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Instant Pot Magic

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

Thai Panang Curry- Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot Thai Panang Chicken CurryThai Panang Curry is a one of our must-haves when we go to a Thai restaurant. It’s a rich, mildly spicy and creamy coconut curry that can be made with Chicken, Seafood or Tofu (Vegetarian). This is another go-to recipe in my Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it series. Another weeknight savior!

Instant Pot Thai Panang Chicken CurryA thick curry paste is used as a base for most Thai curries. The Panang curry paste typically consists of dried red chilies,  garlic,  shallot,  lemongrass, sugar, salt, kaffir lime, galangal (Thai ginger), spices like coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom and bay leaves. This paste is simmered with coconut milk and then protein and vegetables are added to it. Over the years, I have tried various brands of Thai curry pastes, but nothing comes close to the brand called Maesri. Their curry pastes are so authentic tasting, that if you ever did a blind taste test, you won’t be able to tell between a restaurant version and yours. I always order it from Amazon.com Maesri Thai Panang Curry Paste. I feel the same way about coconut milk too. This is my tried and trusted brand of Coconut Milk – Chaokoh  .

It is real simple to make this curry. Turn on your Instant Pot on Saute mode. Stir in the coconut milk and curry paste, bring it to simmer while you add vegetables and protein. Stir it. Shut it. Cook for 3 minutes on Manual, QR after 5 minutes! Finish with brown sugar and few drops of lime juice and you’re done! Serve with brown or white Jasmine rice- That simple!

Instant Pot Thai Panang Chicken Curry Instant Pot Thai Panang Chicken Curry Instant Pot Thai Panang Chicken Curry Instant Pot Thai Panang Chicken Curry

 

 

 

 

Instant Pot Thai Panang Chicken CurryInstant Pot Thai Panang Chicken Curry

I make this mostly with Chicken, Shrimp or Tofu. The choice of vegetables is also huge. I add baby corn because my kids love it. You can add water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, bell peppers. I would add the peppers after cooking though and saute for 2 minutes. When cooking this with Firm Tofu or Extra Firm Tofu, reduce the cooking time to 1 minute since the Tofu just needs to absorb the flavors- everything is already cooked. When cooking this with Shrimp, cook the curry for 1 minute, QR, and then add the Shrimp, saute’ for 1-2 minutes, till they turn opaque. If you add them earlier, they’ll be over cooked. Possibilities are just endless with this curry- go ahead, make it your own and enjoy!

Thai Panang Curry- Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 3 minutes Manual, QR 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 can Coconut Milk - Chaokoh
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2-1 can Maesri Thai Panang Curry Paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 cup Cut Baby Corn
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch pieces (or Firm Tofu)
  • After cooking
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Few drops of lime juice
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • Thai basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Instructions

1

Prep: Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces. If using Form Tofu- cut it into 1 inch pieces . Chop baby corn and carrots. Cut 1 small head of broccoli into florets and keep aside.

2

Turn Instant Pot on Saute. Add coconut milk and water. Add curry paste and whisk it till it is blended with the coconut milk. Add baby corn, carrots (or whatever vegetables you are using). Add chicken or Tofu pieces. Stir everything. Make sure the curry mix is simmering at this point before you close the lid. It prevents the coconut milk from curdling.

3

Close lid. Hit cancel. Set vent to Sealing mode. Press 3 minutes Manual (high). Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, (QR after 5).

4

Open the lid. Check for seasoning. Add brown sugar and lime juice. Add broccoli florets and let them hangout in the curry for about 30 seconds so they get cooked a bit. They'll still stay crunchy. You can leave them in there for another minute or 2 on Saute if you like them cooked more. If at this point, the sauce is thinner than you like, hit Saute and cook it off for a minute or two. Serve with White or Brown Jasmine rice!

Notes

If after opening the lid, the coconut milk seems curdled, don't worry, it hasn't gone bad. The heat and the pressure just separated the fat from the milk. You can turn on Saute mode and whisk it gently back together. It'll be a smooth curry again!

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

Minestrone Soup- One Pot Meal

Minestrone Soup is an Italian soup,  typically made with root vegetables, like onions, celery, carrots, stock, dried herbs, beans and tomatoes. It’s mostly vegetarian and often includes rice or pasta- perfect one-pot meal! I use this recipe a lot for weeknight meals- it’s one of my fill-it, shut-it, forget-it, meal series. Simply dump all ingredients in the Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker), close the lid, set a 3-4 minute timer. Once it’s cooked, manually release pressure after 5 minutes and you’re done! It’s that easy!

