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Cinco De Mayo Recipes

Cinco De Mayo Recipes

Cinco De Mayo is just around the corner. Incase you’re wondering what it is, Cinco de Mayo means ‘5th of May’ in Spanish, and it is pronounced as Seenkoh-de-Maayo. It is the annual celebration to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. Like with any celebration, it is an opportunity to get together with family and friends, and enjoy some amazing Mexican food and delicious margaritas! So, if you’re hosting a party, or going to attend one, I have put together a list of some quick and easy Cinco De Mayo recipes that will add tons of flavor to your party! They’re super easy to make, can be made ahead, and are great for potlucks and get togethers.

A lot of these recipes are made in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO, but I plan to add some stove-top, oven-cooked, and, even some ‘no-cook’ recipes to this list, so be sure to bookmark it! Continue Reading…

Thai Red Curry Soup

Hearty, healthy, rich and creamy, Thai Red Curry Soup is perhaps one of my favorites meals to make when I’m in the mood for something sweet and spicy. This delicious and nutritious soup is filled with protein, has tons of veggies and the creamy yum coconut milk gives it a smooth and velvety texture . A squeeze of lime towards the end, cuts through that richness and balances this soup really well. I make quite a few variations of this soup. I switch the proteins and make it with chicken or shrimp, and a vegetarian version with Extra Firm Tofu.

Thai Red Curry Soup recipe is a hearty, healthy, rich and creamy soup that can be made in a flash in the instant pot. Filled with veggies and protein, its a complete dinner dish. By Spice Cravings. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry #thai

Thai Red Curry Soup is quick and easy to make, and it’s just perfect for weeknights:

Thai Red Curry SoupThai recipes come together in a flash, especially when I use a store-bought curry paste. I’m all about making things from scratch, but when I found out that my local favorite Thai restaurant uses these pre-made curry pastes, I just had to try them. There are many brands for Thai curry paste in the stores, and I’ve tried a fair share of them. I found Maesri brand to be the most authentic in terms of flavors and consistency. I always keep these curry pastes and a can of coconut milk in my pantry. That makes weeknight dinners a breeze. I put together some fresh or frozen chicken, fresh peppers and broccoli, mix the curry paste with coconut milk, add it all to the Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker), pressure cook it for 5 minutes, and dinner is on the table in under 30 minutes!

Make it vegetarian and customize it:

Thai Red Curry Soup recipe is a hearty, healthy, rich and creamy soup that can be made in a flash in the instant pot. Filled with veggies and protein, its a complete dinner dish. By Spice Cravings. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry #thaiIt is extremely easy to customize this soup to your liking. I switch up the proteins and veggies all the time.

To make this soup vegetarian, simply add firm tofu or Paneer (Indian cottage cheese), instead of chicken! Since tofu/paneer is already cooked, add it after pressure cooking the soup, along with the assorted veggies. This way it doesn’t get overcooked and still absorbs the wonderful flavors of the soup.

I love the crunch and flavor of assorted vegetables in Thai Red Curry Soup. I like to add sliced bell-peppers, onions, baby corn and zucchini, but you can add pretty much any kind of vegetables you like. In this recipe, I add the veggies after the pressure cooking process so they retain a nice crunch and stay fresh.  Even frozen vegetables work great in this soup. Simply add them after the pressure cooking process and cook for a few minutes on sauté till they thaw and absorb the soup flavors. You can garnish it with cilantro, Thai basil or even mint. I like to have this soup as-is, but if you love to pair Thai recipes with rice, you can serve this with some white or Brown jasmine rice.

Healthier Carb Option:

Continue Reading…

Paneer Butter Masala | Paneer Makhani in Instant Pot

Paneer Butter Masala or Paneer Makhani, literally means paneer cooked in a buttery rich sauce.  Paneer is Indian cottage cheese.  It’s a vegetarian variation of the popular north-Indian dish called Butter Chicken.   I use fresh or store bought paneer (Indian cottage cheese), and simmer it in tomato puree, seasoned with toasted and ground garam masala.  A touch of heavy cream brings this dish to life.   The original dish was created in the 1950s by the chef of a super popular restaurant in New Delhi, called ‘Moti Mahal Delux’.

