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palak paneer served in a white bowl with salad and garlic naan on the side
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Instant Pot Palak Paneer Recipe (Pressure Cooker)

Palak Paneer is a dish of North Indian origin consisting of palak (spinach) and paneer (cottage cheese) in a thick curry sauce based on pureed spinach, onion, tomatoes and spices
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Keyword palak paneer, pressure cooker palak paneer, spinach cottage cheese curry
Diet Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Method Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker, Stovetop
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 254kcal
Author Bhavana Patil



Instant Pot Method:

  • Press SAUTE on Instant Pot. Add oil to the POT. Add cumin seeds once the oil is hot, and let the cumin splutter.
  • Next, add roughly chopped onions, minced ginger, garlic, green chili, and saute until onions turn light brown.
    step to saute onion ginger garlic collage
  • Add diced tomato, and spices like red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and sugar. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
    step to cook canned tomatoes and spices collage
  • Add ½ cup of water and deglaze the pot. Next, add in the fresh spinach.
    step to add spinach collage
  • Close the lid on the pot, and turn pressure valve to SEALING position.
    Furthermore, Set the pot to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK (High Pressure) and timer to 2 Minutes. If using frozen spinach then set the timer to 1 Minute.
  • Once the pot beeps, Do a QUICK RELEASE (QR).
    Blend the ingredients in the pot to a creamy texture using an immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender, then take the mixture out, cool it, and then blend in a regular blender and add the mixture back to the instant pot.
    step to puree cooked spinach collage
  • Lastly, add garam masala, kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves), and paneer cubes and mix well. You can also add some fresh cream or cashew cream at this stage.
    No need to boil/saute again after adding paneer. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
    step to add paneer and garam masala collage
  • Delicious palak paneer is ready. Serve it with your favorite Indian bread variety (roti / naan / kulcha / paratha) or even plain rice.
    palak paneer in instant pot insert

Stovetop Pot Method:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and blanch for 1-2 minutes until wilted.
  • Drain the spinach and put it in a bowl of ice cold water. This helps the spinach leaves to retain their green color.
    step to blanch the spinach collage
  • To a blender, add the blanched spinach, ½ cup of water and puree until smooth. Keep it aside.
    step to puree the blanched spinach collage
  • Heat oil in a kadai. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds, and let them splutter.
  • Then add onions, and saute until the onions turn light brown.
    step to saute onions for palak paneer collage
  • Add minced ginger, garlic, green chili, and saute until the raw smell of ginger and garlic disappears.
  • Next, add diced tomato (or tomato puree), and saute till the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
    step to saute tomatoes collage
  • Then add spices like red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, and sugar. Cook for 1-2 minutes till the masalas are cooked well.
  • Add the spinach puree and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Do not cook for longer at this stage as the spinach can loose its color. If the gravy is thick you can add some water.
    step to cook spinach puree with masala for palak paneer collage
  • Lastly, add kasuri methi, garam masala, and paneer cubes. Give a quick stir and turn off the stove. Optionally use can add 2 tablespoons of fresh cream or cashew cream at this stage.
    step to add garam masala and paneer cubes collage
  • Delicious palak paneer is ready.


I have prepared this dish in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO60 6 QT

Tips to make the Best Palak Paneer

  • Fresh Spinach: Use fresh, tender spinach leaves for the best results. You can also use frozen spinach.
  • Blanch Spinach: For the stovetop method, Blanch the spinach before pureeing to retain its vibrant green color. If using frozen spinach, since they have been already balanced, you can skip that step. For the Instant pot method, Make sure to quick release after the pressure cooking and not overcook the curry. It will lose its bright green color from the spinach.
  • High-quality Paneer: Use homemade paneer for a rich flavor and creamy, and soft texture.
  • Pan-fry Paneer: Shallow fry the paneer cubes in a pan or air fry them until golden brown for a crispy texture.
  • Sugar: If the spinach curry is bitter, you can use ½ teaspoon of sugar to balance the flavors.


  • Vegan: If you are a vegan, Substitute paneer with extra-firm tofu.
  • Add vegetables: You can also add cubed boiled potatoes, mushrooms, or boiled sweet corn to spinach curry.
  • Kasuri Methi: You can also add Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) at the end to get the restaurant-style flavor to the dish.
  • Canned Tomato Puree: Replace the chopped tomatoes with canned tomato puree or sauce.
  • Skip Tomatoes: You can skip tomatoes and substitute with 2 tablespoons of yogurt for sourness. Or add the juice of half a lime after pressure cooking.
  • Cream: Adding cashew-nut cream or fresh cream is optional. This is added to make the curry more rich and creamy. Prepare cashew-nut cream by blending a few soaked cashew nuts and water in a blender.
Note:Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 684mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1054IU | Vitamin C: 32.2mg | Calcium: 399mg | Iron: 3.2mg