Sheer Khurma – Instant Pot

Sheer Khurma which literally means “milk with dates” in Persian, is a vermicelli pudding prepared during the holy month of Ramadan or on the last day which is celebrated as Eid by Muslims around the world. Traditionally made from dried dates this special dish is served as breakfast on the morning of Eid after the prayer, and throughout the day to all the visiting guests.

I have vivid memories of enjoying this irresistible dessert growing up in India; with its perfect bite from the assortment of crunchy nuts and poppy seeds, hint of sweetness from succulent dates and raisins, royal looks and the delicate aroma from saffron and homemade ghee; making Sheer Khurma such a heavenly treat!

I grew up in a small, yet close-knit town in India. My Dad has a huge social circle and many of his friends who celebrate Ramadan, fast from morning until sunset during this holy month. The last day which is Eid or as I remember calling it “Ramazan Eid” is a big celebration involving family, friends and the community. We would be invited over to celebrate and were offered many exquisite foods, one of which is this ambrosial dessert “Sheer Khurma”!

sheer khurmaHere is a nice article from national geographic on how Ramadan is celebrated Around the World.

To all our Muslim friends, we wish you “Happy Ramadan and EID MUBARAK!”. Check out some more of our easy Ramadan recipes – Chicken Biryani, Vegetable Biryani, and Masoor Khichdi.

This recipe is my mom’s version that she has enjoyed over the years. There probably are several variations on making it and here is her easy sheer khurma recipe that tastes divine:

Sheer Khurma - Instant Pot
Author: 
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • ¼ cup cashews
  • 10-12 pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • ¼ cup Almonds (I use blanched slices)
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ⅓ cup thin vermicelli, roasted
  • ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 5 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Soak Pistachios in warm water for 5 mins. Remove the skin and slice thin. Slice cashews and dates.
  2. Turn Instant Pot to Saute Mode. Once the ‘hot’ sign displays add ghee. Add almonds, pistachios, cashews, and dates. Roast for a minute.
  3. Add raisins, vermicelli, coconut and poppy seeds. Mix well.
  4. Add 3 cups of milk, sugar, and saffron. Give a quick stir and close Instant Pot with the pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 2 minutes.
  5. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Open Instant Pot and add 1-2 cups of milk and vanilla.
  6. Set Instant Pot to sauté mode and bring to gentle boil, stirring frequently. Enjoy Sheer Khurma hot or chilled.

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:

Kheema Pav - Instant Pot
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
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!
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ 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
  • ½ 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 ½ 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.

 

Shrimp Biryani – Instant Pot

Shrimp Biryani –  Spicy and delicate, full-flavored meal, made with fragrant basmati rice and shrimp! The warm flavors of fresh spices, turmeric, red chili powder and the sweetness from onions cooked in ghee make this an ultimate dish for lunch or dinner!

It is a crazy time of the year for my family and I am sure many of you are in the same boat. We have a 5th -grade and an 8th-grade graduation coming up. Several end-of-the-year activities that have made our days busier than ever. I cannot seem to keep up with my calendar.  I am very emotional that my boys are going to be moving up to bigger schools! I know they are ready but I am not for this school year to be over. I am not ready to part with their childhood and the beautiful, care-free moments I enjoyed in the elementary school. I know I have to be strong and supportive as they move on to bigger goals in their lives but I do want to hold on to these last few days. I am so NOT ready for this school year to be over.

As time is flying quickly than I would like, I want to make meals that my boys love but still do not take up a ton time and energy. I try cooking healthy, one-pot meals in my Instant Pot which has saved me a lot of time. Here is my easy Shrimp Biryani recipe, that we all love and does not require any marination. I do not add any yogurt and the recipe uses fewer ingredients than the traditional Biryani. The simplicity of this biryani makes it a very achievable meal for busy weeknights.

I am a big fan of Shrimp! I love how versatile they are and although I would love to buy fresh shrimp, it just does not work out for me. So I always keep a bag of good quality shrimp in my freezer that I can use in a jiffy.  Full of flavors, every bite of this Shrimp Biryani takes me to my happy place!
This Shrimp Biryani is gluten free and can be easily made dairy-free by replacing the ghee with any cooking oil. For me ghee is a must, I start this Biryani with ghee and then add another spoonful just before I eat!
I have cooked this same Biryani on stovetop many times and I was happy to get same results in my instant pot! So if you have enjoyed my Chicken Biryani or Vegetable and Paneer Biryani, you will LOVE this too. I can’t wait to hear back on how you like this easy recipe!

