13 Indian Dishes Made Easy in the Instant Pot
Instant Pot Dal Makhani
This warm hug from a bowl of lentils made our developer want to buy an Instant Pot in a way that no other recipe has. The stew is buttery and slightly spicy with a creamy texture that still has a little bite, thanks to the lentils. While the ghee is optional, it really does take this indulgent dish to a real over-the-top place that you definitely want to go. You can get a head start by chopping your onion, jalapeño, garlic, and ginger the night before. You can also make the toasted buttery spice mixture a day ahead and stir into the hot lentil mixture.
Instant Pot Kheer
No need to wait hours for whole milk to thicken: Using half-and-half and cooking in the Instant Pot gives this rice pudding a head start. The delicate and lovely rose syrup highlights the floral notes in the cardamom, while the tart apricots tame the richness in the pudding. If rose water isn’t your thing, try orange blossom water, which can easily be found in an international market. Don’t, however, substitute standard long-grain rice for basmati.
Instant Pot Carrot Halwa
A comfort food favorite, carrot halwa is warmly spiced, saccharine, and rich—like hug in dessert form. The Instant Pot cuts down on the long process of simmering carrots in milk, slashing the prep time, cardamom adds a distinct floral flavor, and mace brings mild, warm pepperiness.
Instant Pot Kichidi
This comforting dish is nutty, earthy, and slightly lemony. It’s often given to people who are sick and is packed with nutrients thanks to the lentils, turmeric, and ginger. For optimal flavor, use cumin seeds rather than ground cumin, and temper them in ghee or oil. In a pinch, split yellow peas also make a good base.
Instant Pot Mango Chutney
This chutney is slightly sweet and spicy, with a pleasant lingering heat from the Serrano and del arbol chiles. The sharp pops of flavor from the pickling spices mimic the flavors you’d find in North Indian cuisine. The orange juice and lime juice add some acidity and sour flavors to balance the natural sweetness in the mangoes. It’s the perfect cooling accompaniment for curries or fried samosas, but it would also work well on a cheese board.
Instant Pot Rajma Masala
Rajma Masala is a popular dish in northern India with bright and fragrant qualities. It’s very flavorful, and the depth of flavor from pairing fresh ingredients and spices creates something that’s refreshing and comforting at the same time. Adding some yogurt at the end helps thicken the dish, but the most important ingredient you can use here is good quality vegetable broth. Serve over basmati rice with ghee, extra yogurt, herbs, pickles, and lime wedges on the side.
Instant Pot Sambhar
This dish is traditionally prepared with sambar spice, a mixture of ground spices and lentils—what we have here is a simplified version that still provides lots of layers of flavor and just the right amount of heat. This recipe has a lot of steps, so give yourself plenty of time for the pressure cooker to return to pressure between cooking the lentils and the sweet potatoes. Despite the high involvement, the different elements of this recipe all come together at the same time.
Instant Pot Saffron Rice
Chickpea Tikka Masala
Instant Pot Butter Chicken
If you say you don't like Indian food, you've probably never tried butter chicken. This easy dish is mild on spice (unless you don't want it to be) and big on flavor - perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Chicken and Kaffir Lime Curry
Pressure Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
This speedy take on chicken tikka masala is one of those big flavor, low effort meals you'll want to put on repeat week after week. In fact, this recipe exemplifies just about every reason we love the pressure cooker—it's efficient, it's easy to use, and it produces huge flavor in a matter of minutes. If you do a little bit of prepping ahead (say, cooking your rice and chopping aromatics the night before or in the morning), this rich and saucy supper can be on your dinner table in 10 minutes.