Perfect Palak Paneer every time! Learn my simple and easy method to make delicious Instant Pot Palak Paneer. This pressure cooker palak paneer recipe includes a secret trick, minimal spices and instructions for the best Spinach curry in the Instant Pot every time!
About this recipe
Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian Curry made with Spinach & Paneer. This recipe uses very minimal spices, yet it is absolutely delicious. It is low carb and keto friendly too.
To make Vegan Palak Paneer Instant Pot, swap the Tofu for Paneer and use Cashew Cream or Coconut Cream instead of dairy cream in the recipe.
I have used Instant Pot to make this curry in a jiffy. Pressure cooking the Spinach cuts down the cooking time.
DON’T HAVE AN INSTANT POT, YOU CAN MAKE THIS PALAK PANEER ON STOVE TOP too!
We pressure cook the Spinach Curry at Zero Minutes High Pressure and then quick pressure release any remaining pressure. Quick pressure release is extremely important to retain the vibrant color of the spinach.
PALAK PANEER VIDEO
How to keep Spinach vibrant green
While cooking, the vibrant green color of the spinach is lost because of longer cooking time. So the SECRET trick here is pressure cook the spinach for the minimum time.
Secondly, adding some lemon juice to the Spinach gravy contributes in retaining the green color.
When I cook Palak Paneer on stove top, I blanch the palak spinach in the hot water with a pinch of baking soda. Then drain the water off and rinse it under ice cold tap water. This also works in retaining bright green color of the spinach in the gravy.
To make Instant Pot Palak Paneer Recipe , you will need the following Ingredients
Paneer – Mild firm Indian cheese, perfect for cooking. For Paneer alternative, Use Halloumi cheese if you like. For Vegan alternative, Tofu works best.
Did I tell you Potato also works amazing in this recipe!! You got to try this alternative version too.
Onion – Red Onion or White – Both works well.
Tomatoes – Large Vine Tomato is good. I have not used canned tomato though, but you may use it if fresh tomato is not available. Only a small portion of tomato is needed in the recipe.
Ginger – Garlic are delicious in the recipe. As we add minimal spices, they contribute to the flavours.
Spices – I love adding Turmeric, Coriander Powder & Garam Masala.
Kasuri Methi – Dried Fenugreek leaves. If you do not have it at home, feel free to leave this ingredient out. But do not add fenugreek powder or fresh methi leaves instead!
Cream – Cream cuts the bitterness of the spinach in the curry. For Vegan alternatives you may like to use cashew cream/ coconut milk or even greek yogurt.
Detailed Ingredients with the quantity and method is included in the recipe card below.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT PRESSURE COOKER PALAK PANEER STEP BY STEP?
SAUTE –To make Spinach Paneer/ Palak Paneer in Instant Pot, Press SAUTE and Heat oil. Once its hot, add cumin seeds and allow it sizzle.
Next add onion, green chilli, ginger, garlic and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
At this stage, add water and deglaze the pot. This step is necessary, if your Instant Pot throws a BURN sign often. So do not skip the deglazing step.
Add chopped tomatoes and spice powders and stir. Cover and cook for 2 minutes.
PRESSURE COOK Add the spinach leaves, season with salt and 1/2 cup of water. Press CANCEL .Secure the lid and pressure cook for ZERO MINUTES HIGH PRESSURE. –QUICK RELEASE the pressure.
BLEND – Open the lid immediately. Use Immersion blender to blend the ingredients to a smooth creamy texture. Squeeze lemon juice!
Add Paneer and sprinkle Garam masala, cream and kasuri methi. Allow the Paneer to settle in the spinach mixture for at least 5 minutes before serving.
SERVE – Prepare seasoning on a separate pan on the stove top. Heat oil and add cumin seeds. Allow the cumin seeds to crackle. Add the seasoning to the Instant Pot Palak Paneer and serve hot. This step is optional but we this additional seasoning enhances the flavors.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What can be made with Paneer?
Paneer is a versatile ingredient that they are so good in almost most curries! Don’t wan’t to make Butter Chicken, make Butter Paneer.
How can I make Paneer soft in Palak Paneer
Soak the Paneer in HOT WATER for at least 10 minutes. This step works like magic to keep the Paneer soft in curries.
How to make Vegan Palak Paneer Instant Pot?
Simplest Swap for Paneer in this curry is Tofu! I like to use TOFOO brand Extra Firm Tofu available in UK. This Tofu is so good, that you do not need to squeeze out any water. Cut them into cubes and add them to your curries or toss them in 1 tsp oil and fry them in your Instant Pot.
Use Cashew Cream instead of dairy cream in the recipe.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR SAAG PANEER PALAK PANEER
- 450 g Spinach
- ¾ Cup Water
- 1 Tsp Sunflower Oil
- 1 Tsp Grated Ginger
- 1 Tbsp Garlic Puree
- 1 large Onion, finely chopped
- 1 large Tomato, finely chopped
- Lemon Juice – Squeeze of 1 Whole Lemon
- 1 Tsp Garam Masala
- 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
- ½ Tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 Tbsp Kasuri Methi
- 4 Tbsp Heavy Cream or Cashew Cream or Coconut cream
- Salt to taste
- 250 g Paneer, diced into cubes Substitute with Tofu for Vegan Option
- 1 Tsp Oil
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
- SOAK PANEER IN HOT WATER -Place the cubed Paneer in a pot of Hot water for at least 10 minutes and then drain. This step is essential to keep the paneer soft.
- SAUTE -Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode for 9 minutes. Add the oil. Once hot, add cumin seeds and allow it splutter.
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onions start to caramelize and become soft.
- Splash 1/4 cup water and deglaze the pot. .Add tomatoes, spice powder – turmeric, coriander powder and salt.
- Saute to combine. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes until they soften.
- Add the spinach leaves, salt and water.
- PRESSURE COOK – Press CANCEL. Secure the pressure cooker instant pot lid and turn the vent to sealing position. Press PRESSURE COOK and set HIGH PRESSURE for 0 minutes. Quick Pressure release.
- BLEND – Open the lid immediately. Use Immersion blender to blend the ingredients to a smooth creamy texture.
- Squeeze Lemon Juice. Add Paneer, sprinkle Garam masala, cream and kasuri methi. Allow the Paneer to settle in the spinach mixture for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds. Once they begin to sizzle, add them to the palak paneer. ( Optional )