Palak rice or spinach rice recipe Indian style is a great way of adding greens to your lunch. It helps you increase your Iron content in the long run. Also, gives you a change from plain white bowl with lentils. It is a great way of having spinach and other greens instead of making a curry. Make it vegan and gluten free. Choose your way to good health in this new year!
Pilaf or pulao are great for a quick lunch or dinner. Kids love different recipes in their lunch box. All traditional cuisines have their rice recipe, traditionally known as bhaat or chawar. I have to eat it once a day so my week has pilaf in different colors. Learn how as you scroll below.
Benefits of spinach
- Greens are good for your gut and helps aid digestion.
- It is good way to improve vitamin A too.
- It improves your metabolism and energy levels too.
- Helps manage blood pressure and supports the brain too.
- It is full of anti-oxidants and helps clear the skin too.
- Aids hair growth and reduces inflammation.
Easy Indian lunch box ideas
When I crave green, it is hariyali pulao, spinach pulao. Yellow calls for lemon pulihora or ven pongal. Orange/brown calls for Tamarind pulihora or puliyogre while red calls for South Indian tomato rice. When I m in no mood to cook or unwell it is khichdi and daddojanam/ thayir sadam/ curd rice. If I am craving garlic its thoom ware chawar or green garlic pulao. If i want something sweet, zarda or tairi and chakkara pongal. When there is no veggies in house, I m definitely making bhuga chawar.
Then, when it is time to party it is time for Biryani. Pineapple biryani, Paneer biryani, jackfruit biryani cater well for vegetarians. If you are a non-vegetarian, you can always have chicken biryani at lunch. I prefer my jackfruit biryani though. Basically, there is no dearth of pulao in Indian cuisine and thankful it is!
- palak / spinach leaves
- Cumin seeds
- Green chillies
- Ghee / oil for tempering if vegan
- Lemon juice
- Salt as per taste
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make palak rice?
1. Soak rice for 10 mins after washing it 3-4 times. Meanwhile, heat oil or ghee in your pan, as per your choice. Sauté crushed ginger, cumin seeds and green chili as per taste.
2. In a blender, add chopped fenugreek leaves, spinach leaves and blend it without water. It should result in a puree <1 cup. Add this puree to the pan.
3. Let it cook for few minutes.
4. Add soaked rice along with salt.
5. Add 1- ¾ cup water and stir. Hint: Always add some water to your blender and remove residue of puree from it so that no nutrients are lost.
6. Let it come to a boil.
7. Add a dash of lemon juice and let it cook until water evaporates. Serve pulao with pickle or curry.
Hint: Iron is best absorbed in the body, when you avoid dairy along with it. This is important if you are vegetarian. Adding vitamin C loaded lemon juice also enables iron absorption.
You can make this recipe with any spinach or greens.
This is a no onion no garlic recipe as many strict vegetarians avoid it. However, as a variation you may add onions and garlic to your palak pulao recipe. Adding vegetable soup stock cubes can also enhance the flavor. However, that contains onion garlic and salt. Hence, adjust salt accordingly.
You can store spinach puree in a freezer whenever you are cooking or blanching spinach for other curries like saag paneer over the weekend. Make a palak pulao next day for an easy meal. You can also make a palak paneer pulao by adding some paneer to the above recipe if you are a vegetarian.
Make sure you choose water quantity according to the variety being used like basmati, sona masuri or long grained version . Some varieties need more water to cook.
Spinach rice | Palak rice recipe
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 green chilli chopped
- 1 piece ginger small
- 2 cup spinach leaves / palak chopped
- 1 cup rice washed and soaked for 20 mins
- 1 ¾ cup water
- 1 tbsp. or juice of ½ lemon
- salt as per taste
- Soak rice for 30 mins after washing it 3-4 times.Meanwhile, heat oil or ghee in your pan, as per your choice. Saute crushed ginger, cumin seeds and green chillies as per taste.
- In a blender, add chopped spinach leaves and blend it without water. It should result in a puree little less than 1 cup. Add this puree to the pan.
- Let it cook for few minutes.Add soaked rice along with salt.
- Add 1 ¾ cup water and stir. Hint: Always add some water to your blender and remove residue of puree from it so that no nutrients are lost.
- Let it come to a boil and cook it on low flame
- Add a dash of lemon juice and let it cook until water evaporates. Check if the rice is cooked, if not, add ¼ cup water.
- Serve it with any curry/pickle or have it just as it is.
Spanakorizo. However, it has Feta cheese in it. Basically you can call it palak paneer rice.
Fluff it with fork once rice is cooked. Never mix it while cooking as it gets lumpy.