Palak rice or palak pulao – Healthy and delicious rice made using Indian spinach and mild 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 up to make palak rice following the first method. You can also make this as a one pot rice following the method 2.
Palak rice or palak pulao recipe
Palak rice recipe
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Ingredients to make palak rice
- 1 cup rice uncooked
- 1½ tbsp oil or ghee
- ½ star anise or few petals
- 2 green cardamoms or elaichi
- 3 cloves or laung
- 1 small cinnamon piece or dalchini
- ½ tsp cumin or jeera
- 1 small bay leaf or tej patta or curry leaves
- 2 cups spinach or palak (tightly packed about 100 grams leaves)
- 2 to 3 green chilies sliced
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste or 2 garlic cloves
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 medium potato or sweet corn or carrot
- ½ to ¾ garam masala
- 1/8 tsp turmeric or haldi
- salt as needed
- 10 to 12 mint leaves or pudina or coriander leaves
- lemon juice as needed
How to make the recipe
Preparation for palak rice
- 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.
Method 1 – Making palak rice
- Heat a pan with oil, add spices and saute for a min.
- Fry ginger garlic paste until the raw smell vanishes.
- Add onion and fry until golden.
- Then add veggies and 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
- Follow the same method to do the tempering and saute the palak puree.
- Then add uncooked rice and pour 1¾ cups water if using basmati rice. 2 cups if using normal rice.
- Pressure cook on a medium high flame for 1 whistle for basmati rice. If using normal rice pressure cook for 2 whistles. If cooking in a pot use 2 cups water.
- Release the pressure manually with the help of a spatula if using basmati rice. Fluff up palak rice with a fork.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
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.