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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Breakfast/ Desserts & Drinks/ Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it/ Instant Pot Magic/ Vegetarian

Rice Pudding- Kheer

Rice Pudding- Kheer in Instant PotKheer is a popular form of Rice Pudding from the northern Indian cuisine. It is typically made by boiling rice, with milk and sugar, and is enhanced by cardamom or saffron and dried fruits and nuts like cashews, almonds, pistachios and raisins. There are many variations and names of this sweet dish all over India. It can also be made with broken wheat, tapioca or vermicelli. Kheer is typically served as a dessert and is often made as an offering to the Gods during prayer ceremonies or festive occasions.

Rice puddings are found in nearly every area of the world. There are variations in recipes based on cooking methods and list of ingredients, but rice (or a similar starch) and milk seem to be the common ones in most. According to Wikipedia, there are close to 60 different variations of Rice Puddings around the world. I like to flavor mine with freshly ground cardamom. If you don’t like the black specs in it, you can use the store bought version, which is much lighter. Also, you can use raisins, coconut and even saffron to enhance your rice pudding. So, if your version is different than mine, simply use this recipe as a guideline and do your magic.

Rice Pudding- Kheer in Instant PotTill I bought my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, I used to make Kheer on the stove-top. It would take me around 30-40 minutes (depending on quantity), but I had to babysit the pot. I had  to adjust temperature, keep stirring, make sure the milk doesn’t boil over. Definitely worth it, but why do that when you can have a hands-free option! Untill now, I believed that dairy has a tendency to curdle under high and fluctuating pressure, which is how many stove-top pressure cookers operate. But the Instant Pot is different. The Porridge mode allows you to cook at a consistent and even temperature- no changes in pressure till the cooking is done. So now, I can fill the pot with the ingredients, give it a stir, and set a timer on Porridge mode and forget about it! And it tastes amazing too- that’s a huge win for me.

My Mom’s Tip : In order to ensure that the milk doesn’t stick/burn at the bottom of the pan, start by adding 1/4 cup water and then add the milk. Don’t ask me how, but this trick works every single time.

My Tip : By turning the Saute mode on initially, the milks gets tempered, which means, it warms a bit before we close the lid for pressure cooking. This prevents the milk from curdling. Also, starting with a super clean pot also ensures that. So, wipe your inner pot clean to make sure nothing from the last meal is still sticking to it.

Stove-Top Recipe: If you were making this on the stove-top, I’d suggest a heavy bottom sauce pot like this one: Non-Stick Sauce Pan.

  1. I start by adding the milk, give it a few minutes to warm up and then add rinsed and drained rice and nuts. Keep the heat at medium-high and stir intermittently, till the milk reaches a boil.
  2. Turn down the heat on medium and stir till rice get cooked.
  3. Add sugar and stir till sugar dissolves. You can mash the rice a little using a Potato Masher– it gives a good texture to the Kheer.
  4. Turn off the flame till you reach the right texture for how you like your Kheer. I personally, don’t like to thicken it a lot, because it will naturally thicken as it cools down. If it’s too thick, add more milk and adjust the sugar accordingly. Finish by sprinkling in some cardamom powder and enjoy warm or cold!

Rice Pudding- Kheer

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 20 minutes on Porridge mode

Ingredients

Instructions

1

Prep: Rinse rice 2-3 times or till water runs clear. Soak in water till you arrange everything together. Chop nuts to your liking. Crush cardamom if using fresh.

2

Turn on Instant pot to Saute Mode. Add 1/4 cup water. Now add the milk. This prevents the milk from scorching the bottom of the pan. Add drained rice, sugar, nuts and give it a light stir. Hit cancel. Set instant pot to Porridge mode for 20 minutes. Valve set to Sealing Mode. Let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes (NPR 15).

3

Open the lid. You can mash the rice a little using a Potato Masher- it gives a good texture to the Kheer. Add ground cardamom and stir. Kheer is ready to eat. You can enjoy this warm or cold!

Notes

If the Kheer is thin for your liking, you can cook of the milk by turning on the SAUTE mode. But remember, that it will thicken quit a bit as it cools. If Kheer is too thick for you, you can add more milk to it and cook it till the milk boils. Remember to add more sugar.

