Monday, February 6, 2017

Red Chowli / Cowpeas Sukka in Instantpot

Today when I opened the fridge to see what I could cook for lunch, I was pleasantly surprised. There was nothing out there except a bunch of tomatoes. How did I forget about getting groceries? Not to worry when you have pulses in the pantry, right?
Now to think of what pulses to cook. Man, cooking is fun, but thinking of what to cook is stressful. I would love for a genie to decide a menu (simple for everyday cooking and elaborate when we have guests) and I wouldn't mind cooking all the stuff.
I saw these cute cowpeas staring at me through their container. It had been a while since I cooked these beauties. So, today finally it was their turn. I am sure they were ecstatic to be out of the container to fulfill their duty of feeding the humans - okay, I am just imagining things now. Well, I do possess a great imagination power and it is known to my family and close friends. 
Generally these pulses need to be soaked for atleast 8 hours before cooking. But, since I decided at 10 Am to cook lunch with these, I had a little over 2 hours to soak and get them ready. So, in came my handy electric kettle. I just boiled water in it and soaked the cowpeas in that boiling water for 2 hours. I got nicely soaked cowpeas in that time. I have done this for a lot of other pulses too. It sure helps.


2 cups cowpeas
1 cup chopped onion (I used 1 big onion)
1 cup chopped tomato (I used 1 big tomato)
10 garlic cloves (crushed using mortar and pester)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)
10 to 12 curry leaves
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I used fresh shredded coconut - you can use frozen ones too)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons red chilli powder (you can add more if you like it hot)
2 teaspoons coriander cumin powder (Dhania Jeera Powder)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek powder
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon sugar/jaggery
salt to taste
chopped cilantro and shredded coconut for garnish


Wash the cowpeas and put about 5 cups of water and soak them for 7 to 8 hours. Once soaked, they will plump up. Drain the water and keep aside.
With the Isntantpot (IP ) in saute mode, add the coconut oil. When it gets hot add the mustard seeds and let them crackle. Then add the cumin seeds and sesame seeds along with the curry leaves. After about 15 to 20 seconds add the crushed garlic and stir the mixture lightly. Add the chopped onions and half teaspoon salt. Let the onions turn a nice golden. You will need to keep stirring during this process. Then add the chopped tomatoes along with turmeric, chilli powder, coriander cumin powder, pepper powder, fenugreek powder, asafoetida and mix well. Add the cowpeas to the mixture along with the shredded coconut and mix well. Add 1 to 1and 1/2 cup water (I added enough water to cover the cowpeas). Cancel saute mode. Cover the lid with the vent sealed and manual for 30 minutes. After its done quick release. This will be a dry curry with very little to no liquid/gravy. Open and see if the beans are cooked. If they are then add salt to taste and about 1/2 teaspoon sugar or jaggery. Mix well with a light hand. Garnish with cilantro and shredded coconut and serve wit chappatis, appam or dal and rice.

Note - this can be cooked on the stovetop too. You would want to cook the cowpeas in the pressure cooker for about 4 whistles. Drain any water it may have after cooking. In a karahi, add the oil and follow everything to get the onion and tomato and spice mixture. To this add the cooked cowpeas, salt and sugar and about 1/4 cup water and mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes before garnishing with cilantro and shredded coconut.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Shrimp Biryani in Instantpot

We are a biryani loving family. Give us biryani with kachumbar or raita and we are a very happy family. Even Lil Miss A loves this spicy aromatic rice preparation. 
I have been using the instant pot for over a year now. Love this gadget.
Its not like I use it everyday. Well, there are a few things that I love cooked in pots over the stovetop or in an oven. But, I must say, this is used atleast 3 times a week in 'merakitchen'.
This shrimp biryani was made in the instant pt (IP) when a friend came over to visit. It was something that I could do with what I had on hand....... yes, busy week had made me skip grocery shopping. One of those times the IP came in very very handy. It was a nice treat as she loved it and the tiffin box I packed for her was relished by her family too. 


1 pound medium uncooked shrimp - devined (its approximately 40 to 45 shrimp)
1/2 cup fried onions - I get these fried onions from the Indian store. But, you can make it at home too
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup chopped mint leaves
1/2 cup yougurt
2 teaspoons biryani masala (the link is to masala powder made at 'merakitchen')
2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1 tomato - chopped
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 green cardamoms
2 cloves
2 tablespoons coconut oil OR Ghee (Clarified Butter)
2 cups Long Grain Basmati Rice - you can use any rice you prefer
2 cups water
salt to taste
Chopped Cilantro for garnish


Wash the rice and soak it in water for atleast 30 minutes. Marinate the shrimps in fried onions, chopped mint, chopped cilantro, ginger garlic paste, biryani masala, turmeric powder, chili powder, yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let it sit for 30 minutes too.
Heat the IP in saute mode. Add the ghee/oil. Once it melts, add the cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cardamom, cloves and black peppercorns. Saute for about 15 seconds and then add the shrimps into the oil. Cancel the saute mode. Mix everything well. Now add the rice and and add 2 cups of water. The water will just about cover the shrimp and rice mixture. Add some salt to taste. Cover the IP. Set manual for 7 minutes.
Once done, you can Quick release and open the lid once the floating valve goes down. Biryani is ready. Remove it onto a serving dish and garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with kachumbar.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...