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Chicken, Seafood & Meat

3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Soups/ Under 30 minutes

Chicken Noodle Soup with Ethiopian Spices (Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker)

Instant pot Chicken Noodle Soup EthiopianWarm, delicious, healthy and comforting, that’s what I think of when I make Chicken Noodle Soup! A classic Chicken Noodle soup is made by simmering chicken and vegetables, such as carrots and celery, spices, herbs and small noodles in chicken broth. The result is a simple meal that warms up your soul!

Instant pot Chicken Noodle Soup EthiopianDuring winter-time, I make this soup a lot, almost once a week. Recently, I have been making many variations of it. I keep experiment by adding different spice blends in this soup and this time I think I hit a home run. I added the Ethiopian Spice blend called Berbere Seasoning, which is a combination of warm whole spices like cumin, cardamom, coriander, and fenugreek, garlic, cloves, turmeric, grated ginger root, black pepper, salt, paprika, cinnamon, and dried red chiles, that are toasted and ground together. This spice blend adds a distinctive tangy and mildly spicy and smoky flavor to the soup. If you don’t like spice, you can reduce the quantity of the Berbere seasoning. For an extra kick, I added a couple of tablespoons of Sriracha to it, but you can replace that with tomato paste if you want to cut down on the heat. For my family, including my kids, this spice level worked great. I make few other classic Ethiopian dishes using the Berbere Spice Blend: Misir Wot -Red Lentil Stew, and , Key Wat – Beef Stew.

To make this Chicken Noodle Soup healthier, I added whole-grain elbow macaroni to the soup. It not only increases the fiber and reduces the net carbs per serving, it also increases the protein content of the soup.

 

To make this soup vegetarian, you can skip the chicken and add some canned chickpeas, they taste awesome too!

 

I make this soup in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO, but you can make it in any pressure cooker. Simply follow the suggested timing for cooking chicken breast or soup, and this recipe will work just fine.

Stove-Top: Making this soup on the stove-top is a breeze. Take a heavy bottom sauce pan. Heat olive oil in the pan and add crushed garlic to it. As soon as it starts sizzling, add everything else and let it come to a boil. After that, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes, or till chicken is tender enough to shred. Remove the chicken, shred it and add it back to the soup. Garnish with cilantro and you’re all done!

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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic/ Soups/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Gluten-Free Corn & Chicken Chowder

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

My family loves chowder. My kids’ and husband’s favorite is Clam Chowder, and I am a huge fan of Corn Chowder. We like to make it at home, but a healthier, lighter version, that we can all enjoy without slipping into a food coma later. My husband and I are eating a lower-carb-high-protein diet these days, so I had to revisit my recipe for Summer Corn Chowder and customize it. Plus, I’ve been wanting to make a Gluten-free version for quite sometime now. Chowder is typically thickened with a roux made with flour or some sort of starch. I wanted to skip that altogether. So, I added chicken to bump up the protein in the dish. Then, I eliminated the thickening agents, and, replaced the heavy cream with half & half.  That cut down the carbs and eliminated the gluten. So beware, this is not the super thick and ultra creamy chowder that you’re used to- this is like a ‘skinny’ version of it. For a vegetarian chowder, skip the chicken and you’re set. 

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

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

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

In this recipe, I have made the Corn & Chicken Chowder in my programmable pressure cooker, the Instant Pot DUO. Instant Pot works great for soups and stews because the process of pressure cooking helps intensify the flavors resulting in a chowder that tastes like it has been simmering low and slow for hours. It helps me get away by adding less half & half than a regular recipe.

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

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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes

Coconut Lime Chicken and Rice (Pot-in-Pot, Instant Pot)

Coconut-lime-chicken-and-rice-Instant PotChicken marinated and cooked in creamy and delicious coconut milk, lime and spices, paired with aromatic Basmati Rice cooked in Coconut milk. This One-Pot wonder was a match made under a Coconut Tree:-)

This simple recipe is so easy to prepare, yet so elegant to serve for dinner. And the flavors are just amazing.

Coconut-lime-chicken-and-rice-Instant Pot I start by scoring the chicken breast before marinating it. That helps flavor the chicken even if you skip the marination time. Just take a sharp knife and make diagonal incisions on the chicken breast as shown in this picture. I then combine the marinade ingredients and throw everything in a ziplock bag, who doesn’t like easy clean-up now! If you have time, it’s great to marinate this for 30 mins to 2 hours, if not, throw it in the pot the flavors will still be amazing. By skipping the marination, you’ll be able to have this meal ready in under 30 minutes, from start to finish too. I have made this recipe with boneless chicken thighs as well and it turns out pretty good. You don’t have to score them, just trim off the excess fat on them.