Minestrone Soup in Instant PotI have always noticed how our meals often reflect the colors of the season. This soup certainly screams Fall– a perfect blend of orange, red and green, it is also the perfect comfort soup to have on a cold and chilly evening. This soup comes together so easily, it’s almost wrong to call it ‘home-cooked’:-)

Minestrone Soup in Instant PotYou can easily customize this soup to your taste- I keep switching the veggies in this soup. Sometimes, I add chopped squash or pumpkin to this and it taste amazing. I prefer to use canned beans in Minestrone Soup, simply out of convenience. The time it takes for dry beans to cook is too long for the vegetables, so, if using dry beans, one has to make this a two-step cooking process- cook the beans first and then add the remaining ingredients. I personally like using organic Northern beans here, but you can use the beans of your choice, Kidney, Pinto or Cannellini Beans. I make this soup with low-sodium vegetable broth, but you can use regular broth or even chicken/Beef broth. You can add diced tomatoes to this soup. We prefer a slightly less tomatoey flavor, so adding tomato paste just works out great for us.

Minestrone Soup in Instant PotTypically, this soup calls for a small pasta. I substitute it with Quinoa. My family prefers the taste of quinoa, plus it bumps up the fiber and protein in the soup. You could even add barley or bulgar instead. I add chopped spinach after cooking. The heat from the soup wilts it down. You can use any dark leafy green instead of spinach- kale would be a great addition here too. Garnish it with chopped basil, or freshly grated parmesan cheese and call it a day!

Optional Variation: Sometimes, I like to add an extra, totally optional, ingredient in this soup towards the end. I add chopped, pre-cooked, chicken and jalapeño sausage from Trader Joe’s. The sausage is fully cooked, so it just needs to hang out in the soup for a few minutes and it absorbs the flavors of the soup and becomes really soft. My family loves the combination of this spicy sausage with this soup, but you can skip it and make it totally vegetarian.

Stove-top:You can certainly cook this soup on the stove-top too. Add all the ingredients in a soup pot, stir well, and cook covered on medium-high heat for 20-25 minutes. Follow the remaining instructions for garnish and enjoy!

Stove-top Pressure cooker (Hawkins/Prestige): Follow all instructions and cook for 2 whistles in the pressure cooker. Wait 5 minutes and manually release pressure by carefully lifting the pressure weight.

Minestrone Soup- One Pot Meal

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 3-4 Minutes Manual + QR5

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can Northern Beans (or your favorite beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup chopped celery (about 2 ribs)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 32 oz. low-sodium vegetable broth (I use Trader Joe's brand)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped, OR, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning blend (I use 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe's)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sambal Oelek Chili Paste (or Sriracha) (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste, or, 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup quinoa (or 1/2 cup elbow macaroni)
  • Add after opening lid:
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 pre-cooked chicken sausage links, chopped (optional)
  • Few tablespoons grated parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions

1

Prep: Chop vegetables of your choice (I used carrots, celery, spinach). If using fresh garlic, finely chop garlic cloves. Rinse and drain canned beans.

2

In the inner pot, add olive oil, garlic, chopped vegetables, beans, vegetable stock, spices, chili-garlic sauce, tomato paste (or diced tomatoes), quinoa (or elbow macaroni), and stir well.

3

Close lid. Set vent to Sealing mode. Cook on Manual (high) for 3-4 minutes, depending on how you like your vegetables (I cook for 3 minutes).

4

Wait for 5 minutes and release the pressure manually, and open the lid (which means QR after 5mins). . Stir in chopped spinach and sausage (if using). The heat from the soup will be enough to wilt the spinach and bring everything together. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!

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

Cranberry Sauce in Instant Pot

Cranberry Sauce Instant PotCranberry sauce is a jam like relish made by cooking cranberries with sugar. It is probably one of the most popular accompaniment served with Turkey at the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.

Cranberries are small round, seedless berries that grow in shrubs.. If you ask me, they are fairly deceiving in their appearance. The first time I tasted raw cranberries, I expected them to taste berry like- sweet, juicy, did I say sweet? But, they ended up being a juicy but tart, seeds-like texture. I don’t think I ever tasted them raw again.

Cranberry Sauce Instant PotMaking cranberry sauce was the obvious next step for me. And boy, did that change my mind about cranberries! I love the hint of tartness in the jam-like cranberry sauce. In my house, I am the only one who likes cranberry sauce with turkey. My husband and kids aren’t fans of sweet with poultry. But, they love to pair it with creamy cheeses like brie or goat cheese, over a cracker or toast. Now I make this year round and it’s a staple on my cheese boards.

