Indian Spiced Rice and Pea Salad
A tasty, heart-healthy recipe, perfect for a pot luck.
1/3 cup vegetable oil
10 whole cloves
a 3” cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. cumin seed
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. minced, peeled ginger root
2 tsp. minced garlic
½ tsp turmeric
1 ½ cups long grain brown rice
1 tsp salt
2 cups fresh peas, cooked or a 10 oz. package frozen peas, thawed
½ cup thinly sliced scallions
½ cup minced celery (I add more)
¼ cup fresh, minced parsley leaves (I add more)
3 tbsp. white wine vinegar, or to taste
(can add other vegetables or small cubes of tofu)
In a large heavy skillet, heat ¼ cup of the oil over moderate heat until it is hot, add the cloves, the cinnamon stick, the bay leaf, and the cumin seed, and cook the spices, stirring for 1 minute, or until the stems of the cloves have swelled and the cumin seed is a few shades darker.
Add the onion and cook the mixture over moderately low heat, stirring until the onion is softened. Add the ginger root and the garlic and cook the mixture, stirring for 1 minute. Add the rice, stirring until it is well coated with the mixture. Add the turmeric, cook the mixture, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Add 2 ¾ cups water and the salt, bring the liquid to a boil, and simmer the rice, covered (for about 45 minutes). Remove the skillet from the heat and let the rice stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Discard the cloves, the bay leaf, and the cinnamon stick, transfer the rice to a large bowl, fluffing it with a fork, and let the rice cool completely. Add the peas, the scallions, the celery, and the parsley and toss the mixture well.
In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste and add the remaining oil in a stream, whisking. Drizzle the salad with the dressing, toss it well and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the salad at room temperature.