Spinach / Palak is healthy for sound body and mind. It has high nutritional value, especially when fresh, frozen, steamed, or quickly boiled.
It protects against eye disease and vision loss; it’s good for brain function; it guards against colon, prostate, and breast cancers; it protects against heart disease, stroke, and dementia; it lowers blood pressure; its anti-inflammatory; and it’s great for bone health. It is a rich source of vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Potassium, Calcium, magnesium, manganese, folate and iron.
Spinach Rice is the combination of Spinach (Palak Leaves) and Rice (I have used Sona Masuri, Basmati rice too is great) cooked together with mild Indian Spices. This is a comfort complete meal and hence no need of any side dish with it. It goes well with a quick Raita. A healthy, perfect meal can be served any time in a week. Its a great Lunch Box or dinner recipe.
Kids generally don’t like eating greens. Making the food interesting for them to eat is a great task in itself. As most Indian kids like Rice or Chapati, cooking the greens with rice or using them along with Wheat flour cooking is easier for us to make them eat their greens. Making a puree and using it gives the Green colour and kids love eating colourful rice dishes.
There are so many different ways to prepare spinach rice. Some make puree of spinach and some add chopped spinach. But today I am sharing my version of Palak pulao or palak rice recipe.
In this recipe, I have not used any whole spices. I make the garam masala powder at home and use the same in all dishes even when it requires whole spices to be added.
Here goes the recipe.
– Clean the Spinach, retain tender stems. Soak the spinach and stems in water for 15-20 minutes. Strain water completely.
– Wash rice under running cold water till water runs clear. And soak for 15-20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
– Roughly chop and put into a mixer along with green chillies, ginger and garlic into the mixer and grind to a fine paste using little water.
– Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the sliced onions and saute till translucent.
– Now add in the tomatoes and saute for 30 seconds on high heat.
– Add in the Spinach Puree and garam masala powder. Mix well.
– Let it cook till all the moisture evaporates and it starts to leave the side of the pan. Stir in between.
– Then add soaked and drained rice. And mix well.
– Add the 2 Cups of water and allow to come to a boil.
– Close the lid and cook for 1 whistle.
– Once the pressure is released, Open the lid and mix it gently and serve with raitha of your choice or just simple Curd.
– You can cook this in the open Pan method also.
– In that case, cook the rice before(can use Basmathi rice as well). – Heat oil in a wok, add the onions and tomatoes and saute till soft, add the Spinach Puree (follow step mentioned above)and allow to cook till it leaves sides. – Add the garam masala powder, mix and now add in the cooked rice. – Mix Gently and serve with Raitha of your choice.