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Chicken and Vegetable Skewers with Lemon Rice

Chicken and Vegetable skewers are one of my favorite things to make. I love meals where I can take care of the protein and vegetables in one-shot. Depending on my family’s mood, we eat it with a garden salad, or with toasted Pitas and Hummus, and of course, one of our favorite combinations is with delicious and fragrant Lemon Rice!  These skewers make for great finger foods for entertaining as well!

Chicken Skewers & Vegetables with Lemon Rice, made in Instant Pot by Spice Cravings. A delicious complete meal that comes together in under 30 minutes. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #Chicken #grill #kebab Weeknight Friendly Meal

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20-Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup

My 20-minute Chicken Tortilla Soup is pure comfort in a bowl for my family. It has a perfect harmony of flavors. With an intense earthy flavor from the chili powder and cumin, smokiness from the paprika, zing from the lime juice, all that combines with soft tender chicken, creamy beans and sweet corn.  This super easy and delicious soup is the perfect finale to any day!

Chicken Tortilla Soup, Chicken Taco soup in instant pot by Spice Cravings. This 20-minute Chicken Tortilla Soup instant pot recipe combines the flavors of chili powder, cumin, lime juice, & paprika, with tender chicken, beans, & sweet corn.  #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty

Chicken Tortilla Soup:

Chicken Tortilla Soup is a Mexican traditional soup, where the broth is simmered with tomato, onions, garlic and spices.  You sprinkle fried tortilla chips before serving.  This simple, 20 minute, one-pot version is my go-to recipe at the end of a long day.   I just put all the ingredients in and turn the Instant Pot on.  I call it a fill-it, shut-it, forget-it meal!

You can customize it by making it plain, or by adding your choice of vegetables, meat and your favorite toppings- sour cream, shredded cheese and of course- Tortilla chips!

Stove-Top Recipe:

You can cook this easy soup on the stove-top too.  Follow the same instructions and simmer the soup, covered for 20 minutes.  I like to make variations of this soup and add vegetables to make it more hearty and healthy for my family.

20 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced through the middle (around 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • Optional Add-ons
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • Garnish:
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro



Prep: Chop garlic and vegetables. Slice Chicken breast into 2. I find the chicken to be more flavorful this way.


Turn on Instant Pot on Sauté. Wait 30 seconds for it to heat. Add oil, onions and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute.


Add all the vegetables, broth, beans, corn, tomato paste, spices and chicken breasts. Stir well. Close the lid, set vent to "sealing". Cook on Manual (high pressure) for 6 minutes.


Let pressure release naturally, take out chicken breasts and shred them using two forks. Put them back in the soup. Add chopped cilantro, squeeze of a lime and top with your favorite toppings- cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot (Chicken and Rice)

Chicken Biryani is a rice-based dish, which is made by steam-cooking aromatic basmati rice, with chicken marinated in yogurt and fragrant Indian spices.  The process of cooking the meat and rice in steam is called Dum, where the cooking vessel is sealed with wet dough and an airtight environment is created for cooking.  Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot, is my simplified, convenient and one-pot recipe, that gets it done in under 30 minutes!

Biryani is typically made with long grain Basmati Rice and has many variations all over India.  It is traditionally made with chicken or lamb.  The vegetarian biryani is typically made with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and fresh vegetables.
Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot is a delicious and easy recipe, in which basmati rice is steam-cooked with chicken marinated in yogurt & warm Indian spices.. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #Indian #curry #Biryani #Rice

There are many theories about the origin of ‘Biryani’.  From what I’ve read about it, I believe that it originated in Persia and was brought to India by the Mughals.  As per this this theory, Biryani is an Indian adaptation of the Persian Pilaf.

Two Styles of Biryani:

There are two basic ways of cooking a BiryaniKachhi (meaning ‘raw’) Biryani, in which marinated meat is cooked with partially cooked rice.  Since the rice is 50% cooked before adding to the biryani pot, I don’t add any additional water in this recipe.  The juices released by the meat and marinade are enough to finish the cooking the rice through.  The result is a perfect harmony of flavors.  The rice often turns out multi-colored, depending on what it was closest to in the pot– meat, fried onions or saffron.

