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indian recipes

Condiments & Sides/ Under 30 minutes/ Vegetarian

Makki Ki Roti (Seasoned Cornmeal Flatbread)

Makki ki Roti, Garam Masala KitchenMakki ki Roti is a popular punjabi flat bread made from corn flour and generally served with Sarson Ka Saag. Fine yellow cornmeal is seasoned with salt, red chili powder, carom seeds (ajwain) and coriander powder. Using warm water, the cornmeal is kneaded into a semi-soft dough. And then flatbreads are rolled out using a small portion of this dough. The earthy flavors of this roti make this a perfect accompaniment for sarson ka saag.

Variations in recipe: Just like any traditional dish, every family has their own spin on it. My family has a few of them. Just like my grandmother, my mom would always make Makki ki Roti with seasoned cornmeal, nothing else added. One of my aunts adds freshly chopped fenugreek leaves to the dough. My mother-in-law always added shredded diakon-radish to her dough in addition to freshly chopped cilantro. I loved her version the best. To me, the radish acts as a great binder for the dough, plus enhances the flavor of this Roti so much. It goes so well with the creamy Sarson ka Saag.


Cornmeal/Flour: Makki ki Roti is made with fine-ground cornmeal or cornflour. This taste and consistency is close to the Mexican corn flour that is used for making corn tortillas. This flour has a very earthy and subtle sweet taste that makes it unique, which is why substituting any other flour may not give you the same results. You can find this flour at any Indian grocery store, or on amazon. Here is a picture of one of the brands that I like.

 

Flatbread making: The process of flattening the flatbread often intimidates people. It looked impossible to me. For the longest time, I thought that was something only Moms could make, and, that it was an art that one needed to master. And then I saw my mother-in-law make them one day. Since that day, I firmly believe, that you can science your way out of recipes, and make them work! I realized that, the consistency of the dough makes it tough to roll out, because it sticks and crumbles on you. So, I cut open a large ziplock bag, place the dough in between the two sides, and, use a heavy fry pan to press down on the dough a couple of times, till it becomes flat. Then, simply peel off the flatbread from the ziplock and place it on a hot griddle for cooking. As simple as that! Watch the video above and you’ll see how easy this process is.

Sarson ka Saag, Garam Masala KitchenServing Suggestion: Makki ki Roti is traditionally served with Sarson ka SaagHere is the recipe for creamy Sarson ka Saag. If for any reason, you cannot make makki ki roti, a close substitute would be stone-ground corn tortillas from your local supermarket, or, handmade corn tortillas from your favorite taqueria. 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. Serve this combo with some Sweet and Spicy lemon Pickle and you’ll thank me!

Makki Ki Roti (Seasoned Cornmeal Flatbread)

Print Recipe
Serves: Makes 8 Rotis Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Corn Meal/Flour , sifted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Carom/Ajwain Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • 1 cup grated diakon radish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or fenugreek or spinach
  • 3 tablespoons ghee/malted butter
  • about 1 cup warm water (adjust while kneading)

Instructions

1

Make the dough In a large mixing bowl, mix in sifted cornmeal, salt, carom seeds and red chili powder. Add grated radish and cilantro and mix with a fork. Using a few tablespoons of warm water at a time, knead gently into a soft dough. Knead the melted ghee into the dough and divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll out those 8 portions into individual dough balls, about 2 inches in diameter.

2

Make Makki Rotis/Flatbreads To make rotis, cut open a gallon size ziploc bag on two ends and spread it open (like a book). Brush both inner sides with water. Wet your palms and gently flatten the dough ball with you fingers. Place the in the center of the ziplock and cover with the other side. Using a heavy bottom fry-pan, press down on the dough 2-3 times, till you have an even thickness flatbread.

3

Cook the Makki Roti Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Peel off the roti from the ziplock and place it on the hot skillet. Cook for about 30 seconds, till it turns a shade darker. Flip it. Brush a little ghee on the other side and flip after 30 seconds. Repeat the process on the other side and cook till the flatbread turns golden in color.

