The easiest way to make Paalak rice or spinach rice is by using leftover rice and cooking it with a spinach gravy. But it can also be made by cooking the rice along with the spinach. This dish can be made in many ways and frankly, it is up to you to see which version you like.
Method 1: Quick and easy: If you have leftover rice and don’t have the time or inclination to make a spinach gravy then you can directly cut and use spinach leaves to make paalak rice. In this recipe, you directly wash, cut and add the leaves to the pan during the saute process and then add the rice and cook it.
I am using this method in the given recipe.
Method 2: Quick and tasty: This comes closest to the authentic taste of paalak rice. In this a spinach gravy is infused with flavours of onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and cumin. The gravy and the rice are combined and cooked for a little while until the rice is fully coated with the gravy.
- Palak leaves 1 cup
- Rice 2 cups
- Water 4 cups or as needed
- Onion 1
- Ginger-Garlic paste 1 teaspoon
- Bay leaf 1
- Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
- Cloves 4
- Cinnamon stick 1 inch
- Black peppercorns 5
- Red chilli powder ½ teaspoon
- Pav Bhaji masala ½ teaspoon
- Salt to taste
- Oil 2 tablespoons
- Cashewnuts 10 (Fried)
- Onion to garnish (fried and sliced)
Wash and soak the rice for 1 hour.
Slice the onion. Wash and finely chop the palak leaves.
Squeeze out the water from the palak leaves and drain the rice. Keep aside.
Heat the oil in a pressure cooker on low to medium flame.
Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter.
Add the whole spices like the bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon stick and black peppercorns.
Put in the sliced onion and saute till soft.
Add the Ginger-Garlic paste and stir fry for about 10 seconds.
Add the chopped palak leaves and saute till well cooked.
The palak leaves will shrink and darken up in colour.
Add the seasonings like salt, red chilli powder and pav bhaji masala. Put the drained rice.
Stir fry the rice for a few minutes so that it takes in the flavours. Add 4 cups of water or as needed.
Turn the flame to full and put on the lid. Let the rice cook under pressure for 3 whistles.
Lower the flame and cook for 1 more whistle. ( Adjust cooking time according to the type of rice etc )
Open the lid after the pressure releases. With a fork, fluff up the rice gently.
Serve hot with curd, pickle, papad etc
Spinach has so many health benefits that you’ll feel you need to include this dish in your weekly menu. It improves blood glucose level in people with diabetes, lowers blood pressure, improves bone health and reduces the risk of cancer and asthama. And all that comes from just regular spinach.
If you want to add even more health to your dish, go for Malabar spinach or Poi. In fact, you can even use the tender stems during cooking. Even though it has ‘spinach’ in the name, it isn’t connected to the spinach family but gives somewhat the same taste.
From a calorie perspective, 100 gm contain just 19 calories but it holds an incredibly good amount of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. It is a great source of vitamin A, C and iron too. Replace regular spinach with malabar spinach to make your dish super nutritious.