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gluten free recipes

Cajun Chicken Salad

Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad, with chicken marinated in olive oil, Cajun seasoning, salt and juice of lime. Instructions for oven, grill, and instant pot. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Summertime!!  Like many of you, summer is my family’s favorite season!  It means more road-trips, hiking, picnics and a ton of fresh, delicious and colorful salads.  My husband and I have a salad for lunch almost everyday. Since we both prefer chicken as our protein, we get creative with seasonings, mix-ins and salad dressings to avoid monotony.  Cajun Chicken Salad is one of our most loved salad.

Cajun Chicken Salad:

I start with grilling Cajun spice rubbed chicken, to toast those earthy spices. I use a cabbage spring mix for this salad, which provides a nice cool contrast to the Cajun seasoning. But, you can use any lettuce mix you like. I add toasted almond chips, which provide a nice crunch, and strawberries, which compliment and balance this salad with their sweetness. The chicken is so moist and flavorful that I don’t even use a salad dressing most of the time. But when I do, I like to have an Apple Cider-Honey Mustard Vinaigrette with it. This salad is perfect for any weather really, and the best part is, it’s Low-carb

Mediterranean-Rub-Chicken- Instant Pot or grilled. Perfect for lunches and salads by Spice Cravings

Cajun Spice Blend:

Cajun Cuisine, which is best known for it’s spicy and earthy flavor tones, is a regional cuisine from the southern part of Louisiana. The first time I had Cajun chicken was in New Orleans, the real deal. I fell in love immediately. It was more than a decade ago, when my husband was attending a conference in New Orleans, and I tagged along. I visited the flea market at the famous French market, where I bought my first Cajun Spice blend. I was so eager to try it, that the first thing I did when we returned home was to grill some chicken and shrimp using this spice blend. It was UNBELIEVABLY good. Based on the ingredients on that spice pack, I started putting together my own blend.

The spice mix that I put together, tasted authentic and most of all, I was able to adjust the heat level in the mix. When I make a new batch, I store it in an air-tight container, and keep it in my spice drawer, away from heat and light.

When I make it from scratch, here’s what I use:

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Punjabi Kadhi Chawal | Yogurt-based Curry with Rice in Instant Pot

Punjabi Kadhi Chawal is a yogurt-based curry with rice that is an all-time favorite, comfort food in many Indian homes.  It’s a traditional dish from the northern region of India, in which a yogurt and chickpeas-flour based curry, called Kadhi or Karhi, and chickpeas-flour fritters, called Pakoras, is served over aromatic basmati rice (Chawal)!   There are several variations of this dish, but this style of serving Kadhi (curry) with Pakora (fritters) is commonly known as ‘Punjabi Kadhi’.  This recipe is close to my heart, as it’s been passed on through many generations in my family.

Punjabi Kadhi Chawal (Yogurt Curry with Rice) in instant pot by Spice Cravings. A delicious yogurt and chickpeas-flour based curry, called Kadhi, and chickpeas-flour fritters, called Pakoras, served over aromatic basmati rice! #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry #indian

No-Fry Pakoras (Fritters)

Even though the recipe for Kadhi Chawal is  fairly generic, everyone has their own spin on it. My grandmother always cooked the kadhi and pakoras in mustard oil. My mom substitutes mustard oil with ghee, and also adds chopped onions to her pakoras, and sliced onions in the kadhi. I customized it further and started adding chopped spinach to my pakoras in addition to the shallots/onions. I also started pan-frying the pakoras versus deep-frying them.  This is my quick and healthy twist on this family favorite. Here’s the detailed recipe for No-Fry Pakoras (Fritters).


Stove-top Recipe for Punjabi Kadhi Chawal (Yogurt Curry with Rice)

In the video above, I have made this recipe in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot using the “Pot-in-Pot” method, but this recipe can be made on the stove-top too. Here’s how:

Follow step 1 as outlined below and make Kadhi in a sauce pot on medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium low flame.  Following step 2, make rice in a another sauce-pan on the stove-top, or, in the microwave.  The ratio of rice-to-water is different than when cooking in a pressure cooker. Add 2 cups water to 1 cup of rice for both, stove-top, or microwave method. Follow step 4 and make the pan-fried pakoras and keep aside.  You can deep fry these pakoras too.  Bring everything together by simmering the pakoras in the kadhi for 2-3 minutes, so that they get soft and absorb some kadhi. Garnish with roasted cumin and cilantro, and serve warm over rice.

