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 (see notes). Add in the spinach. Press cancel and close the instant pot lid with vent in sealing position. Set on manual or pressure cook mode on high pressure 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.
Burn message: If your instant pot is a newer model and you have seen burn message before, then add ½ cup water.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. Frozen Spinach: You can use frozen spinach in this recipe. The same cooking time should work well. The instant pot might just take longer to come to pressure. Frozen Paneer: If using frozen paneer, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Then use it as suggested. Green Chili Pepper: I typically use Thai, Birdeye or Serrano Chili Pepper in my recipes. Don't forget to adjust to your taste. Created: This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Programmable Pressure Cooker.