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Under 30 minutes

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

Sarson Ka Saag (Spiced Mustard Greens)

Sarson ka Saag, Garam Masala KitchenSarson ka Saag, or, as we say in my family, Sarson da saag,  is a leafy-vegetable preparation from Punjab, in the northern-Indian regions of India. Traditionally a winter-time speciality, it is prepared with mustard greens and spinach, that are seasoned with onions, ginger, garlic and warm Indian spices. Sarson ka Saag is usually served with makki ki roti, which is a flatbread prepared with fine-ground cornmeal.

Sarson ka Saag, Garam Masala KitchenIt’s a treat that I make for my family for Sunday brunches during winter-time. The rich and buttery Sarson ka Saag goes so well with the crisp and earthy Makki ki Roti, that my otherwise picky kids & hubby also forget that they’re eating healthy greens for a meal, and, enjoying them too:-) I like to serve it with Sweet & Spicy Lemon pickle and a boondi-raita. To me, this combination is at the top of my soul-food list!

Sarson ka Saag, Garam Masala KitchenPreserving the green color: Whenever I prepare any kind of green leafy vegetables, I like to preserve the bright green color and not have them turn ‘dark and brownish’ in the cooking process. The key is to not over-cook them, AND, not cover them while cooking. I have tried many different ways of making saag and have observed that if I flash cook (add them to boiling water, remove and put them in ice-bath), or, microwave the greens and then season them, it cooks them perfectly, and preserves the color beautifully. That is why I never pressure cook the greens. I pressure cook the masala (seasoning mix), and add the greens to that.

In this recipe, I have prepared my seasoning in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, but this can be made on the stove-top too. Simply follow the steps and cook the masala in a heavy bottom chef’s Pan, cover and cook the masala for 10 minutes. Open the lid and follow the remaining instructions.

Makki ki Roti, Garam Masala KitchenServing Suggestion: Sarson ka Saag is traditionally served with Makki ki Roti, a flatbread made with cornmeal. Here is an easy recipe, with step-by-step video instructions for homemade Makki ki Roti. But, if you do not have the time to make those, pair them with stone-ground corn tortillas from your local supermarket, and you will enjoy that combination too! To elevate the tortillas to another level, lightly grease a fry-pan, brush the corn tortillas with a little ghee, sprinkle a little cayenne on top, and lightly toast them. The end result gets pretty close to the classic Makki ki Roti.

Sarson Ka Saag (Spiced Mustard Greens)

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: Total: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • Greens(Rinse well, chop and microwave together for 2 mins)
  • 1 bunch Sarson (Mustard Greens),stems removed, chopped, about 6 cups chopped
  • 1 bunch spinach, stems removed and chopped, about 4 cups
  • 2 green chillies
  • Masala seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons ghee/butter
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (1 inch ginger + 6 cloves garlic, grated/crushed)
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder (optional)
  • 2-3 teaspoons Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons Corn Meal/Flour (Makki)

Instructions

1

Prepare the greens Rinse mustard greens and spinach leaves 2-3 times, to wash off any dirt. Remove the fibrous stems from mustard greens and chop the leaves roughly. Do the same for spinach leaves. In a microwave safe bowl, add chopped greens and 2 green chillies, and microwave for 2 minutes. Using a hand blender, puree the greens to a medium fine consistency, or according to your preference.

2

Prepare the masala Turn on Instant Pot/Pressure cooker. Heat oil on SAUTE mode. Add cumin and ginger-garlic paste and saute 30 seconds. Add chopped onion and saute another 30 seconds. Add salt, spices and water. Stir well. Cancel SAUTE. Close lid, valve set to sealing position and pressure cook for 2 minutes on Manual or Pressure Cook.

3

Season Saag/Greens Manually release pressure by turning the valve from Sealing to Venting position (QR). Open lid after pin drops. Turn on SAUTE. Add fine-ground cornmeal and saute for one minute, to cook the flour through. If the mix looks dry, add a little as needed. Add the pureed greens and saute for 2 minutes to blend the flavors together. Serve warm with Makki ki Roti (cornmeal flatbread), or Corn Tortillas or Naan.

Sarson ka Saag, Garam Masala Kitchen

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

Easy Butter Chicken and Saffron Rice (with Dairy-Free option)

Instant Pot Easy Butter-Chicken-Garam Masala KitchenTender and juicy chicken, cooked in a creamy-buttery tomato sauce, served with Saffron flavored Basmati Rice… is your mouth watering yet? That’s what’s on the menu today- Butter Chicken and Saffron Rice!

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 (Indian-Spiced Grilled 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.

Traditionally, the chicken is marinated and grilled before adding to the tomato-cream sauce, but in this recipe I have skipped that step and made it a dump-and-go recipe, with the same incredible taste. The key is using a smaller and thinner cut of boneless skinless chicken, and, adding extra garam masala to compensate for the flavors lost in skipping marination.  This recipe is my weeknight-friendly, super quick and easy variation that’ll leave you amazed.

