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instant pot indian recipes

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Tandoori Chicken recipe is probably one of the most flavorful and popular recipes from the Indian subcontinent. In this recipe, I marinate the chicken in yogurt, lemon juice, aromatics and bold Indian spices. Then, I grill it to a perfect crispy golden brown. The result is tender, juicy and a to-die-for flavor! If you’ve never tried it before, just trust me on this and go for it!Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Tandoori Chicken Recipe:

Skinless chicken is the traditional choice in this recipe. Start by making a marinade including yogurt, fresh ground ginger, garlic, garam masala, red chili powder and fresh lemon juice. Marinate the chicken anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight. Thread it on to skewers and grill it. Most restaurants grill it in a high-heat clay-oven called Tandoor (tun-dur). Tandoor is typically heated with charcoals. That is what gives the chicken a slightly smoky flavor. But, since most of us don’t have a clay oven in our backyards, an oven broiler, or an outdoor grill can achieve a similar flavor!

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Tandoori Chicken in Instant Pot (pressure cooker):

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

Instant Pot Pot in Pot Cooking Recipes

Pot-in-Pot Cooking (PIP)

Coconut-lime-chicken-and-rice-Instant PotWhen 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. 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:

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Instant Pot Rava Idli (Steamed Semolina Cakes)

Instant Pot Rava Idli, savory steamed semolina cakes

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchenSoft, 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’ve 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!

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchenServing suggestion: Rava Idli can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch or snack. These idlis make for excellent school lunches too. 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:

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchen

Mix idli ingredients, keep aside for 15 mins

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchen

Turn on SAUTE and add water

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchen

Grease idli mold

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchen

Prepare tempering

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchen

Turn off heat

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchen

Add to idli batter

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchen

Mix well

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchen

Add ENO fruit salt and mix gently

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchen

Place tray on trivet and lower in pot

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchen

Stack the second tray on top, steam for 12 mins

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchen

Cool for 2-3 mins

Instant Pot Rava Idly, garam masala kitchen

Enjoy Rava Idli with your favorite chutney!

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Sarson Ka Saag (Spiced Mustard Greens)

Sarson ka Saag, Garam Masala KitchenSarson ka Saag, or, as we say in my family, Sarson da saag,  is a leafy-vegetable preparation from Punjab, in the northern-Indian regions of India. Traditionally a winter-time speciality, it is prepared with mustard greens and spinach, that are seasoned with onions, ginger, garlic and warm Indian spices. Sarson ka Saag is usually served with makki ki roti, which is a flatbread prepared with fine-ground cornmeal.

Sarson ka Saag, Garam Masala KitchenIt’s a treat that I make for my family for Sunday brunches during winter-time. The rich and buttery Sarson ka Saag goes so well with the crisp and earthy Makki ki Roti, that my otherwise picky kids & hubby also forget that they’re eating healthy greens for a meal, and, enjoying them too:-) I like to serve it with Sweet & Spicy Lemon pickle and a boondi-raita. To me, this combination is at the top of my soul-food list!

Sarson ka Saag, Garam Masala KitchenPreserving the green color: Whenever I prepare any kind of green leafy vegetables, I like to preserve the bright green color and not have them turn ‘dark and brownish’ in the cooking process. The key is to not over-cook them, AND, not cover them while cooking. I have tried many different ways of making saag and have observed that if I flash cook (add them to boiling water, remove and put them in ice-bath), or, microwave the greens and then season them, it cooks them perfectly, and preserves the color beautifully. That is why I never pressure cook the greens. I pressure cook the masala (seasoning mix), and add the greens to that.

In this recipe, I have prepared my seasoning in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, but this can be made on the stove-top too. Simply follow the steps and cook the masala in a heavy bottom chef’s Pan, cover and cook the masala for 10 minutes. Open the lid and follow the remaining instructions.

Makki ki Roti, Garam Masala KitchenServing Suggestion: Sarson ka Saag is traditionally served with Makki ki Roti, a flatbread made with cornmeal. Here is an easy recipe, with step-by-step video instructions for homemade Makki ki Roti. But, if you do not have the time to make those, pair them with stone-ground corn tortillas from your local supermarket, and you will enjoy that combination too! To elevate the tortillas to another level, lightly grease a fry-pan, brush the corn tortillas with a little ghee, sprinkle a little cayenne on top, and lightly toast them. The end result gets pretty close to the classic Makki ki Roti.

