Lentil mushroom spaghetti

BM #113 : Week 2, Day 3
Theme : Protein Rich Dishes

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I had a bunch of cookery books from our library before they closed for COVID 19. All the books are renewed remotely by them to avoid unnecessary fines. I had three instant pot books and I have used all three multiple times by now. One book is Vegan, which is more useful for me as I am a vegetarian. The other two books have a lot of meat based recipes, so a good amount recipes are of not any use to me. None of us are going to try every single recipe from a book anyway, so a book is great if you get one good reliable recipe that you can try again and again. I have a really big Hershey baking book with me. I have tried only two recipes from that book and those two recipes are something I have prepared many many times now. So for me, that book is a winner even though there are other 500 recipes that I am never going to prepare :-)

So back to the recipe here, this is from Stefanie Bundalo’s book Quick Prep Cooking with your Instant Pot. I have already tried couple of recipes from this book with good results. The lentil sauce is just one among those. It’s been awhile since I used the slow cook function in Instant Pot, so it was nice to try that. I made this in the morning so that we could serve the sauce for dinner with spaghetti.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 14 oz
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped finely
  • Salt, pepper and red chili flakes – to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling on top
  • Cooked spaghetti, for serving

Method:

  1. Add everything except the cheese and spaghetti to the instant pot. Mix well. Check the salt and pepper amount and adjust if needed.
  2. Keep the lid, leave steam vent open (in VENTING position). This is important. Cook for 6 hours in “Slow Cook” mode. The book mentioned 10 hours, but I stopped at 6 hours and it was still fine.
  3. Once the lentils are cooked, mix everything well and serve on top of spaghetti or noodles of your choice. Sprinkle with some more Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese if preferred.

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Eggplant curry Instant Pot

BM #109 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : DEF – Curries

This week’s blogging theme is Curries in alphabetical order and for the alphabet E, it’s an eggplant curry. My initial plan was to make an egg curry in Instant Pot, but then this one sounded better to me.

Eggplant is not exactly a favorite veggie for most people. I don’t have eggplant haters at home, but at the same time no one requests for it too. But this curry changed that a bit. I have made this couple of times already since my husband likes it a lot.

I use Instant Pot a lot and so I ended up buying couple of cookbooks for it too. One of the books I use most is Archana Mundhe’s The Essential Indian Instant Pot cookbook and this recipe is from there. Every single recipe I tried has turned out great, so it’s a good book to invest if you have an Instant Pot and cook Indian food often. A big bonus with this recipe is that it’s not only tasty, but very very easy to put together too.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggplants
  • 1 big onion, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. From the round end of the eggplants, cut a ‘plus’ and cut through until you are close to the stem. Keep the stem intact so that its not cut into four pieces. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, add the finely chopped onions, coconut, ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, chili powder, garam masala, jaggery and salt as needed. Mix everything well together.
  3. Carefully stuff the eggplants with the prepared mix. You will have some leftover, set it aside.
  4. Turn the Saute mode in Instant Pot. Heat oil. Add the stuffed eggplants. Turn off the Instant Pot and add one cup of water to the bowl. Slowly distribute the leftover filling on top of the eggplants.
  5. Switch to Manual mode for 5 minutes. You can let the pressure release naturally or do a quick release once it’s done.
  6. Once the pressure is released, if the gravy is runny, gently scrape the filling on top of the eggplant and add it to the gravy. Press the Sauté button and bring everything to a boil. This helps the gravy thicken a little bit more. Serve with rice or rotis.

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Instant Pot Ginger Almond Oatmeal

BM# 97: Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Vegan recipes

When I bought Instant Pot almost three years back, a friend of mine told me that I would stop using my regular pressure cooker shortly. I didn’t believe her for a single minute – How could I? I had been using my stove top pressure cooker for almost 2 decades! There was not a single day I wouldn’t use the cooker. So…No. No way that I would stop using my stovetop cooker.

Fast forward a couple of years and I can see what she meant. I have ditched my stovetop cooker for its electric counterpart. The only time I use the old one is when instant pot is not free.

I have resisted buying cookbooks for instant pot till now. Between the library and the internet I have never felt a need for it. But these books always have a long waiting period at the library. And now, there are so many Instant pot cookbooks just for Indian cooking that I finally felt compelled to buy one :D. I ended up buying The Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook and I absolutely love it.

This recipe is from the book and I have made it with homemade almond milk to make it vegan. Pressure cooking oats is not something I have done before and I couldn’t believe how creamy it turned out to be. I have already made this a couple of times and I love the taste and the texture a lot. Ginger, almonds, saffron and cardamom with oats…oh it’s delicious!

Recipe source: The essential Indian Instant Pot

Ingredients:

    1 cup rolled oats
    2.5 cups almond milk, divided
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    1 teaspoon grated ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
    A pinch of saffron
    A pinch of salt
    1 tablespoon each almonds and walnuts

Method:

  1. Add a cup of water inside the instant pot and keep the trivet inside.
  2. Keep 1 cup of milk aside. Add everything else into a steel bowl or Pyrex bowl that will fit inside the instant pot. Give a stir to combine everything and place the bowl in the trivet.
  3. Secure the lid and make sure it’s in sealing position. Set the timer for ten minutes in Manual setting. Let the pressure release naturally.
  4. The oatmeal would be thick. At the time of serving, add in the reserved cup of milk and mix everything. Serve with a teaspoon of maple syrup if desired.
  • Note:
    • You can use pot in pot method or cooking everything directly in instant pot.
    • If using regular cooker, about 8 whistles would do.

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