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Indian Spinach Rice (Palak Pulao)

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Level: Easy

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Description

A favorite rice dish, updated with addition of nutritional spinach. Great when served as a side dish or enjoyed with lentils or curries.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Long-grain Basmati Rice
  • 4 cups Spinach, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 whole Green Chili (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Ghee Or Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Green Cardamom
  • 1 whole Bay Leaf
  • 1 whole Clove
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 cup Sliced Onion
  • 1-¼ cup Water
  • ½  Lime, Juiced
  • Salt To Taste

Preparation

Rinse and soak the rice while you get everything else ready.

Blend spinach, ginger, garlic and green chili to make a smooth puree. You should have close to 1 cup of puree (see notes).

Set a pressure cooker on medium high heat and add ghee or olive oil. Once oil is hot and shiny, add the whole spices: green cardamom, bay leaf, clove, and cumin seeds.

Add sliced onions and sauté until light golden, about 4–5 minutes. Then add the spinach puree, stir and cook for another 5 minutes.

Drain the soaked rice and add to the pressure cooker. Stir rice around until completely coated with spinach puree. Add the water, lime juice and salt to taste.

Put the lid of the pressure cooker on and lock it in place. Turn the heat to high and wait until cooker reaches full pressure (or “whistles”). At this point, turn heat to medium low and cook for 5–6 minutes.
Turn heat off and wait for the pressure to release by itself. This should not take more than 7–8 minutes. Open the lid and gently fluff the rice a fork.

Serve warm with yogurt or lentils.

Notes:
1. If not making spinach puree, after adding cumin seeds, add minced garlic and chopped green chili (if using), followed by onions. After onions have browned a bit, add chopped ginger and cook until the raw smell of ginger goes away. Then add chopped spinach and proceed as above.
2. If not using a pressure cooker, add 2 cups of water after adding rice to a big sauce pan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil on high heat, turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

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