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Desserts & Drinks

Rice Pudding- Kheer

Rice Pudding- Kheer is a popular dessert from the northern Indian cuisine. It is typically made by cooking rice with milk and sugar, and is enhanced by cardamom or saffron, and dried fruits and nuts like cashews, almonds, pistachios and raisins. There are many variations and names of this sweet treat all over India. It can also be made with broken wheat, tapioca or vermicelli. Kheer is typically served as a dessert and is often made as an offering during prayer ceremonies or festive occasions.

Rice Pudding- Kheer in Instant Pot

60 different variations:

Rice puddings are found in nearly every area of the world. There are variations in recipes based on cooking methods and list of ingredients, but rice (or a similar starch) and milk seem to be the common ones in most. According to Wikipedia, there are close to 60 different variations of Rice Puddings around the world.

Arroz Con Leche:

Another popular rice pudding is the Spanish/Latin American dessert called Arroz Con Leche, which literally translates to ‘rice with milk’. My daughters had to make traditional Latin American cuisine for their Spanish class at school. One of them opted to make Arroz Con Leche. She came home with a recipe, and that’s when I realized, how similar it is to Kheer. My daughter’s rice pudding got rave reviews at school and we added another great recipe to our family favorites! If you want to try it, I’ve added that recipe too!

Arroz-Con-Leche-Instant pot, Rice pudding-Kheer

Dairy-Free & Nut-Free Alternative:

This recipe can be made dairy-free by substituting milk with unsweetened, regular Almond milk, or full-fat coconut milk.  I’ve tried using low-fat coconut milk, but it just doesn’t taste creamy and smooth like it should.  I have observed that whenever I make kheer with almond milk, I do end up adding 1-2 tablespoons of extra sugar. If you want to make it  nut-free, use regular milk, and skip the nuts in the recipe.

Almond milk Kheer, instant pot

Coming back to Kheer recipe. I like to flavor mine with freshly ground cardamom. If you don’t like the black specs in it, you can use the store bought version, which is much lighter. Also, you can use raisins, coconut and even saffron to enhance your rice pudding. So, if your version is different than mine, simply use this recipe as a guideline and do your magic.

Rice Pudding- Kheer in Instant Pot

Rice Pudding in Instant Pot is a Game Changer:

Till I bought my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, I used to make Kheer on the stove-top. It would take me around 30-40 minutes (depending on quantity), but I had to babysit the pot. I had  to adjust temperature, keep stirring, make sure the milk doesn’t boil over. Definitely worth it, but why do that when you can have a hands-free option! Untill now, I believed that dairy has a tendency to curdle under high and fluctuating pressure, which is how many stove-top pressure cookers operate. But the Instant Pot is different. The Porridge mode allows you to cook at a consistent and even temperature- no changes in pressure till the cooking is done. So now, I can fill the pot with the ingredients, give it a stir, and set a timer on Porridge mode and forget about it! And it tastes amazing too- that’s a huge win for me.

How to Prevent the ‘Burn’ message:

My Mom’s Tip :

In order to ensure that the milk doesn’t stick/burn at the bottom of the pan, start by adding 1/4 cup water and then add the milk. Don’t ask me how, but this trick works every single time.

My Tip :

By turning the Saute mode on initially, the milks gets tempered, which means, it warms a bit before we close the lid for pressure cooking. This prevents the milk from curdling. Also, starting with a super clean pot also ensures that. So, wipe your inner pot clean to make sure nothing from the last meal is still sticking to it. Continue Reading…

Cranberry Sauce in Instant Pot

Cranberry Sauce Instant PotCranberry sauce is a jam like relish made by cooking cranberries with sugar. It is probably one of the most popular accompaniment served with Turkey at the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.

Cranberries are small round, seedless berries that grow in shrubs.. If you ask me, they are fairly deceiving in their appearance. The first time I tasted raw cranberries, I expected them to taste berry like- sweet, juicy, did I say sweet? But, they ended up being a juicy but tart, seeds-like texture. I don’t think I ever tasted them raw again.

