Green Rice …. Palak Pulav ….. Spinach Pilaf !!!
Whatever you call it, It’s a fancy rice dish with a healthy kick. And just one spoonful of this rice takes me all those years back to my parents’ home.All four of us enjoying our dinner on those cozy winter nights,watching some cartoon (yup…my addiction to cartoon is hereditary), talking about our busy days.This is not a quick or easy everyday rice recipe but it’s totally worth all the efforts.
My mummy adopted this recipe from one of our neighbors. I love this custom of “Vatki Vehvaar” (literary Bowl Custom) ,where one share a bowl of their all-time favorite dishes to experimental dishes with their neighbors. Even if each family member gets only a spoonful from that bowl, we look forward for the next bowl. I think sharing food with someone is the greatest way to show you care for them, you like them being around you and like any family there are some of those melting moments between you and your neighbor. But still you want to share your most special experience (sometimes fiascoes) with them. And that’s how this” Palak Pulav” found it’s way into our winter menu.
For Aarav anything with spinach is a treat. And he truly believes spinach is a super food (remember Popeye !!!) . For some unknown reason my son prefers row leafy vegetables and herbs over sweet fruits. he even gets to cut leafy veggies with scissors, so overall it’s a much awaited dinner for him too.
- We don’t want to boil the spinach ,just blanch it till it’s softens a little. No more than 2-3 minutes in hot water.
- And we need remember not cooking the spinach through whole Pulav Making process ,that way we will have green rice instead of somewhere-between-green-brown-rice.
- It’s good idea to use left-over rice for any Pulav or fried rice. Freshly made rice will break during the cooking.
- I prefer using mostly green chilies for the heat. Red chili powder will make the color darker.
- Add spices according to your body’s tolerance levels. To mild the spices eat yogurt or Raita (yogurt dip) with your rice.
- All the ingredients for tempering is optional.But highly recommended for the wonderful aroma…..
Prep Time : 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
2 Cups Cooked Rice
3 Cups Fresh Spinach
1 Cup Finely chopped onions
1 Cup Crushed Tomatoes (fresh or tin)
1/2 Cup Green Peas
1/2 Cup Papers
2-3 Green Chilies finely chopped
1 TSP Ginger-Garlic Paste
1 TSP Red chili powder (to taste)
1 TSP Coriander Powder (optional)
1/4 TSP Turmeric Powder (optional)
Salt to taste (Spinach is a salty vegetable,so taste and add salt)
3 TBSP Oil
1 TBSP Ghee
2-3 Whole Cloves
1 Small piece of Cinnamon
4-5 Curry Leaves
8-10 Cashew Nuts
1) In wide pan heat the oil and ghee. When Oil and Ghee is lightly heated add cumin followed by all the other ingredients for the tempering. Add Green Chilies and Ginger-Garlic paste. Let it all cook on low heat for 1-2 minutes.
2) Add Onions ,Peas and papers. Saute them until onions are translucent.
3) When the onions are busy making themselves translucent ,start working on the spinach. Add chopped Spinach to hot water. Let them sit there for 3-4 minutes. Until the spinach softens.
4) When the onions are cooked add tomatoes,Red Chili, coriander and turmeric powder to the pan.Cook it for 2-3 minutes.
5) When the Spinach has soften , blend it to a puree.
6) Add pureed spinach . Cook them until most of the water evaporates. But make sure not to cook for a long time or the spinach will start loosing all the nice,fresh green color.
7) Spinach puree has tendency to splatter. To save yourself from cleaning and burning, cover the pan with lid. One with holes is the best to use.
8) Add rice and mix everything together.Add splash of lemon if desired.
Serve it with Yougurt or Raita.
In winter we prefer it with tomato soup. Click here for the recipe of “My Mom’s Tomato Soup” ……