Palak Rice

5 from 3 votes

South Indian style Palak Rice or Palak Pulao is a flavourful and aromatic rice dish that is very nutritious, great for skin and bones and tastes great with any gravy or raita. Make it using simple pantry staples and in under 30 minutes.

If you love to make varieties of Rice recipes at home, then here are some more mixed rice recipes for you – Indian Turmeric Rice, Raw Mango Rice, Pepper Rice, Ghee Rice, South Indian Tomato Rice, and South Indian Lemon Rice.

Palak Rice served in a bowl.
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About This Recipe

There are very few vegetables that can be considered a storehouse of almost all nutrients, and spinach comes very close to being called one. And therefore, Spinach or Palak is one such ingredient that you will always find sitting in my fridge.

While there are a lot of recipes I make using this power-packed green, this Palak Rice is one of my go-to recipes to make for Lunch Box. It is healthy, easy, tasty, and wholesome, what else you need for your lunch. Right?

There are so many ways to make this Palak Rice. While some like to make it with chopped spinach, I like to cook raw rice in a spinach puree that is nicely spiced with some green chilies. As a result, the rice gets a wonderfully earthy and flavourful aroma.

This is a perfect weekday meal, and if you are in too much hurry, you can cook it in a pressure cooker too. Although, I have always preferred to cook it in a pan.

This Palak Rice is,

  • Easy & Quick
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-Free
  • Healthy
  • Loaded with Nutrients
  • A simple Lunch Box recipe
  • Perfect for weekday meals

Ingredients

Palak Rice Ingredients.

Rice – I use long grain basmati rice, as they turn out to be aromatic and fluffy. You can use any rice that you prefer. Wash the rice 2-3 times with water and soak it for about 20 minutes, before cooking.

Soaking the rice helps them cook faster and they also turn out nice and separate and not mushy.

Palak Puree – Palak or spinach is available freshly in Winters, so load your fridge with the same and use it in such everyday recipes. You can also use frozen spinach to make this recipe.

Whole Spices – To add some heat and flavor, we will use some whole spices such as cumin seeds, cloves, and black cardamom. You can even add bay leaf if you like.

Oil – Here, in this recipe, I have used olive oil, but you can use any oil, be it a vegetable oil, or even coconut oil. You can even use ghee/clarified butter to make this Palak Pulao.

Cashew Nuts – Fry the cashew nuts in a little ghee or oil and garnish the Palak Pulao with the same. It adds a nice crunch to the soft and aromatic pulao.

Other Ingredients – Some more ingredients that add to the taste of this Pulao and make it even more delicious – Onion, Ginger, Garlic, Lemon Juice, Salt, and Lemon Juice.

If you like it to be spicy, you can also finely split green chilies, and add along with onions.

How to make Palak Rice?

Wash 2 cups of long grain rice 2-3 times with water until the water runs clear. Soak it in 3 cups of water for 20 minutes. You can actually use any rice that you use in your everyday cooking to make this dish.

Rice soaked in water.

Wash 3 cups (approx 200 g) of spinach very well 2-3 times to get rid of any mud and chop it roughly. Add the chopped spinach, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, and 2-3 green chilies in the medium jar of a mixer and grinder.

Chopped spinach, ginger, garlic, and green chilies added in a grinder.

Add ¼ cup of water and grind to make a smooth paste.

Smooth puree made with water.

Heat 2 tablespoon light olive oil in a pan. You can use any other oil if you wish to.

Olive oil heating in a pan.

Once the oil is hot, add 2-3 whole cloves, 1-2 whole black cardamom, and cumin seeds and let them crackle for a few seconds.

Cloves, black cardamom, and cumin seeds added in the pan.

Add 10-12 cashew nuts and fry until slightly golden. Add ½ cup chopped onion and fry for 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring while cooking.

Cashew nuts and onion added in the pan.

Add the spinach puree and sauté for a minute.

Spinach puree added in the pan.

Drain the rice and add it to the pan.

Drained rice added in the pan.

Add 3 cups of water along with salt to taste and 2 teaspoon lime juice and mix gently.

Water, salt and lemon juice added in the pan.

Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook on low heat until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Stir the rice once midway while cooking.

Pan covered.

Remove the pan from heat and let the rice rest for 5 minutes. Fluff the palak rice with a fork. Serve hot with raita.

Ready palak rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we use other Greens to make this Mixed Rice?

Yes, you can use Fenugreek Leaves, Amaranth Leaves, Mustard Leaves, or a combination of these leaves with spinach to make this Mixed Rice recipe. You can also add in finely chopped coriander and mint leaves.