Paneer Butter Masala/Paneer Makhani is vegetarian variation of Butter Chicken. Start with paneer, Indian cottage cheese, and simmer it in tomato puree, season with toasted and ground garam masala and finished with a touch of heavy cream #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Traditional Recipe versus Quick & Easy Recipe

The traditional recipe for Paneer Butter Masala/Paneer Makhani  involves one extra step. I marinate the paneer in yogurt and garam masala, grill it, and then simmer it in a tomato-cream sauce. But in this recipe I have skipped that step and made it a one-pot recipe using my Instant Pot, with the same incredible taste. The key is cutting paneer into small, bite-size cubes so that they absorb the flavors of the sauce, and, a little extra garam masala to compensate for the flavors lost in skipping marination.  This is one of the tastiest, and most requested Indian vegetarian recipes by my kids.

Paneer Butter Masala/Paneer Makhani is vegetarian variation of Butter Chicken. Start with paneer, Indian cottage cheese, and simmer it in tomato puree, season with toasted and ground garam masala and finished with a touch of heavy cream #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Click here to see some of my other ONE-POT recipes.

Is Paneer Makhani the same as Paneer Tikka Masala?

Instant pot paneer butter masala or paneer makhani is vegetarian variation of Butter Chicken. Start with paneer, Indian cottage cheese, and simmer it in tomato puree, season with toasted and ground garam masala and finished with a touch of heavy cream #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodiePaneer Tikka masala- Instant pot

Paneer Butter Masala/Paneer Makhani is the most popular vegetarian entree at any Indian restaurant. It’s very similar to Paneer Tikka Masala, which was a variation of this recipe, created in the UK. Everyone has their take on both these recipes, but to me, the big difference is the use of onion. To make the Tikka Masala curry I start by sautéing onions with tomatoes and aromaticsWhereas, I skip the onion when making the Butter Masala or the Makhani curry.  I also add more garam masala in the Tikka Masala curry. That makes it a bit more spicier than the Makhani Curry.

Serving Suggestion for Paneer Butter Masala/Paneer Makhani

Spinach rice with Instant pot paneer butter masala or paneer makhani is vegetarian variation of Butter Chicken. Start with paneer, Indian cottage cheese, and simmer it in tomato puree, season with toasted and ground garam masala and finished with a touch of heavy cream #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie
Paneer Butter Masala/Paneer Makhani goes great with naan, roti and any preparation of basmati rice. I like to pair this rich and creamy curry with Spinach Rice. The buttery soft spinach and aromatic basmati rice compliment this Paneer Butter Masala really well. It feels like a restaurant style Indian meal, in the comfort of my home. I  also pair it with Cumin Rice sometimes and the combination is simply delicious!

Click here for Spinach Rice recipe!

Spinach rice, palak pulao, instant pot spinach pilaf

Spinach Rice

Continue Reading…

Kale and Mango Slaw with Chickpeas

Kale mango slaw with chickpeas, made by sauteing kale slaw mix (from Trader Joe’s), with chickpeas, juicy mango, and topped with crunchy slivered almonds. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Kale and Mango Slaw with Chickpeas is a hot favorite dish in my home currently. It screams SPRING, in looks as well as flavor. I lightly sauté my favorite kale slaw mix (from Trader Joe’s), with chickpeas, juicy mango, and top it with crunchy slivered almonds. All the flavors come together really well in the end. My family enjoys it as a side with Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Mediterranean Lamb Chops and Black Pepper Shrimp, and, leftovers make for a delicious power-packed lunch.

Kale and Mango Slaw with Chickpeas, made by sautéing kale slaw mix (from Trader Joe’s), with chickpeas, juicy mango, and topped with crunchy slivered almonds. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Customize it

I use cooked chickpeas in this recipe. You can use canned, or pre-cooked chickpeas. I typically, pressure cook about a cup of chickpeas for 30 minutes in my Instant Pot,  and use them in different recipes throughout the week. Chickpeas add a nice earthy and creamy flavor, and, boost the protein and fiber content of any dish. That being said, you can choose to use other kinds of beans instead, like black beans, kidney beans, or, skip them entirely to make a simple kale and mango slaw. The same goes for soycutash too. I personally, love the contrast of flavors that soycutash brings to this slaw, with the sweet corn, crunchy edamame and juicy peppers. But, you can use frozen corn or peas instead, or, skip it entirely. On another note, I have used mango in this recipe since I love the combination of kale and mango. You can easily switch that with a pear or a juicy granny smith apple too.

One-Skillet Wonder

The easy of putting together Kale and Mango slaw with Chickpeas is a big bonus for me. Everything happens in one skillet, so no extra dishes to wash! I sauté cooked chickpeas in cumin and paprika, add soycutash and saute it till it thaws. Then add the Kale slaw mix, salt and vinegar, and sauté it for 30 seconds, and turn off the heat. Add chopped mango, garnish with roasted slivered almonds, and just like that, this nutrition packed slaw is ready!

