Friday 27 January 2012

Cathay Rice Salad

From Quiet Food, The Buddhist Institute of South Africa, Double Storey Books, 2006.

I never feel that a rice salad is a salad but, whatever the naming, a warm spicy rice and lentil mix makes a pleasant accompaniment.

I actually misread the instructions for this one. The lentils had to be cooked for 20 minutes before using. The details for this were in the ingredients list rather than in the recipe instructions themselves. In a hurry I just read the quantity of lentils from the ingredients and failed to take in that they needed to be cooked first.

This was a little ironic as the book Quiet Food has a subtitle ‘A Recipe for Sanity’ and its philosophy is to take time over your cooking and eating. It encourages us to slow down, not only in the eating but in the cooking and enjoy the process. In my eagerness to get moving I slipped up in the instructions and prepared a less-than-perfect meal.

I fried the onions and garlic and placed them in a rice cooker. I washed the rice and added it to the cooker with the lentils and all the other ingredients (star anise, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and raisins). I measured in the water and turned on the cooker.

When it was done the dressing with touches of lemon juice, ginger and brown sugar was added.

The resulting rice salad was a pleasing one, though it did have a bit of nutty crunch from the undercooked lentils.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

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