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Indian Instant Pot® Cookbook: Traditional Indian Dishes Made Easy and Fast Paperback – September 19, 2017
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From the Publisher
Indian Instant Pot Cookbook Sample Recipe: Chicken Tikka Masala
Did you know that chicken tikka masala is considered a national dish in Britain? While chicken tikka is definitely Indian, the sauce, or masala, that’s added is a British manifestation. This curry is well loved inside and outside of India, and this Instant Pot cookbook will allow you to make a wonderful version at home.
Serves 6. Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 1 to 2 hours to marinate // Manual: 10 minutes high pressure // Release: Quick // Total time: 40 minutes, plus time to marinate.
1. In the inner cooking pot of the Instant Pot, mix the onion, tomatoes, carrot, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, paprika, salt, garam masala, and cumin. Place the chicken with the yogurt on top of the sauce ingredients.
2. Lock the lid into place. Select Manual and adjust the pressure to High. Cook for 10 minutes.
3. When the cooking is complete, use the quick method to release the pressure.
4. Unlock and remove the lid. Remove the chicken and set aside. (If you like, you can brown it under the broiler or in an air fryer at this point.)
5. Using an immersion blender, purée the sauce well.
The spices for marinating and for the sauce are almost the same. To save time, you can add the marinade spices to a bowl and the sauce spices to the Instant Pot at the same time.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, paprika, salt, garam masala, cumin, and liquid smoke (if using). Add the chicken and stir to coat. Marinate the chicken for 1 to 2 hours.
Extra Ingredients To Finish the Dish:
½ cup half-and-half, heavy whipping cream, or full-fat coconut milk.
1 teaspoon Garam Masala (page 24).
¼ to ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro.
1. Add the half-and-half and the garam masala to the sauce, and stir well.
2. Remove half the sauce and freeze for later.
3. Put the chicken back into the remaining sauce. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
- ½ cup Greek Yogurt (page 34)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala (page 24)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken (breasts or thighs), cut into large pieces
About the Author
URVASHI PITRE is a successful entrepreneur and the founder of Tasseologic, a data-driven global marketing agency. She is also a passionate home cook and blogger whose life and health have been transformed by food. An Instant Pot evangelist, she loves to share how the appliance has changed the way she cooks for herself and her family, providing ingredient shortcuts and how-to advice for all types of Indian dishes to enjoy streamlined, easy, and delicious recipes for everything from weeknights to family gatherings. Connect with Urvashi online via her blog (twosleevers.com), Facebook (facebook.com/twosleever), or Pinterest (pinterest.com/twosleevers). If you make one of Urvashi’s recipes, send pictures and feedback! She answers all questions posed on twosleevers.com, as well as on her Facebook page.
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Top customer reviews
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I devoured Chapters 1 and 2 of the Kindle version of this “Indian Instant Pot Cookbook: Traditional Indian Dishes Made Easy and Fast” within hours of it being electronically delivered. And I am eagerly awaiting the hardcopy version to arrive next week!
Within just the first Chapter there is more useful and detailed -- yet easy to understand -- Instant Pot specific information than any other IP cookbook that I own. The table of contents for this book hides the true value hidden in just Chapter 1 by not listing its subsections (I’ve done so for you below!). It is rich with helpful information some of which I’ve seen before, some which I haven't -- but what I have seen is spread out across multiple cookbooks and IP websites. Never before have I see so much useful IP information assembled all in one place in such a clean, straightforward, easy-to-follow manner.
More importantly: Chapter 1 addresses the “elephant in the room” of the Instant Pot world. And that is the fact that the IP needs time to reach pressure, and it needs time to release pressure. Not only is this mentioned more than once -- it is accounted for in the recipes! Nowhere else have I _ever_ seen an IP cookbook or recipe website address this problem!
For example, the Onion Masala recipe: “Prep Time: 10 minutes; Saute: 10 minutes; Manual High Pressure: 15 minutes; Total 60 minutes”. ANY other cookbook would list this as “Prep: 20 minutes; Cook: 15 minutes; Total: 35 minutes”. But not THIS cookbook. THIS cookbook is the first one I’ve seen to actually acknowledge reality for cooking with an Instant Pot.
