This curried brown rice salad is tossed with a flavorful orange-curry dressing and crunchy pistachios! It's a delicious side dish for picnics, potlucks, and make-ahead meals. Plus it's basically done in the time it takes the rice to cook! (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
This healthy Curried Rice Salad is tossed with crunchy pistachios, chewy currants, and a delightful curry-orange dressing.
So many delicious flavors and textures in one dish!
Plus it's simple to make, and only requires 9 ingredients. (It's basically done in the time it takes your rice to cook!)
So it's a great dish to make ahead for picnics, potlucks, take-along lunches, etc.
Ingredients for Curried Rice Salad
For this recipe you will toss together in a medium bowl:
- Brown rice: Most often I use long grain brown jasmine or basmati rice. I purchase organic when possible. (But you can also use white rice if desired.)
- Green onion (scallion): These add some mild onion flavor to the dish.
- Currants: I use Zante currants which I find in the bulk bins at our local food co-op. But if they're not available in your area, you can substitute raisins.
- Fresh cilantro: Or substitute fresh parsley if you're not a fan of cilantro.
- Pistachios (shelled)
- Fresh orange juice: You will need about one-third cup freshly squeezed orange juice for this recipe, which is roughly one orange.
- Curry powder: This is a mixture of warm spices that often includes things like ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, black pepper, ginger, etc. Curry powder can range in spiciness depending on how much cayenne pepper (or other chili peppers) are included. Most often I use the "Simply Organic" brand which is mild to moderate heat.
- Pure maple syrup: This is a great natural sweetener.
- Rice vinegar: I use unseasoned vinegar. (Seasoned rice vinegar contains added sugar and salt.)
- Salt + pepper: Add some fine grain salt and black pepper to taste if you'd like.
Oil option: I make this recipe oil-free, however you can add a teaspoon or up to a tablespoon of good quality olive oil if preferred.
Currants + cilantro: These can be also replaced with parsley and raisins, depending on your taste and what's available.
Grains: I'm guessing this recipe would work very well with other grains. Simply swap out the rice for farro, quinoa, kamut, wheat berry, etc.
Nuts: No pistachios on hand? Simply stir in cashews or slivered almonds to the rice mixture instead.
Beans: You can also add garbanzo beans (or other white bean) for added plant-based protein and fiber.
When to serve: You can serve this dish immediately warm/room temperature, or refrigerate for at least an hour to let flavors mellow and combine further.
Garnish: Top your bowl with fresh herbs, lemon juice, or lime juice if desired.
If saving for later: Feel free to make it a few hours or up to a day in advance. Sometimes I like to squeeze a little extra fresh orange juice on top right before serving to brighten it up.
Tip: After a couple days of sitting in the fridge, I find the rice starts to dry out a little. So it's usually best enjoyed within 1-2 days.
For more inspiration, also browse all gluten-free recipes.
Curried Rice Salad with Orange
- 1 cup brown rice (I use jasmine)
- 3 green onions
- 1/2 cup currants (or raisins)
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup pistachios, shelled (more if desired)
For the orange-curry dressing:
- Juice from 1 orange (about 1/3 cup juice)
- 1 Tbsp. curry powder*
- 1-2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar (unseasoned)
- 1/4 tsp. salt (more/less to taste)
- Rinse and cook rice according to package instructions. (I combine 1 cup rice with 1 ¾ cup water. Then bring to light boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 35-40 minutes.)
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a small bowl, squeeze the juice from the orange (I use about 1/3 cup juice). Add the curry powder, maple syrup, rice vinegar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Slice green onions and roughly chop cilantro, large stems removed. Place in a medium/large mixing bowl. Add currants and pistachios.
- When rice is done cooking, add to mixing bowl.
- Pour dressing over top and stir well to thoroughly combine.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for at least an hour to let flavors mellow and combine further.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
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