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instant pot indian recipes

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

Chicken & Vegetable Skewers with Lemon Rice

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

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

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

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

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

Lamb Korma- Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

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

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

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

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

Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic

Lamb Dum Biryani – Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker

Lamb Biryani instant potLamb Dum Biryani is a meat and rice dish where marinated meat is cooked with fragrant Basmati rice. Meat is marinated with bold Indian spices and yoghurt. It is then assembled in the cooking pot and rice is layered on top  along with some more aromatics like fried onions and chopped herbs. The pot is then sealed to create a steam cooking environment, called Dum. The result is a masterpiece more than a dish!

Cooking biryani is an acquired skill! There are two ways Biryani is prepared: the Kachchi (raw) Biryani, and the Pakki (cooked) Biryani.

The Kachchi (raw) biryani is prepared with meat marinated with yoghurt and spices overnight and then top with layers of fragrant long-grained basmati rice and cooked on dum (steam), which is created by sealing the pot with wet dough. This is a time consuming process where time and cooking temperature needs to be monitored and adjusted a few times to avoid over or under cooking the meat. Continue Reading…

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!

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

Keema Matar (spicy minced 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.

Keema Matar (spicy minced 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/ Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes

Fish Coconut Curry

Fish Coconut Curry in Instant Pot, garam masala kitchenWhite flaky fish simmered in sweet and creamy coconut milk, seasoned with fragrant Indian spices, that’s what this recipe is all about- Fish Coconut Curry!

Growing up in the suburbs of Delhi, since access to fresh water fish was limited, it wasn’t something that was cooked a lot at home. So we ate fish mostly in restaurants. I still remember, we used to go this hole-in-the-wall kinda place that served South-Indian non-vegetarian delicacies and one of them was Coconut Fish Curry, and I just LOVED it! Super light fish that was prepared in a coconut milk broth with aromatics and tons of curry leaves and served over a mountain of steamed white rice, that was one satisfying meal!

It took me years to perfect this dish. Since it wasn’t a written down recipe and I was working purely from memory, it took a few experiments of trying out different ratios of coconut milk to fish and the right combination of spices that wouldn’t over power the delicate fish. But, couple of years ago, I finally got it to taste almost the same as that awesome fish curry! (Either that, or my taste-buds had had enough of experimentation :-))

Fish Coconut Curry in Instant Pot, garam masala kitchenThis recipe is pretty versatile. I often switch up the vegetables in this, sometimes add carrots & potatoes, or, peas & mushrooms. You can swap Tilapia for Halibut or switch the protein and add Shrimp or Chicken instead. (if adding Chicken, increase the cook time to 4-5 minutes, depending on the size of chicken pieces). You can make this dish 100% vegetarian by switching the fish with some Extra-firm Tofu. I like using regular coconut milk since I enjoy the creaminess it adds to the dish, but you can certainly use low-fat coconut milk and save a few calories- it will be less creamy, slightly thinner sauce, but will still make a great curry!

Useful Tip: If pressure cooking this recipe, after adding coconut milk, mix well and bring it to a simmer, about 30 seconds to a minute. This prevents the coconut milk from curdling under pressure.

I finish this dish with a light squeeze of lime just before serving. This is a mildly spiced curry, if you like a more spicy version of this, simply add more garam masala, chili powder and coriander (increase by 1/2-1 teaspoon each). My family enjoys it with brown Jasmine rice, we love the nutty, slightly chewy texture of the brown rice which contrasts the creaminess of the fish and the curry sauce. That being said, this can be enjoyed with Quinoa, white Rice or a slice of toasted Baguette too!

Pot-in-Pot (PIP) combination: If you want to make this awesome Fish Coconut Curry with Quinoa, you could do it Pot-in-Pot. Make the fish curry in the main pot. Put together quinoa, water, salt and oil in a smaller pot and place it on the trivet. Set the timer and follow the recipe. You’ll have a full meal, all in one pot.

In this video, I have made this curry in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO, but this can be easily made on the stove top too. Here’s how:

  1. Take a chef’s pan or saute pan, heat it on medium-high heat/flame. Wait 30 seconds and add oil and mustard seeds.
  2. When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add curry leaves and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for 30 seconds, add sliced onions and bell peppers. Sauté another 30 seconds.
  3. Add all spices, stir well and sauté another 30 seconds. Add coconut milk and mix well. Add Tilapia which is cut in to 2 inch pieces, a few cilantro sprigs and and stir well to coat fish with coconut milk. Optionally, you can add a few mint leaves on top, this gives the coconut curry a very mild and sweet minty aroma, very subtle though.
  4. Close the lid of the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes, or till the fish filets are cooked completely. Finish the dish with a light squeeze of lime and serve with brown rice/white rice or a slice of toasted baguette!