Sarson Ka Saag (Spiced Mustard Greens)

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: Total: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • Greens(Rinse well, chop and microwave together for 2 mins)
  • 1 bunch Sarson (Mustard Greens),stems removed, chopped, about 6 cups chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach, stems removed and chopped, about 4 cups
  • 2 green chillies
  • Masala seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons ghee/butter
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (1 inch ginger + 6 cloves garlic, grated/crushed)
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder (optional)
  • 2-3 teaspoons Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Corn Meal/Flour (Makki)

Instructions

1

Prepare the greens Rinse mustard greens and spinach leaves 2-3 times, to wash off any dirt. Remove the fibrous stems from mustard greens and chop the leaves roughly. Do the same for spinach leaves. In a microwave safe bowl, add chopped greens and 2 green chillies, and microwave for 2 minutes. Using a hand blender, puree the greens to a medium fine consistency, or according to your preference.

2

Prepare the masala Turn on Instant Pot/Pressure cooker. Heat oil on SAUTE mode. Add cumin and ginger-garlic paste and saute 30 seconds. Add chopped onion and saute another 30 seconds. Add salt, spices and water. Stir well. Cancel SAUTE. Close lid, valve set to sealing position and pressure cook for 2 minutes on Manual or Pressure Cook.

3

Season Saag/Greens Manually release pressure by turning the valve from Sealing to Venting position (QR). Open lid after pin drops. Turn on SAUTE. Add fine-ground cornmeal and saute for one minute, to cook the flour through. If the mix looks dry, add a little as needed. Add the pureed greens and saute for 2 minutes to blend the flavors together. Serve warm with Makki ki Roti (cornmeal flatbread), or Corn Tortillas or Naan.

Sarson ka Saag, Garam Masala Kitchen

Chole Bhature (Chickpeas Curry with Fried-Puffed bread)

Chole-Bhature, garam masala kitchen

Chole-Bhature, garam masala kitchenChole 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). Growing up, Chole-Bhature used to be our regular Sunday brunch.  This happens to be my kid’s favorite Indian vegetarian meal, and it has now become a tradition in our home, to make it for our Diwali dinner.  We like to enjoy it with some sweet and spicy lemon pickle. Yum!

Punjabi-Chole-Chana Masala Instant Pot Garam masala KitchenPunjabi Chole, is Chickpeas curry, where Chickpeas, also called Garbanzo beans or Chana (in Hindi), are soaked overnight to re-hydrate, and then cooked with fresh onions, ginger, garlic and seasoned with a unique spice blend of garam masala, Anardana (Pomegranate) Powder, and amchur (dry mango powder), which gives it an earthy and slightly tart taste! Alternatively, you can use Canned Chick Peas and make this dish in under 30 minutes.

Here is a quick and easy RECIPE for Punjabi Chole.

Bhatura, is a fluffy deep-fried bread from the northern Indian region. It is typically made with a dough of all-purpose flour, yogurt, oil and spices. I have a simple recipe for making home-made Bhatura, that requires some time and muscle power, but I promise you, it’s worth it. The dough is kneaded to a semi-soft consistency, and then rested to achieve some fermentation. The rested dough is kneaded again, divided into small portions, and each portion is rolled out into a circular shape, using a Rolling Pin on any flour-dusted flat surface, like a granite counter-top, or a large wooden board. These discs are then deep-fried till they are fluffy and golden brown.

Chole Bhature Garam Masala KitchenMy tried and tested, semi-home-made trick for Bhatura:  I’ve been making home-made pizza for over a decade now. When I don’t have time, I typically end up buying fresh, ready-made dough, from the produce section of Trader Joe’s, or a local Pizzeria. It’s as good as the home-made dough, minus the work. Since the dough consistency and process is so similar to Bhatura recipe, one day I ended up deep-frying pizza dough to test out the results. All I can say is, “BULLSEYE!!” Since then, I alternate between both kinds. I have to say, pizza dough works so much better and faster for a weeknight festivity, or, when I am entertaining. Off lately, I have started buying the Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough from Trader Joe’s. It’s healthier, has more fiber than the regular dough, plus we love the taste. Try it sometime!

