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3 qt Mini Duo

Cauliflower Potato Garlic Sauce

Creamy Cauliflower Potato Sauce

This creamy cauliflower potato garlic sauce is simply magical. It’s like mashed potatoes met cheese fondue! I steam the potatoes, cauliflower and garlic together, and add heated heavy cream, or half-and-half, with butter, tangy goat cheese, salt and pepper, and whisk it till I get a silky smooth sauce! The addition of goat cheese adds a tanginess which cuts through the richness, and balances this sauce perfectly. Parmesan cheese compliments the goat cheese and makes this sauce absolutely delicious.

Finally nailed it!

Years ago, at a middle eastern restaurant, I had a garlic sauce that was served with grilled chicken and lamb kebab. It was hands down, one of THE most delicious sauces I have ever had! Since then, I’ve been trying to imagine a mash-up between that garlic sauce and creamy garlic mashed potatoes. I also wanted to make this sauce lighter and healthier, so that I wouldn’t have to feel too guilty about loading up on carbs. So, I decided to do a half and half of potatoes and cauliflower. After a few ‘almost there’ attempts, I finally nailed it. Continue Reading…

Thai Massaman Curry

Thai Massaman CurryThai food is always on repeat menu in my home, especially on weeknights. It is quick and super easy to make, delicious and very easily customizable to our palette. Thai Massaman Curry, or, Thai Masaman Curry, is one of the milder curries in Thai cuisine, which is perfect when you’re making this for kids.  I love the flavor combination in this curry. It’s a nice blend of sweet and spicy and the coconut milk adds a touch of creaminess to the curry. I finish this dish with a light squeeze of lime and it ties all the flavors together really well.

Easy and Perfect for Weeknights:

Thai Massaman Curry, or any other Thai curry, is one of the easy dinners that I make during weeknights. Like most of you, during weeknights, I don’t have enough time to make this curry paste from scratch, so I combine store-bought curry paste with coconut milk, add protein and a ton of veggies, cook it on the stove-top for 10-12 minutes, or a quick 5 minutes in my Instant Pot , and it’s done! Thai Massaman CurryI like using Maesri brand for curry pastes. I find the taste of this brand to be the most authentic. My local favorite Thai restaurant also uses Maesri pre-made curry pastes to make their curries:-)

I buy the curry paste from Amazon, or my local asian supermarket. My pantry is always stocked with one of these curry pastes, coconut milk and a can of baby corn. It makes life much easier for times when you don’t feel like doing take-out, but still want to eat something delicious. I combine the curry paste with coconut milk, add the baby corn, plus about a cup of any frozen veggies I have on hand, and dinner comes together with minimum effort! Continue Reading…

Cinco De Mayo Recipes

Cinco De Mayo Recipes

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

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

Thai Red Curry Soup

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

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

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

Make it vegetarian and customize it:

Thai Red Curry SoupIt is extremely easy to customize this soup to your liking. I switch up the proteins and veggies all the time.

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

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

Healthier Carb Option:

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Paneer Butter Masala / Paneer Makhani (Instant Pot)

Instant pot paneer butter masala, instant pot paneer makhani

Instant pot paneer butter masala, instant pot paneer makhaniPaneer Butter Masala or Paneer Makhani, which literally means, paneer cooked in a buttery rich sauce, is a vegetarian variation of a popular north-Indian dish called Butter Chicken. The original dish was created in the 1950s, in a super popular restaurant in New Delhi called ‘Moti Mahal Delux’.

Traditionally, the paneer is lightly marinated and then grilled in a clay-oven called, Tandoor, and then added to a velvety smooth tomato-cream sauce.  But in this recipe I have skipped that step and made it a dump-and-go recipe, with the same incredible taste. The key is cutting paneer into small, bite-size cubes so that they absorb the flavors of the sauce, and, a little extra garam masala to compensate for the flavors lost in skipping marination.  This is one of the tastiest, and most requested Indian vegetarian recipes by my kids.

Click here to see some of my other dump-and-go recipes.

Spinach-rice-paneer-makhani, garam masala kitchenServing Suggestion: I like to pair this rich and creamy curry with Spinach Rice. The buttery soft spinach and aromatic basmati rice compliment this Paneer Butter Masala really well. It feels like a restaurant style Indian meal, in the comfort of my home. Paneer Butter Masala also goes well with Cumin Rice and Naan, store-bought or homemade!

Click here for Spinach Rice recipe!

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Kale and Mango Slaw with Chickpeas

kale mango slaw with chickpeas

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading…

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe (Instant Pot/Oven/Skillet)

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

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

Traditional Marinade: In the traditional recipe for Jamaican Jerk Chicken, a wet marinade is prepared with fresh thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, ginger, garlic, spring onions, oil, soy sauce, orange juice, red wine vinegar, brown sugar and a unique spice-rub that includes cinnamon, cloves, all-spice, nutmeg, black pepper and salt. Everything is blended together in a food processor and the chicken is marinated in it for 30 mins-12 hours.  Whenever I have time, I like to make this marinade from scratch, but on busy days, I love to take a shortcut and use a dry pre-mixed Caribbean Jerk Seasoning. I combine a few tablespoons of the pre-mix with orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, red wine vinegar and brown sugar, and marinade is done.

Cooking methods: Oven/Skillet/Grill/Instant Pot: I have cooked Jerk Chicken in the oven, in a skillet, on an outdoor grill, and now, in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot. It takes about 15-20 minutes to grill it on the stove, outdoor grill or under the broiler (oven). With an Instant Pot, it takes about 30 minutes, BUT, that’s hands-free time. You don’t have to monitor it, or flip it half way through, you just dump it in and walk away for the next 30 minutes. However, after cooking it in the pressure cooker, I do like to do an optional extra step which takes another couple of minutes. I heat a grill pan on medium-high heat, and then sear the cooked chicken for 30 secs-1 minute on one side, to get the nice grill marks on the chicken. By doing that, the sugars in the marinade caramelize and create a nice char on the chicken, that tastes heavenly and looks phenomenal.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe, garam masala kitchenServing suggestion: Jamaican Jerk Chicken goes really well with a simple mango salsa, or my favorite, Kale & Mango Slaw with Chickpeas. The crunchy slaw and the ripe and juicy mangoes compliment the sweet and spicy chicken really well. Click on the following link to get the recipe of this spring-time favorite, Kale & Mango Slaw.

 

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

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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

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Basmati rice, rinsed 2-3 times, soaked for 20 mins if possible
  • 2 teaspoons ghee or butter
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon 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

Instructions

1

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

2

Heat ghee on SAUTE mode. Add cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle, about 15-20 seconds. Add chopped onions and cashews and saute for 30 seconds. If you're adding curry leaves and green chilies, you can add them with the onions. Add crushed or grated, ginger & garlic, and saute another 30 seconds.

3

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

4

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

PIN IT:
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…