Cranberry Sauce Instant PotI have been making cranberry sauce using this recipe for over a decade now. The only change I made to it, was adding ‘Agave syrup’ to it during the cooking process. There is a subtle earthiness that Agave syrup adds to the sauce, which contrasts perfectly with this vibrant berry. That being said, it is optional. You can totally add the traditional orange juice or water and it will still taste yum. You can also add some orange rind, which is another popular combination. Me, I prefer the traditional cranberry flavors.

I pressure cook the cranberries, in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot Mini 3 Qt,  with agave syrup for 1 minute, wait for 7 minutes and release the pressure. Open the lid, add sugar and sauté for 2-3 minutes till it reaches a jam-like consistency. At this stage, the cranberries have all broken down, but are not mush, which is what makes the texture so great.

Stove Top Recipe: This cranberry sauce can be on the stove-top too. Simply combine all ingredients in a sauce pan on medium high heat with 1/2 cup water. Cover till everything comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, till the berries are cooked. Remove lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes till the sauce reaches a jam like consistency.

This recipe is so easy and so delicious, I promise you, you won’t buy another can of cranberry sauce again! It stays good in the refrigerator for a few weeks, so definitely a make-ahead recipe for thanksgiving or big parties.

Cranberry Sauce in Instant Pot

Print Recipe
Serves: Makes around 14 oz. Cooking Time: 5 minutes Manual, QR after 7 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. pack fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup ( or honey or orange juice)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Zest of 1 medium orange (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Instructions

1

Turn On Instant Pot. Pout water followed by agave syrup. Pouring water will prevent the syrup from sticking to the bottom and burning.

2

Add cranberries and salt. Stir and close lid. Press Manual for 1 minute on Sealing mode. Let the pressure release naturally (NPR) for 7 minutes. Turn the value to Venting position and release all pressure. Open lid.

3

Turn on Saute mode. Add sugar and stir. Saute for 2-3 minutes till the cranberry sauce reaches warm jam like consistency. Cool for 10 minutes and pour in jars.

Notes

For making this in a stove-top pressure cooker like Prestige or Hawkins- follow all steps and cook on medium high heat for 2 whistles. Turn off heat and let it cool for 7 minutes, after which, release the pressure by7 carefully lifting the weight. Follow the remaining steps in the instructions.

Beginners / Weeknight/ Condiments & Accompaniments/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Cranberry Orange Cornbread in Instant Pot (or Oven)

Cranberry Orange Cornbread

Come November and my countdown to the holidays starts! The excitement of who’s coming over or where are we going soon turns into, what am I making or taking?

Cranberry Orange Cornbread Instant PotOne thing I love doing around holidays is to try recipes that are quick to make, sure to please, and, can be made ahead of time. Last weekend, I jazzed up a tried and trusted store-bought cornbread mix from Trader Joe’s, that I have been using for years, and made two variations with it- Pumpkin Spice Cornbread & Cranberry Orange Cornbread, hit a home run with both in my house! I have made cornbread from scratch many a times and have found this pre-mix from Trader Joe’s taste very similar to that. So, this is one short-cut that leaves me more time for the zillion other things to do. From one 15 oz. box of cornbread mix, I can make four mini loaves. I typically half the mix and make two flavor variations out of it. If you want to stick to one flavor, simply double up the ingredients in this recipe.

Cranberry Orange Cornbread Instant PotI baked, or should I say cooked, this cornbread in my electric pressure cooker, the Instant Pot DUO this time. It was done in about the same time as the oven, was missing the golden crisp top layer that a cornbread typically has, BUT, it was the most moist cornbread I have ever had! Seriously, it was delicious- a sponge cake like consistency with the earthiness of the cornmeal- I am definitely going to be pressure cooking my cornbreads from now on.

Cranberry Orange Cornbread Instant PotThis flavor combination of Cranberry- Orange-Cornmeal was just meant to be. It took me 2 tries to get this right. Adding orange zest to the second batch took this cornbread to another level of flavortown. The orange compliments the subtle sweetness in the cornmeal and the cranberries’ tartness provides a nice contrast and balance to the cornbread. The result is a well balanced, moist and flavorful cornbread which smells of orange and cornmeal. This can be enjoyed as-is but will also make a great base for stuffing. Using the same recipe, you can make Cranberry Orange Corn muffins too, this will be a great add for a breakfast or brunch table. I made this recipe using Mini Loaf Baking Pans. This size just works great for my family and also makes for a perfect size for gifting or adding to your holiday basket.