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/ 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/ Beginners / Weeknight/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes

Keema Matar (spicy ground meat with peas)

Keema Matar instant potKeema Matar or Keema Mutter, is an Indian dish where minced meat (Keema) is simmered with warm Indian spices (garam masala) and finished by sautéing with Green Peas (Matar). This dish, like many meat dishes in the northern part of India, is said to have Persian roots and was brought to India by the Mughals. The simplicity and ease of this dish makes it a weeknight wonder, and it’s elegance makes it an entertaining classic. It is said that during the Mughal period, the royals used to serve it on special occasions.

Keema Matar instant pot, Garam masala kitchenThis easy recipe can be customized in your style. You can add your ground meat of choice- chicken, turkey, beef or lamb. Peas can be substituted with potatoes and you have yourself another classic from the book called “Keema Aloo (Minced meat with potatoes)”. This is a semi-dry dish and can be enjoyed with Naan, pita bread or with simple basmati rice.

Keema Matar can be made in a skillet, in a sauce pan or in a pressure cooker. In this video, I have made this using my electric pressure cooker, the Instant Pot DUO. Making this on the stove-top is a breeze. Here’s how:

  1. Start by heating a skillet on medium high heat. When it’s heated (about 30 seconds to a minute), add oil and add chopped onions and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for a minute.
  2. Add salt and all dry spices and sauté for 30 seconds.
  3. Add 1/4 cup water and 3 tablespoons of tomato paste. Adding water makes it easier to stir and blend the tomato paste. Stir and sauté for 30 seconds.
  4. Add 1/2 cup water and ground meat. Adding the water with the meat helps in incorporating the spice mix with the meat. Use a wooden spoon or a tall spatula to break the meat it into smaller chunks. Mix it well.
  5. Cover the skillet. Reduce heat to “Medium” and cook for 15 minutes, stirring once in between. If using ground chicken, adjust cooking time to 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid, turn on the heat to Medium-high and add frozen or fresh peas. Sauté for 1-2 minutes , till the extra liquid evaporates and peas cook through. Turn off the heat. Stir in some fresh chopped cilantro and you’re done!

I use this recipe as a base to many fusion dishes in my home. We love making Indian Sloppy Joes with it, or wrap it in a tortilla, add some cabbage slaw and make a Keema Matar Wrap, and my kids’ favorite twist to this is Keema Quesadillas! Check out the the recipe for these delicious quesadillas here. Another great option is Keema Naan Pizza. It is simply delicious. I like to cut it up in pieces and serve it as appetizers for cocktails or big parties too!

Keema Naan Pizza, Indian ground chicken Keema pizza

Keema Naan Pizza

Keema Matar Quesadillas instant pot, Garam masala kitchen

Keema Matar Quesadillas

Keema Matar (spicy ground meat with peas)

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 25 minutes Total

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground meat (chicken, turkey, lamb, beef)
  • 3/4-1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 1 small onion, fine chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Garam Masala
  • 3 teaspoons Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 3 tablespoons Tomato Paste (I love the tubes)
  • 3/4 cup water to be added in 2 parts
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

1

Finely chop onion and ginger-garlic. Turn on the Instant Pot DUO on Sauté. Wait 30 seconds for it to warm up. Add oil and chopped onions and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for a minute.

2

Add salt and all dry spices and sauté for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup water and 3 tablespoons of tomato paste. (Adding water makes it easier to stir and blend the tomato paste.) Stir and sauté for 30 seconds.

3

Add 1/2 cup water and ground meat. Adding the water with the meat helps in incorporating the spice mix with the meat. Use a wooden spoon or a tall spatula to break the meat it into smaller chunks. Mix it well.

4

Close the lid. Set valve to Sealing. Cook on Manual for 10 minutes and then release the pressure manually (QR). If using ground chicken or turkey, reduce the cook time to 8 minutes.

5

Open the lid, turn Instant pot on Saute. Add frozen or fresh peas. Sauté for 1-2 minutes till the extra liquid evaporates and peas cook through. Turn off the IP. Stir in some fresh chopped cilantro and you're done!

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

Achaari Paneer Biryani in Instant Pot

This dish brings together the best of both worlds- Achaari Paneer and Biryani. Achaari paneer is a popular Indian vegetarian dish where paneer cubes (Indian cottage cheese), are cooked with pickling spices, giving the dish a subtle pickle-like zing. Biryani, on the other hand is flavorful rice cooked with spiced meat or vegetables. In this dish, I merged these two favorites and created Achaari Paneer Biryani!

