Last week, I was looking for some veg pulao, just to try something different from the biriyani and non-vegetarian items. The more healthier the better. And I didn’t want the regular veg pulao, so I kept browsing and finally found this… This recipe has spinach (Palak) and Methi leaves (Fenugreek leaves), which are the superfoods for health. I didn’t have methi leaves, so just used spinach while preparing the pulao. The ‘Afghani’ added to it was an extra reason too.
And I didn’t regret. The Afghani Palak Pulao is so delicious, just healthier and nutritious…A good recipe if you need to wow your vegetarian guests. You could team it up with some Veg Tikka Masala or Paneer. We had some leftover Goan Mutton Vindaloo, which went perfectly with this flavored rice. Try this super dish, and send me your comments….Hope I make your day!!
Sourced from Cubesnjuliennes
- Prep Time : 15 minutes
- Cook Time : 50 minutes
- Yield : 3-4
- Basmati Rice - 2 cups
- Vinegar - 2 tsp
- Salt - to taste
- Puav Mix
- Tomato - 1, large
- Onions - 2
- Bay leaf - 2
- Green Cardamom and Cloves - 3 each
- Cinnamon stick - 2 inch
- Black peppercorns - 10 nos
- Garlic cloves - 8-10, thinly sliced
- Spinach - 1.5 cups
- Yoghurt - 1/4 cup
- Green chillies - 2-3
- Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
- Lemon - 1
- Mint and coriander leaves - a bunch
- Ghee - 3 tbsp
- Saffrom - a pinch
- Warm milk - 1/4 cup
- For tempering (optional)
- Garlic cloves - 6-8
- Ghee - 1 tbsp
Wash and soak basmati rice for 15 minutes. Cook rice with the vinegar, salt and enough water
Ensure that it is not cooked completely, maybe around 80 percent. Remove from heat.
Soak saffron in warm milk, and leave it to extract the flavor.
In a pan, add the onions, and fry until golden brown. Remove from fire. Grind together the diced tomato and the fried onions to a very fine paste. Keep it aside.
In another heavy bottomed pan, heat ghee. Add bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and peppercorns. Fry for few seconds. Add chopped garlic and fry till golden brown. Now add the ground tomato-onion paste and fry for 2-3 minutes on high heat.
Add the washed spinach and sauté the mx for a few minutes. Lower the heat and add yoghurt and mix everything. Now the remaining items can be added ine by one- green chilies, black pepper powder, garam masala powder, salt, lemon juice and mint leaves, mix well. Cook until done, around 3-4 minutes.
Now, you need to assemble the layers and create a dum (slow cooking), and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. I used an oven roaster, as it was easier. Preheat oven to180 degree Celsius.
Layer a generous portion of masala, then the rice, add some coriander /mint leaves and some cashews (optional), and top it again with masala, then rice and greens until the layering is complete (3-4 layers is good). Pour the saffron milk, Cover the roaster tightly with aluminium foil and also top it with a baking sheet/ ceramic plate. Bake at 180 degrees. The pulav should be done in 20-25 minutes.
This part of tempering is completely optional. Heat ghee in small pan, add sliced garlic and fry till golden brown. Pour this tempering over the cooked pulav. Garnish with extra fried onions and coriander leaves.
If you are using methi leaves, just reduce the spinach into half, and just add the methi leaves.
Dum works best when done in clay pots. If you want to do it the traditional way, you can use a heavy bottomed aluminium pan, layer the rice, masala, coriander leaves, and the saffron milk on top, and then seal the container with wheat flour dough, so that the steam does not pass. Ensure you use a heavy bottomed container, else the rice might stick to the bottom and then burn.
Cover and seal the container with a heavy lid, and keep a heavy object on top to ensure that steam does not escape from the sides. Let this simmer in low heat
The almost cooked rice and the masala needs to further cook in its own steam and juices on slow in order to capture the aroma of all the spices and meat/ veggies. This should take around 30 minutes. Remove the seal, give a quick stir. Garnish and Enjoy..