Punjabi Kadhi Chawal (Yogurt Curry with Rice) in instant pot by Spice Cravings. A delicious yogurt and chickpeas-flour based curry, called Kadhi, and chickpeas-flour fritters, called Pakoras, served over aromatic basmati rice! #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry #indian

Pot-in-Pot (PIP) Cooking

In this recipe, I have made rice and kadhi in the same pot, using pot-in-pot technique. As shown in the video, I cook the kadhi in the main pot and rice in a smaller pot placed on a trivet, all in the same inner pot. It’s not only a huge timer saver, but a super convenient way to make this a one-pot mealWatch the video to see how easy it is to make Punjabi Kadhi Chawal (Yogurt Curry with Rice) using the PIP method.

Other Popular Punjabi Dishes

If you like this, try some more Punjabi favorites like Rajma Masala,  Butter Chicken, Chole Bhature, Paneer Tikka Masala !

Kidney Beans and Rice, Rajma Chawal, pot in pot, by Spice Cravings. Kidney Beans and Rice or Indian "Rajma Chawal" combines Creamy beans with warm Indian spices cooked in an instant pot, served with brown rice. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty

Rajma Chawal (Kidney Beans & Brown Rice)

Butter Chicken- Authentic & Easy Murgh Makhani, Garam Masala Kitchen

Authentic Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

Chole Bhature, by Spice Cravings. Chole Bhature is a popular dish from the Punjabi cuisine in Northern India, where a Chickpeas curry, called Chole (Cho-lay), is served with a puffed, deep-fried bread, called Bhatura (Buh-too-ray). #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Punjabi Chole Bhature

Paneer Tikka masala- Instant pot

Paneer Tikka Masala

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Punjabi-Kadhi-chawal, yogurt curry with rice, instant pot
Punjabi Kadhi Chawal | Yogurt-based Curry with Rice in Instant Pot
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Punjabi Kadhi Chawal is a delicious yogurt and chickpeas-flour based curry, called Kadhi / Karhi, with chickpeas-flour fritters, called Pakoras, served over aromatic basmati rice!   This is a classic Indian comfort food.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 364 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
  • 2 cups buttermilk or 1.5 cups of plain yogurt (sour)
  • 1/2 cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1- 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne Adjust to taste
  • 4 cups water add 5 cups if yogurt is too thick
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (Methi Seeds)
  • 6-7 curry leaves : optional
  • 1 medium shallot thinly sliced : optional
  • 1-2 green chillies whole. optional
  • 1 cup basmati rice rinsed 2-3 times
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Onion-Spinach Pakoras (Fritters): skip for a simple kadhi
  1. Make Kadhi: Add sifted chickpeas flour (besan) to the buttermilk or yogurt. Add salt, turmeric, cayenne and water. Using a hand blender or a wire whisk, mix everything well to form a smooth, lump-free batter. Melt ghee on SAUTE mode in Instant Pot. Add mustard and fenugreek seeds. Once the seeds begin to splutter (in a few seconds), add curry leaves (optional), and sliced shallots (or onions) and saute for one minute. Adding shallots is optional; they provide a nice sweet texture to the kadhi. Add the buttermilk/yogurt mix and stir well. Add green chillies.

  2. Making rice in the same pot: If making rice in the same pot, place the trivet in the instant pot. In a smaller bowl, combine rinsed rice, salt, water and oil. Place the bowl on the trivet.

  3. Pressure Cook: Close lid. Cancel SAUTE. Set vent to sealing position. Pressure cook for 6 minutes on Manual/Pressure Cook (high).

