgin olive oil
Mix the above ingredients in a small jar and give it a good shake. Set aside till ready to drizzle on the salad.
Method: 
Wash and soak the rice for about 30 minutes. 1 cup will need a little less than 11/2 cups water. Any kind of sticky rice needs less water than regular rice. I usually do this by eye and not by using a cup. Cook for 2-3 whistles. Let the steam escape on its own. Then remove the lid and let it cool down.
Pan fry the marinated chicken till golden brown on both sides. I had wanted to grill the chicken but the power decided to go off so I had to reach out for my pan. Set aside on kitchen paper. Cut into strips when cool enough to handle.
Assembling: Take a platter and transfer the cooled rice there. Scatter the cubes of cucumber and the chicken pieces. Add the pomegranate seeds and sprigs/leaves of mint.
Before serving, pour the dressing and give it a gentle toss. Your salad is ready!
The picture above was taken before the dressing was added.
The rest of the menu consisted of nacho chips and hummus as starters. The mains had bread, tzatziki, baked potatoes, pork pieces in a light gravy, and the black rice salad. Dessert? Dark chocolate mousse.:)

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