This was inspired by a lunch concocted from some leftover takeaway biryani! I added some lettuce, apples and a squeeze of lime to freshen it up and the result was surprisingly light and pleasing. For this version I’m using spelt, as it has a great texture and the grains don’t stick together in the same way that rice does.
- 200g pearled spelt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 25g fresh ginger, cut into slices
- 1 red chilli, halved lengthways
- 2 tsp good-quality medium-heat curry powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 limes
- 2 eating apples, such as Gala or Cox
- 2 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
- A small bunch of coriander (30g), leaves picked
- 2 sprigs of mint, leaves picked and roughly torn
- 50g lamb’s lettuce or Lollo Rosso
- Sea salt and black pepper
Put the spelt into a large saucepan with the cinnamon, ginger, chili, curry powder and garam masala. Add the juice of ½ lime and toss in the squeezed half-lime shell as well. Pour on enough water to cover the spelt by about 5cm. (You can always top it up halfway through cooking if necessary.) Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the spelt is just cooking.
Drain the spelt in a sieve, picking out and discarding the cinnamon, ginger, chili and lime shell. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Squeeze the juice from the remaining 1 and ½ limes. Quarter, core and chop the apples into roughly 1cm cubes and place in a large bowl with the spelt. Add the lime juice and rapeseed oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
Transfer the spelt mix to a platter and scatter over the coriander, mint and lamb’s lettuce. Toss lightly and serve.
Swaps: Try using pearled barley or brown rice in place of the spelt, adjusting the cooking times accordingly. The salad is also delicious if you use olive green or Puy lentils in place of spelt.