3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Breakfast/ Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes

Easy & Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs (5-5-5 method)

Instant Pot Hard Boiled EggsHard Boiled Eggs! Here’s an easy and fail proof recipe to make perfect Hard Boiled Eggs in a pressure cooker! The popular 5-5-5 method works like a charm every single time and makes for some real-easy-to-peel boiled eggs. The 5-5-5 method is not a secret code- it’s an easy way to remember this recipe- 5 minutes of pressure cooking, 5 minutes of rest before opening lid, followed by 5 minutes of water bath. It’s really that simple! The result is so consistent- you’ll be amazed.

So, why bother pressure cooking your eggs? The answer to that is consistent results , but before I elaborate on that, I have a confession to make- I cannot make perfect looking boiled eggs on the stove- I just cannot. No matter, how much I try, how many timers I set, I just cannot get the perfect center and cannot peel them nice and clean. A lot of my egg white ends up sticking to the shell and then starts the battle between the egg and me, and the egg usually wins! The result is always an unappetizing, butchered egg. When I saw so many people getting great results cooking them in the electrical pressure cooker, the Instant Pot , I tried it myself, and the results were amazing. The selling point was the ease of peeling them. The yolk texture was just right for me- moist and creamy, not dry or crumbly at all. It took me just a few minutes more than the time on the stove, so pressure cooking the eggs in my Instant Pot was a clear winner for me.

Continue Reading…

Beginners / Weeknight/ Breakfast/ Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes

Instant Pot Frittata Muffins / Egg Bites- 4 ways

Frittata Muffins or Egg Bites– Warm, fluffy, flavorful and nutritious eggs bites that are shaped like muffins. 5 minutes of prep, 5 minutes of cooking. Cooking these is a 1-2-3 process– Beat eggs, top with your favorite mix-ins, cook them for 5 minutes in the Instant Pot– breakfast couldn’t get any easier than this!

Eggs! The number one choice of breakfast foods in my home. Growing up, Omelet-Sandwiches were a staple breakfast for school mornings. Sometimes, mom would add a variety of small diced vegetables in it and give it to us for lunch. It’s a perfect meal- protein and nutrient packed- keeps you full and going for hours.

Frittata Muffins/ Egg bites Instant PotSo what is a Frittata? Frittata is an Italian egg-based dish similar to a quiche without the crust. It’s made by mixing the egg mixture with meats, cheeses, vegetables or even pasta. My family is crazy about frittatas- We make a simplified version for some week mornings, and then go all out on Saturday mornings. Crispy Potato FrittataWe usually bake these, but have started cooking them in our Instant Pot now. We make all kinds of variations- Mediterranean Frittata, with Feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh basil; Indian Frittatas– with fine diced onions, peppers and tomatoes, seasoned with cumin and cayenne; Sometimes, left-over mac’n’cheese makes it in a Mac’n’Cheese Frittata, and then there is the “Anniversary Special“- which is a Crispy Potato Frittata. This is one of my all-time favorites- so my husband makes this for breakfast on our anniversary, every year… well, almost every year:-)

Here, I have adapted my recipe for my electrical pressure cooker, the Instant Pot 6 Qt . The Frittata Muffins turn out so moist, and stay moist for re-heating and eating. 5 minutes of prep and 5 minutes of cooking- how easy is that! They are a great make-aheads for the week, or,  for a brunch gathering. I assemble them in Silicone Cupcake Muffin Molds, my new favorite kitchen accessories. Another great alternative that some of my friends use is the 7 Cavity Silicone Mold Muffin Pudding Mold. You don’t need to grease them, the muffins come out so easily, and I love how colorful they are- right!

It’s a 3-Step process to put these flavors bites: Continue Reading…

3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Breakfast/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Quinoa Poha

Poha is a popular Indian vegetarian breakfast and snack recipe. This breakfast staple from the state of Maharashtra (western India), is traditionally made with Flattened dry rice, called Poha. The flattened rice is rinsed with water a few times to rehydrate it and then cooked with potatoes, plenty of onions, peanuts and spices.

In this recipe, I have substituted flattened rice with Quinoa, adding protein and fiber to this already nutritious dish. A simple seasoning of mustard seeds, curry leaves and a few basic spices, makes it ideal for breakfast or a snack. I personally prefer cashews in this recipe , but you can add peanuts or almonds too. I finish this dish with chopped cilantro, a dash of sugar and a squeeze of lime. My kids are huge Poha fans, so the real test in my house was when I served the Quinoa Poha to them. They absolutely loved it and took it for lunch the next day!

