Palak Paneer Pulav

As versatile as Indian cuisine is, it is also adaptable, in the sense that what may be made as a curry can most definitely made into a rice dish or even a bread dish such as a paratha. I was planning on making naan with palak paneer, but DH was hoping on having rice. So, I just made a pulav out of it.


3 cups rice
3 cups packed baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup of cubed paneer
1/2 cup of finely shredded cabbage (optional)
6 green chillies
1 tbsp cilantro pesto
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 tomatoes chopped
1 onion chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
salt to taste


Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, blend the spinach and green chillies using a cup of water to make a smooth puree. Fry the paneer in a few drops of oil until golden brown on both sides. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker over medium heat, add the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. When it is fried, add the cumin seeds. Let it splutter and add the onion. Sprinkle the salt over the onions and fry until the onions turn soft. Next, add the ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell disappears. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they turn soft. Add the cilantro pesto and fry. If you don’t have this pesto on hand, just blend a handful of cilantro and a few mint leaves along with the spinach.

Drain the rice and add it to this mixture. Gently mix it through and let it fry for a couple of minutes. Add the cabbage, spinach puree and 4 cups of water. I had the cabbage left over from making the vadais earlier, and I just used it in here. (Not a bad idea, to sneak in some veggies eh..:) )Keep turning the mixture gently until the water is almost absorbed. Sprinkle the garam masala and lemon juice if using. Add the paneer pieces and mix to combine. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and put the weight. Set the heat to low and switch off after 5 minutes. Serve hot with hard boiled eggs and raita.

Verdict: Very colorful and different tasting pulav. We love paneer and anything with paneer is just a hit in our house. We enjoyed it for dinner and lunch the next day.  The key to this pulav is blending the spinach raw and cooking it with the rice, so that it remains bright green and doesnt discolor or the taste turns bitter.

I am sending this to Think Spice – Garam Masala Event, originally started by Sunita of and hosted at Sara’s corner this month.

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