Instant Pot Palak Chicken – easy to make healthy, pressure cooked spinach chicken curry. Perfect weeknight dinner recipe when you can’t decide between your greens and chicken.
Look at this creamy Instant Pot Palak Chicken curry. Yes, this is what we are talking about perfect pressure cooked Palak Chicken curry.
Do you have dinner time dilemma? I do.
Palak Chicken made in an instant, just under 30 minutes. What more can you ask for a weeknight dinner? This recipe is ideal for those days when you cannot decide between your greens and chicken. So what do you do? Well, you mix both of them up!
Palak Chicken is the Indian version of creamed spinach chicken curry. Spinach is blanched, pureed and then used as a curry base of this chicken recipe. This is like best of both worlds – one pot meal of spinach greens and chicken. In the past, I have usually cooked this spinach chicken curry over the stove top. But, with the recent new addition in my kitchen – Instant Pot, I wanted to cook this curry in pressure cooker mode. This is a quick cooking version of the traditional Indian recipe. The flavor and taste of Palak Chicken is even better when you pressure cook the chicken.
In our home, we like to eat this chicken curry very often especially during cold winter nights. What I like about this curry is the way thick spinach gravy coats the soft juicy chicken pieces.
I enjoy eating this curry when the gravy has a thick consistency and chicken pieces are nicely covered with spinach gravy. Traditional recipes require you to use thickening agents or heavy whipping cream for getting a thicker gravy consistency. If you order this dish in any Indian restaurant you will easily relate to what I am saying here. Since I make this curry very often, I wanted to come up with a healthier version. I have tried and perfected the gravy consistency using chickpea flour. The flour, when blended along with spinach gravy makes it smooth and thick. The end result is thicker gravy without using any thickening agent. Guilt free healthy indulgence!
Look at this warm comforting Palak Chicken. Doesn’t it make you hungry? It surely makes me hungry. The pressure cooked version of this Indian recipe is fast and easy. You can serve Palak Chicken as a side dish with tandoori naan or vegetable fried rice. Go ahead and try this with some pickled onions and raita (yogurt side made with grated vegetables). I am sure you will enjoy this easy, pressure cooked version of Palak Chicken.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you give this recipe a try, do let me know. Leave a comment, Pin it, or take a picture and tag it #cookingyoulove on Instagram. I would love to know how it turned up for you.
- Spinach Puree
- 6 oz bag of spinach leaves, rinsed
- ¼ tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp chickpea flour
- Whole Spices
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 green cardamoms
- 4 cloves
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- Spice Powders
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp red chili powder
- ½ tsp salt- adjust as per taste
- 2 tbsp ghee(clarified butter) or oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ inch ginger, finely chopped
- 1 large onion
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1 lb boneless chicken breast, cubed
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp heavy whipping cream, for garnish (optional)
- 2 whole red chili, for garnish (optional)
- Spinach Puree: Bring a pot of water to rolling boil, add spinach leaves and sugar. Simmer for 4 minutes without covering the pot.
- Strain boiled spinach leaves and dunk them in ice cold water. After 10 minutes, puree the blanched spinach with chickpea flour to a smooth paste.
- Press the "saute" button on Instant Pot. Then add ghee and wait till it melts.
- Add cumin seeds, bay leaf, green cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon stick to the pan and stir fry
- After 2 minutes, add cubed chicken pieces and stir fry till chicken pieces are well cooked.
- Press the "keep warm/cancel" button and take out the chicken pieces. Leave the whole spices in the pot.
- Make onion puree by blending ginger, garlic and onion together in a blender.
- Switch the "saute" button and add onion puree. Fry the onion puree in the leftover chicken juice and spices.
- Saute until golden brown, then add tomato puree. Cook for 3-4 minutes till puree reduces to half and has mixed evenly with onion puree
- Add spinach puree. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes till spinach puree blends well with tomato and onion puree.
- Add spice powders like coriander, garam masala, turmeric, red chili and salt.
- Mix well, add cooked chicken pieces.
- Press the "keep warm/cancel" button. Add water and then close the lid.
- Select "Manual" mode for 5 minutes
- Once Instant Pot releases pressure, mix well and take out the palak chicken.
- Garnish as desired and serve hot.
Cook all the steps in the pressure cooker over medium heat through step 8. Mix well and add cooked chicken pieces. Pressure cook for 10 minutes once the pressure has reached ( or 1 whistle on high). Switch off the flame.
1. Adding sugar when blanching spinach and dunking blanched spinach leaves in ice cold water helps spinach retain its bright green color.
2. Adding chickpea flour when making spinach puree helps in making spinach gravy smooth and thick.
3.Cooking onion puree in remaining chicken juice and whole spices enhances the flavors.