Instant Pot

Instant Pot Pea & Paneer Curry

December  2, 2018
11 Ratings
Photo by Ghazalle Badiozamani
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is a very traditional, very comforting dish for many who grew up in India. Once you taste it, you’ll see why: the creamy cheese, the tang of the tomatoes and onions in the sauce, the bright green peas that pepper it. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. You can also use frozen paneer, found in the freezer section of most Indian grocery stores.

Excerpted from INSTANT POT FAST & EASY © 2019 by Urvashi Pitre. Photography © 2019 by Ghazalle Badiozamani. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. —Urvashi Pitre

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: 9 Instant Pot Indian Recipes for Rich, Comforting Flavor Fast. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup chopped paneer (soft Indian cheese) or firm tofu (if you are dairy-free)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 (12-ounce) package frozen peas
  1. In the Instant Pot, combine the onions, tomatoes, ¼ cup of the water, the oil, ginger, garlic, turmeric, garam masala, and cayenne. Stir well to combine.
  2. Secure the lid on the pot. Close the pressure-release valve. Select MANUAL and set the pot at HIGH pressure for 5 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pot to rest undisturbed for 5 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
  3. Select SAUTÉ. Add the remaining ½ cup water, the paneer, cream, cilantro, and peas. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 5 to 8 minutes. Select CANCEL.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Shari Broder
    Shari Broder
  • kzmccaff
  • nplante
  • miz025
Dr. Urvashi Pitre is the President of a global marketing consulting firm, as well as the author of several best-selling cookbooks.

7 Reviews

nplante June 1, 2020
Easy to make. I love the spicy flavors. I used tofu with great results. Even better as leftovers.
miz025 May 10, 2020
I think salt should be added when paneer was added, otherwise the paneer is bland. I put less pepper and the gravy ended up tasting really good.
Jens January 15, 2019
It was ok, but felt some imbalanced. Comes out pretty hot.
I can't find any salt in the recipe and I think it's much needed and some should be added already in the beginning.
Shari B. January 10, 2019
This was very easy to make, but I agree with the others that it was very spicy for me. It was tasty though.
Breayne January 9, 2019
I made this and it was incredibly spicy! I may have added a little more of the cayenne but not much more than the teaspoon. I also used tofu as I couldn’t find paneer. Is this dish typically spicy and I am just a wimpy white lady or what? Even my husband who can usually take a lot of heat found it very spicy. It was still tasty and we added some salt and Greek yogurt to cut the heat. I also did not serve it with any rice, which I’m sure would have also helped with the heat.
Breayne January 20, 2022
Three years later and I made this recipe again. I again used tofu and omitted the cayenne and used smoked paprika in its place since I have a two year old who doesn’t love spicy meals. Added salt and garam masala and served with garlic naan. I enjoyed it much more this time around.
kzmccaff January 8, 2019
I made this recipe and it was really great! I even brought it to work for lunch the next day (despite it being curry! My seatmates couldn't care less! ha!). I liked the coconut milk, but need something to do with the extra from the can for next time.
Two notes:
1. I substituted Halloumi for Paneer because it's what I could find at my local shop (and I felt lucky to find it). I love paneer, and haloumi is an apt substitution.
2. It's winter and even the expensive tomatoes don't look so good, so I just drained some canned, petite diced tomatoes and used those instead. They worked well.
I ended up making some plain faro and serving that with it to use up the yummy sauce--I was out of jasmine and basmati but faro did a great job. Makes a healthy amount and was incredibly easy.