Instant pot Kale Saag Paneer is a twist to a classic Punjabi dish - Saag Paneer! Saag primarily means green leafy vegetables like spinach, mustard greens, fenugreek etc. It goes amazingly well with Makki ki roti (Corn tortilla) and a dollop of butter. This traditional dish is eaten during winters in Punjab - northern part of India. Saag tends to keep you warm during winters and is a good source of iron, magnesium and calcium. This winter special makes everyone drool in winters. When cubed paneer enters the equation, the dish becomes saag paneer.
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What is Saag?
Saag means green leafy vegetables. Indian saag is a curry preparation made of cooked green leafy vegetables. The usual suspects that get added together in a saag are spinach, mustard greens, fenugreek, kale, collards, turnip greens, chard, bok choy, and beet greens. Any combination of greens works, ofcourse it is based on your liking. Saag Panner takes time, love and patience to make it the traditional way, however, we are drastically reducing the cooking time by making it in our very own Instant-pot so that you have more time with your loved ones.
What is the difference between Saag and Palak?
Palak means spinach and when you say Palak Paneer, it usually means that you will get only this leafy vegetable in the greens that you ordered in a restaurant. As mentioned above, Saag means a combination of leafy vegetables and you can control which greens are used to prepare the saag. There are still some people who use Palak & Saag in the same sentence, and they usually mean that the main green leafy vegetable in the saag is spinach. Finally, there is not a lot of difference between the two and a lot of people use it interchangeably however saag is a mixture of multiple green leafy vegetables. There you are much smarter now when you go to a restaurant and order a Saag Paneer or Palak Paneer. You can certainly look at the Palak Paneer recipe to see the minor differences.
Instant-pot Kale Saag paneer is not only delicious but also provides a delicious source of necessary protein to those who don’t eat meat. Saag paneer is commonly eaten as a side dish—perhaps with a bowl of Dal Tadka or Dal Makani, or vegetable tikka masala. It is also eaten with bread like Garlic Naan, Jeera Rice often with a glass of lassi to drink.
I have seen my mom spent hours on prepping and then cooking this delicious Saag. From sorting the greens, washing them multiple times :), chopping it and then cooking it for hours using multiple utensils. I would see her enjoy the process, however, with the new age lifestyle, it is difficult to spend so much time on just preparing one dish. I used to believe there are no shortcuts to make this delicious dish and I was so so wrong! Cooking it in Instant-pot was such a breeze without compromising on the flavor or texture.
What do you need to make Kale Saag Paneer?
Indian food is notorious for being too complicated and greasy. This recipe is not at all complicated if you have the right ingredients in your pantry. Do check out our recipe card for more details on where to purchase the ingredients. Kale, Spinach, Paneer can be easily found in whole foods or any Indian grocery store and few spices and yes INSTANT-POT. It's rich in calcium and folate from Kale & spinach and is gluten-free too. Nowadays, I honestly prefer my version. It tastes just as satisfying but also nourishes me.
How to make Kale Saag Paneer recipe video
In case you are wondering what's the design on my hand. I got a Henna tatoo on my hand for the Karwachauth festival.
How to freeze Saag Paneer ?
The recipe is freezer friendly. I usually double/ triple the size of the batch and freeze it for up to 3 months. when I need to serve I thaw it in the fridge overnight and give a tempering of some fresh ginger/ garlic and green chillies and add the Panner. Do not add paneer to the saag if you are going to freeze it.
- 1 cup (Approx 25 small bite size cubes) - Paneer / Cottage cheese/ Tofu for vegan version
- Spinach - 1 bunch
- Kale -1 Bunch
- Green chilli - 4
- Tomato / crushed - 3
- onion / chopped - 1
- Yogurt - 1/4 cup
- Garam masala - 1-1/2 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- cinnamon stick - 1
- Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
- Dried Fenugreek leaves - 2 tablespoon
- fresh ginger- garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon Ghee/ Olive oil vegan version
- Wash the Kale and Spinach leaves and set aside. Soak paneer cubes in hot water till use.
- Put IP on Sauté mode adjust to NORMAL.
- When HOT add ghee.Sauté cumin seeds , cinnamon stick ,green chillies, ,ginger - garlic paste , Dried fenugreek leaves and stir .
- Add in the chopped Onions ,Tomato stir it well .
- Add in the salt,Yogurt , turmeric powder and the garam masala .mix well.
- Cancel Sauté.
- Add Kale and spinach leaves .
- Cover with lid,VENT to SEALING.Select STEAM,adjust to LESS & cook for 1 minute.Quick Release immediately.
- Remove the cinnamon stick.
- Using an immersion blender,blend the spinach into a smooth paste
- Lastly add the paneer nd crushed Kasoori methi. Mix well and serve hot.Enjoy!
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Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer
KitchenAid KHB1231WH 2-Speed Hand Blender, White
Frontier Garam Masala Certified Organic, Salt Free Blend, 2-Ounce Bottle
Simply Organic Ground Turmeric Root | Certified Organic | 2.38 oz. (3 Pack)
Dried Fenugreek Leaves/Kasoori Methi, used in South Asian and Central Asian Cuisine, Kosher Certified (1oz.)