Palak rice or palak pulao with stovetop & Instant pot instructions – Healthy and delicious rice made using Indian spinach and few spices. I make this often for the hubby and the kids’ lunch box. Palak rice can be made in 2 ways. I have shared both the methods here. I prefer the first 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 your 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.
I have used basmati rice but you can use any rice that is not sticky or mushy. If you have precooked rice, then you can just use up to make palak rice following the first method. You can also make this as a one pot rice following the method 2.
Preparation for 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. Fry ginger garlic paste or garlic along with chilies. Next fry until it smells good.
How to palak rice or palak pulao
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.
Serve palak rice with some salad.
Palak rice recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 1 cup rice uncooked (basmati for instant pot)
- 1½ tbsp oil or ghee
- ½ tsp cumin (jeera)
- 1 small bay leaf or curry leaves
- 2 cups spinach or palak (tightly packed about 100 grams leaves)
- 2 green chilies sliced
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste or 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 small onion sliced
- 1 medium potato or sweet corn or carrot (optional)
- ½ to ¾ garam masala
- 1/8 tsp turmeric (optional)
- ½ to ¾ tsp salt as needed
- 10 to 12 mint leaves or coriander leaves (fine chopped)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice as needed
How to make the recipe
- Cook rice and cool completely in the usual way. Rice must be grainy and not mushy.
- Wash palak thoroughly in ample water. Drain completely. Add them to a blender and puree to a smooth paste. You can alternately fine chop and use.
Method 1 – Making palak rice
- Heat a pan with oil, add cumin and bay leaf.
- When the cumin begins to sizzle, add ginger garlic paste & saute until the raw smell vanishes.
- Add onion and green chilli . Saute until golden. Then add potatoes or any veggies.
- Saute until they are tender. If needed sprinkle some water and cook.
- Sprinkle garam masala, salt and turmeric. Pour palak puree and saute until the raw smell goes off.
- Add mint leaves and saute for a min or two. Switch off the stove.
- Transfer the cooled rice, squeeze in the lemon juice. Mix everything well. Check salt and add more if needed.
- Serve palak rice hot or warm.
Method 2 – one pot palak rice
- Heat oil in a pot. Add cumin and bay leaf. When the cumin sizzles, saute ginger garlic paste.
- Then add onions and green chilies. Fry until transparent. Add potatoes or any other veggies you intend to use. Stir fry for 2 to 3 mins.
- Stir in the garam masala, salt and turmeric. Transfer the pureed palak and saute until the raw smell goes away.
- When the mixture turns thicker, add uncooked rice.
- If using pressure cooker, pour 1¾ cups water for basmati rice. (2 cups if using normal rice). If cooking in a pot use 2 cups water.
- Pressure cook on a medium high flame for 1 whistle for basmati rice. If using normal rice pressure cook for 2 whistles.
- Release the pressure manually with the help of a spatula if using basmati rice.
- Fluff up palak rice with a fork.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.
Instant pot palak rice
- Soak 1 cup basmati rice for 30 mins and later drain it. I use the chopped palak here. Rinse,drain and chop spinach very finely.
- Press SAUTE button on the Instant pot and pour 1.5 tbsps ghee or oil to the steel insert.
- Then add half tsp cumin and 1 bay leaf. When they splutter, add onions and green chilli. Saute for 2 mins until transparent.
- Next stir in the ginger garlic. Let it fry for 30 seconds.
- Then add potatoes, mint leaves and spinach. Saute until the leaves wilt.
- Add salt, turmeric and garam masala. Pour 1¼ cups water and deglaze the pot by scrubbing the bottom.
- Drain water from the rice completely and add it to the pot.
- Give a good mix. Press CANCEL button.
- Secure the instant pot with the lid and position the steam release handle to sealing.
- Press PRESSURE COOK button and set the timer to 5 mins. Instant pot will beep when the rice is done.
- Let the pressure release naturally for 3 to 4 mins and then release the rest manually by moving the steam release value from sealing to venting.
- Fluff up the rice with a fork. Cool down slightly and squeeze in the lemon juice. Serve palak rice with raita.