These Cranberry Orange Cornbread loaves can be made in the oven too. Simply mix everything as per the directions and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 12-14 minutes. The actual time will depend on your oven. At the 12 minute mark, check for doneness by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean, you’re good, else, pop-it back for another minute or two.

Cranberry Orange Cornbread in Instant Pot (or Oven)

Print Recipe
Serves: Makes 4 mini loaves Cooking Time: 12 minutes Manual, NPR or 12-14 in 350F oven

Ingredients

  • These ingredients are for half a box of cornbread mix (half of 15oz.), which makes two loaves. If you wish to use the whole box (four loaves), simply double up the following ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 7.5 oz. cornbread mix (half of a Trader Joe's Cornbread Mix)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (can use dried orange cranberries too)

Instructions

1

Melt butter in the microwave, about 20-30 seconds. Add orange juice, sour cream, egg and orange zest. Whisk together. Add cornbread mix and dried cranberries and mix with a spatula.

2

Grease mini-baking loaf pans with any baking/cooking spray. Divide the better equally between two loaf pans.

3

Pour 1 cup water in the Inner pot of your Instant Pot (I used the 6QT DUO). Place trivet. Place two loaf pans on top. If you're doubling up the recipe, you can stack two more on top as shown in the photo above.

4

Close lid. Set valve to Sealing. Press Manual for 12 minutes. Open lid after natural pressure release. Cool cornbread for 5 -10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy as-is or with honey butter!

Beginners / Weeknight/ Condiments & Accompaniments/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Pumpkin Spice Cornbread in Instant Pot (or Oven)

Fall is my favorite season of the year. The pleasant breeze, leaves changing color, salads giving way to soups, ice-creams making way for pies and cobblers! It’s also the beginning of Pumpkin season.  You can start seeing pumpkins of all shapes and sizes widely available everywhere. I love cooking and baking with pumpkin and I am always looking for new ways to use pumpkin in sweet and savory dishes. One thing I love doing around holidays is to create recipes that are quick to please and can be made ahead of time. Seems like I’ve hit a home-run in my house with this recipe- Pumpkin Spice Cornbread!

Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Instant PotEarthy and sweet cornbread mix meets creamy and moist homemade pumpkin puree– the result is a soft, moist and delicious Pumpkin Spice Cornbread. This holiday season, I am jazzing up a tried and trusted store-bought cornbread mix from Trader Joe’s, that I have been using for years. This cornbread will make a great addition to your table. Enjoy it as-is or make stuffing with it. Pair it with honey butter or pumpkin butter and enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee for a delicious and light snack.

In the video here, I have made this Pumpkin Spice Cornbread in my electric pressure cooker- The Instant Pot DUO. It cooked in about the same time as the oven, was missing the crisp golden outer layer, BUT, pressure cooking made this cornbread really really moist. I like making mini loaves of cornbread using the disposable Mini Loaf Baking Pans. I prefer the portion size of the slices- prevents me from over-indulging 🙂 Plus, makes for cute gifts for the holiday basket. From one 15 oz. box of cornbread mix, I can make four mini loaves. I typically half the mix and make two different flavors out of it. You can use this recipe and make Pumpkin Spice Muffins too, it will be a great side for your breakfast or brunch table. They are perfect for taking to office potlucks too. The second flavor I made over the weekend was another huge success in my house- Cranberry Orange Cornbread.  If you want to stick to one flavor, simply double up the ingredients in this recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Cornbread Instant PotThese Pumpkin Spice Cornbread loaves can be made in the oven too. Simply mix everything as per the directions and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 12-14 minutes. The actual time will depend on your oven. At the 12 minute mark, check for doneness by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean, you’re good, else, pop-it back for another minute or two.

Pumpkin Spice Cornbread in Instant Pot (or Oven)

Print Recipe
Serves: Makes 4 mini loaves Cooking Time: 12 Minutes Manual, NPR or 12-14 minutes in oven at 350F

Ingredients

  • These ingredients are for half a box of Cornbread Mix (half of 15oz.), which makes two Mini Loaf Pans. If you wish to use the whole box (four loaves), simply double up the following ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (add more for a stronger flavor)
  • 7.5 oz. Cornbread Mix (I use Trader Joe's mix)

Instructions

1

Melt butter in the microwave, about 20-30 seconds. Add egg, pumpkin puree, milk and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk together. Add cornbread mix and mix with a spatula.

2

Grease mini-baking loaf pans with any baking/cooking spray. Divide the better equally between two Mini Loaf Pans.

3

Pour 1 cup water in the Inner pot of your Instant Pot (I used the DUO 6 Qt). Place trivet. Place two loaf pans on top. If you're doubling up the recipe, you can stack two more on top as shown in the video.