Cranberry Sauce Instant PotMaking cranberry sauce was the obvious next step for me. And boy, did that change my mind about cranberries! I love the hint of tartness in the jam-like cranberry sauce. In my house, I am the only one who likes cranberry sauce with turkey. My husband and kids aren’t fans of sweet with poultry. But, they love to pair it with creamy cheeses like brie or goat cheese, over a cracker or toast. Now I make this year round and it’s a staple on my cheese boards.

Cranberry Sauce Instant PotI have been making cranberry sauce using this recipe for over a decade now. The only change I made to it, was adding ‘Agave syrup’ to it during the cooking process. There is a subtle earthiness that Agave syrup adds to the sauce, which contrasts perfectly with this vibrant berry. That being said, it is optional. You can totally add the traditional orange juice or water and it will still taste yum. You can also add some orange rind, which is another popular combination. Me, I prefer the traditional cranberry flavors.

I pressure cook the cranberries, in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot Mini 3 Qt,  with agave syrup for 1 minute, wait for 7 minutes and release the pressure. Open the lid, add sugar and sauté for 2-3 minutes till it reaches a jam-like consistency. At this stage, the cranberries have all broken down, but are not mush, which is what makes the texture so great.

Stove Top Recipe: This cranberry sauce can be on the stove-top too. Simply combine all ingredients in a sauce pan on medium high heat with 1/2 cup water. Cover till everything comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, till the berries are cooked. Remove lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes till the sauce reaches a jam like consistency.

This recipe is so easy and so delicious, I promise you, you won’t buy another can of cranberry sauce again! It stays good in the refrigerator for a few weeks, so definitely a make-ahead recipe for thanksgiving or big parties.

Cranberry Sauce in Instant Pot

Print Recipe
Serves: Makes around 14 oz. Cooking Time: 5 minutes Manual, QR after 7 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. pack fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup ( or honey or orange juice)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Zest of 1 medium orange (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Instructions

1

Turn On Instant Pot. Pout water followed by agave syrup. Pouring water will prevent the syrup from sticking to the bottom and burning.

2

Add cranberries and salt. Stir and close lid. Press Manual for 1 minute on Sealing mode. Let the pressure release naturally (NPR) for 7 minutes. Turn the value to Venting position and release all pressure. Open lid.

3

Turn on Saute mode. Add sugar and stir. Saute for 2-3 minutes till the cranberry sauce reaches warm jam like consistency. Cool for 10 minutes and pour in jars.

Notes

For making this in a stove-top pressure cooker like Prestige or Hawkins- follow all steps and cook on medium high heat for 2 whistles. Turn off heat and let it cool for 7 minutes, after which, release the pressure by7 carefully lifting the weight. Follow the remaining steps in the instructions.

Coconut Ladoo in Microwave (Coconut Fudge)

Coconut Ladoos, Garam Masala KitchenCoconut Ladoo or Nariyal Ladoo/Laddu is an Indian sweet that is made with dried coconut flakes, condensed or dried milk and sugar. All the ingredients are mixed over medium heat and whisked till a soft dough is formed. Ghee is added to add flavor and help roll the dough into spherical balls called Ladoo or Laddu. The consistency of the Coconut Ladoo is like fudge- it’s soft, chewy and melts in your mouth.

Growing up we always had an assortment of Indian sweets around festivities, especially Diwali- Mom would make some and we would buy some from a local sweet shop. Out of the sweet shop box, Nariyal Burfi was my favorite, it’s best described as Coconut Fudge Bars. This Coconut Burfi used to be pink in color- not sure if they added any natural ingredient or used food colors, but it looked so tempting and pretty. Fast forward a few years, I was in California celebrating Diwali on campus with my husband. With limited means and access to Indian sweets, I looked through my mother-in-laws old cookbook, which she had lovingly given to her son, and I found this recipe. Apparently, she used to make this dessert when unexpected guests showed for up for dinner:-) This delectable dessert is made with pantry ingredients and can be done in no time. She made this dough on the stove-top by stirring everything together on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes till a soft dough is formed, cooled the mix and rolled the dough into Ladoos.

