I first made this salad for my God son's first birthday. It was a bit of an experiment then, but I really liked it. I have tried it again, and am really pleased with the results. I love how fresh it tastes with the mint and pomegranate. The pomegranate seeds are wonderful citrus bursts against the taste of the rice and spices.
You really do not need much dressing for this salad, so just add a little at a time and then stir and taste. You don't want the final product to be wet, just lightly flavoured.
With the chicken, if you want a bit of extra heat, add a little more paprika than the amount specified.
I made extra rice salad to take to work for lunch, this is why the quantity of chicken is much less than the salad. I would estimate that the rice salad serves 4-6 people, more if it is being served with a few other dishes (for example, as part of a BBQ). If you do not plan on eating the rice salad immediaely, do not add the dressing until you are about to serve.
I think this salad is great for entertaining as it can be made in advance, can be enjoyed with a variety of other dishes and looks really colourful and appetising!
I thoroughly enjoyed this meal, and hope you do also. I served it with green beans for some extra veges.
Herb, Pomegranate and Pistachio Rice Salad
Ingredients (serves 4-6, more if part of a buffet)
10 cups water
2 cups white long grain rice
1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 whole cinnamon quill
5 green cardamom pods bruised
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
1/2 cup raw pistachios roughly chopped
5 shallots finely sliced
1 cup mint roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups parsley roughly chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add rice, fennel seeds, cinnamon quill, cardamom pods and cumin seeds. Boil as per packet instructions. Rice should be cooked, but still with a slight bite. Once cooked, drain, remove cinnamon quill and allow to cool.
To make the dressing, whisk the olive oil, lime juice and ground cumin in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Once the rice is cool, stir through pomegranate seeds, pistachios, shallots, mint and parsley. Add the dressing just prior to serving and stir to combine.
1/2 teaspoon ground green cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground lemon myrtle
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken breasts skin removed and trimmed
Combine ground cardamom, fennel seeds, cumin, lemon myrtle, paprika and olive oil in a small bowl. Coat chicken with spice and oil mixture. Heat a fry pan over medium heat. Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes on each side or until cooked through.