Since the electric pressure cooker has come home, I haven’t spent a single waking moment not cooking in it. Sure, this is partly because it’s a new gadget and I’m enamoured by it, but also because I understand how important it is to give concrete instructions for recipes in this much much cheaper alternative to an Instant Pot.
Starting off, I want to clarify this once and for all. This is not a sponsored post and Preethi Appliances doesn’t know me, but it is definitely the need of the hour to introduce this product into our homes for a multitude of reasons:
The first and most important thing I can think of right away is not having to stand by and count whistles for one. The electric pressure cooker does the work, finishes the cooking, keeps things warm, all while you’re busy going about other things in your life.
The many different modes on the electric pressure cooker are great for people who have just started cooking and it’s totally capable of giving you a perfect pot of fluffy white rice every single time. Not only that, but it also has function buttons such as saute, dal, khichdi, sabzi, so it kind of understands the basics really well too.
Being real with you, the stovetop pressure cooker gets hot faster than the electric pressure cooker because of the direct heat, so the stovetop cooker is good for people who have that luxury of time wherein they can open up the cooker and check how things are going, and come back later. The electric cooker would take only a few minutes more—5-7 minutes at the most— in comparison, last I checked, but the benefits of this device outweigh this little drawback.
The food stays warm in the cooker after its done cooking, waiting for you to open it up and eat. It eliminates the need for owning multiple different devices because you can do so much with just one device. You have no idea the number of times a vegetable or meat has been taken to complete mush, baby food stage in the stovetop pressure cooker due to sheer negligence, but something like this can never be the case in the electric pressure cooker, because you simply program how long you want the cooking cycle to run and forget about it.
The electric pressure cooker is bigger and bulkier than the stovetop pressure cooker, sure, but I’ve seen houses owning two cookers of different sizes in India, so this eliminates the need for both.
Coming to the price point, since it’s an electric gadget, it will be more expensive than your average good quality pressure cooker, which would be about 1500 Indian rupees give or take. This particular Instant Pot substitute is only 5000ish Indian rupees, which is pretty amazing if you ask me. The other market substitute, which is the Wonderchef is one I haven’t tried yet because I don’t wish to own two of these, though popular opinion online swayed towards Preethi, so I picked this up. Having said that, while I learn more about the capabilities of this electric pressure cooker, I want to know your views too. I’ve already cooked a ton of everyday family recipes in it and it’s done a pretty good job, so I’ll be more than willing to take your questions on Instagram or email. Shoot them my way and I’ll address them to the best of my abilities.
Since you’re here, let me tell you about today’s selection of recipes. I have FOUR! The first is a sarson ka saag and pork belly ramen. Both the pork belly and the ramen are made in the instant pot. The second is a wildly delicious chicken soup which is a spin on Andy Baraghani’s chicken soup on Healthyish. I use pink sticky rice and purple sweet potatoes here. It gives the soup a gorgeous hue, plus it tastes incredible. Number three is pulled chipotle jackfruit tacos. The taco shells are made of crisped up rotis that are folded into tacos and snugly placed in the spaces between a cupcake baking tray and transferred to a hot hot oven. Fourth and the last one is a pearl barley masala dal khichdi, the way we make at home. It’s finished with a tempering of garlic and ghee. Let’s get started.
Instant Pot Chicken Soup With Pink Sticky Rice and Purple Sweet Potatoes:
Instant Pot Chicken Soup With Pink Sticky Rice and Purple Sweet Potatoes
This chicken soup is a new favourite of ours. The pink sticky rice and the potatoes make the soup a bit thick as it cooks, and the chicken cooks till velvety shreddable. It’s the perfect bowl to snuggle up to on cold days.
Chicken bone-in thighs and leg pieces 500g, washed
Pink sticky rice 1/4 cup (I got mine from Original Indian Table)
Garlic 5 cloves, chopped
Ginger 1 thumb-sized piece, chopped into matchsticks or thinly sliced
Star anise 1
Green chilli 1, cut lengthwise and finely chopped
Purple sweet potato 1, large-sized cut into thick rounds or 2 small ones (I got mine from Offerings Farms), you can swap this for orange sweet potato
Lime 1 juiced
Soy sauce 2 tbsp
Coriander 3 tbsp, freshly chopped
Black pepper to finish
Sriracha to serve
In the pot of an electric pressure cooker, add the chicken pieces, the pink sticky rice, the garlic, ginger, star anise, green chilli and the purple sweet potato. Add a bit of salt at this stage too. Top up with 3-4 cups of water to submerge everything.
Select manual mode and set the cooker on HIGH pressure for 30 minutes, followed by a manual release. Once the cooker’s lid is open, fish the chicken pieces out and shred them with a fork. Add them back to the soup with the soy sauce, lime juice. Adjust the salt at this stage with some more soy sauce, or just use salt. Finish with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper and the chopped coriander. Serve immediately with some hot sauce like sriracha on the side.
