Palak Paneer is one of the most popular dish from North India. It is made with Spinach and Cottage Cheese, cooked with ginger, garlic, onions and aromatic spices. This is a simplified one-pot version of the authentic palak paneer, made in Instant Pot, which takes just 20 minutes to prepare. This is a nutritious Vegetarian, Gluten-free and Low Carb dish.
Instant Pot Palak Paneer is made with Spinach and Cottage Cheese. There is another popular North Indian dish, Mustard Greens Saag, which is very similar, however it is made with both Mustard Greens and Spinach. If you want to make this dish Vegan, check out the Palak Tofu recipe. And if you like to include Chicken in place of Paneer, check out my popular Chicken Saag.
How to make Palak Paneer in Pressure Cooker?
This is an easy to make dish, you don’t need too many ingredients. The basic – onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and some spices. And off course spinach and paneer. I used a whole box of baby spinach from Costco.
Start the instant pot and saute the ginger, garlic and onions in some oil, along with aromatic cumin seeds. Then add tomatoes and spices. I chopped the onions and tomatoes. However you could cut them into large pieces as we are going to blend them later.
Then add in the spinach and pressure cook for just 2 minutes. I prefer to release pressure after 5 minutes of the cooking being done. This helps to retain the beautiful color of the spinach.
I use an immersion blender to blend the ingredients. You can leave it coarse or blend smooth, based on your preference. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer to your countertop blender or food processor to blend. Stir in the Paneer and some garam masala, and let it rest for 5 minutes. This will help for the paneer to get soft and soak in the flavors. I don’t fry the paneer, however if you prefer it lightly fried, that would work perfectly too. Palak Paneer is ready to be served with rice, naan or parathas.
Here is a 1-minute video of making Palak Paneer in the Instant Pot:
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- Start the instant pot in sauté mode. Heat oil and add cumin seeds.
When cumin seeds start to splutter, add ginger, garlic, green chili and onions. Sauté for 2 minutes.
Add tomato and spices. Stir and let it cook for 2 minutes.
Add water and deglaze the pot. Add in the spinach. Press cancel and close the instant pot lid with vent in sealing position. Set on manual or pressure cook mode for 2 minutes.
Once the instant pot beeps, do a 5 minute natural pressure release, which means release the pressure manually 5 minutes after the beep.
Blend the ingredients in the pot to a creamy texture using an immersion blender.
Add the paneer and garam masala. Let it sit for 5 minutes, so the paneer soaks in the flavors.
Palak Paneer is ready to be served with naan, roti or paratha.
- Stovetop Variation: The exact same preparation can be done in a sauce pan. Do not use a non-stick pan, if you plan to use an immersion blender to puree the spinach.
- Fry Paneer: This is a personal preference. If you like to fry the paneer, you can fry in 2-3 tbsp oil in a pan or air fry it. Then add the fried paneer to the blended spinach.
- Green Chili Pepper: I typically use Thai, Birdeye or Serrano Chili Pepper in my recipes. Don't forget to adjust to your taste.
- This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Programmable Pressure Cooker.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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