Can we add vegetables other than greens?

You can go ahead and add chopped vegetables of your choice such as Potato, Green Peas, Corn, Baby Corn, Carrot, Broccoli, Mushroom, etc.

You can also add some protein such as Boiled Chickpeas/Chole, Pan Fried Paneer, Tofu, or even Grilled Chicken in this rice dish.

Can we add Chopped Spinach instead of Spinach Puree?

Definitely yes! Even chopped spinach adds a great texture to the palak rice recipe, but if you like your spinach to not be seen, then puree and cook the rice in it.

How to make it in Pressure Cooker?

Follow the same recipe as given below. After adding water, lemon and salt, close the cooker with a lid and pressure cook for about 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally, open the lid, and serve hot.

How to make it with Cooked Rice?

You can even prepare Palak Pulao with leftover Rice. Just follow the same recipe, but instead of adding raw rice, add in the cooked rice. There is no need to add water, as the rice is already cooked.

Once you mix the cooked rice with the spinach mixture, add salt, lemon juice and cook for about a minute or two. Once done, garnish with fried cashew nuts and serve.

Can we make this Palak Rice with Brown Rice?

You can use Brown Rice for a healthy alternative. You can even use Broken Wheat, Quinoa, or even Couscous to make this recipe.

Pro Tips by Neha

Measure the rice and water correctly. If this measurement is not correct, the rice might either burn or turn out mushy.

You can also make this recipe using brown rice, quinoa or couscous.

This recipe can be easily halved, doubled or tripled.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this Palak Rice recipe on its own with a fried South Indian Papad and Pickle on the side.

It even tastes great along with a Raita such as Aloo Raita, Boondi Raita, Burani Raita, Tomato Onion Raita, Easy Cucumber Raita, Carrot Raita or any other Raita that you often make at home.

You can also serve Palak Rice as a side with your meals that comprises of Dal, Sabzi, Raita, and Roti/Paratha/Poori.

Storage Suggestions

This Palak Rice will last for about 2 days in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container. But I will recommend you to make it fresh, for the best taste.

While serving, heat it in a pan or microwave. If you feel it has become a little dry, then sprinkle a little water on top while reheating and then give a nice mix.

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South Indian style Palak Rice or Palak Pulao is a flavourful and aromatic rice dish that is very nutritious, great for skin and bones and tastes great with any gravy or raita. Here is how to make it.
5 from 3 votes

Palak Rice Recipe

South Indian style Palak Rice or Palak Pulao is a flavourful and aromatic rice dish that is very nutritious, great for skin and bones and tastes great with any gravy or raita. Here is how to make it.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Equipment

  • Grinder

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups long grain basmati rice
  • 3 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 2-3 whole green chilies
  • 2 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 2-3 whole cloves
  • 1-2 whole black cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 10-12 whole cashew nuts
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • salt (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoon lime juice
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Instructions 

  • Wash 2 cups of long grain rice 2-3 times with water until the water runs clear. Soak it in 3 cups of water for 20 minutes. You can actually use any rice that you use in your everyday cooking to make this dish.
  • Wash 3 cups (approx 200 g) of spinach very well 2-3 times to get rid of any mud and chop it roughly. Add the chopped spinach, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, and 2-3 green chilies in the medium jar of a mixer and grinder.
  • Add ¼ cup of water and grind to make a smooth paste.
  • Heat 2 tablespoon light olive oil in a pan. You can use any other oil if you wish to.
  • Once the oil is hot, add 2-3 whole cloves, 1-2 whole black cardamom, and cumin seeds, and let them crackle for a few seconds.
  • Add 10-12 cashew nuts and fry until slightly golden. Add ½ cup chopped onion and fry for 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring while cooking.
  • Add the spinach puree and sauté for a minute.
  • Drain the rice and add it to the pan.
  • Add 3 cups of water along with salt to taste and 2 teaspoon lime juice and mix gently.
  • Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook on low heat until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Stir the rice once midway while cooking.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let the rice rest for 5 minutes. Fluff the palak rice with a fork. Serve hot with raita.

Notes

Measure the rice and water correctly. If this measurement is not correct, the rice might either burn or turn out mushy.
You can also make this recipe using brown rice, quinoa or couscous.
This recipe can be easily halved, doubled or tripled.

Nutrition

Calories: 439kcal, Carbohydrates: 78g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 25mg, Potassium: 295mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 2110IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 2mg
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