Palak Paneer Made Easy in the Instant Pot

Discover the Secret to the Best Palak Paneer Instant Pot Recipe

What is Palak Paneer?

Palak paneer is a classic North Indian dish that combines Indian cottage cheese and spinach. You may have tasted this flavorful curry at your favorite Indian restaurant or as a frozen microwave meal. However, homemade palak paneer is an absolute game-changer.

Benefits of Making Palak Paneer in the Instant Pot

There are plenty of advantages to making palak paneer in the Instant Pot. Here are a few reasons to give it a try:

  • Helps the family eat more veggies: This recipe is an excellent way to increase the vegetable intake of cheese-loving kids.
  • Easy and convenient: With the Instant Pot, you can make palak paneer using just one pot for the entire process. It’s a time-saving method that simplifies cleanup.
  • Healthy and nutritious: While cheese is high in saturated fat, palak paneer is still considered a healthy dish. It contains a variety of whole foods, plenty of vegetables, and nutrient-rich paneer.
  • Accessible ingredients: Most of the ingredients needed for palak paneer can be found in regular grocery stores. (Although you might need to order a secret ingredient online for the best results.)
  • Loaded with vitamins and minerals: Palak paneer is packed with essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber.
  • Suitable for different diets: Palak paneer is compatible with various diets, including low carb, keto, gluten-free, and vegetarian. (There are even tips for making it vegan!)
  • Delicious: Palak paneer is one of the tastiest ways to enjoy spinach. It’s a perfect alternative for picky eaters who aren’t fond of salads.
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Ingredients for Instant Pot Palak Paneer

To make palak paneer in the Instant Pot, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Instant Pot Paneer
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • Diced tomato
  • Garlic cloves
  • Fresh grated ginger
  • Finely chopped jalapeno
  • Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Diced onion
  • Water
  • Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • Garam masala
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Dried coriander
  • Salt
  • Heavy cream
  • Fresh lemon
  • Fresh chopped parsley (optional garnish)
  • Cooked basmati rice (optional, for serving)

Don’t worry about the long list; most of these ingredients can be found in regular supermarkets. If you don’t want to make your own paneer, you can purchase it at stores or online. Additionally, the secret ingredient, methi (dried fenugreek leaves), can be found at Indian grocery stores or online.

Equipment Needed

To make palak paneer in the Instant Pot, you’ll need the following kitchen equipment:

  • Instant Pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Colander
  • Food processor

Make sure to avoid using metal utensils with the Instant Pot to prevent potential damage. A wooden spoon is recommended for stirring. You can use either an immersion blender or a food processor to blend the palak paneer sauce. However, using a food processor is preferred to prevent scratching the Instant Pot.

How to Make Palak Paneer in the Instant Pot

Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making palak paneer in the Instant Pot:

  1. Start by making the Instant Pot paneer, following the recipe instructions in advance. The paneer needs time to chill before it can be cut into cubes.
  2. Fill the Instant Pot halfway with water and set it to high sauté mode. Allow the water to come to a boil, which will take approximately 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add the baby spinach to the boiling water and blanch it for 2-3 minutes. Drain the spinach quickly in a colander, then plunge it into cold water, and drain again. This ensures that the spinach retains its vibrant green color.
  4. In a food processor, combine the blanched spinach, chopped tomato, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, water, methi, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt, and cream. Blend until you achieve a smooth gravy. Pause and scrape down the sides of the food processor with a spatula if necessary.
  5. Dice the onion into ⅛-inch pieces and add them, along with ghee, to the Instant Pot set on high sauté mode.
  6. Sauté the onion, stirring occasionally, until it turns golden brown, which will take around 10-12 minutes. Then, add the blended sauce to the pot.
  7. Heat the palak paneer on high sauté mode for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Finally, gently stir in the paneer cubes at the end of the cooking time.
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Cooking Time and Temperature

For palak paneer in the Instant Pot, heat it on high sauté mode for 2-3 minutes. If the sauce appears to be losing too much water, you can stir in an additional ¼ cup of water. Serve the palak paneer with rice and lemon wedges, and optionally garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy this delicious and flavorful dish!

How to Store Palak Paneer

To store leftover palak paneer, place it in an airtight container. You can keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze it for longer storage. If you’re serving it with rice, it’s best to store the rice separately. Thaw frozen palak paneer in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. Cover the dish with a paper towel to prevent splatters.

What to Serve with Palak Paneer

Palak paneer is traditionally served with rice or Indian bread. Here are some popular options:

  • Basmati rice or Jasmine rice (white or brown varieties)
  • Cauliflower rice (for a low-carb alternative)
  • Naan
  • Roti
  • Paratha

Nutritional Information

One serving of Instant Pot palak paneer contains approximately 419 calories, 10.8 grams of net carbs, and 16.4 grams of protein. Please note that this information does not include any rice or additional side dishes.

Expert Tips

  • This recipe falls under level 2 (transition or weight maintenance). With the addition of rice or bread, it becomes a moderate-calorie meal. Although it’s not a low-fat dish due to the cheese content, you can reduce the fat and calories by using skim milk to make the paneer or by skipping the rice/bread and opting for cauliflower rice instead.
  • To enhance the flavor, consider adding condiments like mango-ginger chutney or yogurt-based raita. These additions will add extra protein and a touch of sweetness.
  • If you want to increase the protein content, you can have yogurt or a glass of milk alongside your palak paneer. You can also add more paneer to the recipe according to your taste and dietary needs.
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Q: Can I find more Instant Pot recipes?

A: If you’re looking for more Instant Pot recipes, try these suggestions:

  • Instant Pot Yogurt
  • Instant Pot Grape Leaves (Dolmas)
  • Turkey Wild Rice Soup (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)
  • Pressure Cooker French Fries

Q: Do you have more Indian recipes?

A: Absolutely! If you love Indian cuisine, check out these recipes too:

  • 20 Best Air Fryer Indian Recipes
  • Air Fryer Samosas
  • Egg Kheema (Vegetarian Egg Curry)

You might also find the Indian Instant Pot Cookbook an exciting addition to your collection!

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The Disclaimer…

All recipes on this website may or may not be suitable for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. If you require assistance in determining the best dietary pattern for you, consult with a registered dietitian or your physician. The nutritional information provided is an estimate and may vary depending on the specific brands and ingredients used. Calorie information on food labels can sometimes be inaccurate, so don’t worry too much about the numbers.

For more information on how the three recipe levels can help with your weight management goals, refer to our overnight oats no sugar post. Let’s get cooking!