The weather was beautiful today (perfect temperature for a salad), and I am on a grain salad kick so I decided to make a curried brown rice basmati salad with raisins and cashews. It is simple to make and so good for you. With the turmeric and curry, it is perfect brain food for those of us studying for finals. Studies show that turmeric can enhance memory and, by the same mechanisms, helps to prevent against dementia. Turmeric is also known to relieve carpel tunnel syndrome, joint inflammation and pain. It is used around the world as a treatment for fever, mild stomach upset, infection, arthritis, jaundice and other liver problems, to kill infectious microbes and to improve heart health.
1 tablespoon, plus 1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups brown basmati rice, rinsed and well-drained
1/2 cup currants or raisins, soaked for several minutes in hot water until softened slightly and drained
1 cup chopped celery
1 small red bell pepper, sliced or diced
1/2 cup soaked and dried cashews or almonds , lightly chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the rice. Quickly stir the rice until it is well-coated in the oil. Add the curry powder, turmeric, and bay leaves. Stir to mix the ingredients together completely. Add the water or broth and bring to a boil. When the rice reaches a boil, add the salt and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer until done (about 15 minutes), transfer the rice to a large mixing bowl and set aside in the refrigerator to cool.
When the rice has cooled, mix in the currants or raisins, chopped celery, red bell pepper and nuts. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil with the lime juice and pour over the rice. Mix thoroughly and enjoy.