The other way of making biryani is Pakki (meaning ‘cooked’) Biryani,  where I prepare a meat curry first, and then cook the rinsed rice in that curry.  I find that between the two, the Kacchi Biryani seems to be the more popular one and is served in restaurants, world over.  Traditionally, this is a slow-cooked recipe that takes a couple of hours to make.  I’ve made a 30-minute version of it using my electric pressure cooker- the Instant Pot.

In this recipe for Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot, I use a non-traditional ingredient, Smoked Paprika.  Paprika, adds a smoky-peppery taste, and color, which infuses in the meat when the biryani is steam-cooked.  You can use Kashmiri Red Chili Powder instead of paprika if that’s what you have on hand.  Occasionally, I also add a teaspoon of Chaat Masala to the marinade.  Chaat Masala adds a nice zing to Chicken Biryani, which my family really enjoys.

Entertaining with this Recipe:

Multiplying this recipe is easy.  To double up this recipe, I create alternate layers of chicken and rice, basically repeating step 3 in the order mentioned.

Before I got my Instant Pot, I used to cook it in my stove-top pressure cooker.  Here’s how:

  1. Follow all instructions and assemble the biryani in the pressure cooker.  Close the cooker and place it on medium-hi heat.
  2. As soon as the first whistle goes, reduce heat to medium.  Place a flat skillet(frying pan) on the stove and place the pressure cooker on top of that.  This will ensure that your chicken doesn’t burn at the bottom of your pressure cooker.  Continue cooking on medium-high heat for 6 minutes.

Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot is a delicious and easy recipe, in which basmati rice is steam-cooked with chicken marinated in yogurt & warm Indian spices.. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #Indian #curry #Biryani #Rice

Homemade Garam Masala:

In this recipe, I use a popular Indian spice-blend, called garam masala, for flavoring the chicken, as well as the rice.  I like to make my own garam masala blend.  It takes under 15 minutes to make enough to last me a month, and the end results are so worth the little effort.  If you have the time to make yours at home too, try this easy recipe for Homemade Garam Masala.

Garam Masala Recipe, Indian spice mix

Making Fried Onions for Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot

I feel that fried onions are a huge contributor of flavor in any Biryani.  I mostly make it them at home, but that takes a bit of time.  When I’m short on time, I use store-bought fried onions from Trader Joe’s, and those work great for Biryani.  When I am preparing them at home, I use one of these two ways:

  1. I slice 2 medium onions thinly.  I heat the Instant pot on SAUTE (high), or, a griddle on medium high heat, and add 2-3 tablespoons ghee or oil and add the onions.  It is important to keep stirring every 3-4 minutes till the onions are golden brown, which takes around 12-14 minutes, depending on the size of the cooking pot.  The wider the surface area, the quicker they brown.
  2. Alternatively, I toss thinly sliced onions with melted ghee or oil.  Pre-heat the oven to 425F and cook the onions for about 20 minutes, till they are golden brown.  This is a nice hands-off way of making fried onions.  I typically make mine using this method, and while the onions are cooking, I do the prep-work for Biryani.

Serving Suggestions

I like to serve Chicken biryani warm, with a Cucumber Raita (cucumber-yogurt dip) and a garden salad, drizzled with fresh lime vinaigrette.

Cucumber Yoghurt Dip / Cucumber Raita

More Biryani/Pilaf recipes that you may enjoy:

instant pot Lamb Biryani

Lamb Biryani

Quinoa vegetable Biryani

Quinoa Vegetable Biryani

Achaari Paneer Biryani- combining two popular dishes in one pot, garam masala kitchen

Paneer Biryani (Veg)

Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 6 mins Manual, NPR 10 or QR


  • 1.5 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (1 inch ginger + 6 cloves garlic)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro & mint
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your spice level)
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cups Basmati Rice or long grain rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt (we're adding more salt than normal, since we will strain the rice before using)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon melted ghee or oil
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter for toping
  • 8-10 whole cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron soaked in 2 tablespoons warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala for topping
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro & mint
  • 1/4 cup fried onion (store bought)
  • CUCUMBER-MINT RAITA (Yogurt Dip- mix everything together and refrigerate till serving):
  • 1 english cucumber, chopped fine
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • FRIED ONIONS(If making your own)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons ghee, oil for sautéing



Fried onions If making fried onions yourself, use one of the two methods described above for 'Fried Onions'. Skip this step if using store-bought.