Instant Pot Chipotle Jackfruit Tacos With Roti Shells:
Instant Pot Chipotle Jackfruit Tacos With Roti Shells
Jackfruit mimics meat by way of texture. Once cooked, it’s easy to shred and even better when the saucy mix is enveloped in a hard shell taco with cool yoghurt, onions, lime juice and lots of grated cheese.
Jackfruit 1, ask for a tender variety and definitely ask the vegetable vendor to peel it for you
Garlic 6 cloves
Green chilli 1, halved and chopped
Jalapeno chilli 1, halved
Orange juice 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil 3 tbsp
Apple cider vinegar 2 tbsp
Chipotle paste 2 tbsp (Sprig is a good option)
Kashmiri chilli powder 1 tsp
Dried oregano 1 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
Black pepper 1/2 tsp, ground
Salt 1 tsp, plus more to adjust
White onion 1, thinly sliced to serve
Coriander freshly chopped to serve
Greek yoghurt 1 small tub
Lime wedges to serve
Grated cheese to serve
Leftover rotis 6-8
To begin, cut up the jackfruit into small chunks.
In the pot of the electric pressure cooker, add the garlic, green chilli and jalapeño chilli halves and let them brown on all sides. Once they do, take them out and grind them with the help of the orange juice.
Select the saute mode on the pressure cooker and add the vegetable oil followed by the jackfruit pieces and the salt. Fry the jackfruit pieces in the oil for a few minutes.
Add the chilli paste you’ve made followed by any reserved orange juice, the apple cider vinegar, the chipotle paste, chilli powder, dried oregano, cumin, coriander and black pepper powders. Toss everything together very well for 5 minutes, then add some water to the pot, about halfway up the jackfruit. Close the cooker lid and select manual HIGH pressure. Let the pressure fill and once the countdown begins, wait five minutes before selecting Keep Warm. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before opening the lid to check if the jackfruit is done. Give it a good stir. The jackfruit should begin to collapse like pulled meat. Check for seasoning and adjust. Use the Keep warm mode to keep the jackfruit filling hot.
For the hard shell roti tacos, preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Fold the rotis into tacos and snugly place each in between the spaces of an upside-down cupcake baking tray. Transfer to the oven and let the shells bake for about 10 minutes or until the rotis have crisped up. Take them out and repeat until all the rotis have been turned into taco shells.
To assemble, take a roti shell and add some of the jackfruit mix to it, then top with a dollop of greek yoghurt, some chopped coriander, thinly sliced onions and lime wedges on the side. Serve.
Instant Pot Pearl Barley Masala Dal Khichdi:
Instant Pot Pearl Barley Masala Dal Khichdi
While rice is always a staple in khichdi, this one is like a pearl barley risotto. A super recipe if you want to incorporate alternate grains in your everyday diet.
Pearl Barley/Jau 70g, washed well
Red masoor dal/ split red lentil 1/4 cup, soaked for an hour
Yellow Moong Dal 1/4 cup, soaked for an hour
Vegetable oil 3 tbsp
Asafoetida/Hing 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves 7-8
Dried kashmiri red chillies 2-3, torn roughly
Garlic 5 cloves, smashed in and roughly chopped
Coriander freshly chopped 2 tbsp
Onion 2 medium-sized, finely chopped
Tomatoes 2 medium-sized, finely chopped
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp, plus more to sprinkle on top
Salt 1 tsp, plus more to adjust at the end
Ghee 1 tbsp
Garlic cloves 3-4 cloves
Begin by selecting the saute mode on the electric pressure cooker. Add the vegetable oil to the pot of the electric pressure cooker and once it’s hot enough, working quickly, add the asafoetida, followed by the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, dried Kashmiri chillies, garlic and the coriander. Toss everything together to activate. It should be quite fragrant and the chillies should have started crisping up.
Add the onions into the pot while still on saute mode and stir every few minutes or until the onions start to turn golden at the edges. This is when you add the tomatoes, turmeric and red chilli powder and continue to cook this mix down until the oil starts to separate from the sides, the tomatoes have broken down into this onion and garlic mushy chutney.
Now is when you add the pearl barley and the dals and give everything a good stir. Add water till it comes up a little above the surface of the dal and barley mix. Get the cooker off saute mode and manually select HIGH pressure. Cook the dal and barley khichdi for 22 minutes after pressure builds up, then press the keep warm button and let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, manually release the pressure and check on the khichdi. Run a wooden ladle through the khichdi which should break down the dal, but won't affect the barley. Adjust how thick or thin you want your khichdi at this stage and adjust the salt. In a tempering or tadka pan, add the ghee and when it’s hot, add the garlic and let it sizzle for a few seconds. Sprinkle a bit more chilli powder over the top of the khichdi and pour over the tempering. Serve immediately.
Pork Belly and Sarson Ka Saag Instant Pot Ramen:
Pork Belly and Sarson Ka Saag Instant Pot Ramen
This one’s an extensive recipe that’s made easier with the help of an electric pressure cooker that does all the heavy pork belly cooking for you. The broth cooks in the same pot, but a few elements require stovetop cooking in combination with the electric pressure cooker.
