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Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf/ Palak Rice (Spinach Pilaf)

Instant Pot Spinach rice pilafAromatic 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. Spinach Rice is finished with a light squeeze of lime and it tastes divine, just by itself. I like to add a few cashews or slivered almonds to spinach rice, they add a nice texture and contrast to the creamy spinach and the soft fluffy rice.

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. The recipe for Spanakorizo is listed in the ingredient list.


Serving suggestion:

Instant Pot Spinach rice pilaf


Spinach rice seems like the perfect pairing with most Indian curries. My personal favorite pairings 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 this combination that makes it blend so well. The buttery spinach compliments the rich curry in all these dishes.

Instant Pot Spinach rice pilafStove-top Recipe:

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: 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 and cook for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, add lime juice and mix. Let it sit, uncovered, for 5 minutes before serving. These 5 minutes are especially relevant to help evaporate any excess moisture. As a result, the rice turns soft and fluffy.

Instant Pot Spinach Rice/ Palak Rice (Spinach Pilaf)

Print Recipe
Serves: makes 3 cups cooked rice Cooking Time: 6 mins Manual/PC, NPR 5


  • 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 crushed/grated ginger & garlic (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 6oz bag of baby spinach, 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
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, about 1 teaspoon, to be added 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
  • 6oz bag of 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
  • Juice of 1 small lemon, about 2 teaspoons, to be added after cooking



Rinse rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have the time, soak it for 20 minutes. Rinse and drain before using.


Heat ghee 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.


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.


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.

Spinach rice, palak pulao, instant pot spinach pilaf


Veggie Bean Burger

Veggie Bean Burger, instant pot recipes

Veggie Bean Burger, instant pot recipes, Garam masala KitchenSome days, you just gotta have a burger!  How about a juicy and delicious 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!

Veggie Bean Burger, instant pot recipes, Garam masala KitchenMy family loves burgers! Once a week, we either go out to our favorite burger place, Habbit, or I make one of my recipes at home. Sharing one of my all-time favorite, Veggie Bean Burger recipe with you all, which, even my meat-loving hubby relishes! 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: 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.

Veggie Bean Burger, instant pot recipes, Garam masala KitchenVegan & 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)

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:

Continue Reading…

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!

Continue Reading…

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

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Wonton SoupChicken 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 found an easier way to enjoy it at home, on a weeknight too. Sharing my recipe for a real easy Instant Pot Chicken Wonton Soup.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Wonton SoupI 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.


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.

Easy Instant Pot Chicken Wonton SoupMake 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.

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!

Continue Reading…

Saffron Rice/ Saffron Rice Pilaf

Saffron Rice PilafSaffron Rice Pilaf! Aromatic and nutty basmati rice cooked in a Saffron infused broth. You can pair this easy and popular side with so many dishes across different cuisines. Saffron is a spice that is derived from the core of a flower called, saffron crocus. Each strand of saffron is carefully extracted by hand, which makes it the world’s most expensive spice (by weight). That being said, most recipes call for a pinch or two of saffron, so if you invest in a small box, it’ll last a long time.

Instant pot Chicken BiryaniSaffron adds a deep floral fragrance along with a golden-yellow to a light-crimson color to dishes, depending on the quantity used. You can bring out the best flavor of saffron, by soaking it in a warm liquid, like water or milk. In Indian cuisine, Saffron is used in many rice preparations, both sweet and savory. One of my favorite dishes, and, an extremely popular savory meat & rice pilaf which uses saffron, is Biryani.  In India, people also add it to many desserts, like Rava Kesari (Semolina Pudding) and Kheer (Rice Pudding).

Sooji Sheera, rava kesari

Pairing Suggestions with Saffron Rice Pilaf:

I find Saffron Rice Pilaf to be a pretty versatile side. You can enjoy it with many Indian curries, like Butter Chicken, Lamb Korma, Paneer Tikka Masala, etc. My family like to pair it with mediterranean spiced proteins like Chicken Shawarma, or Falafel.  I’ve made this recipe with Basmati rice, as well as Jasmine rice, and it works great with both.

Saffron-rIce-PilafIn this recipe, I have cooked saffron rice in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot , but it can be prepared in any pressure cooker, a rice cooker, microwave, or even on the stove-top. Here are a few tried and tested ways:

Stove-top Recipe:

Rinse 1 cup of rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have the time, soak it for 15 minutes, that results in fluffy rice. For one cup of rice, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add rinsed and drained rice, salt, ghee or oil, slivered almonds (optional), and saffron, that has been soaking in warm water (see how-to instructions in recipe card). Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, till you reach your desired texture.

Make it in the Microwave:

Rinse 1 cup of rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have the time, soak it for 15 minutes, that results in fluffy rice. In a microwave safe bowl, add drained rice, 2 cups of water (for 1 cup rice),  and all other ingredients, and cook it at “rice” mode.