Marinating Chicken Prepare marinade by mixing together yogurt, olive oil, lime juice, ginger-garlic paste, salt, spices, 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro & mint. Mix well. Add the chicken thighs and coat well with marinade. Keep aside while you partially boil the rice.


Partially cooking rice Rinse basmati rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have time, soak them for 15 minutes in warm water. Strain rice. You can partially cook the rice in a microwave or stove-top. Microwave: Place rice, water, salt, ghee and garam masala in an oven safe bowl, and cook for 10 minutes. Strain the rice and keep aside. If using the stove-top method, boil 4 cups of water in a sauce pan, add rice, salt, garam masala and ghee/oil. Bring back to a boil and cook rice on high-heat for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and strain the rice.


Turn on the Instant Pot on sauté mode. If the yogurt you used for marinating the chicken was thick, start by adding 1/4 cup water in the inner pot followed by chicken along with it's marinade. This will prevent the chicken from burning. Layer chicken evenly. Top with the remaining marinade. Layer the partially boiled rice evenly all over the chicken. Sprinkle fried onions on top followed by chopped cilantro-mint. Add cashews and sprinkle 1 teaspoon garam masala. Pour the saffron-milk evenly followed by melted butter.


Close the lid. Turn off sauté. Press Manual (High pressure) for 6 minutes, while the vent is set to sealing position. You can manually release the pressure (QR) right after, or, let the pressure release naturally for 5-10 minutes (NPR 5-10) and then release the remaining pressure manually. I prefer QR though. Open the lid and carefully fluff up the biryani with a fork, without breaking the rice. Remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot base, to stop the cooking process. Enjoy with a cucumber-yogurt dip!


Instant pot Chicken Biryani by Spice Cravings.  Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot is a delicious and easy recipe, in which basmati rice is steam-cooked with chicken marinated in yogurt & warm Indian spices.  #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot  #recipes #easyrecipe  #cuisine  #30minutemeal  #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian

Chicken Vindaloo in Instant Pot

Chicken Vindaloo is a popular Indian chicken curry dish from the western coast.  It’s a local adaptation of the Portuguese dish, carne de vinha d’alhos, which literally means, meat marinated in wine and garlic.  How can you go wrong with that!

Chicken Vindaloo is a​n extremely​ popular Indian chicken curry from the western coast. It's a local adaptation of the Portuguese dish, ​Carne de vinha d'alhos, which literally ​means​, meat marinated in wine and garlic​. How can you go wrong with that!​ ​​ ​#food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #curry​ #chicken​ #glutenfree #lowcarb


Traditional Vindaloo Recipe

Traditionally this recipe was prepared with pork.  Locals from the Konkani region in Goa,  prepare a marinade by pureeing together pre-soaked dried red chillies, local Goan wine called Feni, tamarind paste, fresh garlic and ginger and toasted Indian garam masala.  They marinate the meat in this mix for a few hours.  Then, they cook the pork in this marinade, till it forms a rich curry.

Variations of the Vindaloo Recipe

There are many variations of this dish like Lamb Vindaloo and Chicken Vindaloo.  One can follow the same process and cook it with Lamb, Chicken or Beef.   I have adapted this recipe to make Chicken Vindaloo, which my families adores.  With a few tweaks in the recipe, I have turned this into a weeknight-friendly recipe that can be made in under 30 minutes.

