Garden to Plate : Palak Rice
There is something about growing your food, seeing it flourish from a seed to a tiny seedling, flower, fruit and then the final act of plucking it. There is immense joy and satisfaction in the whole process, and there is almost nothing that can match up to the taste of the home grown organic vegetables.
I used to grow a lot of vegetables before I moved out of this house but then since I moved back an year and a half ago there was so much happening that I kept procrastinating the whole thing and then a couple of weeks ago thanks to a gardening whatsapp group created by some folks in the colony I got the kitchen garden going. We sowed a lot of stuff. Radish, Carrots, Spinach, Chillies, Basil, Brinjals, Flat Beans, Ridge Gourd, Bhindi. Spinach is the first to yield results as expected though a lot of other stuff is growing well and flowering too (touchwood). I have been using the baby tender leaves of spinach in salads, eggs, dosa and just about everything I was cooking and then my gardener handed this bumper harvest couple of days ago and this rice is what I made out of it. A wholesome quick meal which we enjoyed for dinner with some raita.
- Wash the basmati rice well about 2-3 times and soak in water for 30 minutes. Cook the rice with a little soft till tender. You can use pressure cook to cook it, if using the pressure cooker, cook till one whistle and switch off immediately to prevent over cooking of the rice. Also use 1:2 rice to water ration for pressure cooking. Keep aside the cooked rice for cooling.
- Wash and finely chopped the palak leaves, I used tender baby spinach for this but normal spinach leaves will work as well. Also finely chop the onion, ginger, garlic and green chillies and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a kadhai or a pan. When hot add hing to it and fry for 30 seconds till slightly brown and fragrant. Add the jeera seeds and fry till lightly browned. Add the whole spices i.e. pepper, cinnamon and bayleaf and fry for another minute.
- At this stage add ginger, garlic, onion and chillies. Fry till onions are translucent and cooked
- Add the chopped spinach along with salt and turmeric and cook for 2-3 minutes. We don't want to overcook the spinach. Add the cooked rice carefully to the spinach so that the rice doesn't break. Mix well and serve hot with raita and papad for a delicious and wholesome meal