Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Recipe corner: coronation rice salad

So, we bought a barbecue.  A beautiful, kettle style, Weber jobby.  We bought a barbecue, and the weather promptly took a dramatic turn for the worse.  I'm not saying that we were directly responsible for the pervading dampness of the Bank Holiday weekend but...

We bought a barbecue and decided that the first thing that we were going to cook on it was a simple, spatchcocked chicken adorned with nothing more than a slick of oil and a flurry of salt and pepper.  And, to accompany it, I decided to try and recreate the Waitrose coronation rice salad of which we are both so fond.

Now not to diss our beloved Waitrose, but I think that my version is WAY better - more kick, more texture and less drowned in dressing.  Every barbecue, even the slightly soggy ones, needs a couple of decent sides and this is better than decent.  Along with some watercress salad and crusty bread, it was all that our beautiful chicken needed to ensure that our inaugural barbecue was a tasty one.


100g basmati / wild rice mix
Large onion, finely chopped
2 tsp vegetable oil
Tbsp curry powder
Tsp chilli flakes
Tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp tumeric
50g raisins

For the dressing:
Tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp half fat creme fraiche
Tbsp mango chutney
Tsp vegetable oil
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Handful of fresh chopped chives and / or mint

Serves 4 (as a side), 6 pro points per portion

Cook the rice according to packet instructions until al dente.  You want to ensure that it retains some bite which will lend the salad texture.

Gently heat 2 tsp of oil and then add the onion and cook off over a low heat so that it softens without colouring.  After about five minutes, add the spices and the raisins and continue to cook until the onions are meltingly soft and the spice mix has lost its harsh rawness - another five minutes or so.

While onion and rice are cooking, combine the dressing ingredients in a large bowl and season enthusiastically.

Now add the cooked rice to the onion pan and combine well. Cook for a further couple of minutes, stirring regularly to ensure that the mix is well amalgamated then remove from the hat and allow to cool slightly before combining with the creamy dressing.  Check the seasoning, adding more lemon or salt as necessary.

To have this at its best, allow to sit for at least an hour before serving.  It is relatively forgiving and can be made in advance, but don't serve cold from the fridge - always let it come up to room temperature first.  Your barbecue will thank you for it.


  1. Hmm. Might try this as I seem to be okay with occasional brown rice. And husband loves coronation chicken...



    1. D thinks he HATES brown rice and he didn't notice. Which leads me to think it would be much the same if you used normal basmati, the main difference would be textural.


  2. Who'd have thought that I'd be salivating over a recipe for a rice-based salad/side dish?? Sounds lush and will be shamelessly stolen and passed off as my own....



    1. Pass off away! I love barbecues but they can be such a (dieting) nightmare in terms of gloopy side dishes so I was chuffed by how this turned out. Now, if only the weather would
      improve again....!

  3. This sounds amazing. I can think of lots of times I could just sit down to a bowl of this on its own. I saw your link on Carole's Chatter.

    1. Thank you so much for popping by :-)

  4. Your recipe looks good, but Waitrose's version definitely contains a modest scattering of almonds, flaked I believe, which definitely contribute to both the taste and texture. Around 1oz. or a little less should suffice, bearing the quantities of the other ingredients in the recipe.

  5. Posting my comment above yesterday inspired me to buy more of this product from Waitrose, which was as good as ever. In addition to the almonds to which I've already referred, I also noticed the fruity presence of apricots, presumably dried and cut very small.
    Having since googled the ingredients included in Waitrose's version I found the following:

    Cooked white rice, free range egg mayonnaise, soured cream, apricots, cooked wild rice (8%), sultanas, water, toasted almonds, mango chutney, coriander, turmeric, cornflour, salt, black pepper, ginger,garlic, chilli powder, cumin, allspice, fenugreek, nutmeg, bay, rapeseed oil, oregano.

    I'm sure we can readily forego some of the more esoteric herbs and spices listed above which are doubtless only present in minute quantities, but there you have it anyway.

    Waitrose produces many fine food preparations, but my family rates this particular product as being one of its very best and we never tire of it!