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Spinach Garlic Rice/Lahsuni Palak Pulao

Spinach Garlic Rice or Lahsuni Palak Pulao is an aromatic and delicious Indian veg recipe. This rice recipe can be made in the Instant pot or on the stovetop. This is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to consume spinach! Make it in under 30 minutes! 
Course Main Course, rice
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Wash basmati rice under running water. Then soak it for 15- 20 minutes before cooking it. Do this irrespective of whether you are making it in the Instant Pot or Stovetop.

To make in the Instant Pot

  • Meanwhile, blanch the spinach. Add spinach to boiling water and let it sit in it for 10 minutes.
  • Then immediately transfer the leaves to a bowl of ice water. Let it be in there for another 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the leaves to a blender and blitz to make a smooth puree.
  • Turn on the Instant pot in Saute mode. Add oil to the pot and saute cumin seeds, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and cloves.
  • Then add minced green chilies, onions, garlic, and ginger. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
  • It's time to add the tomatoes and green peas.
  • Then add the spinach puree along with salt. Drain the water from the rice and add it to the pot.
  • Add water, give it all a good stir. Turn off the saute mode. Close the lid and make sure the vent is in a sealing position.
  • Cook in manual/pressure mode for 4 minutes. Allow to naturally release the pressure for 4 minutes and then do a manual pressure release.
  • Fluff the rice lightly with a fork. Garnish with lemon juice and chopped cilantro.

To make on the Stovetop

  • Cook rice in a rice cooker. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and cloves to it. This helps infuse the flavors of these whole spices into the rice. Or you can use leftover rice.
  • Meanwhile, blanch the spinach and prepare the puree. (refer to steps above)
  • Heat oil in a pan. Temper cumin seeds, and then add minced green chilies, onions, garlic, and ginger. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
  • Next, add the tomatoes and green peas. Saute till the tomatoes turn soft and pulpy.
  • Then add the spinach puree along with salt. Fry for a minute.
  • Lastly, add the cooked rice and mix it all together. You can discard the whole spices in the rice. Garnish with lemon juice and chopped cilantro.

Notes

To make this Instant pot rice recipe more nutritious, you can more veggies like broccoli, corn, potatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, edamame, moong sprouts, etc.
Even paneer/tofu cubes can be added. To increase the protein content, add some beans like black-eyed peas, chickpeas, black beans, or even kidney beans. 
You can also use frozen spinach in this recipe. If using, then no need to blanch. You can directly puree them. 
Another way to cut cooking time is to skip blanching the spinach. Just chop them and add them along with the other veggies. The dish will not have vivid green color though. 
For a different flavor, add 1-2 tablespoons of sambhar powder along with the spices. Feel free to use a combination of spices and experiment to suit your taste.
Instead of water, you can also cook this with coconut milk. Or use water and coconut milk in equal proportions. 
This green veg pulao works great with leftover rice as well. Instead of the Instant pot, you can make this in a regular pressure cooker as well. 
Leftovers stay well in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can also freeze it. 
For leaner versions, swap rice with alternate grains like quinoa or even use cauliflower rice. You can also use brown rice. Just adjust the cooking time in the Instant pot accordingly. 
Did you know that you can also use leftover Palak Paneer to make this spinach rice? Genius right?!