Kale and Mango Slaw with Chickpeas, made by sautéing kale slaw mix (from Trader Joe’s), with chickpeas, juicy mango, and topped with crunchy slivered almonds. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Here’s how to make Kale and Mango Slaw with Chickpeas:

Continue Reading…

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe : Instant Pot, Oven or Skillet

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe made by marinating the chicken in a rich cocktail of bold and earthy spices. This recipe can be made in an instant pot, skillet or oven. Goes terrific with a sweet side like a Kale & Mango Slaw with Chickpeas. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Jamaican Jerk Chicken was probably one of the first recipes that I cooked with my husband when we were newly married! It was an adaptation of one of Bobby Flay’s recipe. I remember that I made the spice rub from scratch, marinated the meat overnight, and we grilled it on a charcoal grill.  It was juicy, spicy, sweet and simply amazing!

Traditional Marinade: In the traditional recipe for Jamaican Jerk Chicken, a wet marinade is prepared with fresh thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, ginger, garlic, spring onions, oil, soy sauce, orange juice, red wine vinegar, brown sugar and a unique spice-rub that includes cinnamon, cloves, all-spice, nutmeg, black pepper and salt. Everything is blended together in a food processor and the chicken is marinated in it for 30 mins-12 hours.

Whenever I have time, I like to make this marinade from scratch, but on busy days, I love to take a shortcut and use a dry pre-mixed Caribbean Jerk Seasoning. I combine a few tablespoons of the pre-mix with orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, red wine vinegar and brown sugar, and marinade is done.Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe made by marinating the chicken in a rich cocktail of bold and earthy spices. This recipe can be made in an instant pot, skillet or oven. Goes terrific with a sweet side like a Kale & Mango Slaw with Chickpeas. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Cooking methods: Oven/Skillet/Grill/Instant Pot: I have cooked Jerk Chicken in the oven, in a skillet, on an outdoor grill, and now, in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot. It takes about 15-20 minutes to grill it on the stove, outdoor grill or under the broiler (oven).

With an Instant Pot, it takes about 30 minutes, BUT, that’s hands-free time. You don’t have to monitor it, or flip it half way through.  You just dump it in and walk away for the next 30 minutes.  However, after cooking it in the pressure cooker, I do like to do an optional extra step.   I heat a grill pan on medium-high heat, and then sear the cooked chicken for 30 secs-1 minute on one side, to get the nice grill marks on the chicken. By doing that, the sugars in the marinade caramelize and create a nice char on the chicken, that tastes heavenly and looks phenomenal.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe made by marinating the chicken in a rich cocktail of bold and earthy spices. This recipe can be made in an instant pot, skillet or oven. Goes terrific with a sweet side like a Kale & Mango Slaw with Chickpeas. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodieServing suggestion: Jamaican Jerk Chicken goes really well with a simple mango salsa, or my favorite, Kale & Mango Slaw with Chickpeas. The crunchy slaw and the sweetness of the ripe and juicy mangoes compliments the spicy chicken really well. Click on the following link to get the recipe of this spring-time favorite, Kale & Mango Slaw.

Here’s how easy it is to put  Jamaican Jerk Chicken together:

Continue Reading…

Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf | Palak Rice | Pulao

Aromatic basmati rice cooked with buttery soft spinach in homemade ghee, that’s what makes this Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf so flavorful and hearty! Spinach Rice, or Palak (spinach) Pulav (rice pilaf), is a popular vegetarian side, where long-grain Basmati rice is cooked with fresh spinach, and seasoned with cumin seeds, garam masala (Indian spice blend) and ground coriander.  Finally, I finish the spinach rice with a light squeeze of lime and it tastes divine. I like to add a few cashews or slivered almonds to spinach rice, as they add a nice texture and contrast to the creamy spinach and the soft fluffy rice.

Following this quick and easy recipe for Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf, you can elevate your everyday rice into an elegant and delicious side dish!

Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Flavor Variation: Spanakorizo

A very popular variation of this recipe is the Greek-style spinach rice, called Spanakorizo. That’s pronounced as span-a-ko-reezo. Now, try saying that 10 times fast 🙂 It is extremely easy to make Spanakorizo by switching a couple of ingredients in this recipe. Typically flavored with fresh dill, lemon zest and juice, this flavor-packed dish goes really well with a mediterranean themed menu. I pair it with these Lamb Chops, or my Mediterranean Chicken and everyone loves it in my home. I have listed the recipe for Spanakorizo in the ingredients list below.

