Instant Pot Palak Paneer- Indian Saag Paneer or Spinach and Cottage Cheese Curry made with fresh Spinach Leaves,Warm Spices and Cubed firm Cottage Cheese in the pressure cooker.
This is a shortcut way of making palak paneer.Do check out my post on Dhaba Style Palak Paneer too.
What is Instant Pot Palak Paneer
Punjabi dish made in every household, especially during winter months when the spinach and other fresh greens are abundant.
This is the shortcut way of making palak Paneer in the instant pot.This recipe is a life saviour for busy moms like me, who cant always take out the time to make the more elaborate Palak Paneer recipe on stove top.
You skip the blanching step and pressure cook the spinach for 0 minutes instead.
The whole curry is done in less than 20 minutes.
Is Saag Paneer and Palak Paneer Same
Technically no.Though , often, it’s used interchangeably.
When you use only Spinach leaves , the curry is called Palak Paneer.
When you use a combination of spinach, methi, bathua etc then it’s called Saag Paneer.
There is another variant of this called Saag which is made by combination of spinach, bathua and Mustard Greens which is called Sarson ka Saag, served with hot corn flatbreads called Makki ki Roti.
How to make Instant Pot Palak Paneer
Step 1: Prep
Wash the spinach multiple times till its clean and the water runs clear.Cut the onions and tomatoes into rough chunks.
Cut paneer into chunks and refresh it in hot water with a tsp of vinegar.This will soften the paneer.
Step 2 – The onion Tomato Base
Start on the SAUTE mode.Once the pot is hot, add oil.Add the cumin and let it splutter- this releases the cumin flavour in the oil.Add Onions, garlic and ginger and cook till translucent about 2-3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, cashews and spices- coriander, chilli powder and turmeric.
Step 3- Pressure Cook the Spinach
Add the spinach, close the lid and switch to PRESSURE COOK mode for 0 minutes at HIGH pressure.
Spinach doesn’t need to be cooked too much.In fact, the more you cook it, the more dark the gravy and ironish the taste.
Step 4– Blend the Sauce
Using a stick blender or a normal blender, blend it into a silky gravy.Add it back to the instant pot.
Step 5- Add Paneer and Cream
Add the paneer and give it a mix.Do not cook further.
Garnish with heavy cream and serve hot.
Tips and Tricks for Palak Paneer
Wash your spinach in your salad spinner and spin out all the excess water.This will make sure that spinach doesn’t release too much water while cooking it.
Do not cook the curry once add the paneer.This will keep the paneer and the gravy fresh.
Add a Tempering of oil, jeera and asafetida over the palak paneer just before serving for an extra oomph.
Trick to Make Soft Paneer
How to store Paneer– Store your paneer in a closed box full of water and 1 tbsp of vinegar.This way the paneer will stay fresh for long.
To make old paneer fresh and soft – Soak the paneer in hot water with a tbsp of vinegar for 10 minutes before adding to any curry.
Vegan Palak Paneer– Substitute paneer with firm tofu and fresh cream with cashew cream for a vegan,dairy free version of palak paneer.
Gluten Free Palak Paneer– Palak paneer is gluten free naturally.Serve it with rice to complete the meal.
High Protein/Healthier Palak Paneer– Substitute the paneer with Tofu and skip the cream to make this instant pot saag paneer healthier.
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- 3 Cups Spinach Palak
- 1 Cup Paneer Firm Cottage Cheese Cubed
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic- Minced
- 1 inch Ginger-Minced
- 1 medium Onion Chopped about 1/2 cup
- 1 large Tomato Chopped about 1 cup
- 1/4 Cup Cashews
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Fresh Cream for Garnish
Prepare the Paneer
- Cut the paneer into cubes and submerge in warm water till you get everything else done.
Instant Pot Saag Paneer
- Heat the instant pot in SAUTE mode.
- Add oil, once the pot is hot.
- Tip in the onions, ginger and garlic next.Cook them till they turn translucent -about 2-3 minutes
- Add the tomatoes,ginger,garlic and cashews and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
- Sprinkle the spices next- coriander powder,chilli powder and turmeric.
- Add 1/2 Cup water and deglaze the bottom of the inner pot.
- Add spinach and mix.Cancel Saute
- Close the lid, select PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 0 minutes.Quick Release the pressure after the cooking time is over.
- Using an immersion blender, blend everything to a paste.
- Add Cottage Cheese Cubes and garnish with cream.
- Serve hot.