This dish is milder than your average vegetable biryani, so if you want to bump up the spice level, increase the garam masala and by another teaspoon. This quick and easy, super delicious meal has become one of our weeknight staples! Add more vegetables to it, like carrots, beans, potato, and you have yourself a delicious Vegetable & Paneer Biryani! This biryani can be enjoyed with raita (yoghurt dip), or with a quick onion relish made by mixing together sliced onions, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and cayenne!

In this video, I’ve made this Biryani in my 3 Qt Instant Pot, but it can be made in any pressure cooker, or on the stove-top too. Check out Notes section, for stove-top details.

Achaari Paneer Biryani in Instant Pot

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 20

Ingredients

  • 1 paneer block- 10oz.
  • 1 cup basmati rice or any long grain rice, rinsed & soaked for 20 minutes in warm water
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 2 teaspoon Panchpuran (Indian five-spice blend-fennel, cumin, fenugreek, nigella, mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2-3 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, or juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • INSTANT ONION PICKLE: (Optional)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Instructions

1

Prep: Slice onion and bell pepper, cube paneer and keep aside. Rinse rice and soak in warm water for 20 minutes.

2

Turn on Instant pot on SAUTE. When hot, add oil. Add panch phoran seeds and sauté for 30 seconds. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes followed by all dry spices and stir. Add onion, bell pepper and vinegar. Stir and sauté for 1 minute. Add drained rice, paneer, water and stir well. Close lid. Vent set to SEALING. Cook on MANUAL for 6 minutes.

3

Open lid after natural pressure release (NPR), fluff rice gently with a fork. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

4

Instant Onion Pickle: Mix together all ingredients under "Instant Onion Pickle". Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Ready to serve!

Notes

STOVE TOP: In a deep sauce pan or a wide skillet, follow all instructions. Add 1.5 cups water and cook covered for 8 minutes on medium heat.

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

No-Cream Skinny Chicken Tikka Masala in Instant Pot

Chicken Tikka Masala is a super popular Indian dish, where juicy grilled pieces of chicken are served in a creamy spicy tomato gravy. This is the British cousin of the popular Punjabi dish called Butter Chicken. Rumor has it that it is among the most popular dishes in United Kingdom. It is hard to find an Indian restaurant in the world, that doesn’t have this classic on it’s menu, and if you find one that doesn’t, don’t eat there:-)

Traditionally, the chicken is marinated and grilled in a clay oven called “Tandoor”. The gravy is made with fresh tomatoes, onions, fresh ginger-garlic and lots of garam masala. The gravy is finished with cream to balance the warmth of the spices, which makes it a delicacy. This is one of my children’s favorite dish. So, to make an everyday, low calorie version of this dish, I substitute heavy cream with greek yogurt! The result is so spectacularly similar to the traditional version, I promise, you won’t miss the cream and you won’t have to hit the gym after this. Chicken Tikka Masala is best enjoyed with Zeera Rice (Cumin rice), or Butter Naan!

In this video, I have made this recipe in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot. If you marinate the meat and follow all steps, this dish will be ready in about 40-45 minutes from start to finish. You start by marinating the meat, takes 5 minutes to put it together and about 15 minutes in the fridge. In the meantime, you finish the sautéing and pureeing process of the sauce. The start the IP timer for 6 minutes, it takes about 10 minutes for it to come to pressure and then 5 minutes cooling time after it’s done, so about 21 minutes. If you’re skipping the marination process, you can make this dish in under 30 minutes, from start to finish. Simply add an extra teaspoon of Garam Masala to the sauce to compensate for the flavors in the marinade.

I have made this recipe many times in my Hawkins pressure cooker, as well as on the stove-top. Check out the Notes section for details on that.

