Spinach & Tomato Rice | Palak Pulao | Flag Colored Rice Recipe

Spinach & Tomato Rice | Palak Pulao | Flag Colored Rice Recipe

It is that time of the year when two neighboring countries celebrate Independence Day together. So here is a post totally dedicated to Pakistan and India on the occasion of Independence Day which is celebrated on two consecutive days – 14th and 15th respectively.  And I am really moved by the fact that being an Indian blogger, I have a lot of readers from Pakistan. That’s the reason I didn’t want to miss this chance of showing my part of gratitude to my valuable and special readers from Pakistan. This makes it apparent that our taste buds are free from any kind of borders or ‘sarhad’.

The orange rice that you see in the picture is actually tomato-flavored rice with normal steamed rice representing the white color and green is from the spinach pulao which is mildly flavored with whole spices and enhanced with lots of spinach in pureed form. I have used a bit of desiccated coconut as moon and star for the Pakistani flag. I felt that cooking rice with spinach puree is more tricky than cooking with chopped spinach. With puree, we need to be extra careful of the rice and water ratio. We need to reduce the amount of water a bit in order to accommodate the liquefied state of the spinach puree which is almost a cup. Spinach rice will still need some accompaniment like a spicy curry, kadhai dish, or any kind of kabab to go with it as the rice is rich in nutrients but still lacks in flavors. On the contrary, Tomato rice can be had on its own without any curry as it has lots of flavors and tanginess from tomatoes and other spices used. I usually prefer a nice bowl of raita with Tomato rice, which is also a good option if you want to have a meatless dinner.

 

Spinach & Tomato Rice

Spinach & Tomato Rice | Palak Pulao | Flag Colored Rice Recipe

Shanaz Rafiq
A combination of two rice recipes to represent the color of a flag with spinach rice for green, steamed rice for white, and tomato rice for orange.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course, Rice
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

For Spinach Rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup spinach puree see notes
  • 1 and 1/2 cup water
  • 2 small onion sliced
  • 2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 green chili finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ inch cinnamon stick and 2 green cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon cooking oil

For Tomato Rice:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 green chili chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon cooking oil

Instructions
 

  • Wash and soak rice for 20 minutes. Discard the water before cooking.
  • Heat oil in a saucepan and add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, and green cardamom followed by chopped garlic, chopped ginger, green chili, and chopped onion. Fry onion till it turns soft and pink.
  • Now add spinach puree and 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and add soaked rice and salt.
  • Cover and cook the rice for 8 minutes. Open the lid and stir gently to loosen the sides by fluffing and letting out any trapped steam. Place the lid and cook for a couple of minutes more. Remove from heat but let it stand covered for 10 minutes before serving.

For Tomato Rice:

  • Wash and soak rice for 20 minutes. Discard the water before cooking.
  • Heat oil in a saucepan and add cumin seeds. Once it slightly changes color add chopped garlic and fry for a few seconds. Then add chopped onion and green chilies.
  • Fry till onion turns translucent and then add chopped tomatoes followed by red chili powder, turmeric powder, tomato puree, sugar, and salt.
  • Cook till tomatoes are melted and oil starts to separate. This will take about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Now add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Check the seasoning.
  • Finally, add soaked rice. Stir, cover, and cook on medium-low heat for 8 minutes. Stir gently, by now the water is almost dried up but not completely. Place the lid back and continue to cook for a couple of minutes more or till the water has dried up and rice is cooked. Remove from heat but let it stand covered for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve hot.
Keyword Rice, Spinach, Tomato

If you have any queries regarding the recipe, do mention it in the comments section and I shall get back to you.

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