As much as my family loves Indian food, it was always something we ate at restaurants. I never really thought of Indian cuisine as something I could cook for myself until COVID locked down my eating-out adventures. About two years ago, I discovered My Heart Beets when searching for a recipe for butter chicken, and since then, I’ve learned to cook a number of Indian recipes.
Ashley Singh Thomas is the writer and recipe maker behind My Heart Beets, which is a food site full of recipes influenced by both North Indian and South Indian cuisine. She started the site to make Indian food accessible for those who may not know much about cooking Indian food, and for those who do, to give them a place to find easy recipes to reconnect with their Indian culture.
One of the things I really love about My Heart Beets is that many of the recipes are specifically created to be made in the Instant Pot. In fact, she has an entire cookbook titled Indian Food Under Pressure: Indian Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker. These easy Instant Pot recipes are quick to prep and cook, but are not short on flavor in any way. Many of the ingredients and spices used in Indian food can be found at your local grocery store, but on the off chance you have trouble finding some of the ingredients (like curry leaves or dried fenugreek leaves), you may be able to find them on Amazon or a specialty market.
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Butter Chicken is that one Indian dish that I always order at a restaurant and could eat every single day. It’s a creamy, delicate combination of tomato and masala; there is no actual “butter” in the recipe at all. This Butter Chicken Instant Pot Recipe is so simple to prep, cooks in the Instant Pot, and turns out amazing every single time. I serve it over rice and with naan on the side. Ashley has a recipe for a vegan version of this called Instant Pot Butter Chickpeas that I will be giving a try next week.
There is an entire section of recipes on My Heart Beets called “Pour and Cook” like this Instant Pot Pour and Cook Chicken Biryani. You just dump all of the ingredients into the Instant Pot and push cook. Really, that’s it. This version of Biryani is a perfect busy weeknight meal, especially on those nights when everyone is coming home at different times.
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Coconut Curry Chicken is another “pour and cook” recipe that is just brilliant. With just 8 ingredients and in less than 20 minutes, you are sitting down to a warm, delicious bowl of curry. Be sure you read all of the “chef’s tips” and don’t substitute ingredients. You can add in some kale or leafy greens at the end if you want to sneak them in.
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Aloo tikki chaat is the very best version of smashed potatoes before smashed potatoes were a thing. This recipe for Lazy Tikki Chaat comes from Ashley’s mom, and it makes a wonderful Saturday afternoon snack or side dish. Once again, the Instant Pot speeds things up by cooking the potatoes and then they crisp in the oven. You can follow her recipes to make your own chutney, but you can also buy it pre-made at your local market; it’s often with the international food items.
Thanks to My Heart Beets, I have found a new favorite use for tahini: Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies. These delicious cookies only require 4 ingredients—yep, that’s it! Don’t be alarmed at how sticky the dough is; it will resemble caramel, but the results are amazing.
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