4

Close lid. Set valve to Sealing. Press Manual for 12 minutes. Open lid after natural pressure release. Cool cornbread for 5 -10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy with honey butter!

Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Homemade Pumpkin Puree- Instant Pot or Oven

Pumpkin Puree instant Pot- Halloween FunYou know Fall is here when you start seeing cute little Sugar Pumpkins or Pie Pumpkins in your grocery stores. Like their name suggests, they are sweeter than the big ones, which makes them ideal for pies, cakes, soups etc. My kids love carving and decorating a bunch of sugar pumpkins for Halloween and putting them around the house with tea-lights.

Till a few years ago, I used to think that making homemade pumpkin puree is a very time consuming process and was happy using canned pumpkin. Then one day, my little girls went to a pumpkin patch with their school buddies and came home with a little too many pumpkins for us to carve and decorate. So I looked up the recipe for oven-roasting the sugar pumpkin and made pumpkin puree from scratch for the first time. I’ve never looked at canned pumpkin puree again!

Don’t get me wrong, I do value canned stuff- makes life a lot easier, but if you have 30 minutes- an hour to spare, I would highly recommend giving either of these recipes a try. The taste is so much creamier and richer and that translates to whatever you end up making with it.

Pumpkin Cornbread in Instant PotIn my house, we end up using the puree in Pumpkin pie, Pumpkin Spice Walnut Bread, Pumpkin Spice Pancakes and our latest ‘food-venture’- Pumpkin Spice Cornbread! So, if you’re sold on the idea of homemade pumpkin puree, here are the two ways of cooking the pumpkin- roasting it in the oven, or, pressure cooking it in an electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot. I like using smaller size sugar pumpkins for making puree, around 2 pounds each. A 2 pound pumpkin should result in roughly 2-2.5 cups of pumpkin puree.

Oven vs. Instant Pot: If you’re cooking 2 or more pumpkins, I would recommend using the oven method. I can easily fit 2 sugar pumpkins, around 2 pounds in size each, on one baking sheet. So between 3 racks, you can roast up to 6 pumpkins in the same time. If you do, remember to switch the top and bottom layer half way through. But if you’re cooking just one, Instant Pot is a clear winner- it cuts down the cooking time by a third.

Oven Recipe:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Wash and dry the sugar pumpkin.
  2. Slice the stem off, it makes working the pumpkin much easier. Using a sharp knife like a chef’s knife, slice the pumpkin in half. Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop, remove the seeds and stringy core. You can save the seeds for roasting if you wish.
  3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or foil. Place the pumpkin face down on the sheet (flat side down). Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or till the pumpkin skin darkens and the flesh is fork tender. The exact time will depend on the size of pumpkin.
  4. Cool the pumpkin for 10 minutes. Using a large spoon, scoop out the flesh, like you would for an avocado. The skin is so soft and starts separating very easily from the flesh. Blend the pumpkin flesh in a puree and you’re done!

Instant Pot recipe: (I used a 6 QT DUO)

  1. Pumpkin Puree instant PotWash and dry the sugar pumpkin. Slice the stem off. Pour 1 cup water in the inner pot. Place the trivet and put the pumpkin on the trivet. Close the lid. Set the valve to Sealing mode. Press Manual, high, for 8 minutes.
  2. Let the pressure release naturally. Open lid, remove the pumpkin and let it cool for 10 minutes. Slice the pumpkin in half or quarters. Using a spoon remove the seeds and stringy core. You can save the seeds for roasting if you wish.
  3. Pumpkin Puree instant PotUsing a sharp spoon, scoop out the flesh, like you would for an Avocado. The skin is so soft that it starts separating very easily from the flesh. Blend the pumpkin flesh in a blender and you’re done!

 

 

 

3 qt Mini Duo/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew – Misir Wot

Misir Wot is one of the signature vegetarian dishes that you’ll find in most Ethiopian restaurants.  ‘Wat’ or ‘Wot‘ is an Ethiopian style stew or curry that may be prepared with chicken, beef, lamb, a variety of vegetables. It is cooked in clarified butter, Ghee, and uses a spice blend called ‘Berbere‘.

