Easy Palak Paneer Instant Pot Recipe: Quick and Delicious Spinach & Paneer Curry

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Craving a delicious and nutritious Indian dish that’s quick and easy to make? Palak Paneer, a vibrant spinach and paneer cheese curry, is the perfect answer. This recipe brings the rich flavors of traditional Indian cuisine straight to your kitchen with the help of an Instant Pot, making it faster than ever without compromising on taste.

Palak Paneer has its roots in North India and is loved for its creamy texture and fragrant spices. The combination of fresh spinach leaves blended into a smooth sauce with tender cubes of paneer creates a mouthwatering meal that’s both satisfying and healthy. Plus using an Instant Pot simplifies the cooking process so you can enjoy this classic dish even on busy weeknights.

Ingredients

To make a delicious Palak Paneer in your Instant Pot, you will need the following ingredients.

For the Paneer

  • 1 pound paneer, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee

For the Spinach Gravy

  • 1 pound fresh spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 green chilies, chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Water as needed

Required Equipment

To prepare your delicious Palak Paneer in an Instant Pot, you’ll need the following equipment to ensure a smooth cooking process:

  • Instant Pot: The star of this recipe. It helps you cook everything quickly and evenly.
  • Blender or Immersion Blender: Essential for pureeing the spinach to achieve that creamy texture.
  • Cutting Board and Knife: For chopping onions, tomatoes, green chilies, garlic, and ginger.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To measure out spices and other ingredients accurately.
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon: Useful for stirring the ingredients as they cook in the Instant Pot.
  • Serving Bowl and Ladle: To transfer your finished Palak Paneer from the pot to your dining table.

Having these tools ready will make your cooking experience efficient and enjoyable.

Instructions

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a delicious Palak Paneer using your Instant Pot.

Prep the Ingredients

  1. Wash and Chop Spinach: Rinse 4 cups of fresh spinach leaves thoroughly under cold water. Drain well and chop roughly.
  2. Chop Vegetables: Dice 1 large onion, 2 medium tomatoes, and 2 green chilies. Mince 3 cloves of garlic and grate a 1-inch piece of ginger.
  3. Prepare Spices: Measure out your spices—1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon garam masala powder, and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder.

Cook the Spinach Mixture

  1. Sauté Aromatics: Set your Instant Pot to ‘Sauté’ mode on high heat. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil.
  2. Add Cumin Seeds: When the oil is shimmering, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Cook Onions and Chilies: Add the chopped onions and green chilies to the pot. Sauté for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent.
  4. Add Garlic and Ginger: Stir in minced garlic and grated ginger; cook for another minute until aromatic.
  5. Mix in Tomatoes & Spices: Add diced tomatoes along with garam masala powder and turmeric powder; cook for about 5 minutes until tomatoes soften.
  6. Add Spinach & Water: Stir in chopped spinach followed by adding half a cup of water.

Prepare Paneer

  1. Cube Paneer: While your spinach mixture cooks, cut an 8-ounce block of paneer into bite-sized cubes.
  2. Optional Frying Step (If Desired):
  • Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat with a tablespoon of oil or ghee if you prefer crispy paneer cubes.
  • Add paneer cubes to the pan; fry each side until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes per side). Set aside on paper towels to drain excess oil.

Pressure Cooking and Finishing Touches

  1. Pressure Cooking Step:
  • Secure the lid on your Instant Pot ensuring it’s set to ‘Sealing’.
  • Cancel ‘Sauté’ mode then select ‘Pressure Cook’ (or Manual) on high pressure for just two minutes.
  • After cooking time ends use quick release method carefully letting steam escape before opening lid.
  1. Blend Spinach Mixture:
  • Use an immersion blender directly in Instant Pot bowl blending cooked spinach mixture into smooth puree consistency (alternatively transfer content into regular blender).
  1. Add Paneer: Once your spinach mixture is smooth, stir in the cubed paneer gently to avoid breaking. Select ‘Sauté’ mode again for 2-3 minutes to warm the paneer and allow it to absorb the flavors.

Serving Suggestions

Palak Paneer pairs beautifully with a variety of Indian breads and rice dishes. Here are some serving suggestions to enhance your meal:

Naan or Roti

Serve Palak Paneer with warm naan or roti. The soft, chewy texture of these breads complements the creamy spinach and paneer mixture perfectly. You can find naan and roti in most grocery stores, or you can make them at home for an authentic touch.

Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is an excellent accompaniment to Palak Paneer. Its long grains and aromatic flavor provide a delicate balance to the rich, spiced spinach sauce. Cook basmati rice according to package instructions, fluff it with a fork, and serve alongside your dish.

Jeera Rice

For added flavor, consider serving Palak Paneer with jeera (cumin) rice. Sauté cumin seeds in ghee or oil until fragrant, then add washed basmati rice and water. Cook until the rice is tender, allowing the cumin’s earthy notes to infuse every grain.

Paratha

A flaky paratha adds another layer of texture to your meal. These layered flatbreads soak up the palak gravy wonderfully while providing a slight crunch from their crispy edges.

Salad

Balance out your meal with a fresh salad on the side. A simple cucumber-tomato salad dressed with lemon juice and salt offers a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of Palak Paneer.

Pickles & Chutneys

Adding Indian pickles (achar) or chutneys can elevate your dining experience by introducing tangy or spicy elements that complement the dish’s richness. Mango pickle or mint-cilantro chutney works particularly well.

Following these serving suggestions, you ensure that every bite of your Instant Pot Palak Paneer is accompanied by flavors and textures that highlight its deliciousness even further.

Conclusion

Mastering Palak Paneer in your Instant Pot transforms this traditional dish into a quick and easy meal without sacrificing flavor. With the right preparation, you can achieve restaurant-quality results at home. Pair it with naan, roti, or rice to create a complete and satisfying meal for any occasion.

Your family and friends will appreciate the rich flavors and creamy texture that make Palak Paneer a favorite. Don’t forget to experiment with serving options like salad or pickles to add extra zest. Enjoy the convenience of your Instant Pot while delighting in authentic Indian cuisine!

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