Palak rice or palak pulao – Healthy and delicious rice made using Indian spinach and mild spices. I make this often for the hubby and the kids’ lunch box. Palak rice can be made in 2 ways. First one is the way i made this pudina pulao and the other one is shared now. I prefer this method since palak is sauteed only for few mins retaining most of the nutrients. It is not over cooked as it happens with pressure cooking method.
While the rice cooks, spinach can be cleaned and pureed which saves some time. Potato, corn, baby corn, cauliflower and peas go very well in this. More veggies of choice can be used. I have used only 1 medium potato. The rice tastes good on its own even without the addition of veggies.
You may like to check this link for more rice recipes.
How to palak rice or palak pulao
1. Wash, soak and cook rice in whatever way you like. For the lunch box, i usually make rice in electric cooker or pressure cooker. If making in pressure cooking, i just cook on medium flame for 1 whistle after soaking for 20 mins.
2. Meanwhile pluck, wash palak in a large pot filled with water. Sprinkle some salt on the palak and rinse well few times. Add them to a blender jar (if desired with green chilies). I used small chutney jar. I blended half first and then added the other half.
3. Make a fine puree. Set this aside.
4. Heat oil in a pan. Saute cloves, bayleaf, cinnamon stick, cardamom, star anise and mace for a min. Saute ginger garlic paste or garlic along with chilies. Saute until it smells good.
5. Add onions and fry until golden or pink.
6. This step is optional. Add chopped potatoes or any other veggies you like. Fry until they are cooked completely. If needed cover and cook or sprinkle some water to help them cook.
7. Add garam masala, turmeric and salt.
8. Saute everything well.
9. Add the palak puree.
10. Saute until the raw smell goes off. Add mint leaves. Do not skip using mint/ pudina. It adds a good flavor. Saute for 2 mins.
11. Add lemon juice and more salt if needed. Spinach is high in iron. The absorption of iron is good when lemon juice or any vitamin C ingredient is used. If you do not have you can skip it.
12. Mix everything well.
Healthy palak rice or palak pulao recipe
- 1 cup rice (uncooked)
- 1 to 1.5 tbsp oil
- half of a star anise or few petals
- 2 green cardamoms
- 3 cloves
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- ¼ tsp cumin or shahi jeera
- 1 small bay leaf
- 2 cups palak / spinach (tightly packed about 100 grams leaves)
- 2 to 3 green chilies sliced
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste or 2 garlic cloves
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 medium potato or any veggies
- ½ to ¾ garam masala
- little turmeric
- salt as needed
- 10 to 12 pudina/mint leaves
- lemon juice as needed
- Cook rice and cool completely.
- Wash palak thoroughly in ample water. Drain completely.
- Add them to a blender and puree.
- Heat a pan with oil, add spices and saute for a min.
- Fry ginger garlic paste until the raw smell vanishes.
- Add onion and fry until golden. Add veggies and saute until they are tender. If needed sprinkle some water and cook.
- Sprinkle garam masala, salt and turmeric.
- Add palak puree and saute until the raw smell goes off.
- Add mint leaves and saute for a min or two. Switch off the stove.
- Add cooled rice, squeeze in the lemon juice.
- Mix everything well.
- Serve hot or warm.