Electric Tortilla maker, Punjabi Chole Bhature, Garam Masala KitchenHow to roll out the perfect shape for Bhatura: Most kinds of Indian flatbreads have to be rolled out in a circular disc shape. And that takes time and practice to perfect. But, if rolling the dough isn’t your thing, you can easily get perfectly round Bhature using this cool gadget, Electric Tortilla Maker. It makes the process so much smoother and faster. Simply place the dough ball in the top center of the flat plate, press down once, press down again and lift. And you’ll have an evenly rolled out (or pressed down) circular shaped Bhatura in under 10 seconds. I use this to make Puris too! Continue Reading…

Punjabi Chole/Punjabi Chana Masala (Chickpeas Curry)

Punjabi-Chole-Chana Masala Instant Pot Garam masala KitchenPunjabi Chole is perhaps one of the most popular vegetarian north-Indian dish. Creamy, spicy and slight tangy, this dish is a party in your mouth! To make this dish, Chickpeas, also called Garbanzo beans or Chana (in Hindi), are soaked overnight to re-hydrate, and then cooked with fresh onions, ginger, garlic and seasoned with a unique spice blend. Almost everyone I know has their own spin on Chole, and they all taste great, but what makes Punjabi Chole different and stand out, is the unique combination of garam masala, Anardana (Pomegranate) Powder, and amchur (dry mango powder), which gives it an earthy and slightly tart taste!

Punjabi-Chole-Chana Masala Instant Pot Garam masala KitchenDifferent cooking processes: For the longest time, my Mom used to make Chole in a 2-step process. She would pressure cook the chickpeas with salt and turmeric for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, she would prepare the onion and aromatics masala, and then simmer everything together for another 10 minutes on medium heat. Years ago, when my kids were babies, and I had very little time to cook, I developed this recipe, which cut down the time and steps involved, while maintaining the same lip-smacking taste.

Chole-Bhature, garam masala kitchenServing Suggestion: Punjabi Chole are best enjoyed with a deep-fried puffed flour bread, called Bhatura. Growing up, Chole-Bhature used to be our regular Sunday brunch.  This happens to be my kid’s favorite Indian vegetarian meal, and it has now become a tradition in our home, to make it for our Diwali dinner.  We like to enjoy it with some sweet and spicy lemon pickle . Yum! Chole also go really well with Kulcha, Puri, Naan or Cumin rice.

Chole or Chickpeas, take a very long time to cook on the stove-top. It would take around 45-50 mins to achieve the soft texture that we love in this recipe. Plus, you have to be there, stirring and keeping an eye on the stove. So, using my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot, or any stove-top pressure cooker, works great for this recipe and reduces the active cooking time significantly.

How to make this recipe in under 30 minutes: By using Canned Chickpeas, you can reduce the cooking time to less than half. Simply rinse out the canned chickpeas and add them to the pot as per instructions, and pressure cook everything for 6-8 minutes. Wait 10 minutes before releasing the pressure manually, open lid and you’re done! Continue Reading…

Punjabi Kadhi Chawal – Yogurt Curry with Rice (Instant Pot) Pot-in-Pot)

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

No-Fry-pakora-10Even 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: In the video above, I have made this recipe in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, but this recipe can be made on the stove-top too. Here’s how: Continue Reading…

Lemon Rice in Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

Instant pot Lemon-Rice Pressure cooker Lemon Rice– fluffy grains of aromatic Basmati rice, flavored with mustard seeds and fresh lemon juice- this satisfying side is the perfect accompaniment to any protein you’re making.

Lemon rice pairs very well with Indian, middle-eastern or Greek entrees. I like to serve it with grilled chicken and vegetables, or with Lamb Chops, Salmon Tikki, Chicken Kebab etc. Pair it with a side of grilled or oven-roasted vegetables and you have a perfectly balanced meal in under 30 minutes.

Options: I like to make this recipe with long grain Basmati Rice, but this can work with Jasmine Rice as well. This recipe is traditionally made with split black gram lentils (urad), but sometimes, I skip that and add chopped cashews or almonds instead and it turns out great.