Serving suggestion

Butter Paneer with this flavorful and hearty spinach rice, palak pulao or pilaf is made by cooking aromatic basmati rice with buttery soft spinach in ghee in an Instant Pot. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

 

This Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf has a nice fluffy and creamy texture and taste, due to which it seems like the perfect pairing with most Indian curries. My personal favorite pairings with Spinach rice are with Butter ChickenChicken Tikka MasalaPaneer Tikka Masala and Paneer Butter Masala (Paneer Makhani). My local Trader Joe’s carries both these combinations in their frozen entrée section as well :-). There’s something about these combinations that makes them go so well together; the buttery spinach compliments the rich curry in all these dishes.

This flavorful and hearty spinach rice, palak pulao or pilaf is made by cooking aromatic basmati rice with buttery soft spinach in ghee in an Instant Pot. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodieStove-top Recipe for Spinach Rice Pilaf:

In this recipe, I’ve made the Spinach pilaf in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, but this recipe can very easily be made on the stove-top too. Here’s how:

  1. Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium-high heat. Follow the instructions to saute everything, add rice, seasonings, water. Bring to a boil and cover the pot. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Open lid, gently fluff rice with a fork, add lime juice and mix. Let it sit, uncovered, for 5 minutes before serving.   As a result of this resting period, any excess moisture evaporates, therefore, resulting in soft and fluffy rice.

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This flavorful and hearty spinach rice, palak pulao or pilaf is made by cooking aromatic basmati rice with buttery soft spinach in ghee in an Instant Pot. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie
Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf | Palak Rice | Pulao
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Aromatic basmati rice cooked with buttery soft spinach in homemade ghee, that's what makes this Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf so flavorful and hearty!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Mediterranean
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 163 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup basmati rice : rinsed 2-3 times, soaked for 20 mins if possible
  • 2 teaspoons ghee or butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic, crushed or grated (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 6 oz baby spinach (1 bag) chopped fine
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons cashews or blanched slivered almonds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala homemade or store-bought
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 lime juiced : about 1 teaspoon. Add after cooking
Make it Greek style : Spanakorizo
  • 1 cup basmati rice : rinsed 2-3 times, soaked for 20 mins if possible
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots thinly sliced or chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic fine chopped or grated
  • 6 oz baby spinach chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped dill
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons blanched slivered almonds : optional
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt : adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small lemon juiced : about 2 teaspoons, to be added after cooking
Instructions
  1. Rinse rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have the time, soak it for 20 minutes. Rinse and drain before using.
  2. Heat ghee in instant pot on SAUTE mode.  Add cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle, about 15-20 seconds.  Add chopped onions and cashews and saute for 30 seconds.  If you're adding curry leaves and green chilies, you can add them with the onions.  Add crushed or grated, ginger & garlic, and saute another 30 seconds.

  3. Add chopped spinach and cilantro and saute for about a minute, till the spinach wilts.  See video for clarity.  Add rinsed and drained rice and saute another minute.  Add spices and water, stir well.  Close lid.  Cancel SAUTE. Set pressure valve to 'Sealing' position.  Cook on Manual or Pressure Cook for 6 minutes.

  4. Wait 5 minutes before manually releasing the pressure, by turning the valve to venting position (NPR 5).  Open the lid after the pin drops.  Fluff rice with a fork. Let it sit uncovered for 5 minutes.  Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and mix it gently.

Recipe Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.

 

Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf | Palak Rice | Pulao
Amount Per Serving
Calories 163 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 320mg 13%
Potassium 248mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 53.8%
Vitamin C 12.2%
Calcium 4.4%
Iron 8.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

PIN IT TO PINTEREST:Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

 

Veggie Bean Burger Recipe

A delicious veggie bean burger, with a golden brown bean-patty, sandwiched between two warm, butter-toasted buns, the fresh crunch of lettuce and tomato, a slice of spicy pepper-jack, smothered in a sweet and spicy Sriracha-mayo sauce. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie #instantpot

Some days, you just gotta have a burger!   How about a delicious veggie bean burger, with a golden brown bean-patty, sandwiched between two warm, butter-toasted buns, the fresh crunch of lettuce and tomato, a slice of spicy pepper-jack, smothered in a sweet and spicy Sriracha-mayo sauce!  By the time you’re done reading this post, I can guarantee that you’ll be craving for one!

My family loves burgers!  Once a week, we either go out to our favorite burger place, The Habit, or I make one of my recipes at home.  In this blog, I am sharing one of my all-time favorite, Veggie Bean Burger recipe with you all, which, even my meat-loving hubby relishes!

