Easy Instant Pot Palak Rice Recipe: Flavorful & Quick Meal Ideas

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine diving into a vibrant, nourishing bowl of palak rice, where the earthy flavors of spinach blend seamlessly with aromatic spices, all made effortlessly in your Instant Pot. This dish isn’t just a treat for your taste buds—it’s a staple that hails from the heart of Indian cuisine, promising both comfort and a burst of flavor in every bite.

Ingredients

To capture the essence of Indian cuisine with your Instant Pot, gather these fresh ingredients to create a vibrant and tasty palak rice.

  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon water (if needed)

Equipment Needed

To create the delicious palak rice using your Instant Pot, you’ll need a few key pieces of equipment to ensure the cooking process is smooth and efficient. Here’s what you should gather before you begin:

  • Instant Pot: Essential for cooking the rice and spinach mixture under pressure, which significantly reduces cooking time while enhancing the flavors.
  • Cutting Board: You’ll need a stable surface for chopping onions, garlic, ginger, and green chilies.
  • Chef’s Knife: A sharp knife is crucial for finely dicing your aromatics and chopping the spinach.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accuracy matters in this recipe, so be sure to measure your ingredients such as rice, water, and spices correctly.
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon: This will aid in sautéing the onions, garlic, and spices, and in mixing the ingredients evenly in the Instant Pot.
  • Colander: To rinse the Basmati rice thoroughly before cooking, which helps in getting rid of the excess starch.

Gather these tools, and you’ll be set to start cooking the palak rice in your Instant Pot, blending the aromatic spices and fresh spinach into a delightful dish.

Instructions

Now that you have all your ingredients and equipment ready, let’s start cooking your palak rice in the Instant Pot. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure your dish turns out perfectly aromatic and flavorful.

Preparing the Palak Paste

  1. Rinse the fresh spinach thoroughly under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. In a pot, bring water to a boil and blanch the spinach for 2-3 minutes until it’s wilted. This enhances the color and makes it easier to grind.
  3. Drain the spinach and immediately transfer it to a bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking process and preserves the vibrant green color.
  4. Once cooled, drain the spinach again and squeeze out excess water.
  5. Place the blanched spinach in a blender. Add chopped ginger, garlic, and green chilies to the blender.
  6. Blend the mixture into a smooth paste. You might need to add a little water to get a fine consistency, but try to keep it as thick as possible.

Cooking the Basmati Rice in the Instant Pot

  1. Rinse the Basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This removes starch from the rice, preventing it from becoming gummy.
  2. Turn on the sauté function on your Instant Pot and heat some oil.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  4. Add the palak paste to the onions and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously to prevent the paste from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Now, add the rinsed rice to the pot along with salt and the measured water.
  6. Stir everything together well, ensuring the rice is submerged in the liquid.
  7. Close the lid of your Instant Pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
  8. Select the “Rice” function or manually set the Instant Pot to cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.
  9. When the cooking time is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully manually release any remaining pressure.
  10. Open the lid and gently fluff the rice with a fork.
  11. Serve your flavorful palak rice hot, optionally garnished with fresh coriander leaves or fried onions.

Serving Suggestions

Once you’ve mastered the art of making palak rice in your Instant Pot, pairing it with complementary side dishes can elevate this simple meal into a feast. Here are some delightful options to serve alongside palak rice:

  • Cooling Raita: Whip up a quick cucumber or boondi raita. The cool, creamy texture of raita balances the spices of the palak rice, providing a refreshing contrast.
  • Crisp Poppadoms: Serve with a side of crisp poppadoms for added crunch. Whether plain or peppered, poppadoms will add a delightful snap to your meal.
  • Mixed Vegetable Pickle: Add a tangy twist with some mixed vegetable pickle. This brings in a burst of flavor that compleves the earthiness of the spinach.
  • Roasted Chicken or Paneer: For a protein-rich addition, consider roasted chicken pieces or pan-fried paneer. Both choices complement the flavors in palak rice and make for a more filling meal.

Combining palak rice with these sides, you’re not just serving a meal; you’re creating an experience that’s both tasty and visually appealing. Enjoy the array of flavors and textures that each side offers.

Storage and Reheating Tips

After enjoying a delightful meal of palak rice, it’s important to store any leftovers properly to maintain their freshness and flavor. Here are some tips to help you store and reheat your palak rice effectively.

Storing Leftover Palak Rice

  1. Allow to Cool: Before storing, let the palak rice cool down to room temperature. However, don’t leave it out for more than two hours to avoid bacterial growth.
  2. Use Airtight Containers: Transfer the cooled palak rice into airtight containers. This helps to preserve the moisture and prevent the rice from drying out.
  3. Refrigeration: Store the containers in the refrigerator. Properly stored, the palak rice can last for up to 3 days.

Reheating Palak Rice

  1. Microwave: For a quick reheating method, place the palak rice in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle some water over it to add moisture back into the rice. Cover the dish and microwave on high for 2 minutes, stir, and then microwave for another 1-2 minutes until thoroughly heated.
  2. Stovetop: If you prefer to use a stovetop, put the rice in a skillet, sprinkle some water, and cover with a lid. Heat it over a medium flame, stirring occasionally until the rice is evenly heated. This method helps to restore the texture of the rice.

Using these storage and reheating tips, your leftover palak rice will continue to be a delicious and convenient meal option for the next few days. This ensures that none of your lovingly cooked meal goes to waste, keeping the flavors and textures intact for you to relish again.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve mastered the art of making palak rice in your Instant Pot you’re all set to dazzle your family and friends with this flavorful dish. Remember to play around with the side dishes to find your favorite combinations. Whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a special gathering your palak rice is sure to be a hit. Enjoy the ease of this recipe and the delightful leftovers with the handy storage and reheating tips you’ve learned. Happy cooking!

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