I usually make Lemon rice in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot 6 Qt, but this dish can be made on the stove-top too. Here are the instructions:

Stove-Top: Rinse rice 2-3 times till the water runs clear. Drain and keep aside. Do the same with split lentils. Heat a sauce pot on medium-high heat. Wait till it’s hot, and add ghee/butter or oil. Add mustard seeds and split black gram lentils (urad). When the mustard seeds splutter, add green chilis, drained rice and spices. Add fried onions (optional). Saute for 1 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes. Turn off the heat, open lid, fluff up the rice with a fork. Add fresh lemon juice and mix well. That’s it! Continue Reading…

Aloo Gobi- Spiced Potato and Cauliflower – Instant Pot /Stir-Fry

Instant Pot Aloo-Gobi Pressure CookerAloo Gobi or Gobhi Aloo is a popular dry vegetarian side dish from north-Indian cuisine. Aloo gobi is made with Aloo (potatoes) and gobi (cauliflower) cooked with fresh ginger-garlic and seasoned with warm Indian spices and stir-fried.

Aloo Gobi and Bhindi (Spiced Okra stir-fry) are my kids’ favorite side dishes to have in an Indian meal. I make two versions of it. One is a light stir-fry with cumin seeds, green chilies and Indian spices, and this version, where I make a light onion-tomato gravy and cook the potatoes and cauliflower florets in it. Both versions are simple and come together in under 10 minutes.

Stove-Top recipe for a Light Stir-Fry: I take a heavy bottom stir-fry pan.

  • Heat it on medium high heat for 30 seconds. Add oil, add cumin seeds and green chilies to it. When the cumin seeds begin to splutter, add cauliflower florets and potato cubes/slices. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne. 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder and stir well. Cover the lid and cook for 4-5 minutes, or till the potatoes are cooked through.
  • Open the lid and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, till all liquid has evaporated. Garnish with cilantro!

In the recipe below, I have cooked this dish in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot.  It took me sometime to figure out the right time to cook dry side dishes in it though. Due to the steam cooking style, I liked how it evenly cooked the veggies, but wasn’t a fan of the liquid I got towards the end of cooking. After a few batches of experimenting, I figured that for most vegetables 0-1 minute pressure cook/Manual was my magic number. So, depending on the size of your potatoes and cauliflower florets, you can set the time.

 

 

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Green Beans and Carrots (Instant Pot or Stir-fry)

Green Beans and Carrot instant pot or stir fryCrunchy green beans and carrots, sautéed with mustard seeds and coconut flakes, and seasoned with salt, coriander and cayenne. This super simple and amazingly easy vegetable side-dish is a great accompaniment to many entrée. You can switch out the beans and carrots and make this recipe with your favorite vegetables like cauliflower, peas, zucchini, broccoli, corn…. possibilities of customization are endless. In fact, I make a very similar dish following this recipe with chopped beets- Coconut Beets. The coconut flakes are optional in this recipe, but I really enjoy the slight sweet and nutty flavor that they give in this dish.

Stove-top Stir-Fry:

In this video, I have made this recipe in my programmable pressure cooker, the Instant Pot DUO. But, making this on the stove top is as easy, and takes only 10 minutes.

  • I start off by heating a heavy bottom skillet on medium heat. Add oil and when it’s hot, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start sizzling/spluttering, add chopped beans and carrots and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add salt and spices. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water and stir everything. Add unsweetened coconut flakes. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Open lid and saute for 2-4 minutes, depending on how crunchy you like your veggies. Garnish with Cilantro!

Pairing Suggestions for Green Beans and Carrots:

Instant Pot Easy Butter-Chicken recipe

Butter Chicken

Punjabi-Chole-Chana Masala

Punjabi Chole

lamb korma curry instant pot pressure cooker

Lamb Korma

Paneer Tikka masala- Instant pot

Paneer Tikka masala

Toor Dal tadka, Split Pigeon pea soup, lentil soup, Instant Pot Soup, garam masala kitchen

Toor Dal

No-Cream Chicken Tikka masala

Chicken Tikka Masala

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