Healthy meals have been an imperative rule in every household and ours is no exception.My daughter recently learnt from school that one has to eat at least 5 different vegetables in our daily diet and we have started a fun way to incorporate this rule almost every single day. When I was a small girl, we used to have two vegetables everyday. One of which would definitely be greens/ spinach etc. In India, there are so many different varieties of greens that are available, each unique in their taste and texture. Of course, our favourite preparation would almost always be Keerai Molagootal. Other varations would be Keerai masiyal, Keerai Sundal etc.
This time around I wanted to make spinach rice after seeing it in Viji`s blog some time back I so wanted to use my spinach in a one pot meal. It`s always easy to pick out ingredients from a party and throw them in to a rice pilaf preparation. This was one such preparation and the result was almost restaurant style rice pulav with a warm comforting aroma.
2 cups Basmati Rice.
1/2 cup Light Coconut Milk.
2 1/2 cups Water.
1 Bay leaf.
1 stick of Cinnamon.
Pinch of Ground Cardamom Powder.
1 tsp Fennel/ Somph.
Handful of chopped cashew pieces.
1 Bunch of fresh Spinach including the tender stalk.
5 Green chillies chopped fine.
1 Medium Red Onion chopped fine.
1 cup of fresh peas and corn kernels.
2 inch Ginger.
1 Tbsp Grated Fresh/Dessicated Coconut. (Optional).
Pinch of Turmeric.
1 Tsp Garam Masala.
Pinch of saffron soaked in a spoon of warm milk.
- Wash the basmati rice and place in the electric rice cooker. Add 1/2 cup coconut milk, 2 1/2 cups water, a blob of butter, the saffron soaking in milk, salt and allow to cook.
- When done, fluff the rice with a fork to seperate the grains and allow to cool.
- The butter added coats the grains with a layer of fat, so this keeps the grains without sticking to each other.
- In the mixer add ginger, a few pieces of green chillies, grated coconut and the spinach leaves. Pulse to a coarse paste adding a few drops of water if needed.
- In a kadai add 2 spoons of ghee. First fry the chopped cashew pieces and remove and keep aside.
- In the same kadai, now add cinnamon, bay leaf, cardamom powder and allow to roast for a couple of seconds.
- Slowly add the chopped green chillies and onions and saute well until the onions turn a light pinkish brown.
- Next add the pulsed spinach paste and bring the flame to medium low. Stir in the peas and corn kernels and allow the mixture to cook on the medium flame as this enhances the flavours.
- After 8-10 minutes, all the water evaporates from the spinach paste and you see it coming together as one.
- At this point, add the cooked basmati rice and stir carefully so as not to break the rice grains.
- Add a spoon of ghee if needed and serve with a garnish of saffron and grated coconut.
Aromatic saffron flavoured spinach pulav is a wholesome delicious meal ready in a matter of minutes. Serve with your favourite cucumber raita.