Friday, May 24, 2019

Instant Pot Spinach Dal with Rice

Spinach Dal is a flavorful blend of Spinach, yellow lentil and Indian spices. This one pot dal recipe is easy to make, delicious and healthy too! 



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Dal is an essential part of Indian cooking. There are lots of dals prepared in households, restaurants and events each day. From all the different dals, Moong Dal is one that most people have a LOVE or HATE relationship with. Some love this lentil in everything and others feel it is too bland and boring.

I belong to the clan that loves moong dal. I use it pretty often in various recipes. From the regular tadka dal to Quinoa Khichdi and from Sookhi Moong Dal to Kale Dal. The dal is not very difficult to deal with, it only needs a couple of steps to get of right each time. 

Today I am making a delicious lentil preparation with spinach in it. I like to make the recipe in the Instant Pot and it turns out awesome each time. The BONUS is that I make steamed rice using the Pot-in-Pot technique and it yields everything I need for dinner in one go! 


How to make Moong Dal perfectly each time?

While preparing moong dal for any kind of recipe there are a couple of steps that I follow. First is washing the dal 3-4 times till the water runs clear. If this is not done, the scum from cooking tends to accumulate in a layer above the dal. To prevent it, wash the dal well.

The second thing is water to dal ratio. If you need the dal to have each lentil separate, use just a little water. Like this recipe of Sookhi Moong Dal where we do not want the dal to become lumpy and disintegrate. 

If you are making something like dal tadka or this palak dal, add extra water. That way the lentils cook perfectly and have a great consistency after cooking. Also, soaking the dal for 30-40 minutes before cooking works great too. 

Adding a little ghee or oil while boiling the dal is often a way to cook the dal perfectly without the scum accumulating on top. As I have sautéed the ingredients first and then added the dal, I already have ghee in it. Else I would add some oil or ghee to my dal. 

Looking for more Moong Dal recipes? Try these: 




Making Palak Dal in the Instant Pot

This dal can be made using a regular stove top pressure cooker or in a pan. However, I like to make it in the Instant Pot as it helps make the dal as well as the rice at once. 

Sometimes I finish all the steps except pressure cooking before hand and set the timer for later. That way, I just need to add palak and seasonings to the dal once it is cooked. That saves a LOT of time for sure. 

Plus, the Instant Pot is perfect to make the rice along with the dal using a trivet and Stackable Inserts. That saves a lot of time and makes the recipe one pot! At the end of the cooking cycle, there is just the Instant Pot and a ladle to wash! 


Variations

For the recipe I have used baby spinach leaves. These do not need to be chopped a lot. But if you cannot find that, use regular spinach and chop them to smaller pieces. 

Besides, this dal can be made with any kinds of greens to make it a saag dal. Collard, Kale, Beetroot leaves or mustard greens are all perfect in this. Certain greens like mustard need some extra time to cook, so add them and cover with a glass lid to cook them for 4-5 minutes before serving.

The dal I used in this recipe is yellow petite lentil. The same recipe can be made using Green Moong Dal, Toor Dal or a mix of multiple dals. The cooking time remains the same for these, just the water content changes. 

Lastly, I added some minced garlic and red chili powder to ghee and topped the dal with that. This is for some extra garlic flavor and can be skipped. If you like the prominent taste of garlic, this is really great! 

Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Join us on Facebook: Instant Pot Recipes Community and find many more recipes there. 


Ingredients

For the Dal
Baby Spinach Leaves 2 cups
Garlic 2-3 cloves, minced
Ginger 1/2 inch piece, grated
Onion 1/2 medium, diced
Tomato 1 medium, diced
Green Chili 1, slit lengthwise
Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Asafetida a pinch
Salt 1 tsp
Lemon Juice 1/2 tsp
Ghee 1 tbsp
Water 3 cups
Cilantro to top

For the Rice
Water 1 1/2 cup
Ghee 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp


Method

Wash the lentil till the water runs clean. Drain and set aside. 

Set the Instant Pot mode to 'Sauté' and Normal. Add ghee and let it heat. Then add mustard seeds, asafetida and cumin seeds. Once the seeds pop, add garlic, green chili, ginger and curry leaves. 

Once the raw flavor vanishes, add the onions. Let the onions cook for 5-6 minutes till it is soft. Add tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder and red chili powder. Mix and let the tomatoes become soft. 

Deglaze the pot by adding 3 cups water. Add in the lentils and mix well. Place a trivet in the center of the Instant Pot. 

Wash the rice till the water runs clean. Drain and add 1 1/2 cup water, cumin seeds, cinnamon and ghee. Place the bowl on the trivet. 

Close the lid and press 'Cancel'. Press 'Pressure Cook' and set time to 6 minutes. The pressure should be set to high and the valve to sealing position. 

Let the lentils and rice cook. When the Instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Move the vent to venting and remove the remaining pressure. 

Open the Instant Pot and remove the insert with the rice. 

Set the mode to 'Sauté' and add washed spinach. Mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the instant pot and add lemon juice and cilantro. Remove and serve with rice. 

Optional: If you like the dal with LOTS of garlic, in a pan heat 1/2 tsp ghee, add 1 clove of minced garlic and 1/2 tsp red chili powder. Add that on top of the dal and serve. It gives a great garlic flavor.


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Friday, May 17, 2019

10 BEST Indian Vegetarian Recipes for your Instant Pot

If you are love Indian food, this post with 10 amazing Vegetarian recipes to make in the Instant Pot is a keeper! 


The Instant Pot has been a great option to make dinner super quick, easy and convenient. From curries and dal to rice and sides; most things are pretty easy to make in the Instant Pot. With many recipes requiring less than 30 minutes; these recipes are great for busy weeknights or meal prep for the week. 

The recipes listed below can be made very easily in the Instant Pot. Some of them require a couple of accessories to make them perfectly. If you are looking for accessories, check this post: Instant Pot MUST-HAVE Accessories

So now read on to see the recipes that can be easily made in under an hour. Click on the name of the dish to be redirected to the full recipe. 



A combination of garbanzo beans, tomatoes, onions and spices, Chole is a delicious Indian curry that can be enjoyed with puri, roti, rice or naan. The recipe includes a version of using soaked beans and one without soaking too. 



Kadhi is an Indian style yogurt and chickpea flour soup. Notorious for having to stir kadhi continuously while cooking, this recipe requires no stirring at all. Plus, steamed rice can be made along with the kadhi using pot-in-pot method. 



Lentils are great to make in the Instant Pot. This one pot version of traditional Misal, this one is super easy. Plus, a great accompaniment with freshly baked pav; Misal is a complete meal. 



A Thanksgiving favorite; this Vegetarian center piece is actually perfect for any party throughout the year. It includes preparing a whole head of cauliflower in a delicious tomato based sauce. 



A creamy preparation of spinach, Indian cottage cheese and spices; Palak Paneer is super easy to make in the Instant Pot. One pot recipe to prepare, palak paneer is a family favorite here. 



The MOST popular street food from Mumbai, this Indian version of sloppy joe is easy to make using the Instant Pot. One pot recipe made using mixed vegetables, onions, tomatoes and a special seasoning Pav Bhaji Masala, this recipe is definitely a keeper!



This recipe is a favorite among most people. A creamy curry made using onions, tomatoes, cream and Indian style cottage cheese; Paneer Butter Masala is addictive yet easy to make. Plus, it comes together really quickly in the Instant Pot. 



30 minute to make Indian style Biryani. This recipe is a popular one and we enjoy it atleast once a week. Filled with vegetables and made from basmati rice, this recipe simplifies the complex Biryani to be ready in under 30 minutes! 



A popular dish from the state of Gujarat, Undhiyu is a mix of seasonal vegetables, coconut and a cilantro based sauce. When made in the Instant Pot, this recipe comes together pretty quickly and easily with a cooking time of under 5 minutes. 



A variation of Indian style khichdi, this dish is made using quinoa, yellow lentil and vegetables. A quick dish that makes a complete meal when served with yogurt and papad. 


Friday, May 10, 2019

Mango Falooda

A popular Summer recipe from India, Mango Falooda is actually a dessert disguised as a drink. Easy to make and SUPER addictive this one comes together in under 10 minutes! 


Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

Mango season is here! It is the season that a lot of people including me and my family wait for. Mango is a popular for its versatility in various recipes and forms. From slices and pieces to puree; the fruit is used in main dishes, sides, desserts and drinks. 

Falooda is a popular Indian dessert disguised as a drink that finds its origin many decades ago as faloodeh. The original recipe of falooda was made using rose syrup, milk, sabja seeds, vermicelli, ice cream and milk. The recipe now has SEVERAL variations and flavors from saffron, khus and mango to the more trendy ones like chocolate and strawberry.

This drink is amazing through the summer months as it is super cooling for the body with sabja seeds etc. When in Mumbai, Badshah Cold Drinks in Crawford market is the go-to place for faloodas. They have a lot of new varieties of flavors and the falooda is always amazing there. 


Making Falooda at home

While this drink can be enjoyed at various restaurants, making it at home is pretty simple too. With a handful of ingredients that most Indian stores carry, a couple of ingredients from the refrigerator and under 10 minutes to make; falooda is awesome to serve at parties or just enjoy by yourself.

Made in a signature TALL glass, this drink is more like a dessert and is best enjoyed cold. Given that it has ice cream, it is impossible to enjoy it at any other temperature! 

An easy to scale recipe, it takes the same time to make a glass or a dozen. All the preparation can be done in advance, requiring just a few minutes to serve. While I make it using mangoes through summer, I also like the traditional rose version when mangoes are not available. 


Ingredients used to make Mango Falooda

As the name suggests, this one has LOTS of mangoes for sure. I made this using fresh mangoes but the same can be made using mango purée too. I used some pieces to garnish but if using purée from the store, you can top it with tutti frutti.

Milk is an important ingredient here. Using whole or 2% is totally up to you. The taste does not really change a lot by this substitution.

Takmaria or basil seeds or sabja are similar in taste, form and shape to chia seeds. They bloom in water and have many properties that cool the body. Most Indian stores carry them and so does Amazon, but if you cannot find it, use chia seeds. 

Falooda Sev is a specific product made for falooda. They are super crisp in the pack and become soft in hot water. They need to be cooked till they are light yellow in color yet firm. These can be substituted with vermicelli if you cannot find this. 

In this recipe I used vanilla ice cream. This can be substituted with mango ice cream too but I think it becomes a lot of mangoes then. And using Kulfi is a popular recipe too. 


Mango recipes to enjoy through summer

If you are mango lovers like ourselves, you would be thrilled to check these recipes out. From mains and sweets to bakes and desserts, check these posts out for mango recipes that everyone loves:

Looking for more Vegetarian recipes to try? This group has plenty of recipes from all cuisines and courses. Check it out today! 




Ingredients

Mango 2 medium
Sugar 2 tbsp
Milk 2 cups
Falooda Sev 1/4 cup

Method

In a bowl of 1 cup water add the takmaria. If you cannot find them, use chia seeds. Set aside for 30-40 minutes till they bloom. Once they bloom, drain and set aside. 

Chop the mango into pieces. Keep 1/4 cup pieces to use later. In a blender add the remaining mango pieces, 1 scoop ice cream and sugar. Blend to a smooth consistency. 

In a small pan add 1 cup water. Heat and add the falooda sev. Let them boil till the sev is soft but not squishy. Drain and set aside. 

In a tall glass add 1/4 of the mango purée mixture. Next add 1 cup milk. Top with 1/4 mango purée. Add takmaria and falooda sev. 

Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and the mango pieces. I like to add a maraschino cherry on top and serve. 

Repeat for the other glass and serve immediately. 


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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Instant Pot Masala Egg Biryani

This post is written on behalf of Almark Cage Free Hard Boiled Eggs. All opinions are mine alone. #EggcellentProtein

Instant Pot Egg Biryani; a PERFECT combination of Basmati Rice, spiced hard-boiled eggs and Indian spices. Great for dinner, this biryani is super easy to make and comes together in UNDER 30 minutes! 



The love for Indian Biryani is universal. Whether it is a takeout from an Indian restaurant or biryani made at home; most people enjoy this dish in various forms. 

Made from mixed vegetables, eggs or meat in fragrant basmati rice and seasoned with Indian spices; biryani is a perfect meal for weeknight or for weekend brunch. We enjoy biryani very often with a side of yogurt or raita.

Video Recipe






Why make Biryani in the Instant Pot?

A lot of people believe that biryani is a super complex recipe to make at home. This is not entirely false but there are a few recipes that make the task easy and yet have perfect results each time.

The Instant pot is the perfect device to make biryani using just one pot. I have made several versions of biryani in the past and today I am showing you all how to make Egg Biryani in under 30 minutes.



I make this recipe pretty often for weeknight dinner and I must admit, biryani tastes AWESOME as lunch the next day! So I tend to make a big batch each time.


The PERFECT ingredients to make a great Biryani!

As I mentioned earlier, there are a few ingredients that this dish perfect. Starting off with the right ingredients always gives perfect results. Here are the ones I used to make this delicious recipe:

  • Eggs: I like to use store bought hard boiled eggs for the recipe. I use Almark cage-free eggs from Sam's Club. You can buy them in a pack of 12 which saves me money and I always have my protein rich eggs in the refrigerator when I need them.
  • Rice: The next important ingredient is the rice. Long, fragrant basmati rice is perfect to make any biryani. The grains cook well, separate out after cooking and give great results each time. You can get yours from any Indian store. 
  • Spices: Indian cooking is incomplete without spices. Whether it is the whole spices or the ones like mustard and cumin; make sure your pantry is stocked with the best quality spices. They result in delicious results I promise! 
  • Ghee: Any form or oil, butter or ghee is generally used in all kinds of biryanis. However, ghee is the ingredient of choice due to its unique flavor. It can be substituted with oil but I would suggest using ghee in the biryani or a mix of oil and ghee.
  • Water: This might seem like a obvious ingredient but water is an important one here. If you add too much water; the biryani will be super soggy and that is not what you want. So make sure you only use the quantity required to soak the rice completely. About 1/2 cup is enough for 1 cup soaked rice. 



What to serve Biryani with?

Biryani made using boiled eggs and rice is amazing by itself. Because the eggs are spiced and so is the biryani; it is great as a one pot meal. However, serving it with a side of raita is a great idea. If you are looking for a delicious raita; try these: Beetroot RaitaStrawberry RaitaBurani Raita (Garlic Raita) or Mixed Vegetable Raita


Variations

Egg biryani uses eggs that are spiced with turmeric, red chili powder and garam masala. To make everything in one pot I first used the Instant Pot to sauté eggs and then used the same to make the biryani. If you want super crisp eggs, sauté them in a pan while the biryani cooks. 

This biryani I made is with just onion, pepper and eggs. If you want to add some vegetables or paneer, it is a great idea too. Sometimes I add some carrots, potatoes, peas and french beans. 



If you are a biryani fan you would definitely LOVE these too:
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Join us on Facebook: Instant Pot Recipes Community and check out the recipes bloggers and food lovers share here. 


Ingredients

For the Eggs
Almark Cage Free Hard Boiled Eggs 3
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala 1/4 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp



For the Biryani
Basmati Rice 1 cup
Garlic 1-2 cloves, minced
Ginger 1 tsp, grated
Onion 1/2 medium, sliced
Green Pepper 1/2 medium, sliced
Tomatoes 2 medium, diced
Bay leaves 1-2
Cloves 3-4
Black Pepper 3-4
Star Anise 1
Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala/ Biryani Masala 1 tsp
Yogurt 1/4 cup
Ghee 2 tbsp
Water 1/2 cup
Salt 1 tsp
Lemon Juice 1/2 tsp
Cilantro to top




Method

Wash and soak the rice in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes and keep ready. Cut the eggs into half lengthwise and keep them ready.

In the base of the Instant pot add oil. Set the pot to Sauté mode and select normal. Wait till the display reads 'Hot'.

Place the eggs and sprinkle red chili, turmeric powder and garam masala. Let them become golden brown on both sides. Remove and set aside.

Add ghee to the pot and add cloves, star anise and black pepper. Let them pop and add  mustard seeds, cumin seeds and bay leaves. Once the seeds pop, add garlic and ginger. Sauté for a minute. 

Add onion and pepper and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add in tomatoes and mix well. Whip the yogurt and mix it in. Cook till the tomatoes are mushy.

Once the tomatoes are cooked, add drained rice and water so that the rice is submerged in water. I added about 1/2 cup water. 

Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and biryani masala. Mix well close the lid. 

Set the mode to Pressure Cook. Set the time to 4 minutes and Pressure level to low. Close the lid and set the vent to sealing.

Once the cooking process is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 2 minutes, then do a quick release. 

Open the Instant pot, place the eggs in it and add 1 tsp ghee. Close the lid and let the flavors get absorbed by the eggs for 2-3 minutes. Open the lid, add cilantro and lime juice. Mix well and serve with Mixed vegetable raita and salad.