Instant Pot Okra rice – Kids Lunch Box /Dinner . Preparation time – 15 minutes and zero monitoring

I always pack finger foods in Kids Lunch Box and sometimes One pot meal with rice. For today’s Lunch Box I packed Okra rice. Try over the weekend and pack for Kids Lunch Box with plain curd. What I like about this rice recipe , it taste good at room temperature. While rice is cooking in Instant pot I quickly pan fried okra. Season okra with salt once you finish cooking , so it won’t be slimy . You can even serve for Dinner. You can squeeze Lime juice or add Puligore powder. Just add the amount of water i mentioned. So rice will be cooked perfectly and soft. As there are no vegetables we need that amount of water for perfectly cooked rice. Try this Simple recipe with every day ingredients from your pantry . 



1. Basmati Rice – 1 cup ( soak for 30 minutes)

2. Water – 2 cups 

3. Tamarind paste – 1/4 th cup or Tamarind powder ( puligore powder)  – 3 tbsp or Juice of Lime – One 

4. Curry leaves – 10 ( finely chopped ) , Salt – accordingly  and Turmeric- 1/4 th tbsp 

5. Seasoning – Urad dal – 2 tbsp , Cumin and Mustard seeds – 1/2 tbsp each , Red chillies – 3 , Green chillies – 4 and handful of roasted Peanuts and cashews

6. Oi – 3 tbsp

7. Okra-  30 ( chopped) 


1. Turn Instant pot on Saute mode . When warm add Oil followed by Urad dal , cumin and mustard seeds , Red chillies , Green chillies , Turmeric and Curry leaves  . Mix well .

2. Add Peanuts and Cashews . 

3 . Add washed and soaked rice , water and salt . Taste water for salt and add accordingly . NOTE : If you want to add tamarind powder ( Puligore powder ) add once you finish cooking rice . 

4. Cancel saute . Rice mode . NPR ( 10 minutes) or QPR after 5 minutes  . Take out the inner pot. Fluff the rice. Add tamarind powder or Tamarind paste or Squeeze Juice of Lime  . Taste and add accordingly .

5. While rice is cooking in Instant pot PAN FRY Okra. Season with salt once you finish cooking Okra , so it won’t be slimy .

5. Pack with Plain curd .


Instant Pot Tomato Masala Curry – Side for roti

Do you like tomato curry without cream or nuts paste to eat with your Phulka or Paratha.  I use to prepare on stove top which needs monitoring  in between . Try this Instant pot tomato curry  when you are bored of eating vegetables  or don’t have time to chop vegetables . Prepared with mild spices.  15 minutes chopping time and for gathering ingredients. Will be ready by the time you prepare Phulka or Plain Paratha . You can taste the tomato .  Kids are going to like this combination with Potato or Pan fried Soya chunks or Mixed vegetables or Pan fried Paneer or Cooked beans of your choice. Serve warm .



1. Tomatoes – 6 ( finely chopped) 

2. Onion – One ( finely chopped)

3. Crushed garlic – 6 and Ginger paste – 1/2 tbsp

4. Water – 1/2 cup ( measuring cup )

5. Seasoning – Oil – 3 tbsp , Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp , Mustard seeds – 1/2 tbsp , Green chillies – 4 and Curry leaves

6. Red chilli powder- 1/2 tbsp  , coriander powder- 1/2 tbsp  and Turmeric – 1/4 th tbsp

7. SPICE POWDER TO ADD AT THE END ( Add thickness to the gravy) : Grind handful of coconut with 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds, 1/2 tbsp roasted cumin seeds ,3 cloves , 3 cardamom ad small piece of cinnamon stick . ( Grind while the curry is cooking and add once you open the lid or Prepare in your free time and refrigerate) 

8. Potatoes – 8 medium or Soya granules ( soaked and pan fried) or  Pan fried Paneer  or cooked Beans ( Chickpeas or Blackeyed Beans , Red Kidney Beans , Navy Beans etc)

9. Finely chopped coriander and Mint leaves .


1. Turn Instant pot on saute mode. When warm add oil . Followed by mustard seeds , Cumin seeds , Green chillies and Curry leaves. Add finely chopped onions . Season with salt and turmeric. cover with glass lid . Fry till onions are ligh pink . 

