Cold red rice salad with green and ripe mangoes, coconut and a spicy dressing
You try a dish in a restaurant and from the very first spoonful, your brain and tastebuds are in this intense conversation, trying to decipher every single component of the dish. You can’t wait to get back into your kitchen and recreate the dish. Does this ever happen to you?
Most of the times, restaurant dishes are so complex that you cant even dream of recreating it with the limited resources and equipment in a home kitchen. But this time I was lucky. At the Coastal Adventures promotion at Monkey Bar Bangalore, a couple of weeks ago, the red rice salad was a super hit even among the meat eaters. Simple flavours from fresh ingredients went towards making this salad delicious. How many times have you ever found a salad unstoppably good? Well, this one was.
This cold rice salad used red rice from Kerala. I was happy to have that in my kitchen, otherwise feel free to try this salad with any other rice you have at home. I’d however suggest that you don’t use a delicate rice like basmati, because a sturdier grain will be better suited to this one. Brown rice or any other variety of unpolished rice should be a good choice. While cooking rice, make sure that it is cooked just right and not turned into a mush, so the grains don’t stick to each other.
Addition of ripe mango to this cold rice salad is my idea, because it is the mango season and I can’t stop adding mangoes to anything I cook (well, almost). Grating the green mango and coconut into long strands makes it a pretty looking salad.
A good salad is all about balance of flavours and textures and this one hits the spot on both counts. You must give this cold rice salad a try this summer, and while mangoes are in season. It travels well too. Hello fun lunchbox!
Cold Rice Salad
- 2 cups red rice cooked brown or
- 1 mango medium green grated or spiralised
- 1 cup mango diced ripe *
- 1/2 cup coconut shredded
- 1 cup spinach sliced leaves
- 1/2 cup peanuts coarsely crushed roasted
- 1 tsp salt
dressing / tempering
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp urad dal
- 1 tsp green chillies finely chopped
- 2 sprigs curry leaves
- 2 lemons juiced small (or 4 tbsps lemon juice)
To prepare the cold rice salad, fluff up the cooked rice using a fork and add to a large bowl along with the ripe and raw mango, coconut and spinach leaves.
In a small pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds, urad dal, chillies, curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds pop and the urad dal turns golden, remove from flame. Add the lemon juice and salt, whisk well with a fork and pour over the salad in the bowl.
Toss the salad well. Add the coarsely crushed peanuts, mix, cover with cling film and chill for 1-2 hours before serving.
If you don’t have access to ripe mangoes, use pomegranate arils instead, for colour and sweetness.
Check out Monika’s Roast Potato and Avarakkai Salad with chicken, another salad that uses native Indian ingredients.
If you like grain salads, check out this black quinoa and grilled paneer salad at Whisk Affair