Coconut Ladoos, Garam Masala KitchenHer recipe required continuous stirring for the 10-15 minutes. I wanted to minimize that, so I made her recipe in the microwave. Burnt the first batch, over-dried the second batch and then realized that the microwave heating dries out the coconut mix too early, so added a little milk to the third batch and that came out perfect 🙂 Rolled the ladoos and coated them with desiccated coconut- it looked like fudge covered in snow flakes and tasted divine!

Coconut Ladoos, Garam Masala KitchenAs a fun activity for kids, you can add a few drops of baking food color and makes these coconut ladoos colorful too. Take a look at the picture. I added 2 drops of Wilton Pink Gel Food color to the dough and look how pretty it turned out. I think I was more excited to do this than my kids:-)

 

 

10-Minute Coconut Ladoo (Coconut Fudge)

Print Recipe
Serves: Makes 15-20 (depending on size) Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

1

In a microwave safe bowl, take desiccated coconut and heat it for 1 minute, taking it out at 30 seconds and stirring it. This helps the dried coconut become moist and release it's flavor.

2

Add milk, condensed milk and ghee to the coconut and mix well. Pop it back in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, taking it out EVERY 30 seconds and stirring it well. Since microwave temperatures vary, keep an eye on your mix starting at the 2 minute mark. The coconut mix is done when it forms a soft dough. It takes me 3 minutes to accomplish that texture.

3

Add cardamom powder and mix well. Take a small portion of the dough in your hands and roll it in a circular motion between your palms to form a soft ball. See the video for clarity on this step. Coat the ladoos in the remaining desiccated coconut. Your coconut ladoos are ready!

4

Fun Variation Add 2 drops of your choice of gel food color to the dough before forming the ladoos. I added 2 drops of Wilson Pink Gel color to get Pink Coconut ladoos!

Besan Ladoo in Microwave

Besan Ladoo or Laddu is a popular Indian sweet made of Besan (chickpea flour or gram flour), Sugar and Ghee (clarified butter). It is fairly popular to make this for festivities like Holi and Diwali, and kids love this dessert. Here is my super quick and easy recipe using the gadget we all can’t imagine life without- the microwave.

Besan Ladoo in Microwave, Garam Masala KitchenIt reduces the cooking time for this dessert to a third and makes it almost fail-proof. It’s a convenient way for anyone to make this delicious sweet without having to spend a few hours making it and building their muscles! My kids love making it, it’s that easy! Since the total time needed to make these ladoos is under 30 minutes, it makes it easy enough to pull through after a work day, especially when festivities fall on a week-day. I used coarse besan for this recipe, which is also available as “Ladoo Besan”. If you only have the fine besan handy, take out 1 tbsp from the 1 cup required for this recipe, and substitute it with 1 tbsp semolina (soozi). This will add the crunch to the texture. I have to mention here and that always start this recipe with a good quality Ghee. That really makes or breaks the flavor of this sweet. I make Ghee at home using this easy recipe.

Traditionally, it is made by roasting the besan in ghee on slow heat, till the besan changes color from dark yellow to a light golden brown. Depending on the quantity of besan, this process can take up to 30 minutes and requires continuous stirring. By using the microwave, I have eliminated the long and tedious process with an ‘under 5 minute’ cooking time in the microwave and few more minutes rolling the ladoos.

Besan Ladoo in Microwave, Garam Masala KitchenThe time to roast besan in the microwave is anywhere between 3-5 minutes. The actual time for you will depend on the strength of your microwave. So, I would say, after the 3 minute mark, keep an eye on the Besan. Do increments of 30 seconds or 45 seconds if you feel it’s getting done too soon. Stir it well each time. This is really important to distribute the heat evenly. I use two signs to confirm that besan is roasted enough- first, the color changes to a light golden brown; second, you can start smelling a sweet aroma in the whole house. I remember, when I was little, whenever my Mom would make this, she would keep coming to our room to ask if my sister and I could smell the Besan. You know what, it still works for me:-) I’m sharing this quick and easy recipe hoping you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!

