Today I am sharing a simple Instant Pot recipe for spinach Rice a.k.a Palak rice in Indian cuisine. It is a simple, vegan, one-pot meal. Now that the school season is back, you will have one less thing to worry about while you manage your kids’ online zoom session. It's a neat one-pot recipe that doesn't leave you with a ton of dishes to wash and also provides wholesome nutrition by adding greens to your diet.
As the name suggests, Spinach Rice is as simple as it sounds. You just have to pick the right spices in the right proportions when you prepare it and that’s what I want to help with. Since the time online schooling started, my schedule has changed a bit to adjust to kids’ lunchtime and it is more important than ever to have a meal ready during lunch time. Afterall, PB&J sandwiches and ramen noodles cannot be the options on all days 🙂
So my search for a unique and simple, nutritious recipe landed me on this spinach rice. It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and fits the bill for a busy schedule. You’ll fall in love with the mild flavors.
I prepared this spinach rice using the instant pot pressure cooker to save time. But if you do not own an Instant Pot (yet), I have included directions for a stovetop procedure too.
- Basmati rice
- Frozen peas
Stovetop method is equally easy as the Instant Pot version except for the fact that it would take a little longer to prepare and needs a little bit of monitoring as you prepare it.
- Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium flame and add 2 teaspoons of oil.
- As the oil heats up, add cinnamon sticks and the chopped ginger-garlic mix.
- Saute for 2-3 minutes until they turn light brown in color.
- Now add chopped onions and saute until they turn translucent.
- Add the spices one by one as you continue to saute: red chili powder, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder.
- Add spinach leaves, frozen green peas. Stir well.
- Add the (rinsed) Basmati Rice, water, and salt to give a stir.
- Close the lid, cook on medium-low flame for 10-15 minutes or until the rice appears cooked (soft but not squishy).
- Add lemon juice and fluff up the rice gently with a fork.
- Spinach rice is ready. Serve with Raita or plain yogurt.
Depending on how spicy or mild your spinach rice is, you can choose your pair accordingly. A spicy version would go well with a calming pair like vegan yogurt. Likewise, a mild version can be paired with stir fry veggies or a curry. My family likes palak rice with raita which is a yogurt-base sauce with onions and tomatoes. Curries that pair well with spinach rice are Aloo matar, dal fry, or lobia masala, etc.
Variations and tips
- You could try different types of rice like brown rice, jasmine rice, or quinoa. But make sure cooking time is adjusted accordingly.
- Try adding your favorite vegetables like beans and carrots to the mix to personalize your meal.
- You could also try adding canned chickpeas or other beans in place of peas.
- You can also use frozen spinach instead of fresh leaves.
- If you like tomatoes add one chopped tomato to the recipe.
- In the end, you can garnish your recipe with a few roasted cashew nuts for extra flavor.
Instant Pot method
Start by pressing the saute mode in Instant Pot. Add 2 tsp of oil to the inner pot on medium setting. Once it’s hot, add cinnamon sticks, chopped ginger-garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes until they turn light brown.
Now add chopped onions and continue to saute until they turn translucent. Add the spices one by one - red chili powder, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder. Add spinach leaves, frozen green peas and continue to stir well. Now add the rinsed Basmati Rice, water, salt and give a good stir.
Press ‘Cancel’ to stop sauteing and close the instant pot lid. Press the ‘pressure cook’ setting and set the timer for 4 mins high pressure. After the timer expires, do a natural pressure release. Remove the lid, add lemon juice and lightly fluff rice with a fork.
Spinach Rice is ready! Serve it hot paired with raita.
If this recipe interests you, look for similar recipes in my blog such as the
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Here are the recipe details….
Palak Rice - Instant Pot Spinach Rice
- Start by pressing the saute mode in Instant Pot
- Add 2 tsp of oil to the inner pot on medium setting.
- Once it’s hot, add cinnamon sticks, chopped ginger-garlic and saute for 2 minutes until they turn light brown.
- Now add chopped onions and continue to saute until they turn translucent.
- Add the spices one by one - red chili powder, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder.
- Add spinach leaves, frozen green peas and continue to stir well.
- Now add the rinsed Basmati Rice, water, salt and give a good stir.
- Press ‘Cancel’ to stop sauteing and close the instant pot lid.
- Press the ‘pressure cook’ setting and set the timer for 4 mins high pressure.
- After the timer expires, do a natural pressure release. Remove the lid, add lemon juice, and lightly fluff rice with a fork.
- Spinach Rice is ready! Serve it hot paired with raita.
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