Loading The Burger Patty with Vegges

Veggie Bean Burger, instant pot recipes, Garam masala Kitchen

I make this recipe with all kinds of beans, I’ve made them with black beans, kidney beans, and even a combination of pinto and black.  The addition of finely chopped bell peppers, or rainbow peppers, adds a great texture and taste contrast to the creamy beans.  Fine chopping ingredients can be a pain sometimes, so, I de-seed the peppers, cut them into large chunks and pulse it a few times in my trusty Mini Food Processor by Ninja.  Frozen corn adds just the right hint of sweetness.  The shredded cheese binds these patties beautifully, and elevates the taste to a whole new level.

Beans: Canned or Dry

You can make this recipe with dry or canned beans. If using dry beans, rinse and soak them overnight. Rinse and drain them again before cooking. I pressure cook the beans in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, which reduces the time and effort significantly. Drain the cooked beans and follow the recipe. If using canned beans, rinse and drain them well and use in this recipe.

A delicious veggie bean burger, with a golden brown bean-patty, sandwiched between two warm, butter-toasted buns, the fresh crunch of lettuce and tomato, a slice of spicy pepper-jack, smothered in a sweet and spicy Sriracha-mayo sauce. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodieVegan & Egg-less Alternative

This recipe calls for a large egg, which binds and helps hold these patties together. You can skip that and add about 1/2 cup breadcrumbs to the mix, to bind them. Adjust the quantity based on how wet your bean mixture is. This recipe also calls for shredded cheese.  Cheese also helps bind these patties together. You can substitute with Coconut Flour or Corn Starch. The quantities are mentioned in the ingredient list.

Halving this Recipe

You can easily cut this recipe in half, and make 4 patties or so. In that case, since it’s difficult and messy to half an egg, use 1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs instead. Adjust the quantity based on how wet your bean mixture is.

Here’s how simple it is to make this fabulous burger patties: Continue Reading…

Pot-in-Pot (PIP) Instant Pot | Pressure Cooker Method

Instant Pot Pot in Pot Cooking Recipes

Pot-in-Pot Cooking (PIP)

When I first got my Instant Pot, like many of you, I joined a few Facebook groups, did the water test, boiled eggs, cooked rice and moved on to main meals.  But, every now and then, I would come across the term, Pot-in-Pot (PIP).  It sounded interesting, but intimidating!  I read up about it, and experimented with my first PIP meal, Coconut Lime Chicken with Coconut Rice , and it was a huge success!  So, this post is for all my fellow cooks, who want to give it a try, but don’t know where to start.
Coconut-lime-chicken-and-rice-Instant Pot

In this post you will find:

  • Concept of Pot-in-Pot (PIP) cooking explained
  • Examples of PIP cooking
  • What you need to get started
  • Popular PIP accessories
  • My tried and tested PIP Recipes

What is Pot-in-Pot (PIP) method?

Let’s understand the basic concept first. Pot-in-Pot method is exactly what it sounds like. It’s cooking something in a smaller, oven-safe pot (or basket, trivet etc.), inside the main pot of the pressure cooker. You start by adding water in the inner pot, then place a trivet, which is a metal stand that will give you a base to put another bowl or container on top. Based on your recipe, you could place a steamer basket instead of a trivet, or, you could cook a curry with liquid in the main pot and rice or potatoes in a bowl on top. The idea here is that the ‘food on the trivet’ never touches the liquid at the bottom, it steam cooks.

Like this:

pot in pot cooking instant potpot in pot cooking instant potpot in pot cooking instant pot

Why cook PIP? Here’s a few scenarios…

  • Cooking entrée and side in the same pot. For example, chicken in the main pot, and rice in a smaller bowl, placed on a trivet. Cook time: 6 mins Manual/Pressure Cook,, NPR10.
  • Cooking multiple items that have the same cook time. For example, broccoli and cauliflower in one pot, peas and carrots in another. Cook time: 0 mins Manual/Pressure Cook, QR.
  • Steam-cooking foods that don’t need to touch the main pot or liquid, for example, boiling eggs or chicken breast, salmon fillets etc.
  • Making desserts like cheesecake or lava cakes, which turn out great when baked in a water-bath.
  • Re-heating food is a lot easier when you can set two or more pots in the Instant Pot, to re-heat everything at the same time.
  • Cooking a smaller quantity. If I’m making 1/2 cup of rice, I need 1/2 cup of water or broth for that, that’s not enough liquid for the main pot to come up to pressure. Cooking PIP takes care of that. Rice cooks evenly without scorching the bottom of the pot.
  • Cooking foods that stick. For example, lasagna, or any recipe with a cheese as an ingredient has a higher tendency to burn if cooked directly.

