I’m sure I could easily beat Popeye, if ever there were a spinach eating competition! And now that I have it growing in my little kitchen garden, we have been lucky to enjoy a good spinach meal, the entire fall and winter, almost every fortnight as the beautiful smooth, green leaves keep regenerating.
One of the easiest and most delicious things we prepare with spinach is Palak Pulao, a Spinach Rice Recipe cooked by simmering them in a spice stock till the flavour of spinach and aroma of spices envelope each grain of rice completely.
I have always loved the combination of rice and spinach curries. In fact, cumin rice and palak paneer (spinach n cheese) are one of the most favourite main courses that my husband and I enjoy for a weekend meal. I thought, why not combine all the flavours to make a convenient one-pot dish instead of cooking two separate dishes for one meal.
The wonderful thing is that you can still be creative with this simple Spinach Rice Recipe and add more colourful vegetables to it, like sweet corn, carrots, peas and potatoes. A simple raita on the side completes the no-fuss meal beautifully.
3 cups chopped spinach
2 cups long grain basmati rice
1 small onion, sliced
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper corns
1 stick cinnamon
4-5 green cardamoms
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
2+1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 cup sunflower oil
A small bunch fresh coriander leaves, chopped
2 green chilli peppers, chopped
This Is What You Do:
Roughly chop spinach leaves. Rinse spinach several times to remove dirt completely. Grit in a mouthful can ruin the very best tasting of dishes.
Heat oil in a wide mouthed, deep pan. Add onions and fry till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and all the spices and salt.
Add a splash of water and cover the pan for two minutes to allow the spices to release their flavours and aroma.
Add spinach and sauté for a minute.
Add rice and enough water to come 1 inch above the surface of rice. Cook covered on medium till almost all the water is absorbed and rice are almost done.
Wrap the lid of the pan in a clean cotton cloth. Reduce heat to the lowest possible. Cover the pan with the wrapped lid and cook another 10 minutes so that the pulao finishes cooking on dum or steam inside the pan. This last step makes the rice very fluffy and aromatic.
Garnish with chopped coriander and green chilli peppers before serving.
Serve hot with cool cumin raita (yogurt).