This recipe is traditionally made with a 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  provides a distinctive tangy flavor to the lentils, stews and curries. I wasn’t too keen on buying a speciality spice blend that I wouldn’t use “that” often, so I looked up the composition of the Berbere and realized that this spice combination is very similar to the Garam Masala blend.  So I used that, with a few additional spices to replicate the flavor of a berbere blend and the result was very successful. If you have the berbere spice blend, substitute my spice list with 2-2.5​ tablespoons​ Berbere spice​ mix (depending on how warm you like it).​

Misir Wot is traditionally served family style over a spongy flatbread called Injera. I pair it with couscous and a garden salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette. This recipe can be made with yellow split lentils, green lentils or any quick cooking lentils as well. This dish pairs well with Key Wat– a traditional Beef stew using the same spice blend. Check out my easy recipe for Key Wat.

In the video, I have made this recipe in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO.  Misir Wot can also be made in a traditional stove-top pressure cooker. Simply follow your cooker’s lentil cooking times and procedures and follow this recipe. You can also make this dish on the stove-top, using a sauce pot or dutch oven. I would advise using a heavy bottom pan, since that can evenly distribute the heat. Simply follow all the instructions and simmer the lentils on medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes or so, till you reach a desired consistency.

Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew - Misir Wot

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 5 minutes Manual + NPR

Ingredients

Instructions

1

Prep: In a mini food processor, pulse ginger and garlic for 5-7 times. Now add onion chunks and pulse another 5 times. This is a quick and tear-free way to get everything chopped finely 🙂

2

Turn the Instant Pot on Sauté mode. Wait 1 minute till the inner pot is hot and melt butter/ghee in it. Add chopped onion, sauté for 30 seconds. Add ginger-garlic and sauté another 30 seconds. (If adding together, sauté for a minute).

3

Add tomato paste and spices. Stir well. Add rinsed and drained lentils, water and stir. Press "cancel", close the lid and hit Manual, High-Pressure for 5 minutes. Wait for Natural release of pressure.

4

Open the Instant pot lid after natural pressure release (NPR). Finish the dish with a light squeeze of lime juice. Check for seasoning. If you like the lentils to be more mushy, use a whisk and stir till you reach a desired consistency. Serve with couscous with a garden salad dressed with fresh lemon vinaigrette, or, the traditional sourdough flatbread, Injera.

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

Ethiopian Beef Stew- Key Wat

Ethiopian Beef Stew Instant Pot‘Wat’ or ‘Wot‘ is an Ethiopian style stew or curry that may be prepared with chicken, beef, lamb, a variety of vegetables. It is cooked in clarified butter, Ghee, and uses a spice blend called ‘Berbere‘, which is a mix of nutmeg, cloves, cumin, coriander, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom and more. Key Wat is one of the signature dishes that you’ll find in most Ethiopian restaurants.

This recipe is traditionally made with a 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  provides a distinctive tangy flavor to the lentils, stews and curries. I wasn’t too keen on buying a speciality spice blend that I wouldn’t use “that” often, so I looked up the composition of the Berbere and realized that this spice combination is very similar to the Garam Masala blend.  So I used that, with a few additional spices to replicate the flavor of a berbere blend and the result was very successful. If you have the berbere spice blend, substitute my spice list with 2-2.5​ tablespoons​ Berbere spice​ mix (depending on how warm you like it).​ I also added an additional, but optional, ingredient- fried onions. I like how just a tablespoon of fried onions adds a deep color and taste to this stew, that you typically get from fried-browned onions.

Ethiopian Beef Stew Instant PotKey Wat is traditionally served family style over a spongy flatbread called Injera. I pair it with a Red lentil stew called Misir Wot and butter couscous along with a garden salad dressed with lemon vinaigrette. This recipe can be made with lamb or chicken as well. I like the fall-off tender texture of the beef, so cooking it for 30 minutes work perfect for my family. If you like a more firm texture, reduce the cooking time to 25 minutes. If using Lamb pieces, adjust cooking time to 15 minutes. If you’re using boneless skinless chicken cubes, reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes. You can also make this dish more hearty by adding some root vegetables like carrots, potatoes or parsnips.

Key Wat can also be made in a traditional stove-top pressure cooker. Simply follow your cooker’s meat cooking times and procedures and follow this recipe. You can also make this dish on the stove-top, using a sauce pot or dutch oven. I would advise using a heavy bottom pan, since that can evenly distribute the heat and withstand a longer cooking time. Simply follow all the instructions and cook the meat on medium heat for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 5  minutes or so, till the meat is fork tender.

Ethiopian Beef Stew- Key Wat

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 30 minutes + NPR

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs. beef stew meat
  • 3 tablespoons Ghee or Butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic crushed (1/2 inch ginger + 2 cloves garlic OR 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder + 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 tablespoon fried onions (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (if using Berbere, adjust salt based on spice blend contents)
  • You can substitute the following spices with 2- 2.5 tablespoons of Berbere Seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

1

Prep: Using a mini food processor, pulse together onion chunks and ginger-garlic, 8-10 times. Alternatively, finely chop them.

