Kadhi Chawal is an all-time favorite, comfort food in many Punjabi homes. It’s a traditional dish from the northern region of India (Punjab), in which a yogurt and chickpeas-flour based curry, called Kadhi, and chickpeas-flour fritters, called Pakoras, is served over aromatic basmati rice! There are several variations of this dish all over northern India, but this recipe is close to my heart, as it’s been passed on through many generations in my family.
Even though the recipe for Kadhi Chawal is fairly generic, everyone has their own spin on it. My grandmother always cooked the kadhi and pakoras in mustard oil. My mom substitutes mustard oil with ghee, and also adds chopped onions to her pakoras, and sliced onions in the kadhi. I customized it further and started adding chopped spinach to my pakoras in addition to the shallots/onions. I also started pan-frying the pakoras versus deep-frying them. This is my quick and healthy twist on this family favorite. Here’s the detailed recipe for No-Fry Pakoras (Fritters).
Stove-top Recipe: In the video above, I have made this recipe in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, but this recipe can be made on the stove-top too. Here’s how: Continue Reading…
Crispy, golden brown and irresistible, Onion-Spinach Pakoras or Fritters, are an extremely popular snack in Indian cuisine. Pakoras are basically fritters where onions, or other vegetables, are coated in a chickpeas flour or gram flour batter, seasoned with Indian spices and deep-fried. They are a popular street food as well as a great tea-time snack, especially during the monsoons. As with any popular food item, there are a zillion variations of this recipe. Pakoras are typically served with sweet & spicy condiments like ketchup, cilantro chutney or Date-Imli chutney.
Since the batter is made with chick-pea or gram flour, this recipe is gluten-free and, it doesn’t call for any dairy products, making it dairy- free too. While nothing beats the deep-fried golden brown crunch of pakoras, I like to make healthier versions of my family’s most enjoyed recipes. So, I decided to pan-fry them instead of deep-frying, using this Stuffed Pancake Pan. The key to making them crispy is putting the right amount of oil to pan-fry them . Not only are they really delicious and crispy, they are also much easier to make vs. the traditional method. I don’t have to set up the deep-frying wok, heat the oil, nor do I have to later clean up all that. Making Pakoras in this pan is as simple as making pancakes! Seriously! Using this method, making pakoras for Punjabi Kadhi is super easy. I use this pan to make my No-Fry Dahi Bhalle too!
Warm, flaky and crispy on the outside, buttery and delicious from within, these Vegetables Puffs are great as a tea-time snack, or, as a lunch surprise for kids! Making these is ever so simple. A healthy assortment of vegetables is tossed in an aromatic Indian masala and stuffed inside a golden-brown baked puff pastry shell. These puffs can be easily customized with your choice of filling- sweet or savory. Using store-bought pastry dough makes this a weeknight treat for me.
I make this recipe with store-bought puff pastry shells. These ‘pre-shaped’ shells are pretty versatile and can be used for both, sweet and savory dishes. It is really easy to put these puffs together. Simply bake the shells in the oven as per package directions. Prepare your filling and then stuff the filling in the shells- that’s it!
Tip for a flaky Puff pastry: Keep the pastry dough cold. Remove from refrigerator just before baking. This ensured a flaky pastry. Softer or room temperature dough, doesn’t puff up and tends to becomes too dense.
For this recipe, I make a mixed vegetable filling in a Fry-pan or Skillet on the stove -top, or my electric pressure cooker,Instant Pot. I combine assorted vegetables like bell pepper, frozen peas, frozen corn, gold potatoes and cook them with aromatics and Indian spices. I like to add paneer to this mix. It not only adds protein to the dish, but the creamy paneer goes really well with the flaky puff pastry. I use this filling to make Vegetable Panini too.
Serving suggestion: I make these puffs as appetizers, or as tea-time snacks, and, they make for great school lunches for kids too. I keep switching the filling though. I serve them as-is, or with tomato ketchup, Sriracha or cilantro chutney. There are endless possibilities for the filling. Some of the common ones in my home are:
Pizza puffs: I saute sausage, onions and peppers with Italian seasoning. Add a couple of teaspoons of marinara sauce to the baked shells, add sausage mix, top it with mozzarella cheese and garnish with basil.
Parmesan Mushroom & Peas Puffs: Saute crimini mushrooms in olive oil, salt and pepper. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and cook till mushrooms are nice and brown. Add thawed peas to this mix. Turn off the flame and mix in some grated parmesan cheese. Stuff the baked shells. The remaining heat from the mushrooms melts the parmesan cheese and binds the mix really well. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Keema Puffs: I make keema (ground meat) using this recipe: Keema Mutter. Bake the shells and fill them with the keema mix. Garnish with chopped cilantro!
Berries & Cream: Sprinkle some sugar and zest of a lemon on mixed berries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries. Toss well. Sprinkle some sugar on the pastry before baking. Bake shells and cool them for 10 minutes. Stuff the berries in the shells, and top with sweetened whipped cream.
