Spiced Grain Salad

Multicultural food experience is one of the things I enjoy living in Melbourne. I’ve definitely gained many culinary experiences since I moved here. It is so great you can explore authentic foods from different countries in one city. Many immigrants like myself would agree that the way the dishes are prepared, cooked and served here is not exactly same as the traditional ones are, but I think it is inevitable to have a bit of fusion to adapt Australian culture.

I’m experimenting and mixing up different ingredients in my cooking as well like this grain salad. The only way of eating rice used to be simply cooked in a rice cooker or making a rice porridge when I was back home. I never thought about adding rice into salads, which has become one of my favorite ways of jazzing up a boring veggie salad. I’m also using exotic spices that I didn’t even know the names or how to use them. The flavours as well as their healing power in different spices is so amazing. I used brown rice, mung beans and toasted buckwheat in this salad for different textures, but feel free to use any legume or beans you have in pantry. I made a big batch and served a little warm for a lovely simple supper. Then I had leftovers for work lunch next day as you can easily leave it in fridge and serve cool. Either way really is delicious!


1 cup of brown rice
1/2 cup of mung beans
1/2 cup of toasted buckwheat
1 caramelised beetroot (1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp brown sugar)
1 cup of chopped parsley
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper to taste
handful of pepitas

Soak brown rice and mung beans overnight or at least 4 hours. Place brown rice, mung beans and toasted buckwheat in a pot, cover with cold water, bring it up to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until cooked. Drain and set aside. Heat olive oil, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar in a pan and add diced beetroot. Cook on low-medium heat until caramelised. To assemble the salad, place cooked grains, beetroot and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice and spices. Mix well to combine. Check seasoning and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle pepitas on top.

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