No-Cream Skinny Chicken Tikka Masala in Instant Pot

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 30 minutes total (no marination), 45 minutes (with marination)

Ingredients

  • MARINADE for chicken:
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (fat trimmed) OR boneless skinless breast
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (3/4 inch piece of ginger + 2 cloves of garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime

  • SAUCE:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + 1 tablespoon butter/ghee (If using one of the two- 2 tbsp.)
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped/sliced
  • 1 green chili (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (3/4 inch piece of ginger + 2 cloves of garlic)
  • 4 medium size tomatoes, diced, or, one 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 12-15 cashews
  • 3 tablespoons plain full-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish

Instructions

1

Prep: Prepare the marinade for the chicken by combining ginger-garlic paste, garam masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, salt, lime juice and yogurt. Pour it in a bowl, or a gallon size ziplock bag (for easy clean-up), and toss the chicken in it, till well coated. Refrigerate for 15 minutes- overnight. If you don't have the time for that, leave it till you prep the sauce.

2

Turn IP on SAUTE. When the display reads "hot", about 30 seconds, add olive oil + butter/ghee. Add chicken, grilling one minute on each side. The chicken will be raw at this point- in this step we're sealing the marinade flavors. Remove chicken and keep aside.

3

For making sauce, add onion, tomato, green chili, ginger-garlic and sauté for one minute. Add garam masala, coriander, cumin, salt, paprika, turmeric and sauté for 30 seconds. Add 12-15 cashews and stir. Turn off IP. Transfer onion mix to a blender, cool for 5 minutes and blend into a smooth sauce.

4

Meanwhile, cut chicken into bite-size pieces.Add yogurt to the cooled sauce and blend again. Add sauce back in IP along with chicken and 1/4 cup water (skip the water if you used canned diced tomatoes). Close lid. Vent set to SEALING. MANUAL (hi-press) for 6 minutes. Open lid after natural pressure release or QR after 5 minutes. If the tomatoes were tart to begin with, you may want to add 1/2 teaspoon sugar to balance flavors (optional). Garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy Chicken Tikka Masala with Cumin Rice (Zeera Rice) or Garlic or Butter Naan!

Notes

30 minute version: If you are in a rush, you can skip Step 1 and add the diced chicken pieces straight to the sauce and pressure cook the same way. Simply add an extra teaspoon of Garam Masala to the sauce to compensate for the flavors in the marinade.

HAWKINS Pressure cooker: Follow all instructions till step 3 in the pressure cooker. In Step 4, pressure cook for 7-8 minutes on medium-high flame after the first whistle. STOVE-TOP: Follow all instructions in a deep skillet or a stock-pot. In Step 4, cook for 12-15 minutes, covered, till the chicken is cooked through.

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

Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot (Chicken and Rice)

Instant pot Chicken Biryani- Garam Masala KitchenBiryani is a rice-based dish, which is made by steam-cooking rice with marinated meat (or vegetables), with yogurt and warm spices. The process of cooking the meat and rice in steam is called Dum, where the cooking vessel is sealed with wet dough and an airtight environment is created for cooking. Biryani is typically made with long grain Basmati Rice and has many variations all over India. It is traditionally made with chicken or lamb. The vegetarian biryani is typically made with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and fresh vegetables.

There are many theories about the origin of ‘Biryani’. The popular one is that it originated in Persia and was brought to India by the Mughals. As per this this theory, Biryani is an Indian adaptation of the Persian Pilaf.

There are two basic ways of cooking a BiryaniKachhi (meaning ‘raw’) Biryani, where marinated meat is cooked with partially cooked rice. Since the rice is 50% cooked before adding to the biryani pot, no additional water is added and the juices released by the meat and marinade are enough to finish the cooking process. The result is a harmony of flavors where the rice is often multi-colored, depending on what is was closest to in the pot- the meat, the fried onions or the saffron. The other way of making biryani is Pakki (meaning ‘cooked’) Biryani,  where a meat curry if prepared first and then the rinsed rice is cooked in the curry. Between the two, the Kacchi Biryani seems to be the more popular one and is served in restaurants, world over. Traditionally, this is a slow-cooked recipe that takes a couple of hours to make. I’ve made a 30-minute version of it using my electric pressure cooker- the Instant Pot.

This Chicken and Rice Pilaf recipe uses a non-traditional ingredient, Smoked Paprika. Paprika adds a smoky peppery taste and color, which infuses in the meat when the biryani is steam-cooked. You could use Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder instead of Paprika if that’s what you have on hand.

