Palak Pulao (Spinach Rice)

Growing up, I didn’t enjoy eating green leafy vegetables, especially spinach. So, my mom would hide certain vegetables in the pulao. Unknowingly, I started eating spinach and enjoyed it too. It’s a quick recipe and perfect for a busy weeknight meal. Serve it with some papad and mango pickle and your dinner is ready!


  • 1 Cup Basmati Rice (or any other rice will work too)
  • 1/4 Large Onion
  • 3-4 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 15-20 Spinach Leaves
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 6-7 Black Peppercorns
  • 3-4 Cloves
  • 1/2 Inch Cinnamon
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Pulao Masala (Or garam masala)
  • Olive Oil (or any vegetable oil)
  • Salt to Taste
  • Water


Prep: 20 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes

  1. Thoroughly wash the rice and soak it in water for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Heat about 2 tbsp olive oil in a pressure cooker and add the whole spices – cumin, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves. Fry them for about a minute until fragrant.
  3. Slit the green chillies and add to the oil along with chopped onions.
  4. Sauté the onions for 3-4 mins until soft and then add the finely chopped garlic and continue sautéeing for a couple of minutes.
  5. Next, add pulao masala of your choice and give it one nice mix.
  6. Roughly chop the spinach leaves and add them next. Sauté till wilted and mixed with the masala (you can use baby spinach as well, just add a little bit more to get the spinach flavour).
  7. Strain the soaked rice and add it to the pressure cooker and gently toss to coat for about 4-5 minutes.
  8. Next, add about 2 cups of warm water along with some salt to taste. Mix everything gently to make sure the salt has dissolved.
  9. Close the pressure cooker lid and cook for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally and then open the pressure cooker.
  10. Serve hot with your choice of sides like papad, raita or mango pickle!