Saag Paneer is the authentic North Indian favorite. It is made with cooking mustard leaves and spinach with spices and cottage cheese, which makes it a delicious and nutritious dish. Make it in the instant pot for a quick and easy one-pot recipe.
"Sarson ka saag te makki di roti", which means mustard saag with bread made from corn meal, is what my Punjabi family loves for a scrumptious weekend meal. This is a very common meal made in villages in Punjab.
Mustard leaves have a a very interesting taste, they are slightly bitter but still very pleasing to the palate. See picutre below. That is one of the main reasons to cook them with spinach. I like to prepare saag with both mustard leaves and spinach, it gives the more authentic taste. If you don't have mustard leaves at hand, you can prepare it with only spinach as well. But I warn you, it tastes so much better with mustard leaves.
You can eat saag as is, without any additions to it. In this recipe, I have added paneer to the saag as my daughter loves it. To make it vegan, you can skip the paneer or replace it with tofu.
Some people add radishes and/or broccoli while preparing saag, which is great too. You can also add cauliflower. It helps to get a thicker texture. Radishes help to reduce the bitter taste and balance the flavor. I like to add broccoli when I am making plain saag without paneer. Broccoli/Cauliflower can be added in addition to the greens. Add them before the pressure cooking step.
How to make Saag Paneer in Instant Pot?
This is a very quick, one-pot recipe. Start the instant pot and add in the ghee, green chili, ginger and garlic. Then add in the chopped onions and sauté for a few minutes. The ingredients can be cut into large pieces as we are going to blend them later.
Then add in the mustard, spinach leaves, water and pressure cook for 4 minutes. Release the pressure naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. Add in the corn meal (makai ka aata) and use the immersion blender to grind it to a smooth paste. You can also use a normal blender to grind and then transfer the saag back to the instant pot.
Add in the paneer and cook it for a few minutes. Saag Paneer is ready to be served.
Serve saag paneer with makki ki roti or naan. Add in a dollop of ghee or butter and enjoy!
Instant Pot Saag Paneer
- 1 tablespoon Ghee or Oil
- ¼ teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 2 Green Chili Pepper optional, adjust to taste*
- 1" inch Ginger chopped
- 10 cloves Garlic chopped
- 2 Onion medium sized. Cut into large pieces
- 1 bunch Mustard leaves (Sarson) chopped. About 9oz
- 1 bunch Spinach (Palak) chopped. About 9oz
- ¼ cup Water
- 10 ounces Paneer or Cottage cheese cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoon Corn meal (Makai ka aata) fine ground
- Heat ghee in the instant pot in saute mode. Add jeera, green chili, ginger and garlic.
- Once the ginger and garlic turns golden brown, add the chopped onions. Saute for 3 minutes.
- Add the spices to the instant pot. Then add the mustard greens, spinach and water.
- Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode for 4 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, do a 5 minute NPR, which means release the pressure manually after 5 mins. Turn off the instant pot.
- Add in the corn flour. Use an immersion blender to blend the saag to a smooth paste.
- Turn on the instant pot in saute mode. Add in the paneer and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Saag Paneer is ready to be served.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
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