Instant Pot Palak Paneer – Indian Cottage Cheese in Smooth, luscious, Delicious, Creamy Spinach Gravy. Palak Paneer is one of the most loved North Indian Dishes across the world. It is Eaten with Roti, Paratha, Naan, Parotta or Rice.
This Vegetarian Indian Instant Pot Recipe is a healthy weeknight dinner recipe that’s naturally gluten free, paleo and can easily be made Vegan by using tofu instead of Paneer and Oil instant of Ghee/clarified butter.
Palak Paneer Recipe can be made in so many ways. Everyone has a different recipe.
Today, I am sharing easy one pot, healthy and delicious way of making Palak Paneer in Instant Pot.
Ingredients needed to make Instant Pot Palak Paneer.
This Indian Dish in a power food. Its that kind of dish that when made with good ingredients, you will make it again and again. Its kind of dish we should all be eating more of.
Paneer is cottage cheese which is made by curdling the milk, draining the whey and then letting it set by putting weight on it for a few hours.
I always prefer to make paneer at home. It is creamy, soft and fresh. And Organic too! We don’t get Organic Paneer in the grocery store so I make it with organic milk. Believe me, making paneer at home hardly takes time, energy and saves you a lot of money.
If you don’t have time, Paneer is easily available in any Indian grocery store in the freezer section. I have also seen Paneer in health food stores like Sprouts and Whole food here in the US.
I don’t sear the paneer if I am making Palak Paneer for quick and easy weeknight dinner. But if I making it for any party or gathering, I always pan sear the paneer. I like that beautiful golden crust on top of paneer. Technically, this step isn’t mandatory.
This Spinach Paneer Curry recipe can also be made Vegan by replacing paneer with Firm Tofu.
Palak / Spinach –
I have used Organic Baby Spinach. You may use any spinach. Make sure your spinach is fresh and green. Otherwise, You won’t get a nice green color and fresh taste.
Usually, while making palak paneer, We need to blanch the Spinach to retain its green color. I have shared Palak Paneer recipe with blanching method on a blog.
But in this Instant Pot version, I have not blanched the Spinach to prevent loss of nutrients. Not blanching the spinach and cooking it in instant pot makes this curry delicious without losing its nutritious value.
To my surprise, I got a beautiful green color without blanching the Spinach.
I would recommend blanching if you have been on a low oxalate diet.
Cashew Paste –
Cashew paste gives creamy texture and body to the spinach gravy. Take cashews and water in a blender and make it into a smooth paste.
If you don’t have cashew on hand, you can also use any unsweetened Nut-butter.
If you want to make this nut-free, you make simply skip this cashew paste.
I have used very minimal spices to make this Punjabi Palak Paneer Recipe.
In this Easy Indian Palak Paneer recipe, I have used cumin as a whole spice and Garam masala and salt as a seasoning. That’s it.
Palak Paneer tastes best when made with very fewer spices.
Basic Ingredients –
Most of the curry starts out with that fragrant combo of Onion, garlic, green chili, and Ginger. These ingredients give nice aroma and taste to this dish.
Ghee is main and most important while making authentic palak paneer. Ghee gives a very nutty flavor and fragrance to this dish.
If you are vegan or have diet restrictions of Ghee / Clarified butter, you may use any oil of your choice.
But if you don’t have any diet restrictions, I would highly recommend you to use Ghee to make Instant Pot palak paneer. It tastes way better.
I have not used any type of cream to make this dish. I have only used it to garnish it this dish. If you like, you can add 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream at the end to this curry.
Second tempering (Optional)
I love second tempering of ghee, cumin seeds, and little bit chili powder on Instant Pot Palak Paneer. Second tempering gives a nice flavor and little bit spicy punch to this dish.
Second tempering is completely optional though.
Can we use Frozen Spinach to make Instant Pot Palak Paneer?
Yes, you can make frozen spinach. Thaw the spinach for 30 minutes and Just increase the cook time from 2 minutes to 4 minutes. Rest process will be the same.
Can we freeze this Palak Paneer?
Yes, Palak Paneer can easily be stored in the freezer. If you are planning to store it in the freezer, don’t add paneer in spinach gravy. Store both paneer and gravy separately.
When you are ready to eat, take out both paneer and spinach gravy for at least an hour from the freezer, mix paneer and gravy and microwave it for 3 minutes or until hot.
If you are like me who love Spinach And Paneer Combo, here are few recipes with this combo like,
If you have Instant Pot and trying to make Best Palak Paneer, give this recipe a try. I am sure you will be amazed at how scrumptious this tastes with very less effort.
How to make Instant Pot Palak Paneer
- 750 grams - Spinach / Palak I have used 4qt pyrex bowl full of spinach
- 450 grams - paneer Use Tofu for Vegan
- 1 1/2 tbsp - Ghee / Clarified butter Use oil if making vegan
- 1 tsp - Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp - Ginger paste
- 2 tsp - Green chili paste I made this little bit spicy, add according to your spice level
- 1 tbsp - Roughly chopped garlic
- 1 1/2 cup - Onion roughly chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 1/2 tsp - Garam Masala
- 1/4 cup - Cashew nut Take 1/4 cup water with cashew in a blender and make a fine paste
- 1 cup - Water
- Turn on saute mode. Heat Ghee/oil in an inner pot of instant pot.
- Add cumin seeds, let it splutter.
- Now add ginger, chili, and garlic. Saute for few seconds.
- Add onions and saute for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Now add washed spinach, salt, and water. Mix well.
- Cover your Instant Pot with a pressure valve to sealing.
- Press the manual/pressure cook button and set it on 2 minutes under high pressure.
- Once cooking time is over and IP beeps (you will see LO:00 on display screen), turn off your instant pot.
- Let the pressure release naturally.
- Open the lid. Blend the cooked spinach mixture with an immersion blender to make a smooth paste.
- Turn on your Instant Pot on saute (less) mode.
- Add cashew paste, garam masala, and paneer. Gently stir everything together.
- Cook on saute for 1 to 2 minutes only or until the gravy comes to a gentle boil.
- Turn off the Instant Pot.
For Tempering (Optional)
- Heat 1 tbsp Ghee in a pan.
- Add 1 tsp cumin seeds. Let it splutter.
- Turn off the stove and add 1/2 tsp red chili powder.
- Pour this tempering on palak paneer.
- Instant Pot Palak Paneer is ready. Garnish it with heavy whipping cream and Serve hot with Naan, Basmati rice, Phulka or Roti.
Don't Forget to watch quick Video
For Stove Top Version of making palak paneer, click hereFor Vegan Palak Paneer - Use Oil instead of ghee and Tofu Instead of Paneer. You can make this nut-free by skipping cashew paste. If you don't have cashew on hand, you can also use any unsweetened Nut-butter. Adjust spice level according to your taste. I would recommend blanching if you have been on a low oxalate diet.
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