Palak Paneer served in a blue bowl
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Palak Paneer

Restaurant style palak paneer recipe - This Indian vegetarian dish is popular with folks in India and abroad. Get this easy and healthy recipe to make restaurant style Palak Paneer (Spinach with cottage cheese) at home!
Course Entree
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Delicious, easy, restaurant style
Method Instant Pot, Stovetop
Diet Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 129kcal
Author Anushree Shetty

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped spinach/palak
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 350 grams or 12 oz paneer cut into cubes [ If frozen thaw it in the refrigerator overnight]
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4-5 whole cloves
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 Indian bay leaves
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin jeera powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander dhania powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon sugar optional
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

Stovetop Method

  • In a saucepan kept over medium heat, add a cup of water and once the water comes to a boil, add spinach and let it cook in it for 2 minutes or till the stems soften. Turn off the heat and set it aside. [I cook the spinach and don't blanch it. To blanch, read the notes section]. 
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok or a kadhai kept over medium heat. Shallow fry the paneer cubes till they turn golden brown. Fry them in batches if needed. Using a slotted spoon transfer the paneer to a plate. 
  • In the same wok, add cloves, pepper and bay leaves and fry them in the oil (remnants from frying paneer). Add onions and fry them till they turn soft. Add salt, garlic, and ginger and fry them for a couple of minutes before adding tomatoes.
  • Fry the tomatoes till they are soft. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down for 5-10 minutes. 
  • Transfer the onion-tomato mixture along with the spinach (and the water it was soaked in) into a blender. Blend it into a smooth puree.  
  • Add the pureed mixture to the wok and set it over medium heat.  Add cumin, coriander and chili powder and mix well. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add garam masala and sugar and stir it in. 
  • Gently place the paneer in the gravy and spoon over the gravy on it. Simmer the gravy for 5-10 minutes. Take it off heat and serve hot with rotis or rice.

Instant Pot Method

  • Add water to the steel insert of the Instant Pot and press the Saute function. Press the Adjust button to move the selection to “high” and wait till the display reads “Hot.” 
  • Once the water comes to a boil, add spinach and let it cook in it for 2 minutes or till the stems soften. Press “Warm / Cancel” button and transfer the spinach to a bowl along with the water and set it aside. [I cook the spinach and don't blanch it. To blanch, read the notes section]. 
  • Rinse the steel insert and wipe it dry. Place it back in the Instant Pot. Add oil to the steel insert and press the Saute function. Press the Adjust button to move the selection to “low” and wait till the display reads “Hot.” 
  • Shallow fry the paneer cubes till they turn golden brown. Fry them in batches if needed. Using a slotted spoon transfer the paneer aside on a plate.
  • Add bay leaf, black pepper, and cloves in the oil (remnants from frying paneer) and let it fry for around 30 seconds and then add onions and fry them till they turn soft. 
  • Add salt, garlic, and ginger and fry them for a couple of minutes before adding tomatoes. Fry the tomatoes till they are soft. 
  • Press “Warm / Cancel” button and let the mixture cool down for 5-10 minutes. Transfer the onion-tomato mixture along with the spinach (and the water it was soaked in) into a blender. Blend it into a smooth puree.  
  • Add the pureed mixture in the steel insert of the Instant Pot and press the Saute function. Press the Adjust button to move the selection to “Medium” and once the display reads “Hot”, add cumin, coriander and chili powder and mix well. 
  • Once the mixture comes to a boil, add garam masala and sugar and stir it in. 
  • Gently place the paneer in the gravy and spoon over the gravy on it. 
  • Select warm/ cancel and let the palak paneer recipe simmer in the Instant Pot for 5-10 minutes. 
  • Take it off heat and serve hot with rotis or rice.

Notes

Blanching helps retain the green color in the spinach. To blanch, add spinach along with a pinch of salt to boiling water. Cook for a couple of minutes or till the stem softens. Immediately transfer it to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 507mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 875IU | Vitamin C: 7.6mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 0.9mg