Besan Ladoo in Microwave

Print Recipe
Serves: Makes 20 ladoos Cooking Time: 3-5 minutes (+ 20-30 minutes cooling time)

Ingredients

Instructions

1

Prep: if using nuts, chop your favorite nuts. I use pistachios and almonds. Keep 1 tablespoon aside for garnish.

2

Take a microwave safe bowl and melt ghee, about 30-40 seconds. Add coarse Besan and salt and mix well. If you are using fine ground Besan, remove 1 tablespoon from the quantity and replace it with 1 tablespoon soozi (semolina). Mix everything till the Besan has absorbed all the ghee.

3

Microwave on the default setting for 3-5 minutes, depending on the temperature range of your microwave. During these 3-5 minutes, take the mix out every minute, (or every 30 seconds if you microwave is strong), and stir well. It is done cooking when the mix changes to a light golden color and the fragrance of Besan becomes strong. Add chopped nuts (optional) and let it cool for 20-30 minutes.

4

The mix should be cool to the touch. Add confectioners sugar and cardamom powder and mix till the sugar is incorporated well. Check if the mix can bind well by pressing between your fingers. If it feels too crumbly, add a tablespoon or so of dry milk powder to bind it.

5

To make ladoos, take a small portion of the mix (you can use a cookie spoon for this) and roll it in your hands to shape it like a ball. This is the part where watching the video will be helpful. I have demonstrated two techniques of rolling the ladoos, so choose whichever one is most convenient. Once the ladoo is formed, top it with the reserved chopped nuts and plate it.

Baked Gujiya in 30 minutes (Milk Fudge Turnovers)

Baked-Gujiya-Garam Masala Kitchen

Gujiya, or Milk Fudge Turnovers, are a popular Indian dessert commonly made in the northern part of India around the festivals of Holi and Diwali. It is a deep fried sweet dumpling that is made by stuffing pastry dough with sweetened milk fudge (khoya), chopped nuts and coconut flakes and is glazed with a thick sugar syrup.

Traditionally, the process of making Gujiya requires making a dough with all-purpose flour, ghee (clarified butter) and water.  You combine all ingredients and make a soft dough, set it to rest while you prepare the filling. The filling is made with Khoya as a base. Khoya, also known as Mawa, is basically dried milk solids. It is available in the freezer aisle of your local Indian store, right next to the Paneer.

Nanak Khoya Mawa Gujiya Recipe Garam Masala KitchenI personally like the brand Nanak for khoya. It comes in a 12 oz pack. This quantity of Khoya makes stuffing good for making 40 Gujiya. You can either divide the Khoya in half and freeze it, or, make the entire stuffing and freeze that for a later use. I always prefer to make the stuffing and freeze half for later use, for making Gujiya, or add it to my Gajar Halwa (Carrot Halwa) instead of Khoya!

 

Baked Gujiya, Garam Masala KitchenStuffing for Gujiya: This is my mother-in-law’s ‘family-famous’ Gujiya recipe. The Gujiya mix is made by crumbling khoya in a mildly warm skillet. (I do this step in the microwave now, saves so much time and effort). Chopped nut like cashews, almonds and pistachios are added along with desiccated coconut and freshly ground cardamom powder. When this mixture is cool, sugar is added. Now your Gujiya is ready to assemble.

Process: A small dough ball is rolled into a circular shaped disc, about 3-inch in diameter. About 2 teaspoons -1/2 tablespoon of khoya mixture goes in the center and then the dough is folded in a crescent shape and edges are sealed. That’s your Gujiya. Gujiya is then deep fried in medium warm oil till it turns golden in color. It is removed and put straight in a sugar syrup and tossed a few times and then set on a platter to crisp up. It is garnished with chopped pistachios. It is simply a bite of heaven!

Gujiya, Garam Masala Kitchen

If you want to try the Traditional Deep-Fried Gujiya, click here for the RECIPE!