2

Turn the Instant Pot on Sauté mode. Wait 30 seconds till the inner pot is hot and add ghee or butter. Add chopped onion, ginger-garlic, turmeric and salt and cook till slightly caramelized, about a minute.

3

Add all dry spices, tomato paste and 1/4 cup water, stir well and cook for a minute. Add the remaining water and beef cubes in the pot. Press "cancel", close the lid and set valve to 'Sealing' position. Press Meat/Stew, 30 minutes. Wait for Natural release of pressure.

4

Open the Instant pot lid and check for seasoning. Add sugar. This is optional, but highly recommended. The pinch of sugar brings together all the warm spices in the stew. Serve with couscous with a garden salad dressed with fresh lemon vinaigrette, or, the traditional sourdough flatbread, Injera.

3 qt Mini Duo/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

One Pot Chana Masala Biryani / Chickpeas Biryani (Vegan)

Chana Masala BiryaniChana Masala Biryani or Chickpeas Biryani  or Cholle Biryani, is a combination of two super popular Indian dishes- Chana Masala & Biryani. Chana Masala is an Indian curry which is made with cooking dried garbanzo Beans or ‘Chickpeas’, in a spicy tomato gravy seasoned with warm Indian spices and garnished with cilantro. Biryani, on the other hand, is a dish where rice is cooked with flavored meats or vegetables. In this dish, I have brought the two dishes together in one pot!

I prepared this dish in my electric pressure cooker, the Instant Pot DUO, by making the chana masala gravy first and then cooked fragrant Basmati rice in that gravy- the result is delicious. This one-pot meal can be made even simpler and in 30 minutes by using canned chickpeas, which are already cooked. Simply rinse and drain the chickpeas and add it to the recipe. That reduces the cooking time by almost 15-17 minutes! You can add vegetables like carrots and potatoes along with rice and customize it to your taste. You can even make this Chickpea Biryani with Quinoa. Instead of adding rice, add Quinoa and cook on Manual, High, for 2 minutes with natural pressure release. This recipe is Vegan friendly too!

Chana Masala BiryaniBiryanis are traditionally served with Raita (Yoghurt Dip), but you can have this with a Garden salad drizzled with a simple lemon vinaigrette.

 

 

 

One Pot Chana Masala Biryani / Chickpeas Biryani (Vegan)

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: Canned Beans: 30 minutes; Dry Beans- 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • Chana Masala:
  • I cup dried Chickpeas / Garbanzo Beans (soaked overnight), OR 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon ghee, or olive oil (vegan choice)
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 2-4 green Serrano chillies (Use de-seeded Jalapeños for a milder flavor)
  • 1 large or 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder or Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1.25 cups water
  • Biryani
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice (Long grain)(soaked and rinsed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Fried Onions (I use store bought)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro & mint, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Saffron soaked in 1 tablespoon warm-hot water (I pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so)

Instructions

1

Prep: Rinse and soak basmati rice while you make chana masala. Slice onions and de-seed green chillies if you prefer mild heat. Chop tomatoes. Finely chop ginger garlic or pulse few times in a mini food processor.

2

Let's start by making Chana Masala. Heat oil on Saute mode in Instant Pot. Add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add onions and chillies and sauté for 30 seconds. Add ginger-garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes and all spices listed under 'Chana Masala". Stir well and sauté for 30 seconds.

3

Add rinsed and drained chickpeas and water. Stir well and close the lid. Set valve to Sealing mode. Cook on Bean/Chili mode or Manual for 25 minutes. If using canned chickpeas, adjust cooking time to 6 minutes.

4

Time to put together Biryani. After manual pressure release (QR), open the lid. Add drained rice. Sprinkle the remaining salt (listed under "Biryani"). Top with chopped cilantro & mint followed by soaked saffron (with liquid) and fried onions. Press down with a spatula gently. Close lid. Set valve to Sealing mode. Cook on Manual (high) for 6 minutes.

5

Open lid after natural pressure release. Using a fork, fluff the rice. Enjoy Biryani with a Garden Salad with lemon Vinaigrette for a Vegan option, or, a Cucumber Raita (spicy Cucumber-yoghurt) dip.

Notes

This Biryani can be made in the traditional stove-top pressure cooker like Hawkins or Prestige too. Follow the procedure to cook Chana Masala on medium-high flame. After 2 whistles, reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Manually release the pressure by lifting the pressure weight. Open the lid, follow the steps of layering rice and other ingredients. Close the lid and cook on medium-high heat for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

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

Butter Chicken- Authentic & Easy Murgh Makhani

Butter Chicken or ‘Murgh Makhani‘ (literally means Buttery Chicken), is an authentic Punjabi dish that was created in the 1950s, 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 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.

