Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Palak (Spinach) and Corn Pulao

After baking lots of cookies, I have this strong urge to cook a little healthy and low-calorie diet. And when I think healthy, spinach is always at the top of my list. So, rather than the traditional Palak Paneer, I thought I'd use spinach puree in my Rice to make this delcious and pretty-looking Palak and Corn Pulao. It's basically similar to fried rice, but just with indian flavors instead of asian spices. Vegetable Pulao is traditionally cooked with long-grain basmati rice and you can add your choice of vegetables to it. And to get that balance of crunch with a bit of sweetness, I added the corn kernels. It was very wholesome, and you could add a whole lot of other veggies like brocolli or potatoes, carrots or beet to this pulao. The color is very inviting and fresh-looking, and decked up with tomatoes and fresh coriander, you'll actually feel like you are "eating green"!!

3 cups long grain Basmati rice
1 packet of spinach leaves
1/2 medium sized onion - chopped finely
2 green chillies - diced
1 cup kernel corns - frozen or fresh
3 bay leaves
2 tsp cumin seeds
salt - to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp ghee
3 tsp garam masala or biryani masala
2 tsp turmeric powder
chopped coriander - for garnish
thin tomato wedges - for garnish

Wash the basmati rice under running water for a couple of times to remove the starchy content. Take a rice cooker and cook the rice as you normally would. Just make sure you keep stirring them occasionally. If you are using a stove, take a large crockpot, add 1 tbsp ghee, then add the rice and water and cover it with a lid just partly open to allow the steam to escape; stir in between and cook on medium flame or heat.

While the rice cooks, take a large fryikng pan, add 3 tbsp ghee, cumin seeds and the bay leaves. When they start spluttering, add the green chillies and the chopped onions. Saute till they turn a light golden in color.

Meanwhile, wash the spinach leaves and blend them to make a fine puree. Thaw the kernel corns if you are using the frozen ones by microwaving for 10 seconds.

Now add the puree to the onions and mix well. Add the salt, garam masala powder, turmeric and lemon juice. Cover with a lid and cook for 7-10 mins until it starts bubbling a little. finally add the corn kernels and reduce to low-flame.

Once the rice is almost cooked, add it to the gravy mixture and mix well gently with a spatula. Taste for salt and spices and make necessary additions per your choice. Remove from flame and let the spices and spinach blend with the rice.

Transfer the Spinach and Corn Pulao to a serving dish. Take a firm tomato, cut it into thin wedges, removing the pulp. Chop some fresh cilantro and garnish the pulao with these . Serve hot with Gujarati Kaddhi or Gravies (Malai Kofta Curry )

Similar Recipes:
Lemon and Coconut Rice with Sambhar
Vegetable Fried Rice

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