Fish Coconut Curry

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: Active cooking time: 3 minutes Manual

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Tilapia filets, cut in 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic, crushed or ground)
  • 10-15 curry leaves (or 2-3 kaffir lime leaves) (see notes about availability)
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 orange or yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chili Powder (adjust to your taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Powder
  • 1/2- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2-3 sprigs of cilantro
  • 6-8 mint leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice (to be added before serving)

Instructions

1

Prep: Cut Tilapia in 2 inch pieces. Slice onions and bell peppers. Finely chop ginger-garlic or pulse a few times in a mini-food processor.

2

Turn Instant Pot on Sauté. Wait 30 seconds and add oil and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add curry leaves and ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds. Add sliced onions and bell peppers. Sauté another 30 seconds.

3

Add all spices, stir well and sauté another 30 seconds. Add coconut milk and mix well. Bring it to a simmer, about 30 seconds to a minute, this prevents the coconut milk from curdling under pressure. Add Tilapia which is cut in to 2 inch pieces, a few cilantro sprigs and and stir well to coat fish with coconut milk. Optionally, you can add a few mint leaves on top, this gives the coconut curry a very mild and sweet minty aroma, very subtle though.

4

Close the lid of the pan and set the pressure valve to 'sealing'. Cook on Manual (high) for 2-3 minutes, depending on how thick the fish filets are. Quickly release the pressure (QR). Finish the curry with a light squeeze of lime and serve with brown rice/white rice or a slice of toasted baguette!

Notes

Curry Leaves: Commonly used in Indian cooking. You can buy them at a local Indian store. If not, they can be substituted with Kaffir lime leaves that you can find at your local supermarket like Safeway, in the asian produce section. If you cannot find those, Thai basil will be a good substitute- won't be the same flavor, but the idea of this curry is to flavor the coconut milk with some fruity herb. You'll get a tasty curry in the end.

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

Palak Paneer (Indian Cottage Cheese in Spinach Gravy)

Palak Paneer is a popular North Indian Punjabi curry made by cooking soft paneer (Indian cottage cheese), in a healthy and tasty spinach gravy. It is rich in flavor and is a staple in all Indian restaurants. This is my mom’s world famous recipe (which means it’s wicked good!).

If paneer is not your thing, it can easily be swapped out with Tofu or even chicken. If using chicken, use boneless, and cut into bite-size pieces and add it to the pot in step 1, before closing the lid. When done, wait for 5 minutes and release the pressure. Remove after pressure cooking and then add the spinach. Continue with the rest of the instructions. Enjoy it with Zeera rice (Cumin rice) or Naan. Another quick ‘n’ easy 30-minute wonder from my family to yours!

I made this recipe in my Instant Pot 6 Qt, but it can be made on a stove-top too. Check out “Stove-top” instructions in the Notes section.

Palak Paneer in Instant Pot

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 15

Ingredients

  • 10oz. or 12oz. bag of baby spinach
  • 10oz. block of paneer, cubed in 1/2 inch pieces (Costco or Indian grocery store)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 1 small onion, slices
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 green chili (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon amchur (dry mango powder) or 1 teaspoon lemon juice at the end
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon butter (optional)

Instructions

1

Turn on the Instant Pot on SAUTE. Wait 30 seconds for it to heat up. Add oil and cumin seeds. When cumin seeds begin to sizzle, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds. Add sliced onion and green chili, and sauté for a minute. Add tomatoes, sauté for 30 seconds. Add salt and dry spices and stir well. Add 1/2 cup water and stir. Close the lid. Set pressure valve to SEALING. Cook on MANUAL for 3 minutes.

2

Release the pressure immediately (QR). Turn on SAUTE. Add 1/2 bag of baby spinach and stir to wilt. add the remaining bag and cook till spinach leaves soften, around 2 minutes. Turn off IP. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the spinach mix. I prefer to use the food processor to avoid splatters of spinach.

3

Pour the spinach puree back in IP. Turn on SAUTE. Add paneer cubes and stir for 30 seconds- 1 minute, till paneer cubes become soft. Turn IP off. Stir in sugar and butter, this brings the dish to life and gives it a shine. Serve hot with zeera rice or naan. Enjoy!

