Restaurant style palak paneer in grey ceramic bowl, naan bread on the side.
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4.91 from 11 votes

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer - so delicious and hearty vegetarian Indian dish that is now popular globally. A smooth and creamy spinach and paneer (Indian cottage cheese) dish. You can make it in instant pot too.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Curries, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Instant Pot Palak Paneer, Palak Paneer, Palak Paneer Recipe
Diet: Gluten Free, Keto, Low Carb, Nut-free, Vegetarian
Servings: 6
Calories: 254kcal
Author: Farrukh Aziz


For Palak Paneer

  • 250 gm Spinach
  • 200 grams Paneer cut in cubes
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 3-4 Dried red chillies
  • 1 Onion medium size, finely chopped
  • 2-3 Green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 Tomato medium size, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves Garlic crushed or chopped
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp Cream plus for garnishing
  • Salt as per taste
  • 5 tbsp Oil or ghee or butter

To blanch the spinach (for stove top method)

  • 1/4 tsp Soda bicarb
  • Ice cold water with some ice cubes

For palak paneer tadka (tempering)

  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp Ghee, oil or butter

For dhungar or smoke (optional)

  • Live charcoal or lump coal
  • 1 tsp Ghee or oil
  • Small bowl or a piece of foil.


To make spinach puree

  • Trim the stem of the spinach, wash and clean.
  • Boil enough of water ina large pot, add soda and spinach.
  • Let the spinach blanch for 2 minutes.
  • Take the blanched spinach out and immediately put it into ice cold water.
  • Put the blanched spinach in a blender and blend it to a puree.

how to make palak paneer on stove top

  • Dip the paneer cubes in hot water for 3 to 4 minutes or microwave it for 2 mins.
  • In a heavy bottom pan or kadhai, heat oil.
  • Add cumin seeds, allow it to crackle. Add crushed garlic and fry till its golden brown.
  • Add broken whole red chilies and green chillies. Fry for 15 seconds.
  • Add chopped onions, and saute till it turns translucent.
  • Now, add chopped tomatoes and cook for 1 minute on high heat.
  • Add coriander powder, garam masala powder, salt.  Mix well.  
  • Cover and cook till the water of the tomatoes dries up and it becomes very soft.
  • Increase the heat to high, add pureed spinach and saute it for a minute.
  • Add Paneer, cream, mix and saute for another minute.
  • Add lemon juice, mix and immediately take it off the stove.

How to make palak paneer in Instant pot

  • Switch on the IP and place the inner pot. Heat oil or ghee. Add cumin seeds and chopped garlic, let it crackle.
  • Add cumin seeds and chopped garlic, let it crackle.
  • Add dried red chilies and fry until garlic turns golden and aromatic.
  • Add chopped onions and mix. Add green chilies and fry until soft.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, coriander powder and garam masala powder, fry for 1 minute.
  • Now, add 1/4 water and deglaze the pot. Add spinach. 
  • Cancel the 'sauté' mode, close the pot with IP lid with vent in sealing position. Set to Manual or Pressure Cook for 1 minute.
  • Once the IP beeps, quickly release the pressure manually.
  • Also, press the 'Keep Warm' button to avoid overcooking of spinach.
  • Discard the whole red chilies or you may leave it, if you wish to.
  • Using the immersion blender, blend everything to a smooth creamy texture.
  • Add cream and paneer cubes, switch on the 'sauté' mode and let it simmer on low for 1 minute

To give tadka or tempering (optional)

  • Heat 1 tablepsoon of oil in a small pan. Add cumin seeds and allow it to crackle.
  • Pour the tadka over the Palak Paneer
  • Dish out and garnish with cream. Serve.

To give smoke or dhungar to palak paneer (optional)

  • Burn a small piece of charcoal or lump coal on stove top until red hot. (be careful and use tongs  while burning it)
  • Then, with the help of tongs, carefully place the live charcoal over the foil or in the bowl. Top it with 1/2 teaspoon of ghee and immediately close the lid.
  • Now, place a small bowl or small pieces aluminium foil on the palak paneer curry.
  • With lid closed, leave the spinach paneer gravy undisturbed for 5-7 minutes to infuse the dhungar well.


Modify the chilies as per your taste.
You can make the palak paneer without blanching the spinach, follow the method from the instant pot steps mentioned above.


Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 160mg | Potassium: 422mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5560IU | Vitamin C: 27.6mg | Calcium: 239mg | Iron: 2mg