Entertaining with this Recipe: Multiplying this recipe is easy. To double up this recipe, create alternate layers of chicken and rice, basically repeating step 3 in the order mentioned. Enjoy it with a chunky Cucumber-Mint Raita (cucumber yogurt dip- recipe in ingredients section), or a Garden salad with a squeeze of lime.

Before I got my Instant Pot, I used to cook it in my stove-top pressure cooker. Here’s how:

  1. Follow all instructions and assemble the biryani in the pressure cooker. Close the cooker and place it on medium-hi heat.
  2. As soon as the first whistle goes, reduce heat to medium. Place a flat skillet(frying pan) on the stove and place the pressure cooker on top of that. This will ensure that your chicken doesn’t burn at the bottom of your pressure cooker.Continue cooking on medium-high heat for 6 minutes.

Garam Masala Recipe, Garam masala KitchenHomemade Garam Masala: In this recipe, garam masala is used in flavoring the chicken, as well as the rice. I like to make my own garam masala blend. It takes under 15 minutes to make enough to last me a month, and the end results are so worth the little effort. If you have the time to make yours at home too, try this easy recipe for Homemade Garam Masala.

Fried Onions: This recipe uses fried onions. They are a big contributor of flavor in any Biryani. Many times, I use store-bought fried onions from Trader Joe’s, and those work great for Biryani. But, when I am preparing them at home, I use one of these two ways:

  1. Slice 2 medium onions thinly. Heat the Instant pot on SAUTE (high),  or a griddle on medium high heat, and add 2-3 tablespoons ghee or oil and add the onions. Keep stirring every 3-4 minutes till the onions are golden brown, takes around 12-14 minutes, depending on the vessel you’re using.
  2. Toss thinly sliced onions with melted ghee or oil. Pre-heat the oven to 425F and cook the onions for about 20 minutes, till they are golden brown. This is a nice hands-free way of making fried onions. I typically make mine using this method, and while the onions are cooking, I do the prep-work for Biryani.

Here are some more Biryani/Pilaf recipes that you may enjoy:

instant pot Lamb Biryani

Lamb Biryani

Quinoa vegetable Biryani garammasalakitchen.com

Quinoa Vegetable Biryani

Achaari Paneer Biryani- combining two popular dishes in one pot, garam masala kitchen

Paneer Biryani (Veg)

Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 6 mins Manual, NPR 10 or QR

Ingredients

  • MARINADE for CHICKEN:
  • 1.5 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste (1 inch ginger + 6 cloves garlic)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro & mint
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your spice level)
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • FOR PARTIALLY COOKING RICE
  • 2 cups Basmati Rice or long grain rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt (we're adding more salt than normal, since we will strain the rice before using)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon melted ghee or oil
  • BIRYANI
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter for toping
  • 8-10 whole cashews
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron soaked in 2 tablespoons warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala for topping
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro & mint
  • 1/4 cup fried onion (store bought)
  • CUCUMBER-MINT RAITA (Yogurt Dip- mix everything together and refrigerate till serving):
  • 1 english cucumber, chopped fine
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • FRIED ONIONS(If making your own)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons ghee, oil for sautéing

Instructions

1

Fried onions If making fried onions yourself, use one of the two methods described above for 'Fried Onions'. Skip this step if using store-bought.

2

Marinating Chicken Prepare marinade by mixing together yogurt, olive oil, lime juice, ginger-garlic paste, salt, spices, 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro & mint. Mix well. Add the chicken thighs and coat well with marinade. Keep aside while you partially boil the rice.

3

Partially cooking rice Rinse basmati rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have time, soak them for 15 minutes in warm water. Strain rice. You can partially cook the rice in a microwave or stove-top. Microwave: Place rice, water, salt, ghee and garam masala in an oven safe bowl, and cook for 10 minutes. Strain the rice and keep aside. If using the stove-top method, boil 4 cups of water in a sauce pan, add rice, salt, garam masala and ghee/oil. Bring back to a boil and cook rice on high-heat for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and strain the rice.