Here’s how easy it is to make these Vegetable Puffs:
My family loves Korean food! Two dishes that we regularly order at a Korean restaurant are Bibimbap, which is a rice bowl with sautéed vegetables, meat and Gochujang (chili pepper paste), and, Bulgogi, which is basically Korean grilled meat, served with rice or lettuce cups. This recipe for Korean Spice Chicken is my weeknight, and pressure cooker friendly combination of the two.
I start by marinating the chicken with ingredients that I use for making Bulgogi– some Gochujang (Korean chili pepper paste), ginger-garlic, honey, onion and ground or grated pear. The pear tenderizes the meat and provides a subtle sweet flavor, which balances the heat from the Gochujang really well. Then I pressure cook the meat in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot. Any pressure cooker would work great for this recipe. You can even do this in a skillet on the stove-top. Marinate the meat. Heat a heavy bottom skillet on medium high heat and dump everything in. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, remove lid and cook till chicken is tender and the sauce is thick to your liking.
My kids like having rice with Korean Spice Chicken, so, I make it in the same pot using pot-in-pot method. My husband and I like to have it over lettuce cups. The crisp lettuce contrasts really well with the spicy chicken. I have to tell you, that this is one of the tastiest low-carb meals we make at home.
Korean food is almost incomplete without an assortment of side dishes called Banchan. I make a few of them at home, including the Spicy Cucumber Salad called Oi Muchim. Persian cucumbers or English cucumbers work great for this dish. The fresh and crunchy cucumbers, marinated in Gochujang, salt, vinegar and sesame oil, are a perfect match for this chicken. They being this meal together beautifully! Try this recipe and let me know how it works for you by leaving a comment. Continue Reading…
In my home, the ultimate indulgence is warm -gooey Salted Caramel Molten Lava Cakes. Rich dark chocolate, blended with salted caramel, topped with salted caramel ice-cream, it is a match made in dessert-heaven. It’s our go-to dessert for family game nights or any instant celebrations in the house.
Since this is a decadent dessert, I like to make individual portions using these Silicone Cupcake Liners. These liners serve three great purposes in my home: First, the silicone molds don’t get hot to the touch after baking, so handling is super easy, my kids bake with these often. Second, taking the lava cakes out of these molds is a breeze. Simply, invert them on to your serving dish, and they slip out nice and easy. Third, it does portion control for me. I take one, finish it and feel satisfied that I had a full dessert. I don’t feel like going for seconds, like I would be tempted to, if it were a cake:-)
I make these lava cakes in the Instant Pot DUO and they turn out really moist and delicious. But this cake can be made in the oven as well. Here’s how:
Oven Recipe: Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Follow step 1 and 2. Place the cakes on a cookie sheet and bake for 11-13 minutes, depending on how gooey you want the center to be.
Crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, here’s a delicious vegetarian twist to your classic hamburgers… Quinoa Veggie Burger!
I developed this recipe accidentally. Once, I had plenty leftovers for Quinoa Veggie Pilaf from the previous night, and neither of us felt like having Pilaf again. My kids were in the mood for ‘burgers’. So, I took the leftover Pilaf, which had potatoes and peas, mashed the potatoes well, added some shredded cheese (for binding) and chopped cilantro, formed them into tight 1/2-inch thick patties, dusted them with AP flour, and pan-fried them till they were crispy brown. I have to tell you, that this is the tastiest leftover-hack I have ever done, if I may say so myself.
Serving Suggestions: You can serve these patties with your favorite choice of burger buns– sesame, honey-wheat, potato buns or any other flavor you prefer. In terms of condiments, we love these with Sriracha-Mayo (recipe in ingredients section) and some spicy arugula. If my husband and I are watching our carbs, we have these bun-less, with a large arugula & cucumber salad. They are so satisfying in flavor, that we don’t miss the bun! They are a great make-ahead vegetarian choices for a BBQ party too! You can prepare the quinoa, or even make the patties, a day before and refrigerate them. On the day off, take them out an hour before cooking.
Add-ons: This a very kid-friendly recipe, that is Mom & Dad-approved! Kids love burgers! The amount of nutrition that you can sneak in to these patties, is a work of a genius. Quinoa and cheese add a good amount of protein and the veggies give the “green balance” to these patties. I keep switching the veggies in this recipe and add chopped spinach, frozen corn, shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, so you can easily customize this recipe to your preferences. Smart Tip: If you’re adding more than one freshly grated vegetable, you may want to add 1 tbsp. of cornflour, or 1 egg, so that the patties bind easily. Continue Reading…
Brownies are one dessert that don’t need an introduction! It’s like someone took chocolate cake and made it fudgy, chewy and gooey on the inside. My family loves brownies enough to go any lengths to make them. But if we can make them with just 4 ingredients, in half the effort, we won’t complain:-)
This recipe is so simple to make and it needs only 4 ingredients– All-purpose flour, Nutella (Hazelnut Spread), eggs and chocolate chips. If you don’t care for gooey brownies, you can skip the chocolate chips and make this recipe with just 3-ingredients, but we like the extra gooeyness that the chips provide. Sometimes, we like to add a 5th ingredient to this recipe- chopped walnuts, and that takes it to another level of yumminess! But that’s purely optional. The credit for this recipe goes to my kids. They tweaked and tested this recipe a few times, trying out different combinations of flour and Nutella, and even adding cocoa powder to see if the results were tastier. Finally, we have a recipe that we all love in our house. My kids make a coffee-mug version of this recipe too- Brownies in a Mug– perfect for single servings.
