Spinach Rice (Palak Pulao)

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
spinach rice

In my kitchen, it's easy to get excited about rice. Oftentimes, I just make up a pot and fluff it up with a generous quantity of butter and some cracked black pepper. Sometimes that is just what you want to go along with the rest of your meal. This time around I dressed it up a bit as I had some lovely fresh spinach in the fridge that I didn't want to go to waste. Pretty much as easy as boiling up some rice with few adornments, you get some earthy vegetables here in the mix that doesn't overpower curries you may wish to serve with the dish.

Spinach Rice (Palak Pulao)Spinach Rice (Palak Pulao)
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on November 2, 2013

Simple, flavorful white basmati rice cooked with spinach and seasoned with cumin seeds and garam masala

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

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  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, butter or sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups firmly packed fresh spinach, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • Rinse the rice well in cold water until the water is no longer cloudy. Soak the rice in enough water to cover for 30 minutes. Drain and let air-dry in a strainer for 15 minutes, tossing the grains occasionally.

  • Heat the ghee, butter or oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until they darken a few shades — about 1 to 2 minutes. Now add the onion to the pan along with a handful of the spinach. As the spinach wilts, add more handfuls of the spinach. When all of the spinach has been added, cook this mixture, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated and the onion is softened.

  • Gently stir in the rice and then pour in the water and add the garam masala and salt. Stir and increase the heat slightly. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then stir once, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Simmer until the liquid is absorbed — about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve hot.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

palak pulao

More delectable rice dishes from Lisa's Kitchen:
Yellow Rice with Fried Cashews
Lime Flavored Rice with Split Peas
Coconut Cilantro Rice
Baked Italian Brown Rice Balls (Arancini)


Anonymous said...

What a yummy idea!

Deena kakaya said...

Hi Lisa, what a lovely recipe. Your rice looks perfect! This is lovely for a week night or for guests and even my toddler loves it xx

Joanne said...

I get pretty excited about rice also and I especially love when it has some veggies mixed in!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

i love the long grains in this rice lisa. it makes a wonderful presentation.