Instant Pot (IP) is an electric pressure cooker which has become very popular in my house. Like most Indians, I like to use the pressure cooker for cooking lentils etc. as it’s quicker. However, the normal pressure cooker is noisy and makes the kitchen very steamy in the winter even when using the extractor fan. With the IP, cooking is quicker than a normal pressure cooker and it doesn’t create the steam and noises/whistles like the ordinary pressure cooker.
Although familiar with pressure cooking, I am having to relearn some things such as the timings and the addition of liquids to a recipe. For some recipes, I was worried about the temperature of the IP and food sticking to the bottom so I used the pot in pot (PIP) method. Again, this method of cooking is very popular in India and Kenya where ladies used stackable saucepans which would have dahl in one, rice in another and a vegetable curry in another. These are seasoned, spiced and stacked inside a tall vessel with water at the bottom. The top is sealed tight and put on to a stove to cook. In Kenya where I grew up -years ago – the vessel used to be put on top of a charcoal burning stove called Jiko. The hot steam and cooking with the lid closed used to cook the food within a couple of hours or less. Usually the charcoal finished burning and the food would be ready to garnish or temper and then served with hot chapatis, salad, cold lassi and papads. As years went by, the jiko became replaced by gas or electric cookers and the vessels got replaced by tall pressure cookers. Today lots of women (especially in Indian households) use this style of cooking. Although today I didn’t cook so many dishes together in the IP, I did use it to make savoury rice with lentils called khichedi.
The recipe for this toor dall khichedi – if you don’t have an IP is here.
For the PIP in IP the recipe is as very similar except that the water measurement has to be correct and no soaking is required.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 1 cup of a equal mixture of basmati rice and Toor/Tuver Dall (pigeon peas dall)
- 2 small green chilies – chopped lengthwise
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 6-7 curry leaves
- 2 tbls sunflower oil
- 1 tbls ghee or butter (vegans can use olive oil or any plant based substitute)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2-3 cloves
1. Mix the rice and toor dall and wash it well in warm water and rinse it using a sieve.
2. Heat the oil in a saucepan after checking that it fits inside the IP. Add the cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon and allow them to pop and get a bit dark in colour.
3. Add the khichedi mixture to the oil. Add the spices and green chilies as well.
4. Add the ghee or butter to the rice, mix well and add 2 cups of hot water and stir again. If you do not have cup measurements – just remember that what ever amount of khichedi mixture you use, measure it using a cereal bowl or mug etc. and use twice the amount of water.
5. Keep the trivet at the bottom of the IP and add enough hot water to cover the trivet. Using hot water allows the pressure to build faster in the IP. Keep the saucepan with the khichedi mixture inside the IP on top of the trivet. Put a lid on the saucepan and if you have space on the lid, – you can use the space to steam your vegetables. I kept two potatoes on top of my saucepan lid.
6. Switch on the IP to manual and set it for 10 minutes to cook under pressure. Remember to check that the valve is turned to pressure.
7. After 10 minutes, allow the pressure cooker to release its steam normally which could take 10-12 minutes. Check that the pressure has been released and open the IP and the khichedi (and potatoes in my case) will be cooked perfectly.
8. This is the gadget I use to remove the hot saucepan from the stove or the IP. It’d called sansi or pakkad in India. It looks very similar to pincers. There are lots of modern versions of this available in Indian stores. Mine is over 40 years old when it cost me 70 pence when I bought it!! It has served me well over the years.
9. Serve the khichedi with any curry or kadhi .
This post is not sponsored or affiliated to IP. I am sharing the recipe using IP for my readers who are interested. If any of you have any easy IP recipes, do share the link in the comments below.
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