Notes

STOVE-TOP: Cook this in a deep sauce pan since spinach tends to splash. Following the same instructions, cook the onions and tomato mix for 10 minutes on medium heat, covered. Follow the recipe instructions.

Chicken, Seafood & Meat/ Instant Pot Magic/ Under 30 minutes

Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot (Chicken and Rice)

Biryani is a rice-based dish, which is made by cooking rice with marinated meat (or vegetables), with yoghurt and warm spices. It’s typically made with Basmati or any long grain rice and has many variations all over India. It can be made with chicken, lamb or beef. 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 the it originated in Persia and was brought to India by the Mughals. This theory believes that Biryani is an Indian adaptation of the Persian Pilaf.

There are two basic ways of cooking a Biryani- Kachhi (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 where a meat curry if prepared first and then the rinsed and soaked 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 recipe uses a few non-traditional ingredients like Chaat masala and Smoked Paprika, the flavor boost that these two ingredients bring to the marinated meat is amazing. Chaat masala is actually a blend of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, caraway seeds (ajwain), mango powder, garam masala, black rock salt and black peppercorns. It is often used as a seasoning for salads, fruits, grilled meats and vegetables and yoghurt dips (Raita). Just a little bit of Chaat masala adds a lot of depth to the meat during the marination process in this recipe. Paprika on the other hand, adds a smoky peppery taste and color, which infuses in the meat when the biryani is steam-cooked. These two ingredients are optional, but highly recommended. I have been using this recipe for years now and whenever I entertain with it, it ends up being a crowd pleaser.

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 yoghurt 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 and cook for 6 minutes.
  3. Alternatively, after the first whistle, remove the pressure cooker, place a flat skillet(frying pan) on the stove and place the pressure cooker in that. Continue cooking on medium-high heat. This will ensure that your chicken doesn’t burn at the bottom of your pressure cooker.

Chicken Biryani in Instant Pot

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • MARINADE for CHICKEN:
  • 1-1.5 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 cup plain yoghurt or buttermilk
  • 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 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your spice level)
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 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 teaspoon garam masala for cooking rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro & mint
  • 1/4 cup fried onion (store bought)
  • 2 cups basmati or long grain rice
  • CUCUMBER-MINT RAITA (Yoghurt Dip- mix everything together and refrigerate till serving):
  • 1 english cucumber, chopped fine
  • 2 cups plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional, but highly recommended)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint

Instructions

1

Rinse and soak rice in warm water. Prepare marinade by mixing together yoghurt, 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 par-boil the rice.

2

Rinse and strain rice. In boiling water add the rice along with 1/2 teaspoon garam masala and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Cook rice on high-heat for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and strain the rice. This step can also be done in the microwave for the same time.

3

Turn on the Instant Pot on sauté mode. Layer chicken evenly. Top with the remaining marinade. Layer the par-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. (if you used a thick yoghurt for marinade, start by adding 1/4 cup water in the inner pot followed by chicken)

4

Close the lid. Turn off sauté. Press Manual (High pressure) for 6 minutes, while the vent is in sealing position. Allow for pressure to release naturally. Open the lid and carefully fluff up the biryani without breaking the rice. Enjoy as-is or with a cucumber-yoghurt dip!

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.

 

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

Chicken Vindaloo 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- how can you go wrong with that! With many variations of this curry across the Goan region, this dish is traditionally prepared with pork, but it is versatile enough to be made with lamb, goat, beef or chicken.

This is my take- a simplified, Instant Pot version of this slow-cooked classic. I use local dried asian chillies, rehydrate them and blend with onions, ginger, garlic and vinegar. A hint of sugar or coconut milk balances out the tang and spice.  Pair it with rice or toasted french bread. All on the table in under 30 minutes!

Chicken Vindaloo in Instant Pot

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 powder
  • 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

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. Turn off the Instant Pot. Cool onions for 5 minutes.

2

Transfer the onions in a blender, add re-hydrated red chillies with their liquid, ginger-garlic paste, red wine vinegar, 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). Serve with steamed rice or toasted french bread. Enjoy!

Notes

  • 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 the chilies along with 1 tablespoon paprika powder.
  • For chicken, I tried browning the meat before adding in the sauce, but didn't notice any major difference. So, I skip the browning process when making this dish with chicken. I do that when I'm making this with lamb though.