Palak or Spinach is a very healthy green leafy vegetable that is known for its high nutritional benefits. It is a very good source of iron and vitamins along with a high protein content.
Palak by itself has no pungent flavor, so often when we use it in a recipe like curry or rice, we pair it up with other flavors. In this recipe, I used mint leaves and whole dry spices for flavor along with several spice powders that suite my taste. I used the Palak Biryani recipe of VegrecipesofIndia for reference and modified it as per my preference and liking.
Soaking time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Basmati rice – 1 cup (soaked in 2 cups water for 30mins)
Onion – ¼ cup (finely chopped)
Garlic – 1 tbsp (very finely chopped)
Dry fenugreek leaves/kasoori methi – 1 tbsp
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
Fennel(saunf) powder – ½ tsp
Coriander/dhania powder – 1 tsp
Cloves – 4
Cumin seeds/jeera – 1 tbsp
Cinnamon – ½ inch piece
Green cardamom – 2
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1 tsp
To make a paste:
Palak/spinach leaves – 2 cups (loosely packed)
Mint leaves – ¼ cup (tightly packed)
Ginger – small piece
Green chili – 4
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Puree the ingredients under ‘to make a paste’ into a very smooth paste. Set aside.
- Cook the soaked rice till completely done. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan/kadai. Add cloves, jeera, cinnamon, cardamoms and fry for 2 minutes till it leaves a nice aroma.
- Add the garlic and onions. Fry till onions become soft.
- Add the kasoori methi, garam masala powder, coriander powder and fennel powder. Fry for a minute.
- Add the pureed palak-mint paste and fry till the mixture becomes dry and turns darker in color.
- Then, add the cooked rice, salt to taste and combine well on low heat. Once combined, remove from heat and serve either with raita or pickle. If packing for lunch, I prefer packing chips along with curd.
- For variation, you may add some tomato to the onions and fry with it. It gives a slight tangy taste.
- You may add or skip some masala powders used in this recipe.
- The palak-mint paste can be prepared in bulk and frozen in ice-trays and when needed, you may use the cubes for the recipe. It gives the same fresh taste.