Browsing Tag:

weeknight dinner

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

Pulled Chicken Fajita Tacos

This is the QUICKEST Pulled Chicken or Shredded Chicken or Salsa Chicken recipe ever! Another pressure cooking wonder where dinner is on the table in under 30 minutes.

Shredded Chicken Tacos, Garam Masala KitchenI have to admit that I’m addicted to Tacos! Give it to me in any form- warm, cold, deep-fried, char-grilled, with any kind of meat, any kind of toppings and I’ll be happy. But this recipe is ever so simple that if dinner got any easier, I’d have to call it take-out. These Pulled Chicken Tacos can be easily transformed into Pulled Chicken Sliders for game day parties as well. This recipe can be made low-carb, by switching the tortillas with lettuce cups– my husband loves those.

Shredded Chicken Tacos, garam Masala KitchenThe process to put it together is super easy. In this video, I’ve made this recipe in my Instant Pot. Sauté aromatics and simply throw in your favorite jar of salsa, few spices and chicken. Fill it, shut it, forget it!! You can switch chicken for pork. Just cut it up in 1.5-2 inch pieces and increase the timer to 15 minutes. I love it when weeknight dinners come together in a jiffy, but taste like they’ve been cooking low and slow for a long time! Best part is, it tastes delicious without any condiments too, but go for your favorite toppings to take it over the top!

You can make this tasty goodness on the stove-top too. Here’s how:

  1. Prep: Slice onion and bell pepper into thin slices. Heat a sauce pan on medium high heat.  Wait 30 seconds and add oil.
  2. Add sliced onions and bell peppers and sauté for 30 seconds. Add red wine vinegar and sauté another 30 seconds. Add half of the salt & pepper, so 1/4 teaspoon each and stir well. Remove in a bowl and keep aside.
  3. Add salsa, water and spices in the sauce pan and and stir well. Add chicken breast and coat well with the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes on medium heat or till chicken is tender and pulling apart easily with two forks. Stir every 5 minutes to ensure that the chicken or sauce doesn’t stick and burn at the bottom.
  4. Remove the lid. Remove chicken in a platter. Using two forks shred the chicken. Meanwhile, add cocoa powder in the sauce and stir well.
  5. Add shredded chicken, onions and peppers in the sauce and stir well. Serve with warm tortillas of your choice and top with your favorite topping like cheese, sour cream, salsa and jalapeños.

Pulled Chicken Fajita Tacos

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 8 Minutes Active cooking time

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced (optional)
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Red Wine Vinegar
  • 12 oz. jar of salsa (I used Trader Joe's Salsa Authentica)
  • 1/4 cup water (this is optional- to be used if the salsa is very thick and chunky)
  • 2 tablespoons Mexican Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Unsweetened Cocoa(optional but highly recommended)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pack of corn tortillas (or your favorite kind)
  • Toppings of your choice

Instructions

1

Prep: Slice onion and bell pepper into thin slices.Turn Instant Pot on Sauté. Wait 30 seconds and add oil.

2

Add sliced onions and bell peppers and sauté for 30 seconds. Add red wine vinegar and sauté another 30 seconds. Add half of the salt & pepper, so 1/4 teaspoon each and stir well. Remove in a bowl and keep aside. This way they maintain their crunch. You can choose to leave them in there too, OR, skip this step entirely. Turn Off the Instant Pot.

3

Mix together salsa, water (if using) and spices. Add chicken breast and pour the salsa mix over it to coat well with the sauce. Putting the chicken first reduces the chances of the sauce sticking at the bottom. Close lid. Set valve to Sealing position. Cook on Manual (high)/Pressure Cook for 8 minutes. If your chicken breast is too thick, increase the time to 10 minutes.

4

Open the lid after naturally releasing pressure for 10 minutes (NPR 10). Remove chicken in a platter. Using two forks shred the chicken. Meanwhile, add cocoa powder in the sauce and stir well.

5

Add shredded chicken, onions and peppers in the sauce and stir well. Serve with warm tortillas of your choice and top with your favorite topping like cheese, sour cream, salsa and jalapeños.

Notes

Stove-top Pressure cooker (Hawkins/Prestige brand): Follow step 1 and 2. For step 3: Cook on medium-high heat till 1st whistle. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes. Follow remaining instructions for assembling tacos.

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

Toor Dal Tadka (Split Pigeon Peas Soup)

Toor Dal, also known as Arhar Dal or split yellow pigeon peas, is probably the most popular lentil all over India. It’s a staple for many households and is made daily in some homes. There is something about this light and flavorful lentil, that places it among the soul foods in Indian cuisine.

I love to dress it up with a tadka (tempering) made with mustard seeds, onions and curry leaves- I love the crunch and the zing this tempering adds to this creamy dal. This recipe is a combination of my mom’s, and my mother-in-law’s- best of both worlds! Have it like a soup or with steamed rice, or with a slice of toasted french bread – I bet this will become one of your go-to meals!

I have adapted this recipe for the Instant Pot here, but this can be made on a stove-top as well as a regular pressure cooker. Check out details in “notes” section.

