Saturday, September 10, 2022

Kale Channa and Paneer Pulao

This is a delicious pulao loaded with nutrients, and of course, kale, paneer, and channa (aka garbanzo beans). The aromatic whole spices along with rice, kale, paneer, and channa makes this a most memorable meal. This is also a no onion no garlic pulao.

On certain days, we do not cook onions and garlic. Sometimes when you run out of these, it is perfectly ok. Tasty meals can be made without onion and garlic. The whole spices used in this rice will give amazing flavor depth wherein the flavor gets compensated for onions and garlic. This rice is of that kind and it is more than Jeera Rice. Yet, this is a comfort meal, that can be made in about 30-35 minutes, perfect for lunch box, or weeknight dinner. There is not much chopping involved and this makes the entire process quick and easy.  Kale alone needs to be processed, pre-chopped kale can be used. Make sure to remove the veins or midrib that are thicker. Instead of chopping ginger, it can be grated and this saves some time. 

This pulao is loaded with channa/garbanzo beans and paneer, as well as kale. Each and every spoonful of this pulao will have all of these three quite a bit and some rice. The ratio of veggies to rice is high. Channa and paneer, being protein rich, makes this a balanced meal. With the quantity of paneer, kids will give a huge hug! Who doesn't love paneer. When this is packed for lunch, it is guaranteed that kids would finish their lunch, and in fact would ask for more. 

As for the heat, this pulao has a medium heat level. Sometimes, the Thai chili peppers can be too hot and based on your taste palette, adjust the quantity of chilies used. This recipe uses two Thai chili, and two dried red chili. This time both of these chilies were really spicy, and I limited myself to two of each.

For this pulao, usually I use kala channa, the darker and smaller garbanzo. I missed to buy this time. Kala channa is healthier and I love to make this Sprouted Kala Channa Dosa, or Kadala curry with it. A simple sundal will be a filling snack. In the place of this kala channa, I have used regular garbanzo beans. Canned garbanzos can also be used, and that makes the meal a lot quicker. For variations, any type of legume can be used.

Finally, kale, the amazing superfood, is the star here. Even kale haters would love this pulao. Kale belongs to the cabbage family along with cauliflower, and broccoli. Kale is rich in Vitamin A,C, K, and folate. It is rich in minerals potassium, calcium , and phosphorus. This pulao is a great way to include it in the diet. This Kale Stir-Fry, South Indian style curry, is a great vegan side. Creamy Kale and Corn is perfect to serve with flatbreads. Kale can also be used to make savory snacks like this murukku. There are different varieties of kale like flat leaf, curly, or blue kale. Curly kale is used in this recipe. Did you know it is easy to grow this?

This week is all about cooking with greens for the Blogging Marathon. This pulao with superfood kale, and most loved paneer and channa  is the perfect share for the theme. 

Serves 4-6

Basmati Rice - 1.5 cup
Paneer - 200 gms, 1/2-in cubes
Channa - 1.5 cups cooked, or 1-14oz. can
Salt - 1 and /4 tsp
Kale - 3 to 4 cups, packed, sliced
Ginger - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Oil - 3 to 4 tbsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Fennel - 1 tsp
Cardamom - 3
Star anise - 1
Cloves -5
Cinnamon - 2-in piece
Whole blackpepper - 1/2 tsp
Bay leaf - 1
Green Thai chili - 2-4, slit
Dried red chilies - 2, torn
Water - 2 and 3/4 cup


Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the red chilies, cumin, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves, and black pepper. Fry for 30 seconds, and add the green chilies and ginger. Sauté for 30 seconds. 

Add the rice and kale, sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Next, add the Channa, paneer, followed by salt and water.

Cook for 3-4minutes, until more than 70% of the water is absorbed by the rice.

Lower the flame, cover and cook for 6-7 minutes.

Switch off the flame, fluff the rice, cover and rest for another 5-10 minutes.

Fluff and serve with chips and/or raita.

1 comment:

  1. For a moment, I thought it was spinach, but love the addition of kale. What a lovely pulao idea... Must try this...