2. Add Crushed garlic and ginger. Fry for couple of minutes.

3. Add finely chopped tomatoes and cook for couple of minutes. Add red chilli powder and coriander powder. Mix well . Add water. Taste for salt and add accordingly .

4. Add peeled potato . or Pan fried soya granules or Paneer once finish cooking . or cooked beans of your choice.

5. Close lid . Manual 3 minutes . NPR . 

6. Open lid and add spice powder, finely chopped coriander and Mint leaves  . Serve with Phulka or Plain paratha. 


Instant pot Instant Vegetable Drumstick sambar – without Dal – LUNCH /DINNER/APPETIZERS

If you cook vegetable sambar regularly and have no time to soak dal or your dal is not cooking properly in Instant pot you can try this Instant sambar . I bought fresh drum sticks from Indian store and want to cook for Lunch and no time to soak dal . It turned out tasty as if dal is added. You don’t find any difference . Left overs taste good. What you like about vegetable sambar , you can eat with any grains or with breakfast like Idli ,, Dosa or with appetizers like vada, pakora etc. Check my recipe for the amount of water , spices to add and vegetables. I can say one of the easiest Vegetable sambar recipe in 3 easy simple steps.

RECIPE for 4 


1. VEGETABLES : DRUMSTICKS – 5 ( cut into 3 pieces) , Onion – medium ( thinly sliced) , Tomatoes – 3 ( finely chopped ) , Carrots , Potatoes – 4 ( sliced) and Lauki ( green squash ) or Zucchini – Medium

2. TADKA ( SEASONING) to add at the end – Oil – 2 tbsp , ghee – 1 or 2 tbsp , Black split Urad dal – 2 tbsp , Cumin seeds and mustard seeds – 1/2 tbsp each , Hing – Pinch , Red chillies – 4 , Curry leaves – 10 and

3. Crushed garlic – 6 , Ginger – 1 tbsp

4. WATER –  In a bowl add 2 measuring cups water . To this water add  2tbsp chick pes flour and mix without lumps , salt , turmeric powder – 1/4 th tbsp , red chilli powder – 1/2 tbsp , Sambar powder – 1 tbsp or more ( store bought or Home made) , tamarind pulp – 3 tbsp and Jaggery ( Brown sugar) – 2 tbsp or according to your taste .

5. Finely chopped coriander to add at the end .


1. To the inner pot add all the vegetables  .

2. Then add the spiced water prepared in the bowl . Mix well . Taste for salt, spices , sweetness and sourness . Add accordingly .

3. Close the lid . Manual 5 minutes. NPR ( after 10 minutes ) . 

4. In a small pan add oil . When warm add split black urad dal , red chillies , mustard seeds, Cumin seeds, Hing , curry leaves. Add this seasoning to the Drumstick sambar. Mix well .

5, Add finely chopped coriander and ghee . 

                SERVE with grains of your choice or with Idli , Dosa , vada or with any appetizers. 


Instant pot Masoor Dal ( Green lentils) Cabbage Biryani – One pot meal for Lunch /Dinner with raita ( Vegetables in Yogurt ) and salad . WEEKEND LUNCH 

Recipe for 3 to 4 with Raita, Spinach Pakora , Kheer  and Salad. WEEKEND LUNCH 

If you are like me who doesn’t want to spend much time in Kitchen , try this One pot meal with Masoor Dal ( Green Lentils) , Cabbage and vegetables. I prepare this One pot meal for quick Dinner or for Weekend Lunch before going out or when I take Kids to Library activities. Just saute for 2 minutes and add all the ingredients. Done in no time without any water left and No burnt bottom. It stays warm till we come back from activities and ready to eat Lunch . No need to transfer to any container and no need to warm in Microwave. I like adding Masoor dal in my Biryani recipes . It holds shape once you finish cooking and good source of Protein for vegetarians .  I added mild spices so kids can enjoy too . It won’t taste bland . It’s flavorful and tasty One pot meal . Serve with raita , Salad , Spinach Pakora and Kheer .