 

Shrimp Biryani - Instant Pot
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-5
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups long grain basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 8-10 black peppercorn
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tablespoon ginger, grated
  • ½ tablespoon garlic, grated
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 large potato, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1-2 teaspoon mild red chili powder (I used Kashmiri chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound extra large Shrimp (20) - thawed if using frozen
  • ½ cup cilantro for garnish
Instructions
  1. Rinse and soak the rice in 2 cups of water for 20 mins. Drain the rice after 20 mins.
  2. Turn Instant Pot to Saute(More) mode. Once the hot sign displays, add ghee. Add cumin seeds, peppercorn and bay leaves. Sauté for 30 seconds.
  3. Add onions and mix well. Cook covered with a glass lid on for 3-4 mins, until the onions are translucent and light golden in color.
  4. Add ginger, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well.
  5. Add shrimp, rice and 2 cups of water. Mix well, making sure all the rice is under the liquids.
  6. Close Instant Pot lid with the pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 6 mins followed by quick release.
  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve hot with raita and lime wedges.
 

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!

Malai Kofta - Instant Pot
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
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.
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
  • ¼ 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.

 

 

Rice Pudding – Instant Pot

Rice Pudding – Lightly sweetened, creamy goodness without any cream that is infused with saffron and cardamom! In India, Rice pudding, kheer or payasam is a quintessential dessert that is made often to celebrate big and small happy moments in life.

This comforting recipe was developed on one busy evening when I was having some friends over for dinner. My planned Mango Pannacotta did not look very promising and I was in a frenzy to make something as a backup dessert. I tossed in rice, ghee, sugar, cardamom and some milk in my InstaPot, pressed porridge button and ran to get the door as the guests arrived for dinner.

An hour later, I realized that the Instant Pot was at the keep warm mode and had depressured. I opened the IP to see creamy, fluffy rice with the beautiful aroma of saffron and cardamom. I stirred in some more milk and let it sit for few more hours on warm mode until we were ready to serve the dessert. We scooped out some warm rice pudding in the bowls. At first, it looked a bit too thick for me who is used to eating much thin Rice Kheer. As I put in the first spoonful of the pudding in my mouth, it took me back the memory lane. It reminded me of my mom’s kheer with the aroma of cardamom and also the creamy kulfi (milk ice cream) with a hint of nuts and saffron. Needless to say, the dessert was devoured by all and I was left mesmerized as to how easy it was to make.

rice pudding

I have made it many times since then, tweaking the recipe, adjusting the ingredients to now what I call as a satisfying and easy rice pudding recipe . No eggs or cream, just a few simple ingredients that make a heavenly treat!

 

Rice Pudding - Instant Pot
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6
 
Rice Pudding - A lightly sweetened creamy Indian dessert made with rice and milk that is infused with aromatic saffron and cardamom!
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • ½ cup white rice
  • 4-5 cups low-fat milk, divided
  • ½ cup sugar (more or less depending on taste)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 4 tablespoon nuts, almonds, and walnuts coarsely chopped or sliced(optional)
  • 2 tablespoon raisins (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon saffron (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)
Instructions
  1. Turn Instant Pot to Sauté mode. Add ghee and rice. Sauté for 30 seconds.
  2. Add 3 cups low-fat milk, ½ cup of water, sugar, cardamom powder, nuts, saffron, raisins, coconut, and salt.
  3. Close Instant Pot lid with the pressure valve to sealing. Press Porridge button. Allow Natural Pressure Release.
  4. Open Instant Pot, Mash the rice with the back of a spoon. Add 1-2 cups of low-fat milk (depending on the consistency you like). Add more sugar if needed.
  5. Cook on saute for 2-3 mins or keep on the warm mode until ready to be served.
  6. Serve Warm or Chilled

 

Tandoori Chicken – Instant Pot

Traditionally made in a clay oven{tandoor}, which many of us have now adapted to outdoor grills, indoor ovens and now the moistest version of all is the luscious and spicy Tandoori Chicken – Instant Pot!

Tandoori Chicken - Instant Pot

Hope you had a great Memorial day weekend! We had a FUN long weekend – we got to hang out with our cousins, played soccer tournament and ran a 5K race. Although it rained all day in the northeast and was bit chilly for the memorial day BBQ, we did not give up on our plans. We decided to bring our cookout indoors. We had chicken marinating for 8+ hours, that I cooked in my InstaPot. The result was succulent, fall off the bone, moist and flavorful tandoori chicken, that we enjoyed with some spicy mint chutney and corn pulao!

Tandoori Chicken - Instant PotTandoori Chicken, marinate uses plain yogurt, mild and bright red Kashmiri chili powder, turmeric, fresh ginger, garlic and garam masala. The longer it is marinated the more flavorful the chicken tastes. Although you can use chicken breasts or thighs to make Tandoori Chicken, my favorite way is to cook with the drumsticks.