4

Turn on the Instant Pot on sauté mode. If the yogurt you used for marinating the chicken was thick, start by adding 1/4 cup water in the inner pot followed by chicken along with it's marinade. This will prevent the chicken from burning. Layer chicken evenly. Top with the remaining marinade. Layer the partially boiled rice evenly all over the chicken. Sprinkle fried onions on top followed by chopped cilantro-mint. Add cashews and sprinkle 1 teaspoon garam masala. Pour the saffron-milk evenly followed by melted butter.

5

Close the lid. Turn off sauté. Press Manual (High pressure) for 6 minutes, while the vent is set to sealing position. You can manually release the pressure (QR) right after, or, let the pressure release naturally for 5-10 minutes (NPR 5-10) and then release the remaining pressure manually. I prefer QR though. Open the lid and carefully fluff up the biryani with a fork, without breaking the rice. Remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot base, to stop the cooking process. Enjoy with a cucumber-yogurt dip!

PIN IT:

Instant pot Chicken Biryani- Garam Masala Kitchen

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

Chicken Vindaloo Keto in Instant Pot

Chicken Vindaloo is a popular Indian curry dish from the western coast. It’s a local adaptation of the Portuguese dish, carne de vinha d’alhos, which literally means, meat marinated in wine and garlic.

This is my take on this slow-cooked classic – a simplified, Instant Pot version, low-carb version. I added carrots and cauliflower to the curry towards the end to add flavor and fiber, and you have a delicious vindaloo stew, ready in under 30 minutes!

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 20

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless Chicken thighs
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 4-6 whole red dried chillies
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic crushed (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil/butter/ghee
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish
  • 1 carrot cubed
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets

Instructions

1

Soak dry chillies in 1/2 cup hot water. Keep aside for 10 minutes. Turn ON Instant pot on sauté mode. Add oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes, till soft.

2

In a blender, add sautéd onions, re-hydrated red chillies with their liquid, all dry spices, salt and sugar. Purée into a smooth paste.

3

Turn ON Instant pot. Add spice purée, 1/2 cup water, chicken thighs and mix well. Close the lid, turn the vent to sealing position. Cook on Manual (high-pressure) for 6 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally (NR).

4

Add cubed carrots and cauliflower florets in the curry. Mix well. Cook on Manual (high-pressure) for 2 minutes. Do a quick release (QR) and open the lid. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve. Enjoy!

Notes

You can substitute sugar for 1/4 cup coconut milk. Even though this recipe uses chilies as a base, the curry is not too spicy. It has the flavor from the chilies, not that much heat. If you prefer a milder flavor, de-seed the dry chilies before soaking them in water, OR, do half chilies along with 1 tablespoon paprika powder.

 

Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Low Carb/ Under 30 minutes

Chicken Seekh Kebab

Chicken Seekh Kebab: Skewered minced chicken seasoned with warm spices

Seekh (meaning skewer) kebabs are an extremely popular finger food in India. In my quick and easy take on this classic, I add shredded carrots- they keep the kebab moist and add a hint of sweetness to balance the heat of the garam masala. Dip it in a yogurt-cilantro chutney as appetizers, or roll it in a pita or lavaash for a hearty chicken kebab wrap. This crowd pleaser is ready in under 30 minutes!

Chicken Seekh Kebab

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 medium shallot finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 serrano chili (de-seeded for mild heat)
  • 1 tbsp.ginger garlic paste (or 3 cloves of garlic + 1/2 inch ginger)
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter or ghee
  • 8-10 bamboo skewers

Instructions

1

Mix all the ingredients, except butter, together in a bowl. Add melted butter/ghee and mix well. Divide the mixture evenly into 8 or 10 portions.

2

Wet your palms with water, take the meat mixture and roll it into an oblong shape by gently pressing it together.Thread the meat mix into the skewers. Place the skewers on a lined ungreased baking sheet.

3

Turn on the oven on Hi Broil mode and place the baking sheet on the top rack. Broil the kebabs 4 minutes on the first side, flip them, cook another 4 minutes till they are golden brown. Rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with the Cilantro-chili chutney as an appetizer or pair with a green salad for a low-carb meal.

Notes

Pre-soak the bamboo skewers for 10 minutes, at least 30 minutes prior to broiling or grilling time. If you forget to do so, which I do most of the time, just wrap the exposed ends with some aluminum foil and no one will know:-)