Recipe – Spinach Rice (aka Palak Chawal)

Here is an easy way to sneak in some veggies a make rice not so boring.  Not that I don’t love rice, because I do – but sometimes you want it to be a little exciting, you know?

First off – I used white jasmine rice for this.  My tummy seems to do better with white rice than brown.  I really don’t know how it will be  or how long to cook with brown rice.  Just so you know.  There are a lot of variations on this dish and I kind of cobbled together what I had in the cupboard.


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • half  an onion diced small
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 green chili seeded and diced
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup of jasmine rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh black pepper

This is how much spinach I used.

In a food processor or bullet blender, add the spinach, garlic, and chili along with 2 tablespoons of water (to help blend it).  Then blend into a paste.

You might need to stop it an push down the spinach a couple times.

In a saucepan, add the oil and heat over medium high heat.  Add in the cumin seeds and cook for a minute.

Then add the onion.  Let this cook for about 5 minutes, taking care not to burn it.

Now add the spinach mixture and the turmeric, garam masala, salt and pepper.

Cook this for a few minutes until most of the liquid evaporates. Then add in the rice and cook for just a couple minutes. Keep stirring this so it doesn’t stick.

Now add the water and the bay leaf.

Bring to a simmer, reduce heat a cover.  Cook for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.

Remove the bay leaf. Fluff up the rice to make sure all the spinach is mixed around and serve.  I garnished with a few cashews.

It turns out such a pretty color!  Calories for this are about 165 calories for 3/4 cup of rice.  Serves about 6. It’s really tasty and looks so pretty and green!

You can experiment with any spices you like or try adding some tomatoes or other veggies along with the spinach and really bulk it up.

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12 thoughts on “Recipe – Spinach Rice (aka Palak Chawal)

    1. Lori Post author

      Indian food is actually pretty easy. It just looks complicated, but most of it is spices. I loves me some Indian food!

  1. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    I don’t suppose this comes in a chocolate chip version? 🙂 (That made even me a little queasy.)

    I wish I liked rice more. About the best I can do is a brown rice/wild rice dish with apples and pecans. It’s one of my go-to fall dishes. Maybe I’ll try adding a it of spinach sometime.
    Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog post ..Another Road Trips Begins

  2. Ali @ Peaches and Football

    I’d take bread over rice – especially warm, freshly baked bread. 🙂

    I am always curious how people incorporate veggies into foods. I’m not big on green foods but this *almost* looks like the way I’d assume broccoli rice would look. Maybe I should try with broccoli sometime.
    Ali @ Peaches and Football´s last blog post ..Making the most of August

  3. Fran

    Interesting, I think I would like this too.

    I prefer white over brown rice too. I know brown is supposed to be better for you and keep you full for a longer time but I’d rather eat something I like instead of eating it because I “must”
    Fran´s last blog post ..Monday August 13, 2012: Mishmash

  4. Helen

    I bet those flavorings and the process would work with my newly found Cauliflower “Rice” as well. I need to give that a try as I love Indian flavorings. I actually prefer white rice over brown as well. I generally eat Basmati as it’s lower on the glycemic index.
    Helen´s last blog post ..Make the Hard Choice(s)

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