In this video, I have adapted this recipe to the Instant Pot, but you can easily make it on the stove-top as well. Check out the Notes section for the stove-top instructions.

Quinoa Poha

Print Recipe
Serves: 3 Cooking Time: Prep: 5 mins, IP Cook: 1 min

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed in a mesh sieve
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated or chopped fine (or 1/2 teaspoon dry ginger powder)
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 medium gold potato, cubed into 1/4 inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 green chilies (optional)
  • 6-8 curry leaves (or 1 kaffir lime leaf)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon ketchup (optional, but highly recommended)

  • GARNISH:
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • juice of half a lime

Instructions

1

Prep the ingredients. Slice onion, peel and cube potatoes, grate or finely chop ginger. Rinse the quinoa in a mesh sieve, it removes the bitter coating on the quinoa beads. Turn Instant Pot on Sauté. When it's hot, add oil and mustard seeds. When mustard start spluttering, add grated ginger, onions, green chili, cubed potatoes and curry leaves. Saute for 1 minute.

2

Add cashews, all dry spices, frozen peas, quinoa, water and ketchup. Stir well. Close lid. Set valve to 'Sealing' mode. Cook on MANUAL (High) for 1 minute.

3

Open lid after natural pressure release or quick release after 15 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add chopped cilantro, sugar (optional) and lime juice. Stir with the fork and serve warm.

Notes

Stove-top: In a sauce pan, follow step 1 & 2, but don't add peas yet. Add 1/2 cup quinoa with 1 cup water. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Add peas, cover and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes in the pan. Garnish with cilantro, sugar and lime. Serve warm.
(You may need to adjust the cooking time based on your brand of quinoa.)

Breakfast/ Desserts & Drinks/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Soozi Badaam Sheera (Semolina Almond Pudding)

Soozi Sheera or Semolina Pudding is a popular Indian dessert that can be made in minutes. It has many variants all over India like Soozi Halwa, Rava Sheera, Rava Kesari and more. This is one of the few desserts that can be whipped up with pantry ingredients, without any advance preparation. It is traditionally served on many festive occasions and Puja (prayer ceremonies) as Prasad (religious offering, consumed after completion of ceremonies).

It is extremely easy to customize this to your taste. In my variation of this classic, I add a few tablespoons of almond meal (or almond flour) to the recipe. It adds a creamy rich taste of almonds and bumps up the protein in this dish, making it healthier for my kids. My kids love it for breakfast too! I like using a combination of Ghee and unsalted butter for this recipe, but you can stick to one if you prefer it that way. I make this Sheera using a half-and-half mix of milk and water. You could make it with all milk or all water too. I added saffron to the milk/water mix before warming it so that the saffron would release its flavor and color to the Sheera. You can omit the saffron if you prefer.

Soozi Sheera, Garam Masala KitchenSometimes, I make the classic recipe-  no almond meal and no saffron- it tastes heavenly too. I made some a few weeks ago, poured it in silicone baking cups and let it set for a few hours. Took it out of the mould and garnished it with sliced almonds- here is what it looked like.

 

 

Soozi Badaam Sheera (Semolina Almond Pudding)

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 15

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Semolina / Sooji (coarse or fine)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter (I use 1 tbsp of each)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cashews
  • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cardamom Powder (5-6 pods)
  • 2 tablespoon Almond Meal (optional)
  • 3/4 cup warm milk mixed with 1/2 tsp saffron
  • 3/4 cup hot water

Instructions

1

Prep: If using nuts, chop them coarsely. Warm milk, water and saffron, together in the microwave for 2 minutes. Keep aside.

2

Add ghee/butter in a sauce pan and melt on medium heat for 20-30 seconds. Add your choice of chopped nuts and raisins and sauté for 1 minute. Add Soozi (and almond meal) and sauté for 5 minutes on medium flame, this is to cook away the rawness of semolina.

3

Add the warm milk-water-saffron mix and stir continuously with a whisk or wooden spoon to avoid any lumps from forming.

4

When the mix reaches a semi-liquid consistency, add sugar and stir till soozi cooks off to a thick pudding-like consistency. Turn off the heat and add the cardamom powder and stir. Serve warm or cold.

Notes

You can choose to make this recipe without any nuts if you wish, it still turns out delicious! When you add warm liquid to the pan, it splashes, so use a deep sauce pan and a long whisk to be safe.