Soft and tender cottage cheese cubes swimming in a tangy and flavorful spinach based curry, that’s what this Instant Pot palak paneer recipe is all about. Palak paneer is one of the most popular classic Indian dishes- one that you can never go wrong with.
This version of the curry is crafted in your good old Instant Pot- from start to finish, which makes it so much easier. Ready to give the recipe a shot? Read on…
Ingredients For the Recipe
You’ll need two simple sets of ingredients to make the Instant Pot palak paneer.
- Mustard oil: 1 tbsp
- Black pepper (whole): ½ tbsp
- Cumin seeds: 1 tsps
- Garlic cloves: 7-8
- Ginger: 1 inch
- Onion (roughly chopped): 1 cup
- Tomatoes (roughly chopped): 1 cup
- Spinach leaves: 200 grams
- Paneer/ Cottage cheese (cubed): 1 cup
For the gravy
- Oil: 1 tbsps
- Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
- Red chili powder: 2 tsps
- Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
- Cumin seeds: ½ tbsp
- Garam masala: 2 tsps
- Salt: 2 tsps or as per taste
- Cream: For garnish
- Coriander leaves (finely chopped): For garnish
How to Make the Instant Pot Palak Paneer with Air Fried Paneer
Once you have all the ingredients ready, here’s what you’ll need to do to make the recipe from scratch.
Pre-heat the air fryer at 400°F for 5 minutes.
Add the paneer cubes to the air fryer basket and cook them at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. Keep them aside.
Turn on the Instant Pot and set to Saute mode. Once it's heated, add in oil.
Add the black pepper, cumin seeds, garlic cloves, and ginger. Saute.
Next add the onions and saute.
Add in the tomatoes next and saute.
Lastly, add the spinach leaves and mix well.
Put on the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual Pressure Cook mode for 2-3 minutes, making sure that the valve is in the sealing position.
Let the pressure release naturally before removing the lid. Give it a good stir.
Transfer the content to a blender and blend into a smooth paste. Make sure the mixture has cooled down a bit before blending it.
In the same instant pot, heat it up and add oil.
Add the cumin seeds next and let them splutter.
Add all the powdered spices next and saute.
Next, add the blended spinach paste and mix well.
Add in the air fried paneer cubes next and mix well.
Serve hot with rice after garnishing with cream and chopped coriander leaves.
Frequently Asked Questions
Palak paneer is essentially a classic recipe that requires you to use a specific set of ingredients. However, you can still tweak things around a bit and throw in some more ingredients based on what you have at hand.
For instance, you can add some more greens into the mix- not just spinach. Fenugreek leaves, collard greens, mustard greens, kale and broccoli are some good examples. These can help bump up the nutritional value of the dish.
Like your potatoes a bit too much? You can cut them into cubes and air fry them too before you add them into the gravy- just like you did the paneer.
You sure can. One of the best things about most Indian curries is the fact that the curry base can be prepared days in advance, and then used when you want to put the dish together.
Here, you can prep the gravy and store it in the refrigerator. Then, when you want to enjoy the meal, just work on the air fried paneer portion of the recipe and put the dish together.
Your leftover Instant Pot palak paneer can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Remember to use an airtight container to help preserve its freshness. You can reheat the palak paneer in the microwave or over the stovetop- just remember to be gentle while mixing it, or the paneer will fall apart in the gravy.
If you want to store it for longer than 3 days, freezing is a good idea. Just use freezer safe containers, and if you can, store the paneer and the gravy in different containers.
Tips & Tricks to Make the Instant Pot Palak Paneer
Think the recipe is good enough for you to try out? Keep these additional tips and tricks in mind to ensure that you get the flavors and textures right.
- This recipe calls for the use of a blender to turn the spinach base into a smooth gravy. If you like your curry to have a bit of texture and chunkiness, you can totally skip that step.
- Want to enjoy a vegan version of this recipe? Skip adding the cream towards the end, and swap the paneer for firm tofu.
- Don’t have paneer? You can replicate the same recipe by just using cubed potatoes instead of cottage cheese cubes.
- To add some richness to this dish, you can also add some cashew paste or powdered cashews, give it a nice stir and allow the curry to simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Don’t have paneer at hand? You can actually make your own paneer from scratch in your very own Instant Pot. Just use this no-fail paneer recipe and you’re good to go.
Serving Ideas & Suggestions
Your homemade Instant Pot palak paneer tastes incredible when paired with some steamed rice, chapati, naan or any flatbread. Don’t forget to serve a nice crunchy salad on the side too- to make it a complete meal.
Enjoyed this delicious Indian curry? On the hunt for some more curry recipes to try out? Here are a few you might want to look at.
Instant Pot Palak Paneer with Air Fried Paneer
Ingredients for Air fried Paneer
- 1 tablespoon Mustard oil
- ½ tablespoon Black pepper , (whole)
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 7-8 pcs Garlic cloves
- 1 inch Ginger
- 1 cup Onion , (roughly chopped)
- 1 cup Tomatoes , (roughly chopped)
- 200 gms Spinach leaves
- 1 cup Paneer/ Cottage cheese, (cubed)
Ingredients for the gravy
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoon Red chili powder
- 1 tablespoon Coriander powder
- ½ tablespoon Cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoon Garam masala
- 2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Cream, For garnish
- 1 cup Coriander leaves , (finely chopped)
- Pre-heat the air fryer at 400°F for 5 minutes.
- Add the paneer cubes to the airfryer basket and cook them at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. Keep them aside.
- Turn on the Instant Pot and set to Saute mode. Once it's heated, add in oil.
- Add the black pepper, cumin seeds, garlic cloves, and ginger. Saute.
- Next add the onions and saute.
- Add in the tomatoes next and saute.
- Lastly, add the spinach leaves and mix well.
- Put on the lid and set the Instant Pot to manual Pressure Cook mode for 2-3 minutes, making sure that the valve is in the sealing position.
- Let the pressure release naturally before removing the lid. Give it a good stir.
- Transfer the content to a blender and blend into a smooth paste. Make sure the mixture has cooled down a bit before blending it.
- In the same instant pot, heat it up and add oil.
- Add the cumin seeds next and let them splutter.
- Add all the powdered spices next and saute.
- Next, add the blended spinach paste and mix well.
- Add in the air fried paneer cubes next and mix well.
- Serve hot with rice after garnishing with cream and chopped coriander leaves.