Baked paalak and paneer rice

Ingredients:-

  1. Basmathi rice – 2 cups
  2. Ghee – 1.5 tbsps.
  3. Cardamom – 4 numbers
  4. Boiling water – 4 cups
  5. Salt – 2 tsps.

For the spinach mixture:-

  1. Oil – 1 tbsp.
  2. Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp.
  3. Garlic – 5 big cloves; chopped
  4. Onion – 1 cup; finely chopped
  5. Spinach puree – 1 cup (Blanch 3 cups of fresh spinach in boiling water for a minute and blend in a mixer/grinder. Adding a pinch of sugar and baking soda while blanching gives a brighter colour to the puree)
  6. Cashew – 5 numbers; soaked in hot water and pasted
  7. Garam masala powder – 3/4 tsp.
  8. Salt to taste

For the paneer mixture:-

  1. Paneer – 300 grams; crumbled
  2. Tomato and basil pasta sauce – 3 tbsps. (heaping)
  3. Fresh basil – 5 to 6 numbers; chopped
  4. Kasoori methi – 1/4 tsp.
  5. Salt to taste

Method:-

  1. For the paalak mixture, heat oil in a broad non-stick pan & add the cumin seeds. Allow them to crackle. Stir in the chopped garlic and onions & fry till onion turns almost golden brown in colour. Add the spinach puree and cashew paste and cook for 2 minutes more. Check for salt and add more if needed. Add the garam masala powder and keep aside.
  2. For the paneer mixture, mix together the crumbled paneer and pasta sauce. Cook for a minute. Add the basil leaves and kasoori methi. Check for salt and add more if needed. Remove from heat.
  3. Soak rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain water completely from the rice. Heat ghee in a broad pan & add the cardamom. Stir in the rice and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the boiling water and salt. Cover cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes. Divide the cooked rice into 2 portions.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  5. Mix one portion of the cooked rice with the paalak mixture and the other portion with the paneer mixture.
  6. Spread the green rice in a baking dish. Spread the pink rice over the green rice. Cover with a foil.
  7. Bake at 180 for 15 minutes.

Source:- Smart cooking by Sanjeev Kapoor

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