  4. Make No-Fry Pakoras/Fritters: This step can be skipped if you like your kadhi plain. In a large mixing bowl, combine chickpeas flour (besan) with spices and baking soda. Add water and make a pancake consistency batter. Add chopped spinach and sliced shallots. Mix well. Heat a stuffed pancake pan on medium heat. Add about 1/2 a teaspoon of light olive oil, in each cavity. Using two spoons, add about a tablespoon of batter in each cavity. Cover the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side. Add a few more drops of oil on the pakoras and flip them. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. You can instead deep fry the pakoras as well.

  5. Wait for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure manually. Open lid after pin drops and pressure has released. Remove rice and trivet. Turn on SAUTE. Add roasted cumin and stir. Add the pakoras and simmer for 2-3 minutes, till the pakoras get soft and soak some of the kadhi. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve warm, over rice.
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
Punjabi Kadhi Chawal | Yogurt-based Curry with Rice in Instant Pot
Amount Per Serving
Calories 364 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 20%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 1789mg 75%
Potassium 457mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 48g 16%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 7g
Protein 12g 24%
Vitamin A 15.7%
Vitamin C 27.4%
Calcium 13.4%
Iron 14.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Punjabi Kadhi Chawal (Yogurt Curry with Rice) in instant pot by Spice Cravings. A delicious yogurt and chickpeas-flour based curry, called Kadhi, and chickpeas-flour fritters, called Pakoras, served over aromatic basmati rice! #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry #indian

No-Fry Onion-Spinach Pakora (Gluten-Free No-Fry Indian Fritters)

No-Fry Pakora or Fritters

Crispy, golden brown and irresistible, No-Fry Onion-Spinach Pakora or Fritters, are an extremely popular snack in Indian cuisine.  Pakoras are basically fritters where onions, or other vegetables, are coated in a chickpeas flour or gram flour batter, seasoned with Indian spices and deep-fried. They are a popular street food as well as a great tea-time snack, especially during the monsoons.  As with any popular food item, there are a zillion variations of this recipe.  Pakoras are typically served with sweet & spicy condiments like ketchup, cilantro chutney or Date-Imli chutney.

Crispy, golden brown and irresistible, No-Fry Onion-Spinach Pakoras or Fritters, are an extremely popular snack in Indian cuisine. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry #indian #fritters #appetizers

No fry pakoras, fritters, garam masala kitchenMaking No-Fry Pakora (Fritter)

Since the batter is made with chick-pea or gram flour, this recipe is gluten-free and, it doesn’t call for any dairy products, making it dairy- free too. While nothing beats the deep-fried golden brown crunch of pakoras, I like to make healthier versions of my family’s most enjoyed recipes. So, I decided to pan-fry them instead of deep-frying, using this Stuffed Pancake Pan.

The key to making them crispy is putting the right amount of oil to pan-fry them . Not only are they really delicious and crispy, they are also much easier to make vs. the traditional method. I don’t have to set up the deep-frying wok, heat the oil, nor do I have to later clean up all that. Making Pakoras in this pan is as simple as making pancakes! Seriously! Using this method, making pakoras for Punjabi Kadhi is super easy.  I use this pan to make my No-Fry Dahi Bhalle too!

Crispy, golden brown and irresistible, No-Fry Onion-Spinach Pakoras or Fritters, are an extremely popular snack in Indian cuisine. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry #indian #fritters #appetizers

Here’s how to make these yummy No-Fry Onion-Spinach Pakora: Continue Reading…

Gluten-Free Corn & Chicken Chowder

Creamy, sweet, hearty and pure deliciousness in a bowl, that’s how I would describe this dish. Whoever said Chowder was a summer-time dish, probably never sat by the fireplace on a cold winter night with a bowl of this Gluten-Free Corn & Chicken Chowder!

Gluten-Free Corn and Chicken Chowder in instant pot by Spice Cravings. Creamy, sweet, hearty and pure deliciousness in a bowl, that's how I would describe chowder. Enjoy in the summer or the winter by the fireplace on a cold winter night with a bowl of this Gluten-Free Corn & Chicken Chowder! This recipe reduces the carbs and goes gluten-free by removing the roux. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty

My family loves chowder. My kids’ and husband’s favorite is Clam Chowder, and I am a huge fan of Corn Chowder. We like to make it at home, but a healthier, lighter version, that we can all enjoy without slipping into a food coma later.