Here is a quick video for an easy Tandoori Chicken recipe in Instant Pot:

Tandoori Chicken - Instant Pot
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Chicken marinated in spicy yogurt based sauce that is pressure cooked for moist and fall off the bone delicious Tandoori Chicken - Instant Pot.
Ingredients
  • 2 LB (8) Chicken drumsticks, skinned
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (Make It Dairy Free by using Coconut yogurt)
  • ½ tablespoon ginger, grated
  • ½ tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder (or any mild red chili powder)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1-2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon oil
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, add yogurt, ginger, garlic, red chili powder, turmeric, garam masala, salt, lemon juice and oil. Mix well.
  2. Dry skinned drumsticks with a paper towel. Put 2-3 slits on each drumstick and apply marinade all over the chicken. Allow the chicken to marinate up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.
  3. Add 1 cup water to the Instant Pot insert. Lightly grease the trivet with cooking oil and place inside the pot. Arrange the marinated Chicken pieces on the trivet.
  4. Close Instant Pot with the pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 15 mins followed by Natural Pressure Release. Open Instant Pot.
  5. Enjoy Tandoori chicken with lime wedges and chutney over steamed rice or Pulao.
  6. Note: You can broil the cooked chicken for a few mins. We enjoyed them straight out of the Instant Pot!

 

 

 

 

Vegetable and Paneer Biryani – Instant Pot

Vegetable and Paneer Biryani – A classic Indian one pot meal that is full of flavors and aromas from whole spices, garam masala and the long grain basmati rice.

I have been trying to perfect my vegetable biryani in the Instant Pot for months now. After the success of my InstaPot Chicken Biryani recipe in just a few tries, I was surprised to see how much different it was to cook vegetable Biryani in the Instant Pot. Although I was using the same rice and similar spices, it took many failed attempts (mushy rice, undercooked rice, mushy veggies etc) before I got the technique right. The key was to choose the right kind of vegetables and also more importantly cut them right so they all cook within 6 mins of pressure cooking time. Continue reading “Vegetable and Paneer Biryani – Instant Pot”

Sprouted Lentils Khichdi – Instant Pot

Sprouted Lentils Khichdi – A protein packed, healthy and wholesome dish made with sprouted whole brown or green lentils, rice, ginger, garlic and spices.

I am obsessed with lentils and beans and my collection of them in my pantry keeps growing! With their long shelf life, they come in handy for making healthy and quick protein packed meals and snacks. I often soak and sprout a few different beans and use them during busy weekdays for meals. Sprouted lentils also have more vitamins and are easily digested. With Summer almost here, I am already enjoying the cool, crunchy and healthful sprouted mung bean salad. Continue reading “Sprouted Lentils Khichdi – Instant Pot”

Chicken Biryani – Instant Pot

Chicken Biryani – The epitome of a one-pot meal made with aromatic basmati rice, tender chicken, spices and herbs that is cooked over low heat for the most delectable flavors.

Chicken Biryani is one of my most favorite dishes and definitely one of the most requested meals at my house. I say meal because you have your proteins and grains all together and you really don’t need anything else to accompany this dish. There are many variations of this recipe that originate in several states of India. My favorite, of course, is the one made by my mom that I grew up eating. I distinctly remember the day when her friend came over to teach her how to make “Dum Biryani”. They spent almost half of the day grinding fresh spices, frying batches of caramelized golden onions and then cooking the chicken marinated in yogurt and spices over long grain basmati rice. It was cooked on a low setting in a large pot with a tightly sealed lid. They actually sealed the lid with dough to make sure it was airtight! Hours passed. We all waited for the big reveal and when the lid opened our entire home was filled with a warm, deep spiced aroma. That was possibly the most heavenly biryani I have ever had. Thankfully, we had enough leftovers and it was surprising to see how much more the flavors developed the next day. Continue reading “Chicken Biryani – Instant Pot”

Mixed Lentils & Vegetables Khichdi – Instant Pot

Mixed Lentils & Vegetables Khichdi – A vegetarian, one-pot, gluten free dish with lentils, rice and vegetables, cooked in ghee, turmeric and red chili powder makes an amazingly flavorful comfort meal!

Khichdi, Khichadi or Kitchari is a nourishing porridge-like dish cooked with lentils and rice. Referred to as the Indian “comfort food”, it is often used for babies and the elderly, a healthy meal that is easy to chew, digest and SO good for the body! Continue reading “Mixed Lentils & Vegetables Khichdi – Instant Pot”