Saffron Rice/ Saffron Rice Pilaf

Print Recipe
Serves: 3-4 Cooking Time: 6 mins Manual, NPR 10


  • 1 cup Basmati Rice (or Jasmine Rice)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ghee or oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Saffron, soaked in 1 tablespoon hot water (I microwave saffron and water for 20-30 seconds)
  • 2 tablespoon Slivered Almonds (optional)
  • Other optional ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon Cashews
  • 1 tablespoons Raisins



Prep: Rinse 1 cup of rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have the time, soak it for 15 minutes, that results in fluffy rice. Take 1/2 teaspoon of saffron in a microwave safe bowl, Using a teaspoon, break down the stems into smaller pieces. Add 1 tablespoon hot water to it, or, add cold water and microwave it for 20-30 seconds. Saffron rice can be prepared two ways in the Instant Pot- Direct pot, or Pot-in-Pot. Here are both ways:


Main Pot Add rinsed and drained rice and all other ingredients in the inner pot. Close lid. Set valve to sealing position. Cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 6 minutes, OR, Rice mode, which defaults to 12 minutes.


Pot-in-Pot Add all ingredients in any oven safe container. Add 1 cup water, or the recommended quantity, to your inner pot. Place trivet and place the rice bowl on top of that. Close lid. Set valve to sealing position. Cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 6 minutes, OR, Rice mode, which defaults to 12 minutes.


Wait 10 minutes before manually releasing the pressure (NPR 10). Open lid after pin drops. Using a fork, carefully fluff the rice. Serve with your favorite entree!

Continue Reading…

Homemade Garam Masala Recipe

Garam Masala Recipe, Garam masala KitchenGaram Masala is a fragrant blend of locally grown spices from the Indian subcontinent, similar in concept to the French herb de Provence or Chinese five-spice powder. Since the climate and soil-type varies all over India, the basic composition of this blend differs by region. Plus, almost every household customizes it based on their taste preference. To make garam masala, whole spices are lightly toasted to release their flavor and aroma. Then, they are cooled and ground to a fine consistency. If stored in a cool and dry place, garam masala stays fresh for months.

This blend is my grandmother’s recipe for Garam Masala. Most of my curry and Indian recipes on this blog call for garam masala as one of the main flavoring components. Some traditional Indian recipes ask for whole garam masala (spices), which has to be fished out before serving. I prefer to use this blend instead.

Homemade garam masala beats store-bought any day. But for busier times, I always have a store-bought back-up in my pantry. I have tried many brands and find the Frontier Garam Masala blend to be a close substitute. I feel it’s well-balanced and no single spice overpowers the others.

Continue Reading…

Makki Ki Roti (Seasoned Cornmeal Flatbread)

Makki ki Roti, Garam Masala KitchenMakki ki Roti is a popular punjabi flat bread made from corn flour and generally served with Sarson Ka Saag. Fine yellow cornmeal is seasoned with salt, red chili powder, carom seeds (ajwain) and coriander powder. Using warm water, the cornmeal is kneaded into a semi-soft dough. And then flatbreads are rolled out using a small portion of this dough. The earthy flavors of this roti make this a perfect accompaniment for sarson ka saag.

Variations in recipe: Just like any traditional dish, every family has their own spin on it. My family has a few of them. Just like my grandmother, my mom would always make Makki ki Roti with seasoned cornmeal, nothing else added. One of my aunts adds freshly chopped fenugreek leaves to the dough. My mother-in-law always added shredded diakon-radish to her dough in addition to freshly chopped cilantro. I loved her version the best. To me, the radish acts as a great binder for the dough, plus enhances the flavor of this Roti so much. It goes so well with the creamy Sarson ka Saag.

Cornmeal/Flour: Makki ki Roti is made with fine-ground cornmeal or cornflour. This taste and consistency is close to the Mexican corn flour that is used for making corn tortillas. This flour has a very earthy and subtle sweet taste that makes it unique, which is why substituting any other flour may not give you the same results. You can find this flour at any Indian grocery store, or on amazon. Here is a picture of one of the brands that I like.


Flatbread making: The process of flattening the flatbread often intimidates people. It looked impossible to me. For the longest time, I thought that was something only Moms could make, and, that it was an art that one needed to master. And then I saw my mother-in-law make them one day. Since that day, I firmly believe, that you can science your way out of recipes, and make them work! I realized that, the consistency of the dough makes it tough to roll out, because it sticks and crumbles on you. So, I cut open a large ziplock bag, place the dough in between the two sides, and, use a heavy fry pan to press down on the dough a couple of times, till it becomes flat. Then, simply peel off the flatbread from the ziplock and place it on a hot griddle for cooking. As simple as that! Watch the video above and you’ll see how easy this process is.

