Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rice with Corn & Spinach (Palak)

Rice with corn and spinach is relatively easy to make, but is a little time consuming overall. It is simultaneously a very healthy dish. Spinach with sweet corn is one of my favorite combinations. The sweetness of corn fuses well with the slightly bland yet earthy taste of spinach. This corn and palak variation is creamier than your average restaurant entree as I have added a white sauce in place of heavy cream. The white sauce prevents the palak vegetable from having a runny or watery texture. This dish is also a meal in a bowl. So, relax and enjoy!

Soaking time: 20 minutes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients for Rice:
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 to 6 cups of water 
  • 2 bunches of spinach (will create approx. 3 cups of puree)
  • 1 cup boiled corn
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 3 to 4 small garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 to 5 green chili, chopped (adjust according to your tolerance for heat)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • 3 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • Salt to taste
Ingredients for White Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
Ingredients for Veg Saute:
  • 1 small onion, cubed
  • 1 tomatoes seeded, cubed 
  • 1 small green pepper, cubed
  • 1 small red pepper, cubed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red crushed pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oilve oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. First, we will cook the plain rice. Start by washing the rice and soak for 20 minutes in warm water. Then, drain the water. In a pot, add the rice, water, salt, lemon juice and ghee. While the rice is cooking, rinse the spinach very well in water. When the rice is cooked, drain the water and keep the rice on the side.
  2. Boil water with some salt. Add chopped green chili, ginger, garlic and the spinach to the boiled water. Switch off the flame and let the leaves be immersed in the water for 2 minutes.
  3. Drain and quickly immerse the spinach in ice cold water. 
  4. Boil the corn and keep it on the side.
  5. In a blender, make a smooth spinach puree by adding a little water. Keep it on the side.
  6. To make white sauce, in a pan, melt butter and stir in flour and salt. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 more minutes and the sauce is ready.
  7. To make corn and spinach mixture, in a pan, heat the oil or ghee and add cumin seeds. When it crackles, add hing (asafoetida) and chopped onion. When onion turn medium brown, add all spices, mix well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Then, add spinach puree and boiled corn, mix well and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Add the white sauce, mix it well and cook for another 1 minute. The corn and spinach is ready.
  9. For saute veg, in a pan, add olive oil, cumin seeds and onion and cook on high medium heat. Then, add all other vegetables. Sauté for 30 seconds. Add salt, black pepper and red crushed pepper. Vegetables should be crunchy, not overcooked. Turn off the gas.
  10. The dish is ready to serve! In a plate, first, place the rice. Then, place the corn spinach vegetables. Finally, add the sautéed vegetables on the top of the spinach. Serve hot and enjoy!

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