During the festival season, my husband and I end up “over-indulging”, if that’s a word, but I’m sure many can relate to that. So, I keep tweaking recipes to make them a bit healthier without losing any of the “to-die-for” flavors. The other thing is, that I rarely have the time required to make this elaborate dessert. So, I experimented and after a few hits and misses, this recipe for Baked Gujiya was accomplished.  I decided to do a baked version, which automatically makes it way healthier than the classic. The other major change was using store-bought pie dough. The pie dough may sound unconventional, but gives the same flaky, crisp texture that is key to a good Gujiya. Here is a quicker and healthier, baked version of this favorite, and the best part- it was done in 30 minutes!

Here are some more Indian Desserts that you may like:

instant pot Carrot-Burfi-gajar burfi, garam masala kitchen

Carrot Burfi- Gajar ki Burfi

Coconut Ladoos, Garam Masala Kitchen

Coconut Ladoo, Nariyal Ladoo

Besan ladoo, garam masala kitchen

Besan Ladoo, Chickpeas Flour Fudge

Sooji Sheera, rava kesari

Sooji Sheera, Halwa, Rava Kesari

Instant Pot Carrot Halwa GajarHalwa

Carrot Halwa, Gajar ka Halwa

Rice Pudding- Kheer in Instant Pot

Kheer, Rice Pudding

Baked Gujiya in 30 minutes (Milk Fudge Turnovers)

Print Recipe
Serves: Stuffing good for makes 40 Gujiya, Dough makes 20 Gujiya Cooking Time: 30 minutes Total

Ingredients

Instructions

1

Make Stuffing This quantity of Khoya stuffing is good for making 40 Gujiya, I freeze half of this stuffing for later use, or, use it in making Gajar Halwa (Carrot Halwa). Microwave Khoya for 2-3 minutes, in 30 seconds increments to make khoya easy to crumble. Heat non stick skillet/pan on medium heat. Crumble khoya in to the pan. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, press down and break it in smaller pieces. Keep pressing till khoya becomes soft, consistency of a soft dough. (it should be pliable). Turn off the heat. Alternatively, you can do this whole process in the microwave by heating khoya for 3-5 minutes in 1-minute increments, stirring in between, till the khoya becomes soft. Add chopped nuts, coconut powder and cardamom powder. Mix well and allow to cool off for a few minutes (4-5). Add sugar and mix well. Taste to adjust sugar to your taste preference. The stuffing is ready.

2

Assemble Gujiya and Bake Place thawed pie crust between plastic wrap and roll outwards to thin out the dough. (See video for clarity). Using a 2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out pie circles for filling. Fill each pie circle with roughly 2 teaspoons (or heaping 1/2 tablespoon) filling, and seal by pressing the edges together. (Just like you would for a turnover). Place them on a Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mat Baking Sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 400F degrees. Cool for 5 minutes.

3

Make Sugar Syrup While Gujiya is baking, heat a sauce pan on medium heat. Add sugar and water. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat till it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5-6 minutes.

4

Glaze and garnish Dip baked Gujiyas in the cooled sugar syrup, coating well on all sides. Sprinkle some crushed pistachios on top. Place on a wire-rack for setting.

Instant Pot Skinny Cheesecake (Pressure Cooker Cheesecake)

Cheesecake! A rich and creamy tart like cake, made with a crust of graham crackers, with a smooth custard-like cream cheese filling, and topped with fresh fruit or a fruit based sauce. How can you go wrong with that!

It’s a perfect summertime dessert as it is always served cool, just out of the refrigerator. The most awesome thing about this dessert is that it is best made a day in advance, as it needs to chill for 10-12 hours to be perfect.

