Palak Methi Pulao

It's been a while since I had made this lovely pulao and so yesterday on a whim I decided to make it again. The little fellow wanted something different for lunch he said, so I rummaged through my fridge to see what I could use up before the next trip to the supermarket. It turned out that I had plenty of stuff lying in there - probably over a week old and threatening to spoil soon. We ate out most of last week so a lot of vegetables were hanging around unused. Since my boy loves pulaos more than heavy duty biryanis I put this rice together in a jiffy. 

To go with it I made Cajun Chicken but this time threw in some extra spice blends that I had in the pantry. Most of them were nearing expiry and I didn't want to toss them out without having used them. I threw in some bell peppers, potatoes, onions, olives and garlic heads along with the chicken and the combination of the chicken, veggies and this pulao was simply amazing. 

Last year when I was looking for ideas to make use of some methi I came across this recipe on Edible Garden which I adapted and the pictures were clicked right after that. I just realised that I hadn't posted this recipe at all and it was about time I did that. I also realised that I've put blogging on the back burner mainly because I don't find the time to edit pictures and write the narrative these days. However, cooking and clicking are something I am passionately doing on a regular basis so hopefully in the upcoming days I will at least post the recipes with a few pictures and with a brief write up. 

For now, hope you enjoy this lovely rice that is so flavourful because of the coconut milk. It's the best way to eat your greens or to get the fussy eaters to eat them. 

Palak Methi Pulao
Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 20 mins | Serves 2-3

For the masala (to be coarsely ground)
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 whole cardamom pods
  • 1" stick cassia bark or cinnamon
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 6 small flakes of garlic, peeled
To garnish:
  • 1 medium sized onion finely sliced 
  • 10-15 cashewnuts (optional)
  • 15-20 raisins (optional)
1. Wash the basmati rice till the water runs clear and soak in plenty of water for about 15-20 mins. 
2. Wash the leaves thoroughly, rinse, drain off excess water by placing them on a colander and then chop. 
3. Coarsely grind the ingredients mentioned under 'For the masala' - use water sparingly only if required. Remove and keep aside. Rinse the grinding jar and reserve the masala water.
4. Heat ghee or oil in a heavy based pan or kadhai and fry the onions till golden brown, transfer onto an absorbent kitchen tissue. In the same ghee, on a medium low heat, fry the cashew nuts and raisins one by one (if using) till the cashew nuts have turned golden and the raisins have puffed up. Remove and keep aside.
5. Add some more ghee if required to the pan and fry the sliced onions (mentioned under 'Ingredients') until translucent, then add the ground masala and fry for a couple of minutes on a medium low heat. Then add chopped leaves and fry for half a minute.
6. Add the washed and drained rice and stir to mix. Pour in the freshly boiled water and the coconut milk, lime juice, salt and sugar to taste. 
7. Once you've done a taste check bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan completely so that no steam can escape (preferably cover first with aluminium foil and a then with a well fitting lid). Set a timer to 5 minutes.
8. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and let the rice cook undisturbed for exactly 15 minutes. Once done, open the pan and gently fluff up the rice with a fork. Cover the pan again for 2 minutes.
9. Serve hot with raitha, gravy or a side dish of your choice

If you don't have fresh coconut milk you can use coconut milk powder to make some in a jiffy. Just dissolve 6 tablespoons of coconut milk powder in 1 cup (240ml) of warm water. This will yield approx 1-1/2 cups of instant coconut milk

More Vegetarian Rice Varieties

Sweet Pulao *(Mangalorean)

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