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

Dairy-Free/Lactose-free & Gluten Free: This recipe can be easily made dairy-free by substituting the heavy cream for full-fat coconut milk. It’s as easy as that. There is no other substitution required. This recipe is Gluten-free as well.

Vegetarian Option: You can enjoy this flavorful sauce in a vegetarian dish as well. Check out the recipe for Paneer Butter Masala, or, Paneer Makhani. You can make this with Tofu as well.

Saffron Rice is saffron flavored Basmati rice that have been cooked to perfection, where each kernel of rice is separated and fluffy. That’s the beauty of Basmati rice.

POT-in-POT: In this recipe, I have cooked everything in one-pot, using the pot-in-pot technique in my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot. Watch the video above to see how easy this process is. Continue Reading…

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

‘Everything But The Kitchen Sink’ Pasta Sauce (Instant Pot)

Pasta sauce- Garam Masala KitchenThe Everything But The Kitchen Sink Pasta Sauce is exactly what it sounds like, it’s got a ton of veggies, aromatics, meat, cheese and tomatoes! I’ve always got a jar of this chunky, delicious and super healthy sauce in my freezer. I make this sauce to clean up my fridge, when leftovers of veggies and cheese start piling up. It’s a great sauce to make when you’re short on an ingredient or two. You can easily skip the meat and make a vegetarian version of this hearty sauce.

Plenty of veggie choices: The choices are endless with this sauce. You can pretty much add any veggies you have lying around. Here are some that I have used successfully- mushrooms, celery, eggplant, zucchini, squash, carrots, cabbage, onions, garlic, spring onions, leeks, chives, spinach, kale, turnips and peppers.

instant pot pasta sauce, garam masala kitchenPlenty of meat choices: As with veggies, you can add any meat or a combinations of meats that you have on hand. I have tried making this sauce with all kinds of ground meat and sausage, chopped cooked sausage, leftover mortadella,  salami, shredded chicken, bacon and prosciutto.

Choices for Sauce: I typically have a can of crushed or diced tomatoes in my pantry. If I’m using diced, I like to puree it a little with my hand blender before adding to the pot. I also keep a jar of my preferred marinara sauce, which also works great in this sauce. If you have any leftover tomatoes to use, just throw them in there, finely chopped, and they’ll blend in well.

Kid-Friendly: This is a great sauce to sneak in a ton of veggies in a pasta sauce. If your little one is picky about chunks of veggies, pulse each vegetable a few extra times in the food processor, then increase the cook time to 5-6 minutes. The veggies will almost dissolve in the sauce, and no one will ever know 😉

Instant Pot Lasagna Ravioli Lasagna

Ravioli Lasagna

Serving suggestion: I always make a big batch of this sauce. This works great with a simple boiled pasta; makes a great lasagna, as a pizza sauce with some fresh or shredded mozzarella and hand-torn-basil; for meatball sandwiches.

Stove-Top Method: This sauce can be easily cooked in a big stock pot or sauce pot. Follow all steps and cover and cook on medium-heat,  for about 12-15 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes. Continue Reading…

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

Chole Bhature (Chickpeas Curry with Fried-Puffed bread)

Chole-Bhature, garam masala kitchen

Chole-Bhature, garam masala kitchenChole Bhature is a popular dish from the Punjabi cuisine in Northern India, where a Chickpeas curry, called Chole (Cho-lay), is served with a puffed, deep-fried bread, called Bhatura (Buh-too-ray). Growing up, Chole-Bhature used to be our regular Sunday brunch.  This happens to be my kid’s favorite Indian vegetarian meal, and it has now become a tradition in our home, to make it for our Diwali dinner.  We like to enjoy it with some sweet and spicy lemon pickle. Yum!

Punjabi-Chole-Chana Masala Instant Pot Garam masala KitchenPunjabi Chole, is Chickpeas curry, where Chickpeas, also called Garbanzo beans or Chana (in Hindi), are soaked overnight to re-hydrate, and then cooked with fresh onions, ginger, garlic and seasoned with a unique spice blend of garam masala, Anardana (Pomegranate) Powder, and amchur (dry mango powder), which gives it an earthy and slightly tart taste! Alternatively, you can use Canned Chick Peas and make this dish in under 30 minutes.

Here is a quick and easy RECIPE for Punjabi Chole.

Bhatura, is a fluffy deep-fried bread from the northern Indian region. It is typically made with a dough of all-purpose flour, yogurt, oil and spices. I have a simple recipe for making home-made Bhatura, that requires some time and muscle power, but I promise you, it’s worth it. The dough is kneaded to a semi-soft consistency, and then rested to achieve some fermentation. The rested dough is kneaded again, divided into small portions, and each portion is rolled out into a circular shape, using a Rolling Pin on any flour-dusted flat surface, like a granite counter-top, or a large wooden board. These discs are then deep-fried till they are fluffy and golden brown.