Lentils have negligible amount of fat and good source of protein without adding any extra fat to the body there by promoting a healthy heart . India has largest number of vegetarians ans Lentils can be a substitute for meat in supplying the required protein . Good source of dietary fiber . Dietary fiber filled food such as Lentils help in controlling blood sugar . Dietary fiber also slows down the rate at which food is absorbed by the blood and thus maintains the sugar level constantly . Lentils have great potential to control cancer growth. Studies conducted at university of Illinois have found that plant lectins a separate type of plant protein originate from foods like lentils , wheat , peanuts have a great influence on cancer cells.Side effects of excessive protein – excessive consumption can pressurize kidneys  in flushing out those excess protein in the body .  Eat in moderation .Source : HM  



1. Basmati rice – One cup ( soak for 30 minutes)

2. Masoor Dal ( Green Lentils) – 1/2 cup ( soak for 30 minutes )

3. Water – 1 1/2 cup

4. Vegetables – Cabbage – Half of medium cabbage ( thinly sliced) , tomatoes – 2 ( chopped) , Green Beans and Chopped carrots – One cup , Green peas

5. Spice Powders  – Red chilli powder , coriander and Cumin powder – 3/4 th to 1 tbsp or Curry Powder – 1 tbsp 

6. Whole Garam Masala – 5 cloves , 3 cardamom , 2 Bay Leaves , Cinnamon stick – Medium , Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp

7 . Oil – 4 to 5 tbsp

8. Finely chopped coriander and Mint leaves


1.Turn Instant pot on a saute mode . When warm add oil followed by Whole Garam Masala and Cumin seeds. Add thinly sliced onions. Fry till light brown. Add Crushed garlic and ginger . Fry for a minute.

2. Then add red chilli powder , coriander and Cumin powder. Mix well. Add sliced cabbage, Chopped tomato , green beans , carrots and Green peas. Mix well .

3. In a bowl mix rice , soaked lentils , water and salt. Taste water for salt .and add accordingly. 4. Add this to Inner pot .

4. Close lid. Rice mode . NPR . SERVE with vegetable raita. 



Recipe Link : 


LAUKI( GREEN SQUASH) RAITA WITH INSTANT POT YOGURT . Serve with Steamed rice or Stuffed Paratha

Bottle Gourd ( Lauki)  Raita is simple , easy to make and Delicious side dish for Lunch / Dinner . A perfect Cooler for Warm Weather . Bottle Gourd  ( Lauki) has bland taste and to make it Palatable for Children I combined cooked Lauki with Yogurt and flavored with ginger , Coconut Mixture and tadka .

                         Ayurveda recommends making a batch of fresh Yogurt to be consumed each day which helps in digestion and filled with beneficial bacteria that kills harmful viruses . Spices not only provides Health benefits but also flavor the food. Coconut low in Sodium , High in manganese , no Cholestrol  but high in Saturated fat . You can safely use dessicated coconut in Occasional foods . It is a common Ingredient in Indian Cooking which adds texture and flavor to the Curries. It is commonly used in Stir fries and Desserts . Last but not least Green Chillies slows down the aging process and protects body against free radicals and Cancer . Green chillies are must in Indian Meal to make food tasty and Spicy ( light color green chillies are Zero spicy) . Eating Green Chillies is always better than adding Red chilli Powder to the food . Chillies turn out red after dry and loose their nutrition .Source : HM 

Take a look at the recipe which is prepared with Minimum Ingredients .

RECIPE for 4 .


1.Bottle Gourd ( Lauki) – Medium size  (  Peel Bottle Gourd  and chop into bite size pieces . 

2. Yogurt ( Curd) –  4 measuring cups

3.  Vegetables : Onions – 1/4 th Cup ( Chopped)

4. Tomato – 1 ( Chopped)

5. Curry Leaves- 5

6. Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves

7. Salt as per taste

8. Dry Coconut – 1/4 th Cup

10 . Green Chillies paste  –  3  and Ginger – 2 tbsp ( Mortar and Pestol) 

11.Seasoning – Urad dal -1 tbsp. , Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp. , Mustard seeds – 1/2 tbsp. , Broken Red Chillies – 4


  1. Turn Instant pot on saute mode. When warm add Oil followed by black split urad dal , cumin seeds , mustard seeds , red chillies and Curry leaves. Now add chopped lauki . Season with salt. Close lid. Manual one minute . Open lid . Transfer to a pyrex bowl . Cool before adding curd and other ingredients. 