So right out of the gate, by the end of Chapter 1 -- the $6.99 full priced Kindle version has more than paid for itself in the value and richness of information provided. The remaining chapters of recipes are just icing on the cake! (Pure, rich, truthful, gonna-be-so-yummy icing + cake.)
One of the earlier reviewers stated that many of the recipes included in this cookbook are already available on the author’s website -- as if that was a bad thing. So what if the cookbook came second and the website came first? If it were the other-way-around (cookbook first, then website) the author would likely be praised for providing such a rich supply of free “supplemental materials” to her recipes.
Knowing that that I can go to the website and get detailed photos and descriptions, and then come to the cookbook to get just the bare-basic recipe details -- in a nice printed and bound cookbook, instead of a binder of loose-leaf printouts! -- that is a positive for me, and not at all a negative.
Cookbooks are just that most of the time: bare-basic recipe details, where we’re lucky to get a few photos here or there, and almost never get a large-format good-quality photo to go with every recipe. (And when we do get those photos, the cookbook is usually hard-cover, costs and arm and a leg, and is better suited as a coffee table book than as a kitchen resource!) The fact that I go to the website and verify -- for free -- via individual recipe photos that yes, indeed, I am on the right track is a huge plus for me. (Because I am seriously a complete hot-mess in the kitchen. I need all the help I can get. The author's website is going to be an awesome supplement to her cookbook!)
Not only am I a hot mess at trying to cook, I pretty much just flat-out hate cooking -- or at least I did until I got my first Instant Pot. Now I don’t hate cooking quite as much (but I am still pretty terrible at it). What I’ve managed to read in this cookbook so far has given me a new-found enthusiasm for trying things outside the usual mac & cheese, pot roast, chili, and chicken pasta.
The recipes I’ve managed to read through so far are all clearly written in simple easy-to-understand steps; the ingredients are all things I’ve heard of, that I can pronounce, and that I know where to find in my regular grocery store. AND, as explained in Chapter 1, almost all of them are start-to-finish in less than an hour total -- with that "total time" being the actual truth that includes come-to-pressure and release-pressure time.
Seriously, what’s _not_ to love here?
If you like Indian food, you’re going to more than earn back your investment in this cookbook with the first few things you make from it (instead of getting them at an Indian restaurant). My only problem now is which ones to start with. (I’ll come back in a few weeks after I’ve made a bunch, and update this review with a progress report.)
Here’s the full table of contents of everything you get with this cookbook (with some additions from me of section headers not included in the table of contents -- but should have been, in my opinion).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Chapter 1 : Indian Food, Easy & Fast
* The Pressure Cooking Tradition (in Indian Cooking)
* Instant (Pot) Love
* Rethinking the “Instant” in Instant Pot
* The Indian Pantry
* * Spices
* * Dals & Beans
* * Herbs
* * Packages, Bottles, Cans
* Instant Pot Terminology
* Essential Equipment
* Frequently Asked Questions
* Pressure Cooking at High Altitude
Chapter 2 : Kitchen Staples
* Garam Masala
* Punjabi Garam Masala
* Goda Masala
* Onion Masala
* Ginger-Garlic Paste
* Greek Yogurt
* Meyer Lemon Chutney
* Coconut Green Chutney
* Mango Chutney
Chapter 3 : Rice, Dals & Beans
* Basmati Pilau
* Masale Bhat (Marathi Spiced Rice)
* Khichadi (Rice with Lentils)
* Dal Fry (Lentils with Fried Onions)
* Dal Makhani (Creamy Lentils)
* Langar Ki Dal (Creamy Mixed Lentils)
* Chana Masala
* Chana Salaad (Chickpea Salad)
* Punjabi Lobia (Black-Eyed Peas with Spinach)
