Palak Kichdi/ Spinach kichdi/ Green pongal

If you are looking for a healthy protein rich one pot rice dish for lunch box or lunch, then my first suggestion would be Kichdi/ pongal. It is one such nutritious & easy to make dish which can be served even without side dish. A choice of pickle is good to go. Generally kids like it at the time they are initially introduced the solid food world as it is mix of mild flavors. You can make it interesting with the addition of veggies too. Today, I am sharing one such healthy recipe, that is spinach kichdi which is attractive with its green color.

Palak Kichdi

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 3
Fresh palak/ spinach leave – 2 cups, tightly packed
White rice – 1 cup
Moong dal – 1 cup
Salt – 1 tsp, adjust as required
Tamarind – ¼ tsp (optional)
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Black pepper – ½ tsp, Adjust as desired
Cumin powder – ½ tsp
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Dry red chilli -1
Cooking oil/ butter/ ghee – 2 tsp + 2 tbsp additional butter/ ghee
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Cashews – 10 – 12 (optional)

Method 1 (one pot dish):
  • Initially, If you don’t have ready to use cumin and coriander powder, then make it. To prepare it, dry roast these seeds and crush using a mortar pestle or dry mixer jar.
  • Clean & wash palak/ spinach leaves. Take cleaned leaves in a mixer jar, grind to make smooth paste adding tamarind. You need not add water. Keep this puree aside.
  • Slightly crush pepper & cumin seeds just to release flavor.
  • Was rice and moong dal and keep that too ready.
  • Heat pressure cooker with 2 tsp added oil/ butter.
  • Add mustard seeds, crushed cumin & pepper and cut dry red chilli. On spluttering add curry leaves.
  • Add Cumin & coriander powder and sauté once.
  • Add the palak puree to it and sauté for couple of minutes or until raw smell goes off.
  • Now add washed dal and rice. Add salt and turmeric powder.
  • Pour in 5 cups of water. Close the lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
  • Wait until pressure releases. Then open the lid.
  • If it looks dry, then add water as needed and boil to get kichdi consistency.
  • Fry cashews chunks in a tea spoon of ghee and add to the kichdi.  Serve the steaming hot kichdi with preferred side dish or as it is.
Method 2 (Preparing spinach puree separate): 

In this method, all the above steps remains same except addition of spinach/ palak puree initially before pressure cooking.
  • Initially prepared seasoning, and pressure cook rice & dal with other spices adding water as needed.
  • Meanwhile, blanch or boil cleaned palak leaves with little water and make a puree of it on cooling.
  • Once the pressure settles down, add spinach puree & boil well adding required water.
  • In this method, the color remains richer.
Spinach kichdi

  • If you like to add more flavour, then add 4 cloves of garlic & half inch ginger while grinding palak leaves.
  • If you love to enjoy plain kichdi/ khaara pongal, then just leave palak puree. Rest of the process remains same.
  • Replacing palak by tomato makes red tomato kichdi.
Green pongal