Butter Chicken- Authentic & Easy Murgh Makhani, Garam Masala KitchenIt is so popular all around the world that it will be hard to find an Indian restaurant that doesn’t serve this dish. It’s funny how till date whenever I am inviting non-Indian friends over for an Indian meal, they always expect Butter Chicken or Chicken Tikka Masala to be on the menu. Talking of Chicken Tikka Masala, CTM is the British cousin of Butter Chicken. So legend goes that somewhere in England, in an Indian restaurant, a customer ordered “Chicken Tikka“- grilled chicken skewers. He sent it back to the kitchen complaining that it was too dry and needed some sauce. So, the restaurant’s Bangladeshi chef improvised and made a sauce using a can of tomato soup, Indian spices and heavy cream, dunk the pieces in and finished the sauce with some ‘butter’, and that’s how Chicken Tikka Masala was born. So, you see how both dishes have a lot in common- both include marinated and grilled chicken simmered in a rich tomato based gravy- one is more creamy (BC), the other, more spicy and tomato-ey (CTM).

Butter Chicken- Authentic & Easy Murgh Makhani, Garam Masala KitchenI have grown up eating Butter Chicken! It happens to be my Mom’s favorite dish, and now my kids’ favorite too. Not so long ago, it used to be quite an intimidating dish to make at home since you could never get it to taste like the “restaurant”. But years of perfecting this recipe, using quality ingredients and pressure cooking techniques, I can now get that slow simmered flavor at home! So this one’s for my Mom and my kiddos- a super easy and authentic recipe for Butter Chicken. Enjoy it with Garlic Naan or simple and fragrant Cumin Basmati Rice.

Multiple uses of this recipe/sauce: This recipe is pretty versatile. You can make it vegetarian by switching the chicken with paneer. Simply marinate the paneer pieces, broil, them for 2 minutes and add them to the sauce after cooking it, in step 4 of this recipe. You can make this dish dairy-free by substituting ghee with oil and heavy cream with coconut cream or a thick coconut milk. I wouldn’t recommend using a fat-free or light version here. You need such little quantity anyway. I have used this sauce and put pre-made meatballs or veggie balls and you have Malai Koftas ready to impress!

In this recipe here, I have made Butter Chicken in my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot. But this recipe can be made on the stove-top too. Here’s how:

  1. Follow steps to marinate and broil or grill the chicken.
  2. In a dutch oven or a wide sauce pot, melt butter, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds on medium flame.
  3. Add tomato puree, spices, half the cream and the grilled chicken pieces with their juices. Stir well and cook on medium flame for about 10-12 minutes, covered. Keep stirring every 2-3 minutes and if your sauce is beginning to look too thick, add 1/4 cup water so that it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom.
  4. Open the lid and simmer for another 5 minutes uncovered. Adjust seasoning and turn off the heat. Let is rest for 5 minutes. Add the remaining cream and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with Garlic Naan or Cumin Basmati Rice!

Butter Chicken- Authentic & Easy Murgh Makhani

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 30 minutes (plus marination time if applicable)

Ingredients

  • Marinade for Tandoori chicken:
  • 1-1.2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs or Breast (fat trimmed and cut in 2 inch pcs.)
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4-1/2 Red Chili Powder or cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee (olive oil for dairy free)
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes (pureed with hand blender) or 4-5 ripe tomatoes pureed
  • 1 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/4-1/2 Red Chili Powder or cayenne
  • 2 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar/sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (coconut cream for a dairy free dish)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

1

Marinate chicken This step is optional, but highly recommended. If you don't have the time for it, add an additional teaspoon garam masala in the sauce. Combine all ingredients listed under "Marinade". Add chicken and coat well with the marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes-4 hours. If you're short on time, broil it right away. Broil the chicken or grill it for 6-7 minutes. We're not cooking it through- just sealing the marinade flavors in the chicken.

2

Prepare sauce For the sauce, heat the Instant Pot on Saute mode. Add butter (or olive oil for a dairy free dish). Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds.

3

Add pureed tomatoes, spices and 1/2 of the heavy cream and stir well. Add grilled chicken pieces with their juices and stir well. Close lid, set valve to Sealing and cook on Manual for 5 minutes.

4

Open the lid after natural release of pressure (NPR). Add the remaining heavy cream and stir well. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with Naan or Cumin Basmati Rice!