Coconut-rice- Instant PotIf you want to cook the Coconut rice using the Pot-in-Pot method in your Instant Pot, assemble them in a smaller bowl with coconut milk, water and salt and keep aside. You can cook rice separately too. Build you pot as shown in the video and you’ll have this amazing dinner ready in no time!

Coconut BeetsI like to serve this dish with a side of vegetables. You can serve it with a salad too. As for sides, you can pick any sides that you like, like green beans, carrots, or, peas and corn. I serve this meal with a side of Coconut Beets. Yup! turns out too much of coconut is a good thing for me. I simply saute the chopped beets with some coconut oil or olive oil, mustard seeds, coconut flakes, salt and some Indian spices. It takes only 4-5 minutes and they are done. Recipe for Coconut Beets coming soon.

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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Condiments & Sides/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Master Curry Sauce – Punjabi Gravy

Master Curry Sauce - Punjabi GravyEvery cuisine has some basic ingredients that form the ‘foundation’ of many dishes. Punjabi Gravy is a rich, aromatic and versatile master curry sauce in north-Indian cuisine, that is the base for a variety of delicious north Indian curries.

As with most recipes in Indian cuisine, this one also starts off with fresh produce. All it is, is onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes, simmered with warm Indian spices like garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and of course, salt, turmeric and cayenne, which is the inseparable trio in Indian cuisine!

You can make a variety of curries with this master sauce. Some popular examples are Chana Masala, Kidney Beans curry (Rajma), Paneer Mutter (Cottage cheese and peas), Everyday Chicken Curry, and believe it or not, even Butter Chicken! Wait…What? Yup! All you have to do is add chicken and heavy cream or Greek yogurt to this sauce, add a pinch sugar and cook everything till the chicken is tender. Garnish with cilantro and no one will ever know:-)

Master Curry Sauce - Punjabi GravyThis Master Curry Sauce is a great make-ahead and freeze item. I always make a big batch of this sauce, cool it, and pour it in single-use mason jars, pop it in the freezer and pull it out on crazy weeknights. I add either lentils or canned chickpeas or Paneer & Frozen peas or even boneless chicken thighs, and we have a delicious dinner ready in minutes.

Party Planning: Whenever I am hosting a dinner party with an Indian menu, I always make this sauce a few days in advance. That makes cooking time so manageable and less exhausting for me, so I can enjoy my own party too:-) Continue Reading…

3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it/ Instant Pot Magic/ Soups/ Under 30 minutes

Easy White Chicken Chili

Turns out, Jon Snow was right- winter is here! It’s cold, rainy and windy outside, it sure feels like January! Many of us find comfort in warm and creamy soups in this weather. No wonder January is National Soup month in the US.

White Chicken Chili- Instant Pot Pressure CookerTo celebrate that, I bring to you, one of my all-time favorite, super easy to make, creamy and delicious, White Chicken Chili recipe. This soup is part of my Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it series, because that’s all there is to it. You dump all ingredients in a pot and let it do it’s magic. The only work you have to do after that is figure out what toppings you want to put on it 🙂

To make this recipe even easier to make, I make it in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot. Why? Coz I can dump everything in and finish some work in the meantime, without having to monitor anything. I make this soup a lot on sports nights. I set up the pot and then take my kids out for their classes. By the time we are back, hot and piping dinner is waiting for us. It’s a lifesaver recipe for times when I don’t have any fresh produce to work with. I always keep some  frozen corn and chicken in the freezer. My pantry is always stocked with cans of beans, roasted red peppers (for the veg part) and stock (Chicken or Vegetable). This recipes comes together very well without any fresh ingredients to add. You can easily customize this recipe to your liking. Switch up the vegetables. You can add peppers, carrots, fennel, and, switch up the beans to Cannellini Beans or Pinto Beans too.

White Chicken Chili- Instant Pot Pressure CookerThis recipe is very easy to make on the Stove-top too. Simply dump everything in a large soup pot. Cover it, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer it for 12-15 minutes, or till chicken is tender enough to shred and the beans are nice and creamy. If you are converting this recipe for your stove-top pressure cooker, I would cook it for 2 whistles, then reduce the heat to medium and cook it for 5 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes before opening the cooker.

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Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb

Easy Low Carb Chicken Shawarma with Tzatziki sauce

Chicken-Shawarma-Greek Feast-Instant pot / Pressure CookerChicken Shawarma is on my family menu a few times a month. This easy and low-carb recipe is pretty versatile and very family friendly. My husband and I eat a low-carb diet so we enjoy it with a Greek salad, and the kids enjoy it as a wrap in Pita bread. The condiments make it such a delicious, healthy and a complete meal. All this comes together so easily and cooking this in the oven or in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, is a breeze.

