As I have already mentioned numerous times in this blog, Sunday lunch equates Biriyani for our family – both mine as well as the in-laws. We try a variation of Biryanis from mushroom to egg to veg to coconut based to tomato. As promised in my last Biryani post, here is the next recipe in my Sunday Biryani Series. Today I have a completely different Biryani recipe – Palak Biryani. Yes, you read it right. Palak or spinach incorporated into biryani. Biriyani is one of the most versatile dishes and it almost takes anything into it and provides a super tasty Biryani – this Palak Biryani is a perfect example for that. I had a large bunch of spinach/palak and I was in no mood to make it into dal or stir fry and that’s when I had the brain wave to make it into Biryani. Trust me, except for the color you would not believe that this Biryani is any different. Since I love green color, it was extra superb for me. To enhance the taste and to mask the spinachy taste, I added some coconut and used fried cashews and onions for garnish. All in all, it was one perfect Biryani!
Check out my other Sunday Biryani recipes from here.
To make Palak Biriyani
What I used –
- Basmati Rice, 1 cup
- Palak/Spinach Leaves, 1.5 cups (tightly packed)
- Onion, 1 large
- Tomato, 1 large
- Ginger Garlic Paste, 1.5 tsp
- Green Chillies, 1 or 2
- Coriander Leaves, 2 tbsp
- Mint Leaves, 2 tbsp
- Thick Curd,2 tbsp
- Red Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
- Garam Masala Powder, 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder, ½ tsp
- Coconut Chopped, 3 tbsp
- Dried Bay Leaf, 1
- Cloves, 2
- Green Cardamom, 1
- Cinnamon, 1” piece
- Oil, 1 tbsp
- Salt, as required
- Water, 2 cups
- Golden Fried Onions, 3 tbsp
- Golden Fried Cashews, 8-10
How I made –
1. Wash and soak Basmati rice in a cup of water for 20mins atleast.
2. Meanwhile, in a thick bottomed kadai heat oil. Add bay leaf, cloves, green cardamom, and cinnamon and fry until they are puffed. Add slit green chillies and fry for a minute. Add julienned onions. Fry until translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell is gone.
3. Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook until mushy. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and garam masala. Fry for a minute. At this stage, the oil should be leavening from the sides of the masala. Add thick curd and cook for 1-2 mins. Add finely chopped coriander and mint leaves. Fry until the leaves are wilted.
4. In a microwave safe bowl, add roughly chopped spinach leaves and set it on microwave high for about 4-5 mins. The spinach leaves would leave water and cook in those 4 mins. Once cooled down completely, make a smooth paste of spinach along with coconut.
5. Add the spinach coconut paste to the masala in the pan, fry for 2-3 mins. Add salt required and add the 2 cups of water (water from soaking rice + 1 cup). Check for salt and spiciness.
6. As the water begins to boil, add the basmati rice. Reduce the flame to low and keep the pan closed with a lid. Do not open it or stir for next 10-12 minutes. When all the water has been evaporated and the rice seems cooked, switch off the flame. Let the biriyani rest for 5 mins before mixing it well.
7. Sprinkle fried cashews and golden fried onions on top. Serve hot with any kind raita.
- I usually add 2 cups of water for each cup of basmati rice, while cooking it in this method. A cup of water from the soaked rice along with one more cup of water. Reduce or increase the water as per preference. Palak has some moisture content too - so adjust water accordingly.
- Adjust the quantity of palak/spinach as per preference.
- The green chillies and the ginger garlic paste should cook well for the perfect taste of biriyani.
- Reduce the quantity of chilli powder or green chillies as per your spice preference.
- Letting the cooked rice rest for atleast 5 – 10 mins ensures that the rice doesn’t break on mixing.
- To fry the cashews, heat a teaspoon of oil/ghee and fry the cashews until golden brown. To golden fry the onions, add a teaspoon of oil to the same pan and fry the julienned onions until golden brown.