Over the years, I have made many variations of this cheesecake and this recipe is the chosen one for my family. My family likes a skinnier cheesecake, which means, half the crust and half the filling. More like a Guilt-Free Cheesecake or Skinny Cheesecake– but that’s us. If you want to make a classic cheesecake, simply double up the ingredients. I have adapted this recipe for the Instant Pot– pressure cooker. It has a slight hint of lime and I like to top it with fresh berries, makes it ideal for small dessert plates after a filling meal. For larger gatherings, I pair it with other desserts, cut it in to bite-size squares and pass it around as cheesecake bites! One bite of this Skinny Cheesecake and you’ll know that good things come in small packages too!

When making this recipe in the Instant Pot Duo Mini 3 Qt, I use Silicone Cupcake Liners , fill it till 3/4 of the height, and cook for around 22-25 minutes on Manual High, NPR. That makes for perfect individual size portions, this way , we all get to top it with our favorite toppings. My kids’ favorite these days is Salted Caramel drizzled on top!

Important tip#1: This cheesecake turns out awesome if all ingredients are at room temperature. It may take a bit of a planning, but believe me, it’s worth it.

Important Tip #2: Do not over-mix the batter. If you notice my blend times are down to seconds in the instructions. The purpose of that is to ensure that we don’t over mix the batter. Over-mixing will create more air bubbles in the batter, which will result in an uneven cheesecake filling.

Best Results: Cheesecakes are one those foods that taste better the day after! The ideal chilling time for a cheesecake is 10-12 hours. I prefer to do that over-night, as that reduces the temptation to dig into it every time I open the refrigerator 🙂

Possible Toppings: (or as my kids call is “Genius Pro- Look Hacks” :-))

  1. Fresh Fruit– Top the cheesecake with your favorite berries and dollops of whipped cream.
  2. Salted Caramel– Melt a couple of tablespoons of  your favorite store bought caramel sauce in a microwave safe bowl for 30-45 seconds. Pour over cheesecake and spread evenly, using an off-set spatula or a butter knife. Lightly sprinkle some sea salt on top.
  3. Dark-Chocolate Walnut (or Pecans) – Melt some bittersweet chocolate chips in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, Drizzle on the cheesecake in a side-to-side motion, creating horizontal stripes. Chop up some walnuts or pecans and sprinkle on top.
  4. Berry-Berry: Wash and rinse a pint of raspberries or blackberries or both. Add them to a sauce pan over medium heat and add a about 2 teaspoons of sugar (or more if they are tart). Stir and gently smash a few berries with your spatula. Stir for 7-10 minutes, till a light sauce forms and all the sugar has dissolved. Cool and serve over the cheesecake! (this is my personal favorite)

Instant Pot Skinny Cheesecake (Pressure Cooker Cheesecake)

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • CRUST: (For a classic cheesecake, double up all ingredients)
  • 5 honey Graham Crackers
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
  • CHEESECAKE BATTER: (For a classic cheesecake, double up all ingredients)
  • 8 oz Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • zest of 1 lime (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

1

Finely grind the graham crackers in a food processor, or, take a ziploc bag, add crackers, zip it and crush them into a fine crumble with a rolling pin or the back of a skillet. Mix melted butter and brown sugar in the crust. Pour the mixture into a parchment lined 7-Inch nonstick springform pan and spread it around evenly. Using the back of a measuring cup or a bowl, press down the crust to set in the pan. Put the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes.

2

In a food processor, or with a hand mixer, blend/whip cream cheese for 30 seconds on low speed. Add sugar, vanilla essence and lime zest and blend again for 30 seconds. Add sour cream and blend for 30 seconds. Add egg and blend another 15-20 seconds.

3

Take the pan out of the freezer and pour the mixture in. Wiggle the pan gently, it makes the air bubbles rise to the top. Take an icing spatula or a fork, and run it through the batter to pop the air bubbles. Cover the pan first with a paper towel tightly (it shouldn't sink into the cheesecake), and then with a piece of aluminum foil. Doing this prevents the moisture from dropping into the cheesecake. Pour 1 cup water in the Inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place the trivet. Place the pan on the trivet. Close the lid. Vent set to SEALING. Cook on MANUAL (High) for 35 minutes. Wait for Natural Pressure Release (NPR), takes about 17-18 minutes.