Chole Bhature Garam Masala KitchenMy tried and tested, semi-home-made trick for Bhatura:  I’ve been making home-made pizza for over a decade now. When I don’t have time, I typically end up buying fresh, ready-made dough, from the produce section of Trader Joe’s, or a local Pizzeria. It’s as good as the home-made dough, minus the work. Since the dough consistency and process is so similar to Bhatura recipe, one day I ended up deep-frying pizza dough to test out the results. All I can say is, “BULLSEYE!!” Since then, I alternate between both kinds. I have to say, pizza dough works so much better and faster for a weeknight festivity, or, when I am entertaining. Off lately, I have started buying the Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough from Trader Joe’s. It’s healthier, has more fiber than the regular dough, plus we love the taste. Try it sometime!

Electric Tortilla maker, Punjabi Chole Bhature, Garam Masala KitchenHow to roll out the perfect shape for Bhatura: Most kinds of Indian flatbreads have to be rolled out in a circular disc shape. And that takes time and practice to perfect. But, if rolling the dough isn’t your thing, you can easily get perfectly round Bhature using this cool gadget, Electric Tortilla Maker. It makes the process so much smoother and faster. Simply place the dough ball in the top center of the flat plate, press down once, press down again and lift. And you’ll have an evenly rolled out (or pressed down) circular shaped Bhatura in under 10 seconds. I use this to make Puris too! Continue Reading…

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

25+ Quick ‘n’ Easy Vegetarian Recipes for Holi!

Happy-Holi-Wishes-Garam Masala KitchenOut of all the Indian festivals, Holi is my absolute favorite! It is the festival of colors after all! Growing up in India, that was one day, where everyone could officially go crazy, and get away with it. I still remember how the day before Holi used to go in buying every possible color powder I could find in the stores, and, getting my water guns ready for the big day.  I remember waking up before everyone else in the house, with sheer excitement of the day ahead!

The one thing that’s common in all Indian festivals, is a variety of amazingly delicious food. Every region in north India has their own spin on holi delicacies. From savory delicacies to mouth-watering desserts, it is a day spent in food heaven:-) Sharing some of my favorites with you!

Here are 25+ recipes to add to your Holi menu, and the best part is, most of them can be done in under 30 minutes, so that you spend less time cooking, and more time enjoying them! Garam Masala Kitchen wishes you all a very Happy Holi! Continue Reading…

3 qt Mini Duo/ Condiments & Sides/ Fill-it, Shut-it, Forget-it/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Matar Chaat/Mutter Chaat – Pigeon Peas Dip (Instant Pot)

Pigeon-Peas-Dip, instant pot recipes

Pigeon-Peas-Dip, instant pot recipesMatar chaat / Mutter Chaat or Pigeon Peas Dip  is one of the most popular street food you’ll find in New Delhi. This quick and tasty dish is served as a chaat (snack), and also makes for a fulfilling meal when served with a side of Naan or Kulcha.

Pigeon Peas belong to the family of legumes, and carry the same great advantages of being high in fiber and protein.  They are somewhat similar in looks to Chickpeas or Garbanzo Beans.  There are two varieties of Pigeon peas,  white (more like beige), and green. I prefer the taste of the white ones as they tend to be more on the creamier side. Just like chickpeas, Pigeon Peas also have to be rehydrated before cooking. Soaking them overnight allows them to rehydrate and also fastens the cooking process. I cook these in my electrical pressure cooker, Instant Pot, and they are perfect when cooked for 15 minutes on the Bean/Chili mode.

Once they are cooked, here’s what I do: Continue Reading…

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

Punjabi Kadhi Chawal – Yogurt Curry with Rice (Instant Pot) Pot-in-Pot)

Punjabi-Kadhi-chawal, yogurt curry with rice, instant potKadhi 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.

No-Fry-pakora-10Even 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…

Condiments & Sides/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

No-Fry Onion-Spinach Pakora (Gluten-Free No-Fry Indian Fritters)

No-Fry-Pakora-Fritters, Garam Masala Kitchen

No-Fry-Pakora-Fritters, Garam Masala KitchenCrispy, 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.

No fry pakoras, fritters, garam masala kitchenSince 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!

Here’s how to make these yummy No-Fry Onion-Spinach Pakoras: Continue Reading…

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

Vegetable Puffs Recipe

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala Kitchen

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala KitchenWarm, 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.

 

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala KitchenI 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.

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala KitchenFor 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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:

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala Kitchen

Place cold pastry shell on baking sheet

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala Kitchen

Bake as per package directions

Vegetable Puffs Recipe-Garam Masala Kitchen

Remove the center caps

Veggie-Puffs-7 Garam masala Kitchen

Stuff with filling

Continue Reading…

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

Instant Pot Korean Spice Chicken (Pressure Cooker)

Instant Pot Korean-ChickenMy 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.

Instant Pot Korean-ChickenMy 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…