Palak Biryani/ Palak Rice

As a kid I remember sometimes my father used to bring home this exotic rice dish on his way back from work. The green long grains of the rice were extremely delectable. I always considered the palak biryani as a gourmet dish. Something not meant for daily consumption.
Years later, my husband took fancy to the same dish and frequently insists on making simple palak khichdi whenever he wants to eat less. Well, ironically the recipe for my exotic palak biryani and the khichdi remains the same.
The best part about this rice dish is that you do not need to serve any side dish.


Ingredients
2 cups rice (long grain basmati for biryani/ any other of your choice for khichdi)
1 bunch of fresh Spinach (blanched – Dip in hot water for 5 min and then in cold water)
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 inch of ginger
1 medium onion
1 medium tomato
1 ½  tspn cumin seeds
1 green chilly
1 whole red chilly (optional)
1 tspn red chilly powder
1 tspn turmeric powder
1 tspn garam masala
1 tspn lime juice (or curd)
1 tbsp Ghee (or Butter)
Oil for cooking
Salt to taste
Method
1)    Wash the rice under running water for 2 times. Take care while handling the rice grains.
2)    Now let the rice sit in 3 ½ cups of water.
3)    In a medium pan, add some oil, ½ tspn of cumin seeds, chopped green chilly, garlic, ginger and sauté for couple of minutes.
4)    Add chopped onions and tomatoes along with salt, red chilly powder and turmeric powder.
5)    When the onions become pink in color add the chopped spinach leaves and sauté for a minute on high flame.
6)    Transfer this mixture to a blender and make a puree using not more than ½ cup of water.
7)    In another large pan, now add oil, 1 tspn cumin seeds, red chilly. When the cumin seeds splutter add the rice grains gently stirring along with the water.
8)    Add salt , lime juice (or curd), and butter to the rice and let it cook until the water is soaked up.
9)    Use a fork to stir the rice after 10 min while still on the stove.
10) Now add the spinach mixture and gently mix it .  Let it cook until the liquid is soaked up (apprx  3-4 min)
11) Add the garam masala and stir in again.
12) Ready to serve
You can also top it with fried paneer pieces for more flavor

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