4

Open the lid. Remove the pan carefully, remove the foil and cool for 15 minutes. Using an off-set spatula or a knife, go around the cake to release the sides from the pan. This prevents cracks while chilling. Cover it loosely and refrigerator for 8-10 hours. Cheesecake will flatten a little after cooling, that's normal. Open the springform latch and lift the base. Slide the cheesecake on to a platter. Serve it as-is, top it with fresh berries, or a whipped topping of your choice.

Notes

If your cheesecake seems jiggly (jelly-like) in the center after 35 minutes and NPR, put it back in for another 4-5 minutes, NPR.
For an easy slicing and clean edges, cut with a clean sharp knife, wiping with a wet paper towel between each cut.
For cutting calories even further, use Philadelphia 'light' cream cheese instead of regular.

PIN IT:
Petite Cheesecake/ Skinny Cheesecake, pressure cooker cheesecake, garam masala kitchen

15-Minute Chocolate Lava Cake (Instant Pot / Oven)

Chocolate Lava Cake is what happens when chocolate cake meets chocolate soufflé! Also, know as Molten Lave Cake, this popular dessert gets it’s name from the warm liquidy- velvety chocolate center, inside a moist and decadent cake. I won’t be surprised if this happens to be the world’s No.1 date-night dessert, it is mine!  In my home, it’s best served warm with some vanilla ice-cream! My kids’s latest favorite is to have with Salted Caramel Ice Cream!

15 minute Chocolate Lava Cake

Individual Lava cakes:

Since this is a decadent dessert, I like to make individual portions using these Silicone Cupcake Liners. These liners serve three great purposes in my home: First, the silicone molds don’t get hot to the touch after baking, so handling is super easy, my kids bake with these often. Second, taking the lava cakes out of these molds is a breeze. Simply, invert them on to your serving dish, and they slip out nice and easy. Third, it does portion control for me. I take one, finish it and feel satisfied that I had a full dessert. This single serving cake looks tiny, but it is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. After having one, I don’t feel like going for seconds, like I would be tempted to, if it were a cake:-)

15 minute Chocolate Lava Cake

I made this cake in the Instant Pot DUO and it was really moist and delicious. But you can easily make this decadent dessert in the oven as well.

Oven Recipe:

Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Follow step 1 and 2. Place the cakes on a cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes, depending on how gooey you want the center to be.

Flavor Variation: If you haven’t tried out Salted Caramel Molten Lava Cakes yet, you’re missing something! Try them, you might fall in love with them!

Instant Pot Caramel-Lava-Cake-4

15-Minute Chocolate Lava Cake (Instant Pot / Oven)

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 cupcake size, 2 ramekin portions Cooking Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

1

Melt butter and chocolate chips in the microwave, about 30 seconds to a minute. Using a whisk, mix well. Sift in confectioners sugar and mix again. Add egg, vanilla and salt and mix well. Sift in flour and whisk till everything is incorporated.

2

Grease silicone cupcake moulds or 4 oz. ramekins and pour the batter, leaving 1/4 inch space from the top.

3

Put 1 cup water and place trivet in the Inner pot of Instant Pot. Place cakes on trivet. Close lid. Set vent to SEALING. Cook on MANUAL (hi-pressure) for 7 minutes. If you like a more gooey center, reduce time to 6 minutes, if you like a more cake-like center, increase time to 9 minutes.

4

QR-quickly release the pressure and remove the cakes. Cool for 2 minutes. Invert the cakes into the serving plate and dust with confectioners sugar (optional). Serve warm as-is, or with a scoop of vanilla or your favorite ice-cream. Enjoy!

Almond Spice Cookies

Almond spice cookies- eggless almond spice cookies, Almond Nankhatai, garam masala kitchen

 

Almond cookies always bring back childhood memories for me. My parents used to get Almond Naankhatai from a bakery close to our house. They were so fresh and fragrant that the whole house used to smell like a cookie jar for a few days.  Naankhatai is best described as an egg-less shortbread cookie, which has many variations. The sweet cookies are mostly made with nuts and the savory ones often have cumin seeds or peanuts, but they all melt in your mouth and leave you craving for more!