2. Grind Coconut with Green Chillies, ginger , toasted sesame seeds  and  little Salt . Add to the Yogurt . In a Mortar pestol . 

3. Add finely Chopped onions , tomato , finely chopped coriander leaves , Coconut mixture , Cooked Bottle Gourd ( Lauki) along with SEASONING .  Mix gently . Check for Salt and add accordingly . .


SERVE with Jeera Rice / Biryani/ Phulka / Pulav / Stuffed Paratha


Instant pot Raw Banana Moong dal curry – Lunch /Dinner 

Old Vegetable but always in my  Menu . I cook Raw Banana curry at least once a week on Stove top . It takes time and monitoring in between. First time I tried in Instant Pot and it turned out tasty than stove top version without burnt bottom and no water left . Do try  the combination of Raw Banana with Moong dal and Coconut spice powder . Don’t forget to squeeze juice of Lime at the end . Just fry for couple of minutes, add other ingredients and close the lid. Serve warm with Steamed rice , Ghee and Papad ( Tomato rasam too) 

          I did a little reading about Raw Banana or Plantain  as  I cook at least 3 to 4  times in a month and learned some interesting facts.They are considered more of a vegetable and widely available around the world. It is an excellent source of Carbohydrates i.e Complex carbohydrates and naturally have Low GI of 38 which means there won’t be rapid increase of glucose in blood after eating when not deep fried. They are high in Vitamin B6 which is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin , the protein that carries oxygen in your body.  Green Banana’s and Plantains are Good source of Resistant starch . According to one study , the resistant starch in Green banana’s increases the rate of fat burning by blocking the ability of the body to use carbohydrates. When the body can’t burn carbohydrates as fuel , it’s forced to use fat instead.  Resistant starch is a type of starch that is not digested in stomach or Small intestine and reaches the colon intact . Thus it resists digestion and we won’t see Blood glucose spikes after eating RS and do not obtain significant calories from RS .  Foods high in resistant starch also increase insulin sensitivity which can help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugars. plantains are good source of Potassium that helps control heart rate and blood  pressure .Eating Green banana’s in moderation could have benefits for those who avoid ripe banana’s because of their high sugars. Source : HM

Recipe for 3 to 4 


1. Raw Banana –  6 to 8 ( Small )  ( Peel and soak in salt water to avoid discoloration)

2. Yellow Moong dal – 1/2 cup ( Soak for half hour)

3. Vegetables – Onion – One ( finely chopped) , Garlic – 6 cloves ( crushed) , Curry leaves , Crushed ginger – small piece and green chillies – 2

  4. Turmeric – 1/4 th tbsp and salt accordingly . Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp 

5. Coconut spice powder – Grind handful of dry coconut with 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds and 2 green chillies . Red chilli powder , coriander and cumin powder – 1/2 to 1 tbsp or Curry powder – 1/2 to 1 tbsp 

6. Oil – 4 tbsp 

7. Finely chopped Coriander to add the end .

8. Juice of Lime – 1 or 2

9. Water – 1/4 th cup 


1. Peel raw Banana . Chop into 4 inch pieces and soak in salt water to avoid discoloration .

2. Soak Yellow Moong dal for half hour . Wash 3 to 4 times before you add to the curry . 

3. Turn Instant pot on saute mode . When warm add Oil followed by Cumin seeds , Mustard seeds and Urad dal . Add finely chopped Onions . Season with salt and Turmeric . Close with glass lid and fry till light pink .

4. Open lid and add crushed garlic, chopped green chillies , Ginger ( crushed ) and Curry leaves . Fry for a minute .

5. Add chopped raw banana , washed moong dal . Season with little salt , curry powder. Mix well .. Add water . Scrape the bottom . Close the lid .

6. Manual 5 minutes. Unplug when silver button pops up . QPR after 10 minutes. 

7. Open lid. Add coconut spice powder, Lime juice and chopped coriander . Mix gently . Taste for salt and spices and add accordingly .

SERVE with Steamed rice , Ghee and Papad .