What do I need for PIP cooking?

You need a few accessories to be able to cook PIP. The good news is that the Instant Pot already comes with a one, and you may be able to find some in you kitchen cabinet. Here’s is what you need for PIP cooking:

  • Instant Pot: The #1 thing you need for PIP cooking, but you knew that already 🙂
  • Water: You need to put 1-2 cups of water, depending on the size of your pot, in the main pot to build pressure for cooking.
  • Trivet: The Instant Pot comes with a trivet, so you can start experimenting with basics like boiled eggs, chicken breast etc, without having to buy more accessories.
  • Oven-safe bowl: Any oven safe bowl will work here, ceramic, porcelain, stainless steel, silicone, even the disposable aluminum bakeware. Just remember, NO PLASTIC containers, and Pyrex is to be used with caution. I’ve never had a Pyrex bowl break, but have heard of some exploding, especially, when it went straight from the freezer to the pot.
  • Steamer basket: If you’re boiling/steaming a few eggs, the trivet should work fine, but if you’re doing a dozen, then a steamer basket comes in handy, especially, when pulling out.
  • Spring-form pan /Push pan: If you are planning on making a cheesecake or a lasagna, a springform pan or a push pan comes in very handy. It’s removable ring makes slicing much easier.
  • Stackable containers/bowls:  If you’re planning on cooking multiple items at once, these work out great.

Here’s are some accessories that I use for PIP cooking:

Continue Reading…

Instant Pot Rava Idli | Steamed Semolina Cakes

Instant Pot Rava Idli, savory steamed semolina cakes by Spice Cravings. These idlis made with rava, with mixed in corn, peas, carrots, and cashews. These rava idlis are soft and spongy and a real favorite with my kids. Made with semolina flour called Rava, this dish is a variation of the popular south-Indian breakfast dish called 'Idli' (steamed rice & lentil cakes). #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Soft, spongy, melt-in-your-mouth Rava Idli is a real favorite with my kids. Rava Idli, which is made with semolina flour called Rava, is a variation of the popular south-Indian breakfast dish called ‘Idli’ (steamed rice & lentil cakes).

Super easy to make, this instant breakfast or snack recipe needs no grinding or fermenting, and comes together in 30 minutes, with only 5-7 minutes of active cooking time.  In this recipe, I made rava idli in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, using my newest kitchen toy, Silicone Molds.  These molds work great for a variety of recipes including, eggs-bites, mini lava cakes and more.  I love it when a kitchen accessory can be used for multiple recipes!Soft & spongy Rava Idli (Steamed Semolina Cake), is a favorite with my kids. It's a variation of the popular south-Indian breakfast called 'Idli' (steamed rice & lentil cakes). Made with semolina (rava), corn, peas, carrots, and cashews, these savory cakes make for a healthy & tasty breakfast or brunch . #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie #indian #breakfast #brunch

Kids Love it:

I mix in some frozen corn, frozen peas, chopped carrots, and chopped cashews into the idli mix, to give the idlis a bite and bump up their nutritional content. This combination and small size of each idli makes it a great snack or school lunch option for kids.

Soft & spongy Rava Idli (Steamed Semolina Cake), is a favorite with my kids. It's a variation of the popular south-Indian breakfast called 'Idli' (steamed rice & lentil cakes). Made with semolina (rava), corn, peas, carrots, and cashews, these savory cakes make for a healthy & tasty breakfast or brunch . #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie #indian #breakfast #brunchServing suggestion:

Rava Idli can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch or snack.  In my house, we each have a different ‘favorite’ condiment to enjoy it with. We have it with ginger chutney, coconut chutney, cilantro-mint chutney, and ketchup… yes, ketchup:-)

Here’s how easy it is to put this together:

