Curried Rice and Chickpea Salad

This dish was well received at our holiday party. The curry flavor plays well with the sweetness of the papaya. The chickpeas kind of blend in to the background, hiding with the rice and cashews, while the papaya, peas and scallions catch your attention. Very filling and tasty.

Curried Rice and Chickpea Salad
Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes (see note)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped chutney
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 4 cups plain white rice, cooled
  • 1 14.5 oz can low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup peas (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped cashews, toasted
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced on a bias (green and white parts)
  • fruit from 1 papaya, cubed

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl combine the yogurt, mayo, curry, chutney, ginger and salt until well blended. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the remaining ingredients. Add dressing and gently stir to distribute.

Notes:
Make the rice up to the night before, cool to room temp and refrigerate overnight. If you include that time in this recipe then it’s probably closer to 1 hour 20 minutes total.

In addition to making the rice the night before this recipe can be prepped up 6 hours in advance. Make the dressing and refrigerate it. Combine the rest of the ingredients except the cashews and refrigerate that. When ready to serve just add the cashews and dressing to the rest of the salad, combine and plate.

This recipe is adapted from a great book I picked up years ago named Something for Everyone. The premise was to provide recipes that would make a dish for a family of vegetarians and non-vegetarians from one recipe. It appears to no longer be in print.

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Mixed Nut Butter Brittle

Mixed Nut Butter Brittle
Servings: about 1 pound
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into 8-10 pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups raw nuts, mixed (I used pine nuts, cashews and walnuts)
  • sea salt

Special Equipment:

  • Silpat

Directions:

  1. Combine nuts in a cold skillet. Heat skillet over medium-high, moving nuts frequently to prevent burning. When nuts are lightly browned (3-5 minutes) transfer nuts to a cutting board. Allow to cool slightly and chop to desired size.
  2. While nuts are toasting place a small sauce pan over low heat. Add butter and allow it to melt. Add sugar, stir to combine and turn heat up to high. Leave undisturbed for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Place nuts on a Silpat lined sheet pan. When butter-sugar mixture is a medium to dark caramel color pour the mixture over the nuts. Spread with a back of a spoon.
  4. Sprinkle evenly with a generous pinch of sea salt. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Break into bite-size pieces and try to not eat the whole batch in one sitting.

Note:
The butter-sugar mixture will go from light to medium to dark brown very quickly once it starts to color. Don’t walk away or you may need to start over.

Any combination of nuts would work here. I think raw (not roasted or otherwise previously heated) nuts work best.

The brittle may feel a bit oily to the touch. Blotting it with some paper towels may help a bit.

Store in a air-tight container. You know, the stuff you don’t eat immediately. Cause that’s likely.