I make my own combination of the Shawarma spice mix. I use the same spice mix for lamb, beef, fish and even flavoring rice or couscous. This middle eastern gem is a super hit with my family and friends too! I start by putting together the spice mix and then marinating the chicken. If I’m using chicken thighs, I trim off the excess fat. If I’m using chicken breasts, I half them each breast in two and then cut it half, length-wise. I marinate the chicken for 20 minutes to 4 hours, depending on how much time I have. But this spice mix is so flavorful that even with a 20 minute marinade, the chicken comes out juicy and delicious.

Chicken-Shawarma-Greek Feast-Instant pot / Pressure CookerTypically, I make Chicken Shawarma in the oven. Here’s the Oven method: I simply line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (easy clean-up). Spread the chicken flat, giving enough room for the chicken (don’t crowd the baking sheet). Then turn on BROIL and put the chicken in about 2-3 inches away from the broiler and bake for 8 minutes on the first side, flip it, and 6 minutes on the second side. This timing may wary depending on the size of the chicken and your oven intensity.

Oven vs. Instant Pot: Ever since I got my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, I have been wanting to try this recipe. And when I did, the result was amazing. If I compared it to the oven method, there was a texture difference, but both methods had their merits that contribute to the flavor of this dish. The chicken turned out super moist in the Instant Pot, since we steam cooked it. Broiling it in the oven, gave it that crispy crust on the chicken that you see commonly when you go to a mediterranean restaurant. So, you will get a flavorful Chicken Shawarma either way.

I try to imitate the Shawarma/Gyro spinners in my Instant Pot. I used half an onion as a base. Then, I inserted 4 bamboo skewers as 4 pillars on which the meat is stacked. Then, I thread the meat pieces though those 4 skewers, one by one, forming a stable stack of chicken. This allows the chicken to stay super moist and looks fancy too. But, if you don’t feel like going the extra mile, just stack the chicken on top of each other and you’ll have the same delicious flavor within minutes!

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Tzatziki sauce dip, Instant Pot yogurt, Garam Masala KitchenChicken Shawarma goes really well with Tzatziki sauce. It adds a creamy contrast to the spicy and lemony chicken. It’s real simple to make as well. Simply combine plain greek yogurt with lemon, cumin, paprika, salt, mint and grated cucumber and you have yourself one of the simplest dips ever! You can also add half a clove of grated garlic in it too, but my family prefers our Tzatziki sauce without it.

 

 

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3 qt Mini Duo/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes

Keema Naan Pizza- Indian Spiced Ground Meat Pizza

Keema Naan Pizza –  Warm and oven-toasted Naan, brushed with garlic-infused extra-virgin olive oil, topped with salty and tasty mozzarella cheese, followed by pre-made Chicken/Turkey/Lamb/Beef Keema (spiced ground meat) and sliced sweet rainbow peppers, sprinkled with cayenne and fresh cilantro… if your mouth isn’t watering yet, you need to taste this!

Keema Naan Pizza, Indian ground chicken Keema pizzaPizza is one of our go-to take-out option. When my kids were younger, we used to make it from scratch at home. Kids would love to help in kneading the dough, sprinkling the pizza board with flour, roll out the pizza dough into ‘anything but round’ shapes:-), and then top it with their favorite toppings, with extra cheese of course!

A few years ago, we started making Fusion Pizzas at home. We would make Mediterranean Pizza, Taco Pizza, Thai-delight Pizza, Tandoori Chicken Pizza and so on. In the last few years, as weekdays got busier for us as a family, we started using store-bought bread bases for these Pizzas and actually started to prefer them. We started using whole-wheat or regular Pita breads, Tortillas, baguettes and Naan as our bases, and they worked so well with our recipes.  Naan Pizza is one of our favorite combinations to do. It’s Pizza with an Indian twist! I make a gazillion variations of this Pizza. This is a great way to revamp any leftovers too. I use paneer leftovers, leftover grilled chicken, leftover Pork Ribs… and slice up some peppers and onions and it makes for a real delicious meal with a side of a salad.

Naan Pizza, Indian ground chicken Keema pizza Keema Naan Pizza makes for a great appetizer too. I cut it in 2-inch pieces and serve it as appetizers. They’re easy to grab with one hand, especially if you’re holding a drink in another, and they make for great conversation starters! You can make this pizza with any kind of ground meat like chicken, turkey, lamb or beef. You can make this vegetarian by switching the ground meat with finely diced mushrooms or a minced paneer preparation (Paneer Bhurjee).