This is my version Almond Spice Cookies. I’ve made them healthier by substituting half of the All Purpose Flour with Whole Wheat Flour and boosted the almond flavor by replacing some of the flour with Almond Flour (also bumps up the protein). Added cardamom and nutmeg, they bring this cookie to life, and added a little semolina to add a crunch. They make the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee!

Video coming soon!

Almond Spice Cookies

Print Recipe
Serves: 24 Cookies Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

1

Sift the all-purpose and whole wheat flours in a bowl and add all dry ingredients. Mix well. Add softened butter to this mix.

2

Using a hand mixer or a soft spatula mix everything to make a soft dough. If the dough is too hard, add warm milk, a tablespoon at a time, to soften the dough.

3

Pre-heat oven to 350ºF. Using a cookie scoop, drop the cookie dough balls on a lined baking sheet, placing them 1.5-2 inches apart. This gives them room to expand. Bake for 16-18 minutes till they are light golden in color. Cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

Notes

Baking times may vary from oven to oven. For the first time, put a timer for 16 minutes and check them. They should look slightly soft and chewy.

Sooji Badaam Sheera (Semolina Almond Pudding)

Sooji Sheera or Semolina Pudding is a popular Indian dessert that can be made in minutes. It has many variants all over India like Sooji Halwa, Rava Sheera, Rava Kesari and more. This is one of the few desserts that can be whipped up with pantry ingredients, without any advance preparation. It is traditionally served on many festive occasions and Puja (prayer ceremonies) as Prasad (religious offering, consumed after completion of ceremonies).

It is extremely easy to customize this to your taste. In my variation of this classic, I add a few tablespoons of almond meal (or almond flour) to the recipe. It adds a creamy rich taste of almonds and bumps up the protein in this dish, making it healthier for my kids. My kids love it for breakfast too! I like using a combination of Ghee and unsalted butter for this recipe, but you can stick to one if you prefer it that way. I make this Sheera using a half-and-half mix of milk and water. You could make it with all milk or all water too. I added saffron to the milk/water mix before warming it so that the saffron would release its flavor and color to the Sheera. You can omit the saffron if you prefer.

Soozi Sheera, Garam Masala KitchenSometimes, I make the classic recipe, without any almond meal or saffron, and it tastes heavenly too. I make it and turn off the heat when it’s at a semi-dry consistency. Then, I pour it in silicone baking cups, even it out with the back of a spoon, and let it set for a few hours.  For plating, I simply invert the silicone molds on to a plate and the semolina cakes just slide off. I garnish it with sliced almonds and crushed cardamom. My kids love this presentation!

 

 

Sooji Badaam Sheera (Semolina Almond Pudding)

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 15

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Semolina / Sooji (coarse or fine)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter (I use 1 tbsp of each)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cashews
  • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cardamom Powder (5-6 pods)
  • 2 tablespoon Almond Meal (optional)
  • 3/4 cup warm milk mixed with 1/2 tsp saffron
  • 3/4 cup hot water

Instructions

1

Prep: If using nuts, chop them coarsely. Warm milk, water and saffron, together in the microwave for 2 minutes. Keep aside.

2

Add ghee/butter in a sauce pan and melt on medium heat for 20-30 seconds. Add your choice of chopped nuts and raisins and sauté for 1 minute. Add Sooji (and almond meal) and sauté for 5 minutes on medium flame, this is to cook away the rawness of semolina (sooji).

3

Add the warm milk-water-saffron mix and stir continuously with a whisk or wooden spoon to avoid any lumps from forming.

4

When the mix reaches a semi-liquid consistency, add sugar and stir till sooji cooks off to a thick pudding-like consistency. Turn off the heat and add the cardamom powder and stir. Serve warm or cold.

Notes

You can choose to make this recipe without any nuts if you wish, it still turns out delicious! When you add warm liquid to the pan, it splashes, so use a deep sauce pan and a long whisk to be safe.