Pork belly 500g (I pick Prasuma because the fat layer isn’t as thick. Find a butcher that can take off any excess fatty layer from the belly)
Soy sauce 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp, plus extra if needed to adjust salt (preferably Kikkoman)
Ginger a thumb-sized piece of ginger cut into matchsticks or fat slices
Water 1 cup, plus 1/4 cup, plus more
Chinese cooking wine 1/2 cup
Sugar 1/4 cup
Star anise 1
Onion 1 finely chopped
Garlic 4 cloves, plus 2 cloves, chopped
Black pepper a few generous grinds
Sarson ka saag 1 bunch (approximately 400g), roughly chopped
Chinese mustard greens 1 packet, 250g, tender stems and leaves chopped
Vegetable oil 1 tbsp, plus 1/4 cup
Silken tofu 1 block, firm or extra firm (I use Mori-Nu), drained and pressed between paper towels to drain excess moisture out from the tofu. Change paper towels once or twice till you’re sure you’ve got most of the moisture out
Cornflour 1/2 cup
Udon noodles 1 packet (Yoko or Red Dragon are affordable options)
Shichimi Togarashi powder to finish
Any Asian Hot sauce to serve
Salt the pork belly using the coarse salt and set it aside for at least an hour. The longer it sits, the better it’ll be.
Begin by bringing a pot of water to the boil on the stovetop. You could do this in the Electric Pressure Cooker too by letting the water cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, then do a manual release.
Immerse the pork belly in the boiling water and let it sit in the boiling water on the Keep Warm function for 10 minutes with the lid loosely on but not locked.
After 10 minutes, take the pork belly out and drain the water. Return the pork belly to the pot of the electric cooker with 1/2 cup soy sauce, ginger, 1 cup of water, the Chinese cooking wine, sugar, star anise, onion, 4 cloves of garlic and a few grinds of black pepper. Cover with the lid and set the cooker on manual HIGH pressure to cook for 30 minutes.
Once 30 minutes are up, do a manual release and check to see if the pork is submerged in the liquid. If you feel the liquid is less at this point add the 1/4 cup of additional water. Flip it to the other side, close and lock the lid of the electric pressure cooker and continue to cook on manual, HIGH pressure for another 30 minutes. This time opt for a natural release and once the red button collapses (which is a sign that the Electric Pressure Cooker can be opened), open and check for the pork’s doneness. If you still feel it requires a bit more cooking (you can check this by inserting the tines of a fork into the pork belly), run another cycle for 15 minutes on high pressure, though I don’t think this will be necessary. Once the pork belly has cooked, take it out and let it cool slightly. Right before serving, you will be searing the pork belly on both sides in a pan.
To the liquid in the pot of the electric pressure cooker, add a generous amount of water to make the stock or soup for the ramen. Use the saute mode to bring this up to a bubble, then add the chopped sarson ka saag. Check for salt and adjust with soy sauce/salt and a bit more black pepper. Cook the saag till it’s done and taste to adjust seasoning. The broth should taste porky, sweet with a whiff of star anise and a lovely savoury depth added by the sarson ka saag. Lock the lid of the pressure cooker and select the Keep Warm mode until it is time to serve.
Quickly saute the Chinese mustard greens stems with the remaining 2 cloves of garlic in 1 tbsp vegetable oil until the stems have cooked enough to have a crisp bite to them. Add the mustard greens and add the soy sauce, stirring everything together over a high flame until the soy sauce reduces to coat the greens, which should happen quickly due to the rapid stirring. Take this off the heat.
Bring two saucepans of water to the boil simultaneously, or you could do this one after the other if you have just one saucepan. In one saucepan add quite a bit of coarse salt as this will be to cook the noodles. Let the salt dissolve before adding the udon noodles and cook as per packet instructions. Drain the noodles and set aside once they are tender and cooked through.
In the other saucepan with boiling water, lower the eggs and cook them for 6 minutes 30 seconds exactly. While the eggs are boiling prepare a bowl with ice-cold water to shock the eggs with. Once 6 minutes 30 seconds are up, working quickly, transfer the eggs to the water and let it sit in there for a few minutes till they cool down and you can peel easily.
Cut the drained tofu into rectangles. Salt the pieces and give them a toss in the cornflour. Heat a glug of vegetable oil in the frying pan for shallow-frying and once the oil shimmers, add the rectangles of tofu to crisp up. AT first, the tofu will stick, but then after a bit, you’ll be able to move it around when a golden brown crust forms on the underside. Don’t bother it too much and continue frying and flipping till you have all the slices of tofu ready to serve.
In a skillet set over medium-high heat, add the pork belly and sear it on all sides till it is crisp and golden everywhere. Transfer the pork belly to a chopping board and slice into pieces. Ladle the pork belly and sarson broth into bowls and divide the pork belly pieces between the bowls. Add a tuft of the stir-fried mustard greens on top of each bowl followed by a slice or two of the crisped up silken tofu and place a peeled soft-boiled egg in the centre. Dust the bowl with shichimi togarashi powder and serve with additional hot sauce on the side.