Keema Naan Pizza, Indian ground chicken Keema pizzaFor this recipe, I start by making Keema (ground meat with Indian spices) in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot.   You can make this a day or two in advance too. So this recipe is great for a weeknight dinner, where you can prepare your Keema over the weekend, and then simply assemble this Pizza and pop it in the oven for 8 minutes! This comes together in 15-20 minutes with very little effort. For a detailed recipe and video for Keema, click here. Here’s how simple it is:

 

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3 qt Mini Duo/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes

Chicken & Vegetable Skewers with Lemon Rice

Chicken-Skewers-and-Lemon-Rice- Instant Pot / Pressure CookerChicken and Vegetable skewers are one of my favorite things to make. I love meals where I can take care of the protein and vegetables in one-shot. Depending on my family’s mood, we eat it with a garden salad, or with toasted Pitas and Hummus, and of course, one of our favorite combinations is with delicious and fragrant Lemon Rice!  These skewers make for great finger foods for entertaining as well!

This meal is super quick to put together too, which makes it very weeknight friendly. I buy pre-cut chicken from Trader Joe’s. Rinse and soak my basmati rice while I prep the vegetables. Dice up some onions, bell peppers and zucchini. Make a marinade with greek yogurt and dry spices. Toss chicken and veggies in the marinade and thread them onto bamboo skewers. I typically end up broiling these skewers, simply due to a texture preference. I have elaborated more on that in the next paragraph. Simultaneously, set the rice in my Instant Pot. In the end, this meal is at the table in under 30 minutes. I serve this with a Garden Salad with a lemon vinaigrette or a Greek salad sometimes.

Chicken-Skewers-and-Lemon-Rice- Instant Pot / Pressure CookerDifferent cooking techniques result in different textures for the Chicken and Vegetable skewers. How you cook them is entirely your preference. I have for you 3 ways you can cook your skewers, and here’s what to expect from a texture standpoint. If you grill them or broil them in the oven, there is subtle char-broiled flavor that gets infused in the chicken and vegetables. The vegetables get cooked, but not all the way through and still retain their crunch. If you cook your skewers in the pressure cooker along with the Lemon rice, the chicken will be super moist and the vegetables will be tender, more like a steamed texture. You can choose vegetables that take a longer time cook, like turnips, carrots, potato cubes instead. My family prefers grilling or broiling them.

To make an all-vegetarian version of this dish, you can substitute chicken cubes with Paneer cubes or Extra-Firm Tofu cubes. Follow the recipe and marination process. If grilling them, reduce the time to 2-3 minutes per side, flipping them once. Continue Reading…

3 qt Mini Duo/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb

Lamb Korma- Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

Lamb Korma is an Indian Mughlai dish where Lamb stew meat is braised in a cream based sauce and bold Indian spices and simmered for hours to reach the perfect tenderness and flavor. The word Korma or Kurma draws it’s origin from the Persian word Kormah, which literally means “braise”.

lamb korma curry instant pot pressure cookerThe flavors of Korma are developed by using the popular spice blend called Garam Masala, which includes, Cardamom, Cumin, Coriander, Cloves, Bay leaves etc. These flavors are infused in a yogurt, cream or coconut cream sauce. The meat is then simmered in this sauce for hours over slow heat, till it becomes tender. I am able to mimic that slow-cooking set-up by cooking this Korma in my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO. The end flavors are to die for and I and am able to cut down the cooking time significantly. You’ll never guess how easy this is!

You can make the korma sauce using three different cream bases- heavy creamyogurt or coconut milk. My family loves the taste of a coconut milk based sauce, so that’s what I end up making most of the time. Using coconut milk also makes this dish is dairy-free, so people with dairy restrictions can also enjoy this amazing curry. It goes really well with nutty brown rice, and if you’re eating low-carb, you can have this with cauli-rice . My family loves to eat this korma with butter naan, paratha- flat bread, cumin rice or brown rice. I serve this with a side of garden salad with a simple lemon vinaigrette. The salad adds a beautiful contrast to the creamy Korma, and adds some greens to your meal too!

You can make this Korma with chicken or beef too. For boneless skinless chicken, reduce the cooking time to 5-6 minutes of high-pressure cooking. For beef stew meat, increase the cooking time to 25-30 minutes of high pressure cooking, depending on the size of pieces. Continue Reading…

3 qt Mini Duo/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Kung Pao Chicken (or Tofu)

Kung Pao Chicken

Whenever I want to test a new Chinese restaurant, I always order their Kung Pao Chicken. That determines if I’ll be going back to that place again or not. It is my all-time favorite asian stir-fry dish to eat! After having tasted a gazillion Kung Paos, I have to admit, in the end, nothing beats ‘Panda Express’s Kung Pao Chicken:-)

Kung Pao ChickenKung Pao Chicken is asian comfort food for me. Tender juicy chicken, crunchy onions, peppers and celery, dressed with a light garlicky sauce, which is a perfect blend of salty & sweet goodness. Peanuts complete this dish by adding a slight crunch. I don’t even need rice or chowmein with it, I can eat a bowl full as-is. That being said, it pairs really well with brown jasmine rice. Continue Reading…