Nip your Indian food cravings with your instant pot

Nip your Indian food cravings with your instant pot

by Vanessa Ng 15 Feb 2020

The convenient instant pot makes it a breeze to cook a variety of food, including Indian food. While traditional recipes usually make mention of long cooking processes, an instant pot allows you to go hands-free to a certain extent. Here are two simple recipes for you to experiment with.


Tomato Butternut Squash Dal


  • 10ml oil (any oil)

  • 3g ginger (finely chopped)

  • 2 medium tomatoes (chopped)

  • 1g cilantro (chopped)

  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1/8 tsp asafetida

  • 1 green chili (sliced)

  • 2 dried red chilies (broken)

  • 10 to 12 curry leaves

  • 300g butternut squash (diced)

  • 145g split red lentils/masoor dal

  • 600ml water (divided)

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • Salt (to taste)

  • Lemon juice (to taste)



  1. Hit the sauté button and add the oil, mustard seeds and cumin seeds after the pot shows “hot”.

  2. Allow mustard seeds to pop before adding the asafetida, green chili, and dried red chilies.

  3. Sauté for a couple of seconds. Add the ginger and curry leaves into the pot and cook until the ginger starts turning light golden brown.

  4. Stir in squash and tomatoes. Cook for aproximately 2 minutes before mixing in the lentils.

  5. Mix in 240ml of water, turmeric powder, and salt.

  6. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, and hit the manual or pressure-cook button. On high pressure, cook for 6 more minutes. Naturally release pressure for 5 minutes and then do a quick-pressure release.

  7. Press the sauté button, and add the remaining 360ml of water into the pot together with the cilantro and lemon juice. Allow it to simmer for 2 minutes.

  8. Serve.


Chickpea Salad


  • 205g dried white chickpeas (soaked overnight)

  • 600ml water

  • 15ml extra-virgin oliveoil

  • 25mm piece ginger (chopped)

  • 2 dried red chilies (broken)

  • 32g raw peanuts

  • 22g grated coconut

  • 10 to 12 curry leaves

  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds

  • 1/4 tsp garam masala

  • 10 to 15ml lime juice

  • 7ml honey

  • Salt (to taste)



  • Cilantro

  • Pomegranate arils



  1. Drain and transfer soaked chickpeas to the inner steel pot. Pour in 600 mL of water.

  2. Close the pot and press the bean/chili button while ensuring that the pressure valve is in the sealing position. On high pressure, cook for 25 minutes before releasing the pressure naturally. Drain and set aside the cooked chickpeas.

  3. Hit the sauté button. After the pot displays “hot”, throw in the mustard seeds and oil. Allow the mustard seeds to pop.

  4. Add the chopped ginger and the broken dried red chilies into the pot. Cook until the ginger turns light golden brown, and add the peanuts.

  5. Cook until the peanuts change color. Stir in the curry leaves, stir, and add the boiled chickpeas. Mix in the garam masala, salt, and grated coconut.

  6. Pour in the lime juice, and proceed to unplug the Instant Pot. Add the honey and stir well.

  7. Garnish and serve.


Cooking Indian food need not be an intimidating task. Instead of ordering in or eating out the next time you find yourself hankering for some South Asian cuisine, break out your trusty instant pot and make some yourself!