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A bowl is with palak tofu gravy on the table.
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5 from 10 votes

Palak Tofu Recipe (Instant Pot and Stovetop)

The procedure is fairly simple and does not require any overnight prep work. Check my step by step video for more details. Be sure to blanch the spinach before you blend them.
Prep Time6 mins
Cook Time19 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Vegan
Allergen: Dairy free, Gluten free
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 219kcal


  • 2 bunch of Spinach with stems About 4 cups or use baby spinach leaves
  • 3 Green Chillies Use less spicy chilies
  • 14 oz Firm Tofu cut into little cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • ¾ cup chopped tomatoes or use 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon green cardamom powder
  • 1 inch cinnamon or use ¼ teaspoon powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
  • ¼ - ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup full fat coconut milk (only top fat layer)


Stovetop Method

  • Blanch the spinach leaves with a stem.
  • Blend them with Green Chillies into a fine paste.
  • Place a pan over medium heat and drizzle 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
  • Saute cumin seeds, followed by minced garlic and garlic for about 30 seconds.
  • Add onions and sauté until they appear translucent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and sauté for about 30 seconds.
  • Add all the spices (see list of ingredients and cook for 5 minutes).
  • Add blended paste and water. Mix well.
  • Add coconut milk, tofu and stir gently without crumbling the Tofu.
  • Let it simmer for another 5-8 minutes.
  • Palak tofu is ready to serve with plain roti or steamed rice. Happy Cooking!

Directions for Instant Pot (6 quart IP duo)

  • Fry the tofu on a non-stick pan with one teaspoon of oil. (optional)
  • Start the instant pot in sauté mode. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and add cumin seeds.
    A bowl filled with rice, tofu and vegetables
  • As the cumin seeds start to splutter, add ginger, garlic, red chili, and onions. Sauté for about 2 minutes until onion is translucent.
  • Add the chopped tomato or tomato paste, green chilies, spices and saute for another 2 minutes.
  • Add water and deglaze the pot. Add in the spinach. Press cancel and close the instant pot lid with the vent in sealing position. Set on ‘manual’ or ‘pressure cook’ mode for 2 minutes.
  • Once the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then manually release the pressure.
  • Blend the spinach and other ingredients in the pot to a creamy texture using a hand blender.
    A collage of pot  filled with different types of food, with Tofu
  • Add the fried tofu and press saute on low mode and cook for 1 min. ( you can add non-fried firm tofu too)
    A bowl of palak curry
  • Garnish with coconut cream and you are done!
  • Palak Tofu can be served with rice, naan, roti or paratha.



  • If you like to add fried tofu, first cut them into little cubes and pan-fry them on a nonstick pan with about 2 tablespoon oil until they turn golden on each side.
  • You could also blend spinach without blanching. I came to know that blanching tends to neutralize oxalic acid from spinach and hence decided to always blanch them before cooking.
  • If you have frozen spinach, be sure to thaw it before using it in this recipe.
  • You could also use soaked and blended cashews for a creamier and rich taste. Just remember to soak them for at least 30 minutes before blending with spinach and green chiles.
  • If you like your palak tofu recipe thicker in consistency, then skip or limit the water that you add.
  • I powdered cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. You can use it as a whole. But powdered spices give more aroma in dishes.
Enjoy both stovetop versions and Instant Pot versions of palak tofu.


Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 210mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 3mg