Tzatziki is a creamy and delicious Mediterranean sauce or a dip that is seasoned with salt, lime juice, garlic and in some cases, paprika! It’s a great party dip, which can be made very easily and ahead of time. You can pair it with assorted vegetables like cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, peppers, carrots, snow peas etc. You can even cut up pita bread in four or more slices, and use that for dipping as well.
Tzatziki is typically made with Greek yogurt, which is a thicker yogurt as compared to the regular one. But feel free to use any yogurt that you like. If your yogurt isn’t thick to begin with, be sure to squeeze out the extra juice from the grated cucumber. I make this dip a lot with my homemade yogurt that I make in my pressure cooker, Instant Pot. The consistency of my homemade yogurt is in between of a greek yogurt and regular one, so, using two paper towels, I squeeze out some juices from the grated cucumber and the result is perfect!
This is how simple it is to put it together:
Garlic and spices
Mix together and Done!
I always make Tzatziki sauce whenever I make Chicken Shawarma. I make a greek salad and humus, get some store-bought Pita bread and we enjoy our Greek Feast! My kids love dipping their Shawarma wrap in the Tzatziki!
Game day just doesn’t feel complete without a simmering pot of Chili! Try this spicy, tasty, quick ‘n’ easy, and healthier recipe for Chili. Made with ground chicken, taco seasoning and creamy pinto beans, you’ll love this protein and fiber packed warm bowl of goodness, on a cold, winter night too.
It’s a fairly easy recipe to put together in my programmable pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO. The actual cook time is about 8 minutes and including the time it takes the pot to pressurize and depressurize, this dish is ready to be served in under 30 minutes, from start to finish.
I love the traditional chili made with ground beef. That can easily be used in the same recipe and it works great. But, in an effort to make this chili a lower calorie dish, I substituted ground beef with lean ground chicken in this recipe. Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference, except, that this one was lighter. The other two Chili recipes that are on my repeat menu are White Chicken Chili and Black Bean Chili .
Leftovers: Whenever I make this Chili, there is always enough leftovers for dressing up some Chili Hot Dogs the next day- and that’s our bonus! I make these a lot for game-day parties too! Just heat up the chili, boil the pre-cooked franks or sausage links. Dress up the bun with ketchup, mustard and relish, top with the sausage, pour a couple of ‘generous’ spoon full of chili all over, sprinkle some chopped onion and thinly sliced cheddar cheese over that, and take a bite! Yum!!
If there was ever a contest for the EASIEST INSTANT POT RECIPE EVER, this recipe would win hands down! The only prep you have to do for this is to open a packet of Taco Seasoning and a jar of your favorite Salsa. You put it together in the Instant Pot, so no mess or extra dishes to clean. You add water, layer chicken ,season it, top it with salsa and close the lid! Set an 8 minute cook time and go for a walk, paint your nails, run an errand, pick up the kids….whatever you want to do. It takes around 10 minutes for it to come to pressure, 8 minutes to cook and around 10 minutes of NPR time- so, dinner is served in under 30 minutes.
Once you open the lid after releasing the remaining pressure, you can choose to leave the chicken as-is, or, shred it for using it in a variety of dishes. This shredded chicken can be used for Tacos, Enchiladas, Quesadillas, Tortilla Soup, Pizzas, Pulled Chicken Sliders or even for Taco Salad. If you choose to have it as it is, make a side-salad with cucumbers, avocados and cherry tomatoes, dress it up with fresh lime juice, salt & pepper and dinner is done!
This recipe comes together with just 3 ingredients- Chicken, Taco seasoning and Salsa. I like using chicken breast for this recipe, but chicken thighs work just as well. I love using Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning Mix and Salsa Autentica for this recipe. This seasoning has a bit of a kick to it, which my family really enjoys, but you can use your favorite Taco seasoning blend for this recipe.
This is how simple it is to make it:
Add water in the pot
Add chicken , season it
Season this side
Mix salsa & seasoning
Pour over chicken
Set cook time!
This recipe can be made in any pressure cooker as well. You can do this on the stove-top as well. Place any heavy bottom sauce pan on medium high heat. Place everything in the pan as per instructions. Bring the salsa mix to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes or till chicken is fully cooked. Keep stirring every few minutes to prevent the salsa from scorching the pan.