Before finalizing this recipe, I tried a few batches where I browned the chicken pieces before adding in the sauce, but I didn’t notice any major difference in taste. So, now I skip the browning process when making this dish with chicken.   When I make Lamb Vindaloo using this recipe, I do brown the lamb pieces for 3-4 minutes before pressure cooking them.  It adds a depth of flavor to the curry.

My Instant Pot Recipe for Chicken Vindaloo

This is my simplified take, an Instant Pot version of this slow-cooked classic.  I substitute red wine vinegar for the local Goan wine and tamarind paste.  Red wine vinegar has a nice sweet, tart and sharp flavor, which is a close match to the Goan wine, Feni.  It also provides a subtle tart flavor, which I would otherwise get from tamarind paste.   I use local dried asian chillies, rehydrate them and blend with sautéed onions, ginger, garlic and vinegar.  Towards the end of the cooking process, I add a pinch of sugar or a splash of coconut milk, which balances the flavors and elevates the flavors of this curry.

Chicken Vindaloo is a​n extremely​ popular Indian chicken curry from the western coast. It's a local adaptation of the Portuguese dish, ​Carne de vinha d'alhos, which literally ​means​, meat marinated in wine and garlic​. How can you go wrong with that!​ ​​ ​#food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #curry​ #chicken​ #glutenfree #lowcarb

Common Misconceptions about Vindaloo Recipe

There are two common misconceptions about the Vindaloo recipe.

  • The first is that it’s a spicy curry.  The recipe for a typical Vindaloo curry includes pureeing a handful of dried chilies, but these chilies are more for flavor and color rather than spice, kind of like paprika.  The end flavors are ‘earthy and aromatic spicy’, not ‘hot spicy’.  However, if you want to make it spicy, you can always increase the quantity of chilies, or, add a pinch or two of cayenne.
  • The second confusion is caused by many restaurants, by adding potato in this curry.  The Hindi word for potato is “aloo”, which coincidently rhymes with “Vindaloo”.  There is no connection between potatoes and a vindaloo curry.  But, when you order this dish at your local Indian restaurant, chances are, it’ll have potato cubes too.

Serving Suggestion for Chicken Vindaloo

I serve Chicken Vindaloo  with Cumin Rice or with toasted french bread. If you’re eating a low-Carb or a Keto diet,  Keto Version  will be a perfect dish for you.  I combine the delicious flavors of this recipe,  add cauliflower and carrots, and make a stew-like meal out of it.  I don’t miss the rice or naan, and it tastes divine by itself!


Low-Carb Chicken Vindaloo, Chicken Vindaloo Keto in Instant Pot by Spice Cravings. Chicken Vindaloo Keto is a variation of the popular Indian curry dish from the west coast of India. Adaptation of Portuguese dish, carne de vinha d'alhos. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry #indian

Chicken Vindaloo in Instant Pot

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 20


  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless Chicken thighs
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 4-6 whole red dried chillies
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic crushed (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala powder
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil/butter/ghee
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish



Soak dry chillies in 1/2 cup hot water. Keep aside for 10 minutes. Turn ON Instant pot on sauté mode. Add oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes, till soft. Turn off the Instant Pot. Cool onions for 5 minutes.


Transfer the onions in a blender, add re-hydrated red chillies with their liquid, ginger-garlic paste, red wine vinegar, all dry spices, salt and sugar. Purée into a smooth paste.


Turn ON Instant pot. Add spice purée, 1/2 cup water, chicken thighs and mix well. Close the lid, turn the vent to sealing position. Cook on Manual (high-pressure) for 6 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally (NR). Serve with steamed rice or toasted french bread. Enjoy!


  • Even though this recipe uses chilies as a base, the curry is not too spicy. It has the flavor from the chilies, not that much heat. If you prefer a milder flavor, de-seed the dry chilies before soaking them in water, OR, do half the chilies along with 1 tablespoon paprika powder.
  • For chicken, I tried browning the meat before adding in the sauce, but didn't notice any major difference. So, I skip the browning process when making this dish with chicken. I do that when I'm making this with lamb though.