Spiced Silverbeet Pulao

I adapted an old recipe to make this rather delicious Pulao. Strictly speaking it’s not a pulao, as it ‘s lighter on the rice than normal. However, this brings to the fore the delicious flavours of silverbeet which is further enhanced by the aromatic whole spices. It’s up to you whether you pick those out at the end of cooking – personally I think it’s worth doing as I HATE biting into a cardamom pod or a whole clove. If you were feeling super practical, you could wrap them in a little muslin package – which would be infinitely simpler to fish out – I am not that practical.

450g silverbeet or spinach
1 small onion (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
6 cardamom pods (bruised)
5 cloves
1 bay leaf
1cm piece cinnamon
55g long grain rice
salt & pepper

Trim the bottom of the silverbeet, then cut up the stem to separate it from the leaves. Chop the stems into thick cubes, and roughly chop the leaves. Set aside separately.

Heat a large saucepan with the oil over a low heat. Gently cook the onion for 4-5 minutes with some salt and pepper until soft and golden. Add the silverbeet stems and the paprika and stir for a further 3-4 minutes. Add the rice, silverbeet leaves and whole spices together with 250ml boiling water and stir for 1-2 minutes until the leaves have wilted. When it comes to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 25-30 minutes stirring occasionally. The liquid should be fully absorbed, but if it gets too dry during the cooking time add a little more water. Similarly, if it’s not absorbing, remove the lid towards the end of cooking to reduce.

This is a great with fish, poultry and red meat. I ate mine with a deliciously tender kangaroo steak. Don’t recoil in disgust, kangaroo meat is delicious, cheap and very very lean. It’s easy to find in Australia but beef or veal or even venison would work equally well too.

  • ross elliot

    If (like me) you are terminally lazy, then get 6-8 cup paper teapot filters (eg Agatha’s Bester, T-Sac ) and use these for holding herbs and/or spices.

  • Ruwani

    Hi, this is a beauty. I did this tonight for dinner. My son & husband both had a second serving. It is very difficult to get my son to eat greens. But he loved this. He wanted me to make it frequently.

    I used 1TBS Olive oil and 1 TBS butter instead of 2 TBS Olive oil.

    Thanks a lot.

    • admin

      To be honest, I often use ALL butter, but not too often. My expanding belly won’t allow much more butter!

      Glad you all enjoyed.

  • Kagiya

    Hello from New Zealand! I was at loss what I should do with all the silverbeet from my own garden — I came here originally from Japan, and silverbeet is not a vegetable that Japanese eat! But I found your recipe, tried it, and wow, so beautiful! Actually I forgot to add sweet paprika, and added quite a lot of mushroom, and it worked.

    My husband, who came from Germany, never fancies greens, especially silverbeet (he used to grow it himself in his garden, but only cooked it for his dog!). But he ate 2 servings voluntarily, so I should say this is a winning recipe. Only drawback is, as you mentioned, cardamon seeds and cloves when we bit on them, but we survived. I have enough for 2 more of this in the fridge, then more can be made from the garden. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • admin

      Thanks for the comment.

      It’s a lovely vegetable to cook with. I have a couple more recipes using this vegetable on the to-do list so stay tuned for more. It’s always nice to hear a nice comment so thanks again and hope you enjoy more from the site


%d bloggers like this: