Mixed vegetable curry with sesame sauce – Instant Pot

Bhogichi Bhaji – A traditional Maharashtrian mixed vegetable curry with a spicy sesame sauce that celebrates the seasonal bounty of winter vegetables cooked in an earthy, aromatic sauce with coconut, peanuts and sesame seeds.

During my last Indian grocery store visit, a couple of weeks ago I found the traditional winter veggies for this recipe  already available. So I decided to give them a try in the Instant Pot and bought the baby eggplants, fresh green chickpeas in pod, the Indian green beans (vaal).  The only vegetable I was worried about over cooking was the baby eggplant. So I cut them a little bigger to adjust the cook time for the remaining ingredients and I was happy to see the veggies cooked so perfectly in the Instant Pot.

mixed vegetable curry with sesame sauce

The traditional recipe uses 5 vegetables (eggplant, green beans, carrots, tomatoes and green chickpeas) pictured below, but feel free to substitute with any hardy vegetables of your choice. The sauce is very unique with distinct warm flavored spices and makes the curry delicious.

Check out more details on the three day festival of Sankrant celebrated in India and  my original stove top recipe for this mixed vegetable curry that I posted 2 year back.

Bhogichi Bhaji (Traditional maharashtrian mix vegetable curry with sesame sauce)
Bhogichi Bhaji (Traditional maharashtrian mix vegetable curry)

Here is the quick video on how I made it. Very important to deglaze the pot a few times:

5 from 1 vote
mixed vegetable curry with sesame sauce
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Mixed Vegetable Curry with Sesame Sauce - Instant Pot
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Knows as Bhogichi Bhaji in Maharashtra this curry is made to celebrate the seasonal bounty of winter vegetables. 

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Calories: 136 kcal
Author: Archana
Ingredients
Part 1 Spice Paste:
  • 1 tbsp roasted dry coconut
  • 1 tbsp roasted peanuts
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves
Part 2:
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp cumin and coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh green chickpeas removed from the pods
  • 1 cup flat green beans cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 6 baby eggplant cut into quarters
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1.5 tsp teaspoon salt to taste
  • cilantro for garnish
Instructions
  1. Make a fine paste of all the ingredients from Part 1 with 1/4 cup of water.
  2. Set Instant Pot to sauté mode. Once the hot sign displays add the spice paste to the oil and cook for a minute stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup of water and mix well.
  3. Add turmeric, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, tomatoes and sauté. 

  4. Add remaining vegetables and salt. Add 1 cup water and mix well deglazing the pot making sure the curry paste is not stuck to the bottom of the pot. 

  5. Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual/Pressure Cook(Low) for 2 minutes followed by Quick release.
  6. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy with warm Roti topped with sesame seeds. 

Nutrition Facts
Mixed Vegetable Curry with Sesame Sauce - Instant Pot
Amount Per Serving
Calories 136 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 148mg 6%
Potassium 746mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 9g 36%
Sugars 10g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 83.3%
Vitamin C 21%
Calcium 6.5%
Iron 9.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Baingan Bharta – Instant Pot

Baingan Bharta Instant Pot? We know, sounds a bit crazy, but yes totally doable.

Baingan bharta is a classic Indian vegetarian dish cooked with smoky and flavorful roasted eggplant cooked in onions, garlic, tomatoes and chilies. Served with toasted naan or pita bread as a main course or serve it as a dip with some chips as an appetizer. This make ahead dish will be a hit either ways!

baingan bharta Instant Pot

This Baingan Bharta Instant Pot recipe is adapted from my stove-top version of baingan bharta. The traditional way to cook this recipe is to cook the whole eggplant over charcoal or direct fire. Given the mess it creates with the charred eggplant on open fire aka my indoor stove top burners, I cook this over the grill in the summers or in the oven.

Last summer, while my mom was with me, we experimented quiet a lot of dishes using eggplant. Baingan bharta was one of those. And although it is not as ‘instant’ as we would like, we were happy to see the flavors not being compromised. It tasted very similar to the oven broiled eggplant that is then cooked on stove top.

baingan bharta Instant Pot

So the most challenging part is to sauté the sliced eggplant 3-6 discs at a time until they start to get lightly charred. It tool me about 30 minutes to char and partially cook 2 medium eggplants. The process after that was super easy and since the eggplant is peeled before cooking, there is no mess trying to peel a hot charred eggplant.

You can also change up this Instant Pot Baingan Bharta  recipe by:

  • add mustard seeds instead of cumin or skip them altogther
  • add or skip green chilies
  • tomatoes and scallions for garnish are optional

4 from 2 votes
baingan bharta Instant Pot
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Baingan Bharta Instant Pot
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
Smoky and flavorful roasted eggplant dish cooked in onions, garlic and spices.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Calories: 189 kcal
Author: Archana
Ingredients
  • 1.5 LB eggplants 2 medium
  • 4 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon green chilies minced
  • 12-15 curry leaves optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 to matoes diced and divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup scallions chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
Instructions
  1. Peel and slice the eggplants, about 1/4th inch thick slices.
  2. Set Instant Pot to saute(more) mode. Add 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the Instant pot and line up a single layer of eggplant slices. Cook on each side for 2 mins or until they get lightly charred. Use a glass lid to also help the eggplant cook.
  3. Take out the partially cooked slices, add more oil and cook the remaining eggplant sliced adding oil as needed. Set aside all the eggplant slices.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the Instant Pot. Add cumin, turmeric, onions, garlic, and green chilies, mix well and cook for 2 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup of water and deglaze the pot with a spatula clearing any browned bits from the pot. Add half of the tomatoes and mix well. Add the eggplant slices and salt. Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Pressure cook for 4-6 minutes depending on the thickness of the slices and how much they are already cooked.

  5. Allow Natural pressure release or quick release after 5 mins. Open the Instant Pot and set it to sauté mode. Mash the eggplant slices with a spatula or potato masher. Add half of the remaining tomatoes, scallions and cilantro. Allow any excess water to evaporate. Garnish with remaining tomatoes, scallions and cilantro. Enjoy with toasted naan, pita bread or chips.

Nutrition Facts
Baingan Bharta Instant Pot
Amount Per Serving
Calories 189 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 596mg 25%
Potassium 464mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 6g 24%
Sugars 7g
Protein 2g 4%
Vitamin A 5.6%
Vitamin C 83.5%
Calcium 4.7%
Iron 4.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

Mom’s Chicken Curry – Instant Pot

Mom’s Chicken Curry – An unbelievably tasty chicken curry with onion-coconut based gravy and earthy, piquant flavors from the turmeric, red chili powder and garam masala!

This chicken curry is a family recipe that I grew up eating many Sundays. Our family mostly ate vegetarian meals while Sundays were special for non vegetarian meals. I might fall short of words trying to describe my mom’s chicken curry. This is not your usual restaurant curry. It is a perfectly spiced curry with earthy flavors from the spices, a comfort food and a treasured recipe packed with mom’s love! Continue reading “Mom’s Chicken Curry – Instant Pot”

Madras Lentils/Daal Makhani with Brown Rice – Instant Pot

Madras Lentils/Daal Makhani – Two names to debate on as they connect a North Indian delicacy to a south Indian dish?

A few weeks ago, while I was shopping at my local Costco, I saw a table with “Tasty Bites Madras Lentils” for tasting. I am usually good at staying away from pre-packaged foods but that day, shopping at lunch hour on empty stomach, made it harder for me to resist. Plus I LOVE South Indian food and the word “madras” really made me more curious. Anyway, I tried a few spoonfuls of it and it reminded me of the traditional north Indian “Daal Makhani”! Except I did not taste too many spices in the Costco Madras Lentils making them a bit lighter yet very flavorful. I am still curious on why they call it Madras Lentils?

 

I took a picture of the package to see the ingredients with a plan to try making them at home. The ingredients list from the packaging was – water, tomatoes, lentils(adzuki beans), onions, red kidney beans, cream, butter, oil, salt, ginger, cumin and chillies.

So here is the basic difference between Madras Lentils and my Daal Makhani recipe:
  • Daal Makhani recipe, in addition to the above ingredients from Madras lentils, also has fresh garlic, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
  • Daal Makhani has whole Black Gram Beans and Red Kidney Beans while the Costco Madras Lentils had adzuki beans and red kidney beans.

madras lentils/daal makhani

So with these basic differences in mind, I decided to try the recipe with just the ingredients from the Madras Lentils package. With the magic of the Instant Pot , the madras lentils were cooked to perfection with all the spices infused so well in about 45 minutes!!

I did sprinkle a little bit of garam masala in the end but that was more of a personal choice. I also used black gram beans instead of adzuki beans and I think whole brown lentils(masoor) will also work well in this recipe!

Here is the video for EASY Tasty Bites Madras lentils/Daal Makhani recipe with Pot in Pot Brown Rice:

Check out the recipe below that also explains how to easily adjust this recipe for a more authentic Daal Makhani recipe:

5 from 1 vote
maras lentils/daal makhani
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Madras Lentils/Daal Makhani with Brown Rice - Instant Pot
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
A creamy lentil dish cooked with whole black lentils and kidney beans, lightly spiced to enjoy as a chili or over rice!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Author: Archana Mundhe
Ingredients
Ingredients for Madras Lentils/Daal Makhani:
  • 1 cup Black Gram Beans/adzuki beans/whole brown lentils
  • 1/3 cup Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 tablespoon oil ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/2 cup light cream or coconut cream or cashew cream
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala optional for non-spicy lentils
  • cilantro for garnish
Rice:
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
Instructions:
  1. Rinse and soak black gram beans and red kidney beans in 3 cups of water. Overnight or 6-8 hours. Drain the water after soaking and keep the beans aside.
  2. Set Instant Pot to Sauté(more) mode. Once the "Hot" sign displays, add oil and cumin seeds. Add onions and mix well.
  3. Add turmeric powder, fresh ginger, tomatoes, salt, red chili powder and beans. Mix well.
  4. Add 2 cups of water.
Next 3 steps are for pot in pot rice (optional)
  1. Rinse and drain rice. Add rice, 2 cups of water and salt in a stainless steel container.
  2. Put a tall trivet ( I have a 2.75 inch one from amazon) over the beans.
  3. Place rice container on the trivet.
  4. Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 30 minutes followed by Natural Pressure Release.
  5. Open Instant Pot and set to saute mode.
  6. Carefully take out the Rice container and the trivet.
  7. Stir in cream, add garam masala (optional) and garnish with cilantro.
Recipe Notes

Notes to make a more authentic daal makhani:

1.Add 1/2 tablespoon of cumin powder, 1/2 tablespoon coriander powder, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic along with ginger and red chili powder. 2. Add 1 tablespoon kasoori methi {dried fenugreek leaves} along with fresh cilantro in the end. 3. You can also add more or less red chili powder and garam masala to adjust the spice level.

Notes to make dairy free: 1. Replace ghee with oil 2. Use coconut cream or cashew cream(blend cashews in water)

I prefer soaking the beans overnight. If you decide to cook them unsoaked, increase the cook time to 60 minutes. 

 

 

 

Ragda Patties {pattice} – Instant Pot

A popular street food in India, Ragda patties is a dish everyone must try once. A spicy white peas curry served over potato patties and dressed up with sweet and tangy chutneys, crispy sev and garnished with diced onions and fresh cilantro. Every bite is an magical explosion of “spicy, sweet and tangy” AKA “CHAT-PATA” flavors and the melt in mouth potato patties.

Unlike the kind you would get from a street cart or restaurant, this homemade version is much more healthier without compromising on the taste! Continue reading “Ragda Patties {pattice} – Instant Pot”

Black Eyed Peas Curry and Rice – Instant Pot

A favorite amongst my boys, Black Eyed Peas Curry cooked in a smooth onion, tomatoes and coconut based sauce has earthy flavors from turmeric, cumin seeds and coriander seeds and is perfectly spiced with the mild Kashmiri red chili powder and aromatic garam masala.

Piping hot black eyed peas curry with rice and some warm chapati’s is a common scene in our home. Continue reading “Black Eyed Peas Curry and Rice – Instant Pot”

Thai Red Curry Chicken – Instant Pot

The rich aromatic Thai Red Curry Chicken is on our repeat list for busy weeknights as well as relaxed weekend meals. This authentic tasting red curry gets a flavor punch from sweet and spicy colorful peppers picked from our local farmers market and is garnished with fresh Thai basil leaves.

From curries to rice dishes to noodles, we have been garnishing them all in ambundance with our homegrown aromatic Thai basil – a star ingredient! Continue reading “Thai Red Curry Chicken – Instant Pot”

Kheema Pav – Instant Pot

Kheema Pav – A popular street food in India, Kheema or Keema Pav is a robust, peppery curry dish made with minced chicken or lamb cooked with onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and earthy spices! Served with lightly toasted buns or pav laden with butter or homemade ghee on the griddle makes a blissful meal!

My mom arrived last week from India, she is visiting me after a long time and I am SO excited to have her with us. With her high spirits and energy, she has already tried her hand on the Instant Pot that she has been hearing all about. It’s been only 4 days since she has arrived and she is already loving the InstaPot! Her Pot in Pot black-eyed peas curry with rice was savored by all. She steamed the Cilantro Croquettes and the Layered Swiss Chard Spiral rolls to perfection for our fathers days feast.

From the back of the camera as I shot this video it took me back to the fond memories of my childhood. Her waiting for the oil to heat up and then adding the cumin seeds, listening for the soft sizzle sound and a whiff from gently toasting them. Adding turmeric and roasting the spices at each step, soon filled up my kitchen with wonderful aromas. The Final dish, came out just the way I remember her making Chicken Kheema for years, just that this time it was cooked in the Instant Pot.

Obviously, I need to gear up with my publishing now to keep up with her cooking. I am so excited to post her first recipe on Ministry Of Curry that I was able to record!

kheema pav

A few options she suggests are:

  1. Add 1/2 cup of green peas to the curry
  2. Peel and dice a potato and saute it with the veggies. This will give more thickness to the curry if desired.
  3. Add 1-2 spicy green chilies for a spicier keema.

I was very impatient and hungry (as usual) as I shot the video and honestly, the Keema Pav was so full of flavor and aromas that I did not miss any a thing! The gorgeous orange hue from the Kashmiri red chili powder and turmeric, the warmth from the homemade garam masala and the earthy flavors from roasted coriander powder were spot on!

Here is her easy Chicken Kheema recipe:

5 from 1 vote
kheema paav
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Kheema Pav - Instant Pot
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Kheema Pav - A popular street food in India, Kheema Pav is a tantalizing curry dish made with minced chicken or lamb cooked with onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and earthy spices!
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4
Author: Archana Mundhe
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garlic grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger grated
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 2 plum tomatoes diced
  • 2 teaspoon mild red chili powder We used Kashmiri Chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 heaping tablespoon coriander powder We lightly toasted the coriander seeds and then ground them
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped for garnish
  • To serve:
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • 8 potato rolls
Instructions
  1. Turn Instant Pot to saute(more) mode. Once the hot sign displays, add oil. Add cumin seeds and toast them for 30 seconds. Add turmeric powder and mix well. Add ginger and garlic, mix well.
  2. Add onion and sauté for a minute. Cook covered for 2 minutes with a glass lid on.
  3. Add tomatoes, red chili powder, garam masala, salt and coriander powder. Mix well.
  4. Add ground chicken and breaking it with a spatula. Add 1/2 cup of water (You can add 2 tablespoons of water for a thicker curry, but I like the extra gravy to dip the bread).
  5. Close Instant Pot with the pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 4 mins followed by Natural Pressure Release.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with potato rolls or burger buns lightly toasted with some ghee on a griddle.
  7. Notes:
  8. Add 1-2 spicy green chilies for a spicier keema.
  9. Also, when I buy the rolls or buns, I check the Sugar contents on the pack. As long as they are 2% or less the Pav does not taste overly sweet and works well with Indian curries.

 

Malai Kofta – Instant Pot

Malai Kofta – A classic north Indian dish, often served in restaurants; is made with deep-fried vegetable dumplings{koftas} that are tossed in a creamy tomato based sauce.

The traditional recipe is a 2-step process. First, the kofta/dumplings are made using assorted vegetables and cheese or ground meat, spices and then deep fried. The dumplings are then added to a creamy tomato based sauce. The result is a melt in the mouth, delectable dish that can be enjoyed with steamed rice or Indian bread. Do check out my recipe for the Chicken Kofta curry recipe.

The secret ingredient in this recipe that makes it super fast are the GRÖNSAKSBULLAR veggie meatballs from IKEA. They are made with chickpeas, green peas, kale, corn, onion, red peppers and pea protein.

malai kofta

A few weeks back a friend of mine made an incredibly delicious Punjabi Kadhi with vegetable balls in her Instant Pot. When I told her how much I loved it, she brought me a huge bag of frozen vegetable balls from IKEA! Yes, the Swedish furniture store! These veggie balls looked great and I could not wait to try them.

Last Friday, while I was debating between a take out and cooking something quick, I decided to put the vegetable balls to test in my InstaPot. I used the healthy and easy butter chicken sauce recipe, tossed the frozen veggie balls and cooked for a minute. The result was a big bowl of yumminess that my boys wiped out in no time.

If you do not have IKEA near you, I would suggest trying your local grocery store for other meatless meatball options, paneer or tofu as a substitute!

4 from 5 votes
malai kofta
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Malai Kofta - Instant Pot
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Malai Kofta - A classic north Indian dish, often served in restaurants; is made with deep fried vegetable dumplings{koftas} that are tossed in a creamy tomato based sauce.
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 5
Author: Archana Mundhe
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic minced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder or any mild red chili powder
  • 3 plum tomatoes pureed
  • 1 can coconut milk regular and not low fat
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala**
  • 2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 24 frozen vegetable balls
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Set Instant Pot on Saute(More) mode, after the 'hot' sign displays, add ghee.
  2. Add onions and 1 tsp salt. Cook until onions are soft and translucent for 2 mins (with a glass lid on to speed this process)
  3. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric and red chili powder. Mix well.
  4. Separate the coconut cream and water. Keep the coconut cream aside. Add only the watery portion of coconut milk and pureed tomatoes mixing with spices.
  5. Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing position. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 4 mins followed by quick release.
  6. Open the Instant Pot, allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Using a hand blender, carefully blend the sauce until smooth. Stir in tomato paste, garam masala, fenugreek leaves and sugar.
  7. Add frozen veggie balls. Close Instant Pot lid with sealing and cook on Manual(Hi) for 1 minute, followed by quick release.
  8. Add the coconut cream and gently stir everything together.
  9. Garnish with cilantro.
  10. Enjoy with steamed rice or parathas.

 

 

Chana Saag – Instant Pot {Chickpeas and Spinach Curry}

Chana Saag – A vegetarian, chickpeas and spinach dish cooked in onion, tomato based tangy sauce and spiced with turmeric, cumin and garam masala.

In addition to the restaurant-like Chana Masala, this chana saag dish is a staple for weeknight meals and also a good make-ahead dish for pot lucks and dinner parties. Cooked in no time and Chana Saag is packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Here is a link to my original stovetop Chana Saag adapted from a favorite blog!
Continue reading “Chana Saag – Instant Pot {Chickpeas and Spinach Curry}”