Soft & spongy Rava Idli (Steamed Semolina Cake), is a favorite with my kids. It's a variation of the popular south-Indian breakfast called 'Idli' (steamed rice & lentil cakes). Made with semolina (rava), corn, peas, carrots, and cashews, these savory cakes make for a healthy & tasty breakfast or brunch . #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie #indian #breakfast #brunch Mix idli ingredients, keep aside for 15 mins Soft & spongy Rava Idli (Steamed Semolina Cake), is a favorite with my kids. It's a variation of the popular south-Indian breakfast called 'Idli' (steamed rice & lentil cakes). Made with semolina (rava), corn, peas, carrots, and cashews, these savory cakes make for a healthy & tasty breakfast or brunch . #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie #indian #breakfast #brunch Turn on SAUTE and add water
Soft & spongy Rava Idli (Steamed Semolina Cake), is a favorite with my kids. It's a variation of the popular south-Indian breakfast called 'Idli' (steamed rice & lentil cakes). Made with semolina (rava), corn, peas, carrots, and cashews, these savory cakes make for a healthy & tasty breakfast or brunch . #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie #indian #breakfast #brunch Grease idli mold Instant Pot Rava Idli Prepare tempering
Instant Pot Rava Idli Turn off heat Instant Pot Rava Idli Add to idli batter
Instant Pot Rava Idli Mix well Instant Pot Rava Idli Add ENO fruit salt and mix gently
Instant Pot Rava Idli Place tray on trivet and lower in pot Instant Pot Rava Idli Stack the second tray on top, steam for 12 mins
Instant Pot Rava Idli Cool for 2-3 mins Instant Pot Rava Idli, savory steamed semolina cakes by Spice Cravings. These idlis made with rava, with mixed in corn, peas, carrots, and cashews. These rava idlis are soft and spongy and a real favorite with my kids. Made with semolina flour called Rava, this dish is a variation of the popular south-Indian breakfast dish called 'Idli' (steamed rice & lentil cakes). #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie Enjoy Rava Idli with your favorite chutney!

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Instant Pot Rava Idli, savory steamed semolina cakes by Spice Cravings. These idlis made with rava, with mixed in corn, peas, carrots, and cashews. These rava idlis are soft and spongy and a real favorite with my kids. Made with semolina flour called Rava, this dish is a variation of the popular south-Indian breakfast dish called 'Idli' (steamed rice & lentil cakes). #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie
Instant Pot Rava Idli | Steamed Semolina Cakes
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
27 mins
 

Soft & spongy rava idle is a favorite with my kids. It's a variation of the popular south-Indian breakfast called 'Idli' (steamed rice & lentil cakes). Made with semolina (rava), corn, peas, carrots, and cashews, these savory cakes make for a healthy & tasty breakfast or brunch. 

Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 14 Idlis
Calories: 64 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Ingredients
Idli mix (Mix the following ingredients and keep aside for 15 mins)
  • 1 cup Sooji / Semolina / Rava
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste- I add 3/4
You can customize the following ingredients to your liking
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cashews or peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped carrots chop them about the size of peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated ginger OR, 1/2 teaspoon dry ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
To be added just before cooking
  • 3/4 teaspoon Eno Fruit Salt OR, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda+1/2 teaspoon citric acid
Tempering
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Urad Dal Split Black Lentils
  • 4-5 curry leaves chopped
  • 1 green chili finely chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Prep: In a large bowl, add all ingredients listed under 'Idli Mix', and mix well. Keep aside for 15 minutes while you prep the instant pot and molds. Add 2 cups of water in the inner pot and turn on SAUTE (high), so that the water comes up to a boil. Grease the silicone molds or Idli steamer lightly, using PAM cooking spray or ghee. Keep aside.

  2. Prepare tempering: Heat a fry-pan on medium-high heat. Add all ingredients listed under 'Tempering'. Wait for the mustard seeds to pop, and urad dal to turn golden in color. Remove from heat and mix in the idli batter.

  3. Cook idli: Add Eno fruit salt in the batter and mix it in gently. Don't over-mix the batter. Fill up the silicone molds about 3/4th of the way. Place the silicone tray on a trivet and lower it in the instant pot. At this point the water will be boiling, so be careful while doing that. Carefully stack the second mold on top of the first one, placing it such that the cavities DON'T overlap. If using Idli stand, fill up the idli molds 3/4 of the way and follow the same process. Close the lid. Set vent at VENTING position. Press STEAM for 12 minutes. The Instant Pot doesn't count down the timer in STEAM mode, so set an external timer (oven, microwave, siri, alexa).

  4. Idli is done: When the timer is done, let the pin drop before opening the lid, takes about 30 seconds or so. Carefully open lid and remove the silicone molds or idli stand. Let the idlis cool for 2-3 minutes before popping them out of the mold. If using the silicone molds, they slip right out when you invert the mold and push gently. Serve idli warm, with your favorite side of chutney. We love ours with homemade cilantro-mint chutney and ginger chutney.

Recipe Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.