* Matki Chi Ussal (Spiced Sprouted Beans)
* Punjabi Rajma (Red Kidney Beans)
Chapter 4 : Vegetables & Vegetarian
* Aloo Gobi (Potatoes and Cauliflower)
* Aloo Jeera (Cumin-Spiced Potatoes)
* Beet Koshimbir (Beetroot Salad)
* Buhdh Gobi Mutter (Cabbage and Peas)
* Baingan Bharta (Eggpland with Onions)
* Coconut-Tomato Soup
* Marathi Kadhi (Tango Yogurt Soup)
* Marathi Rassa (Mixed Vegetables with Coconut)
* Sindhi Sai Bhaji (Sindhi-Style Mixed Vegetables)
* Paneer Biryani
* Palak Paneer
Chapter 5 : Fish, Chicken & Meat
* Patra Ni Macchi (Fish with Green Chutney)
* Jhinga Nariyl Wala (Shrimp Coconut Curry)
* Chicken Biryani
* Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken)
* Punjabi Chicken Curry
* Chicken Vindaloo
* Chicken Korma
* Chicken Tikka Masala
* Beef Curry
* Kheema Nariyal Saag (Ground Beef Coconut Curry & Spinach)
* Kheema Matar (Spiced Ground Beef)
* Pork Saag
* Lamb Rogan Josh (Lamb Curry)
* Lamb Dum Biryani (Lamb & Rice Casserole)
Chapter 6 : Drinks & Desserts
* Aam Panha (Raw Mango Drink)
* Gulabi Doodh (Rose Milk)
* Masala Chai (Spiced Tea)
* Caramel Custard
* Elaichi Dahi (Creamy Cardamom Yogurt)
* Mitha Dahi (Steamed Yogurt Custard)
* Gajjar Halva (Carrot with Raisins)
* Chawal Ki Kheer (Indian Rice Pudding)
* Narali Bhat (Sweet Coconut Rice)
Pressure Cooking Time Charts
* Beans and Legumes
* Fish & Seafood
About the Author
I thought I might have made a mistake when I saw the following couplet in the first proper chapter: "Do we really need all those spices and ingredients to cook Indian food? I say no." Thankfully, Dr. Pitre alleviated my fears by immediately going on to catalog the core spices of Indian cooking, addresses the importance of having a spice grinder and preferably making your own garam masala, and offers a couple of solid-looking recipes for common spice blends (which don't necessarily involve the IP). Listen to this advice re: getting into the nitty-gritty of the spices. It's advice I already took from Julie Sahni, and every time I attempt to make Indian food I am reminded that this effort is well worth it.
Overall, I am impressed with this book. It's cleanly written, well-organized, and (as already mentioned) seems to share the basic values I've seen in other well-regarded writings about Indian cooking for a Western audience. It is an entirely different approach to Indian cooking than the "classics" I've been studying; I'm sure purists would scoff at some of the occasional shortcuts taken. But a lot of Sahni's recipes from _Classic Indian Cooking_-- great as they are!-- take multiple hours to make, and often require a trip to the Indian grocery to pick up something I don't have. My exploration of that particular cookbook has been relegated to the weekends accordingly.
Meanwhile, we gave Dr. Pitre's butter chicken a go tonight (using Sahni's garam masala, roasted up from whole spices by yours truly). Aside from the garam masala (which we already had handy), we had basically everything in the recipe on our shelves or in our freezer. The makin' of took less than an hour from end to end, and we were both quite impressed with the results (although, to my surprise, my Tunisian-lineage wife requested I dial down the cayenne next time - I felt the amount of kick in the recipe was dead on, and certainly much more satisfying than what we'd find in our local Indian buffets). We're giving Dr. Pitre's IP baingan bharta recipe a go tomorrow.
Since it's sometimes proven a bit fussy for us on the stovetop, I'm also not sure I believe that paneer can be made with consistent success in an Instant Pot. I'm sure we'll probably try it anyway.
And even if you're not particularly into Indian food, some of the basic Instant Pot advice on offer is certainly worth having.
This is a very welcome and well-thought-out approach to Indian cooking for weeknight cooks, and if we have results equal to that butter chicken with the next couple of efforts from the book, I'll happily come back and bring this up to five stars.