Toor Dal Tadka (Split Pigeon Peas Soup)

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup toor dal , rinsed and soaked in warm water (split pigeon peas)
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil/ghee/butter (I use a combination)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic crushed or ground)
  • 1 small onion sliced or chopped
  • 1 green chili (optional)
  • 6-8 curry leaves (or 2 kaffir lime leaves)
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder (adjust to your spice level)
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchur (dry mango powder)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions

1

Rinse and soak lentils in hot water while you prepare tempering. Turn Instant Pot on SAUTE. Wait 30 seconds for it to heat up. Add oil, asafoetida (heeng) and mustard seeds, wait for them to sizzle. Add chopped onion, curry leaves and a green chili. Sauté for 30-45 seconds, till the onion turns pink. Remove the onion mix in a bowl.

2

Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds. Add diced tomato and sauté for another 30 seconds. Add salt and all dry spices and sauté for 30 seconds. Add strained lentils, 2 cups water and stir well. Close the lid. Set vent to SEALING. Hit MANUAL for 4 minutes. (If you prefer a mushy texture, set the time to 6-7 minutes)

3

Wait for NPR (natural pressure release). Open the lid after the pin drops. Add the tempering and the chopped cilantro and stir. Enjoy warm!

Notes

Stove top: Follow steps 1 and 2 in a sauce pan or a dutch oven. Cook the lentil for 15 minutes on Medium heat, covered. Continue with step 3. Indian Pressure Cooker: Follow steps 1 and 2. Close the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook on high-heat till 1 whistle and then reduce to medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Wait for pressure to release naturally before opening. Continue with step 3.

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

20 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup

This super easy and delicious soup is a perfect finale to any day! Chicken Tortilla Soup is a Mexican traditional soup, where the broth is simmered with tomato, onions, garlic and spices, and fried tortilla chips are sprinkled before serving.

This simple, 20 minute, one-pot version is my go-to recipe at the end of a long day- I just put all the ingredients in and turn the Instant Pot on- I call it a fill-it, shut-it, forget-it meal! You can customize it by adding your choice of vegetables, meat and your favorite toppings- sour cream, shredded cheese and of course- Tortilla chips!

This easy soup can be cooked on the stove-top too. Follow the same instructions and simmer the soup, covered for 20 minutes. I like to make variations of this soup and add vegetables to make it more hearty and healthy for my family.

20 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced through the middle (around 1 pound)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • Optional Add-ons
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • Garnish:
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions

1

Prep: Chop garlic and vegetables. Slice Chicken breast into 2. I find the chicken to be more flavorful this way.

2

Turn on Instant Pot on Sauté. Wait 30 seconds for it to heat. Add oil, onions and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute.

3

Add all the vegetables, broth, beans, corn, tomato paste, spices and chicken breasts. Stir well. Close the lid, set vent to "sealing". Cook on Manual (high pressure) for 6 minutes.

4

Let pressure release naturally, take out chicken breasts and shred them using two forks. Put them back in the soup. Add chopped cilantro, squeeze of a lime and top with your favorite toppings- cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

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

Grilled Lamb Chops

Grilled Lamb-Chops recipe

Grilled Lamb-Chops recipeLamb is the #1 choice of red meat in my house. I can cook it in any preparation like kebab, curry or chops and chances are, there won’t be any left-overs. Different preparations have different cooking times, but this recipe for Homemade Grilled Lamb Chops is one of my weeknight specialities. With a prep time of under 10 minutes and a cook time of 6 minutes, this is one of my favorite “dinner in 30” recipes. It pairs great with my lemon saffron rice/quinoa or a warm pita, with a greek salad.

Easy Peasy: I like to marinate the chops and leave them aside for 15 minutes while I prep the sides and salad. These short 15 minutes allow the chops to absorb the flavors of the marinade and stay juicy while grilling them. I always have the spices for a mediterranean marinade handy as I use it for other proteins like chicken and shrimp too. I mix in greek yogurt with dry spices, freshly grated garlic (or garlic powder), freshly grated lemon zest and a splash of lemon juice. Apply this mix liberally all over the chops. Put them on a plate or in a Gallon Size Storage Bags and let the chops hang out in the marinade for 15 minutes.

Grilled Lamb-Chops recipeCooking/Grilling the Lamb chops: These lamb chops can be grilled three ways, on an outdoor grill, in a stove-top skillet, or, under the broiler in the oven. I keep switching between these three methods based on convenience, mood and who’s grilling 🙂 We like our lamb chops almost well done, so please adjust the timing to your taste. Reduce the timing by a minute or so per side to get a medium doneness on these chops. Here are the three ways:

  • Outdoor Grill: My husband is the grill master of the house, so, if he’s cooking, outdoor grill it is. 3 minutes on each side (on a medium-high heat zone), flipping half way through, rest for 5-10 minutes and you have the most succulent lamb chops.
  • Oven: If my stove-top burners are occupied, or if my kids are cooking these, then I use the broiler for cooking the lamb chops. I place them on a lined baking sheet and pop it under the broiler, such that the meat is about 4 inches away from the heat. 3-4 minutes on each side is all they need, flipping them half way through. So, I would say roughly 7-8 minutes should give you well done chops. Be sure to rest them for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  • Stove-top: These lamb chops turn out amazing in a skillet too. Heat the skillet on medium high heat. I like to use a grill pan for these to get the gorgeous grill marks, but believe me, an omelette pan will work just as well too. 3 minutes on each side, flipping half way through, rest for 5-10 minutes and you’re done!

Continue Reading…