 

Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Rava Idli | Steamed Semolina Cakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 64 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 140mg 6%
Potassium 56mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 10g 3%
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 7.9%
Vitamin C 8.9%
Calcium 0.9%
Iron 3.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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Soft & spongy Rava Idli (Steamed Semolina Cake), is a favorite with my kids. It's a variation of the popular south-Indian breakfast called 'Idli' (steamed rice & lentil cakes). Made with semolina (rava), corn, peas, carrots, and cashews, these savory cakes make for a healthy & tasty breakfast or brunch . #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie #indian #breakfast #brunch

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Wonton Soup (Pressure Cooker & Stove-Top Recipe)

Chicken Wonton Soup is perhaps one of the most ordered soups at a Chinese restaurant.  Wontons are soft bite-size dumplings that are stuffed with meat or vegetables, and aromatics like ginger, garlic and spring onions. They are then cooked in a clear, flavorful chicken or vegetable broth. I love this soup, and have figured out an easier way to make it at home, on a weeknight too.  This hearty recipe for a real easy Instant Pot Chicken Wonton Soup makes a great dinner dish by itself.   I also have a vegetarian recipe below.

Instant Pot Chicken Wonton Soup recipe by Spice Cravings. Made with frozen wontons, cooked with a variety of vegetables, in a chicken broth in the instant pot. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Short-Cut for Wontons

I love simple and easy meals like this, that are so comforting at the end of a long day.When I have time, I love to make homemade wontons for this soup using ground chicken, spring onions, aromatics and seasoning. But, for weeknights and crazy times, this soup is real easy to put together using my favorite store-bought frozen wontons, Chicken Cilantro Mini Wontons from Trader Joe’s. This soup will work equally well with your favorite brand of dumplings too.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Wonton Soup

Easy-Peasy:

All you have to do is add all ingredients, except wontons and greens, in the Instant Pot, pressure cook for 2 minutes, release pressure, add wontons and greens, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Done!  And dinner is served in 20 minutes.

Make it Vegetarian:

It is extremely easy to make this soup vegetarian by switching just two ingredients. Switch the chicken broth with vegetable broth and buy your favorite flavor of vegetable dumplings. I personally like the Thai Vegetable Gyoza dumplings from Trader Joe’s. I combine that with their low-sodium vegetable broth.

Instant Pot Chicken Wonton Soup recipe by Spice Cravings. Made with frozen wontons, cooked with a variety of vegetables, in a chicken broth in the instant pot. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Stove-Top Method:

Heat a large stockpot on medium-high heat. Add all ingredients EXCEPT wontons and greens. Bring everything to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 6-8 mins. Open lid. Add wontons and cook till they float on top, takes about 2-4 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add greens and stir well. Let them soften in the soup for a few minutes. Serve warm!

Check out more INSTANT POT SOUP RECIPES here!

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Instant Pot Chicken Wonton Soup recipe by Spice Cravings. Made with frozen wontons, cooked with a variety of vegetables, in a chicken broth in the instant pot. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie
Instant Pot Chicken Wonton Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

This Chicken Wonton Soup is nutritious & filled with healthy vegetables. Just cook broth, veges, & aromatics together in the instant pot & then add wontons.  Easy to make vegetarian by using vegetable stock & vegetarian wontons.

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Soup
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 373 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Ingredients
  • 1 32 oz pack Chicken stock : use vegetable stock for vegetarian recipe
  • 1 pack frozen wontons : I get mini wontons from Trader Joe's
  • 1/2 inch ginger peeled and fine chopped, OR, 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and fine chopped, OR, 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Less Sodium Soy Sauce adjust based on salt level of stock
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chili Garlic Paste, or any chili garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Agave Nectar or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Roasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce optional
  • 3 medium carrots sliced
  • 2-3 heads of Bok Choy stems and greens (leaves) chopped and separated
Instructions
  1. Prep the veggies: For bok choy, chop the leaves and keep aside, they will be added after cooking is done. Chop the carrots and boy choy stems. Finely chop ginger and garlic.

  2. Turn on Instant Pot: Add chicken stock and everything EXCEPT wontons and boy choy 'greens (leaves)'. Close lid. Pressure cook for 2 minutes. Manually release the pressure by moving the pressure valve from Sealing to Venting mode. If you are multiplying this recipe, wait 5 minutes before releasing pressure to avoid the soup from shooting through the pressure valve. Open lid once the pin drops.

  3. Finish:  Turn on SAUTE and add the frozen wontons. Cook 2-4 minutes till they float on top. (Watch the video). Cancel SAUTE and add the boy choy greens that you had kept aside. Stir and let them soften in the soup for a few minutes.

Recipe Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.

 

Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Chicken Wonton Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 373 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 1661mg 69%
Potassium 1232mg 35%
Total Carbohydrates 63g 21%
Dietary Fiber 8g 32%
Sugars 14g
Protein 14g 28%
Vitamin A 528.2%
Vitamin C 247.7%
Calcium 49.9%
Iron 30.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.