This Saag Paneer recipe combines the goodness of spinach and the deep flavors of Indian spices with mouthfuls of succulent paneer. Made in one pot – the Instant Pot – and in a fraction of the time compared to the traditional recipe.
- 1 tbsp Avocado or olive oil
- 2 green cardamom
- 2 Cloves
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 Green chilli (optional)
- 1 Medium onion, chopped
- 1-½ tsp minced ginger
- 1 tbsp Corinander powder
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne powder (optional)
- 1 Tomato, finely chopped
- 16 ounces, weight Fresh spinach
- 14 ounces, weight Paneer (or Tofu)
- 1 tbsp Heavy cream (optional)
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tbsp Dried fenugreek leaves, Kasoori Methi (optional)
- Salt to taste
Set Instant Pot to sauté over medium heat. Once hot, add the avocado oil, cardamom, cloves and cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds begin to crackle, add the garlic, green chili (if using) and chopped onions. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and mix. Brown for about 2 minutes.
Add ginger, coriander powder and cayenne pepper (if using). Cook for another minute or so. Add the crushed tomatoes. Mix and cook until the tomatoes are cooked and the oil separates from the masala. It will take about 2 minutes.
Add the spinach and lock the lid until you hear the jingle. Turn the Instant Pot to the “Pressure Cook” setting and set the timer to “0” minutes. Add about a cup of water and lock the lid with the pressure valve set to the “sealing” position.
It will take about 7-8 minutes for the pressure to build up and the pressure disc to lift. At this point, turn the Instant Pot off and manually release the pressure by moving the pressure valve to the “vent” position. Be careful doing this as the steam coming out is very hot.
Open the lid and stir around the spinach and masala. Add the salt and, using a hand mixer, mix until the desired consistency. Be very careful when using the hand blender as the spinach is very hot.
Turn the Instant Pot to sauté over medium heat. Add paneer (or tofu) and cream (if using) mix and cook for one minute. Finish with garam masala and kasoori methi. Turn the Instant Pot to the “Keep Warm” setting.
Give it a taste test and adjust the salt, if necessary.
Serve hot or warm with rice, quinoa, roti or naan. It tastes really good even on a slice of whole wheat or multi-grain bread.
Note: Make the recipe vegan by using tofu and omitting the heavy cream.