Sarson ka Saag, Garam Masala KitchenServing Suggestion: Makki ki Roti is traditionally served with Sarson ka SaagHere is the recipe for creamy Sarson ka Saag. If for any reason, you cannot make makki ki roti, a close substitute would be stone-ground corn tortillas from your local supermarket, or, handmade corn tortillas from your favorite taqueria. 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. Serve this combo with some Sweet and Spicy lemon Pickle and you’ll thank me!

Makki Ki Roti (Seasoned Cornmeal Flatbread)

Print Recipe
Serves: Makes 8 Rotis Cooking Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 cups Corn Meal/Flour , sifted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Carom/Ajwain Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • 1 cup grated diakon radish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or fenugreek or spinach
  • 3 tablespoons ghee/malted butter
  • about 1 cup warm water (adjust while kneading)



Make the dough In a large mixing bowl, mix in sifted cornmeal, salt, carom seeds and red chili powder. Add grated radish and cilantro and mix with a fork. Using a few tablespoons of warm water at a time, knead gently into a soft dough. Knead the melted ghee into the dough and divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll out those 8 portions into individual dough balls, about 2 inches in diameter.


Make Makki Rotis/Flatbreads To make rotis, cut open a gallon size ziploc bag on two ends and spread it open (like a book). Brush both inner sides with water. Wet your palms and gently flatten the dough ball with you fingers. Place the in the center of the ziplock and cover with the other side. Using a heavy bottom fry-pan, press down on the dough 2-3 times, till you have an even thickness flatbread.


Cook the Makki Roti Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Peel off the roti from the ziplock and place it on the hot skillet. Cook for about 30 seconds, till it turns a shade darker. Flip it. Brush a little ghee on the other side and flip after 30 seconds. Repeat the process on the other side and cook till the flatbread turns golden in color.

Continue Reading…

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


  • 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)



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.


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.


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

Easy Butter Chicken and Saffron Rice (with Dairy-Free option)

Easy Butter Chicken and Saffron Rice

Tender and juicy chicken, cooked in a creamy-buttery tomato sauce, served with Saffron flavored Basmati Rice. Try this recipe for Easy Butter Chicken and Saffron Rice, and, enjoy a restaurant style Indian treat, right in the comfort of your home!

Butter Chicken or Murgh Makhani (literally means ‘buttery chicken’), is an authentic Punjabi dish that was created in the 1950s. It was created in a super popular restaurant in New Delhi called ‘Moti Mahal Delux’. The founder and chef of the restaurant decided to use left-over Tandoori Chicken (Indian-Spiced Grilled Chicken), in a rich and buttery tomato gravy. Little did he know, that he was creating one of the most popular curry dishes from the Indian subcontinent.

Traditionally, the chicken is marinated and grilled before adding to the tomato-cream sauce. But in this recipe, I have skipped that step and made it a Pour-and-Start recipe, with the same incredible taste. The key is using a smaller and thinner cut of boneless skinless chicken, and, adding extra garam masala to compensate for the flavors lost due to skipping marination.  This recipe is my weeknight-friendly, super quick and easy variation that’ll leave you amazed.

Click here to see some of my other POUR-and-START recipes.

Dairy-Free/Lactose-free & Gluten Free:

This recipe can be made dairy-free by substituting the heavy cream with full-fat coconut milk. It’s as easy as that. There is no other substitution required. And, this recipe is Gluten-free, which makes it perfect for entertaining as well.

Make it Vegetarian:

The base sauce that I make this recipe is vegetarian. So, you can easily switch the protein in this dish and make it vegetarian. You can add Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese), extra-firm Tofu, mushrooms, or, a medley of veggies as well. Check out the recipe for a vegetarian favorite that I make with this sauce,  Paneer Butter Masala, or, Paneer Makhani.

Instant pot paneer butter masala, instant pot paneer makhani

Serving Suggestion:

I love serving this Butter Chicken with Saffron Rice, aromatic and nutty basmati rice cooked in a Saffron infused broth.  Saffron compliments the aromatic and nutty basmati rice and elevates it to an elegant side dish. Another popular pairing with Butter Chicken is Cumin Rice (Zeera Rice). A side of Cucumber Raita really completes this meal. I love how yogurt adds a cooling freshness to this meal, which balances the spices in the Butter Chicken.

Cucumber Yoghurt Dip / Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Yoghurt Dip / Cucumber Raita

Jeera rice , basmati rice flavored with fried cumin seeds

Cumin Rice (Zeera Rice)

POT-in-POT: Cooking Butter Chicken and Saffron Rice in the same pot

In this recipe, I have cooked everything in one-pot, using the pot-in-pot technique in my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot. Since chicken and basmati rice have the same cook time (6 minutes on high pressure), it is a great combination to make in one-pot. Watch the video above to see how easy this process is.  Continue Reading…