Reducing the Carbs

My husband and I are eating a lower-carb-high-protein diet these days, so I had to revisit my recipe for Summer Corn Chowder and customize it. Plus, I’ve been wanting to make a Gluten-free version for quite sometime now.  Chowder is typically thickened with a roux made with flour or some sort of starch.  I wanted to skip that altogether.  So, I added chicken to bump up the protein in the dish.  Then, I eliminated the thickening agents, and, replaced the heavy cream with half & half.  That cut down the carbs and eliminated the gluten.  So beware, this is not the super thick and ultra creamy chowder that you’re used to- this is like a ‘skinny’ version of it.  For a vegetarian chowder, skip the chicken and you’re set. 

Without the flour, the real challenge was how to thicken the chowder.  After a few batches, I figured two things that helped me thicken the chowder.  First, I blended some corn with half & half.  That not only helped in thickening the broth, it also gave a big corn flavor boost to the chowder, that you would otherwise get by using corn broth.  Secondly, once it was done cooking, I used my hand blender for 5 seconds and it thickened the chowder just enough for me.  In the video recipe, I skipped this step too and liked that result as well.

Gluten Free Corn and Chicken Chowder- instant pot, Pressure CookerAlternatively, you can use a tablespoon of rice flour during the saute process, or, use a corn starch slurry in the end, to thicken the chowder before serving. Making a corn-flour slurry is super easy. Simply dissolve 1 tablespoon of corn starch in 3-4 tablespoons of room temperature broth/milk/water and add it to the chowder and stir for a few seconds. It thickens the chowder almost immediately.

Many times I make a lower-calorie version of this recipe by using full-fat or even 2% fat milk instead of half & half. The result is not as thick as this one, but the taste is still amazing. So, if you’re watching your calories, that’s another alternative for you.

Instant Pot or Stove-Top

In this recipe, I made the gluten-free corn & chicken chowder in my programmable pressure cooker, the Instant Pot DUO. Instant Pot works great for soups and stews because the process of pressure cooking helps intensify the flavors resulting in a chowder that tastes like it has been simmering low and slow for hours. It helps me get away by adding less half & half than a regular recipe.   See my FAQ on instant pot to learn more.

Making chowder on the stove-top is a super simple process too. Follow all the instructions listed in the recipe, till the pressure cooking part. Then cover and simmer the chowder for 10 minutes on medium heat. Open lid, add half & half and follow the remaining instructions. That’s it!

If you like this recipe, please share it with your family & friends, and don’t forget to subscribe to Spice Cravings! Continue Reading…

Quinoa Vegetable Biryani/Pilaf in Instant Pot

Quinoa Vegetable Biryani/Pilaf is my healthy twist on a popular Indian classic, Vegetable Biryani! This recipe is an adaptation of my go-to Biryani recipe. Biryani is a popular Indian rice casserole, where long grain basmati rice is cooked with meat or vegetables in Indian spices. I use the same recipe, but replace Basmati rice with Quinoa. I add vegetables and paneer (Indian cottage cheese), adding more protein and vitamins to this dish. Fresh herbs like mint and cilantro add a fresh and floral contrast to the earthy flavors of  Biryani Masala. Nuts like almonds and cashews add richness and texture to the rice. I serve it with a side of Cucumber Raita (Yogurt dip), and enjoy a healthy and complete meal in less than 20 minutes.

Even though my family’s love for the classic biryani stands intact, this dish is my effort to introduce a healthier Biryani recipe, so we can enjoy is more often. And the result is simply delicious. It’s quick to make, cooks at lightning speed in my Instant Pot, so a big one-pot weeknight hit in my family!

Quionoa vegetable biryani.   A healthy twist to your everyday vegetarian biryani by Spice Cravings.  Quinoa Vegetable Biryani/Pilaf is my healthy twist on a popular Indian classic, Vegetable Biryani! I replace rice with Quinoa in this recipe.  #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot  #recipes #easyrecipe  #cuisine  #30minutemeal  #instagood #foodphotography #tasty  #indian

Quinoa, the Super Food:

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