A healthy, fragrant and easy paneer(indian cheese) and kale pulao that is perfect for lunchboxes and quick meals.It tastes great a room temperature and keeps well for 2-3 days without changing its taste.Serve it on its own with salad, papad and raita or combine with tikkis or kebabs.
Paneer is an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and in this recipe I combine it with blanched kale - another powerhouse of nutrition. The combination of dark leafy greens, ghee crisped paneer, buttery rice and aroma of spices in each bite makes this pulao irresistible. You can add vegetables like peas, spinach or greens beans instead of kale if you wish. If you want to make it vegetarian, use tofu or any plant protein in place of paneer and skip the yogurt (finish with a little lime juice instead).
Kale & Paneer Pulao
- 1 bunch kale (5-6 stalks)
- 7 oz paneer, cut into cubes or triangles
- 2 tablespoon ghee
- ¼ cup cooking olive oil
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 4 green cardamom
- 2 shallot, thinly sliced (or ⅓ cup sliced red onions)
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon tumeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoon full fat plain yogurt ,beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup basmati rice washed and soaked for 20 minutes
- 1.5 cup water (or as needed for your rice brand)
- Blanch the Kale Leaves - Discard the stems of the kale and wash the leafs thorougly 2-3 times in water. Next, add the leaves to a boiling pot of water and let cook for 5 minutes. Immediately add the kale to ice water. Let cook completely. Once cooled, chop into bite size. Keep ready.
- Prepare the Paneer -Add ghee to a cooking pot or shallow pan and on low heat, crisp up the paneer on both sides. Transfer to a plate.
- To the remaining ghee, add the cooking oil and let heat up.
- To the warm oil, add the whole spices and let crackle. Add the sliced shallots next and brown lightly for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and brown for 30-40 seconds on low medium stove.
- Add the powdered spices next alomg with yogurt and saute continously for a minute or so else the yogurt will curdle. Let cook for couple minutes till you see oil seperating on seeds. Add the chopped kale next and saute everything for a minute or so.
- Add the soaked rice, salt and paneer to the masala along with water. Mix well and taste the once, the water should taste salty else rice wont be flavorful.
- Bring the water to a boil, cover the pot and let cook on slow heat till the water is absorbed. Takes about 10-15 minutes.
- Switch off the stove, dont open the lid immediately. Let the rice pot sit undisturbed for 20 minutes.
- Gently fluff the pulao and serve.
- You can add vegetables like peas, spinach or greens beans instead of kale if you wish.
- If you want to make it vegetarian, use tofu or any plant protein in place of paneer and skip the yogurt (finish with a little lime juice instead).