More Instant Pot & other recipes

Now that people are sheltering in place and cooking, it’s good to record some more recipes. It’s even better when they are the kind that can easily scale up (can be made in pots of any sort).

Steel Cut Oats

  • From this page, which provides the goopy (slightly liquidy) consistency I want, and accounts for the thickening during the cool down period
  • High Pressure
  • Steel cut oats : water ratio is 1 : 3
  • Add some salt so that oats don’t taste bland (1/2 tsp / cup of dry oats)
  • Cook time is 4 minutes
  • Allow pressure to release naturally

For an even cleaner process that greatly reduces cleaning time, use a stainless steel bowl and put on the trivet inside the pot as described here:

  • Still 1 : 3 ratio of oats : water
  • Add some salt (1/2 tsp / cup of dry oats)
  • Cook time is 6 minutes

Pan Sauteed Fish / Chicken

  • Recipe below is for about 1 lb. of fish or chicken
  • The meat should be cubed to an approx. 1/2 – 1 inch size. My lazy way to chop fish to size is to precut fish into pieces of any size, allow them to cook for 2-3 mins to become firmer, and then use the spatula as a chisel to chop up the fish as it is cooking. Chicken can be precut (use a knife that is sharp enough). Meat is added last.
  • Add 3 tbsp of oil, set heat to medium low
  • Optional: add mustard seeds to the oil and wait for them to pop to guarantee oil is heated
  • Add diced 3 – 4 cloves of garlic
  • Add diced 1/2 an onion. Heat until starts to turn translucent
  • Optional: add curry leaves for an extra, citrusy flavor
  • Add diced 1 tomato (or equivalent if using small tomatoes)
  • Sprinkle salt to help the onions and tomato cook down
  • Add 2 tbsp of fish or chicken masala powder. And/or 1 tbsp of curry powder. Check ingredients to ensure there are no allergens (ex: peanut oil)
  • Add meat, add more salt to taste, and cook until meat is thoroughly cooked through and water content (ex: from tomatoes) is mostly gone

Ginger Syrup + Honey Lemon Ginger

  • TBD

Garlic Chutney

  • TBD, still figuring out details
  • Ingredients
    • 50 cloves of garlic
    • 1 tblsp peppercorns (~ 30 peppercorns, instead of 25 dried red chillies)
    • 4 tblsp sesame oil
    • dried tamarind (size of half a golf ball / gooseberry), no seeds but other parts are okay
    • salt to taste (1 tblsp)
    • whatever you do, do NOT add any water
  • Grind the peppercorns in a pepper mill first, or a spice grinder, or mortar and pestle
  • Add all ingredients except only half of the oil (2 tblsp) to a spice grinder and start blending. A larger blender is less convenient because it is larger, but if you use it, use a low speed.
  • Add the remaining oil as you continue to blend

The resulting chutney is very spicy, and should be used like ஊறுகாய் (pickle) rather than a substitute for tomato chutney or coriander chutney. A spoonful can be mixed with a cup of greek yogurt to make a sort of tzatziki.

பாதாம் பால் பசை / Almond milk paste


Lemon Rasam




  • 2 large avocados (or 3 small avocados)
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/4 – 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • juice from 1 lime (or 1/2 lemon)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Prepping a mortar & pestle (molcajete)
    • If you get one made of granite or marble, you should still clean it out in the standard ways, same as in the following links. You might be able to bypass the the whole seasoning process (like cast iron cookware) doesn’t apply, but this blog post disagrees
    • Otherwise, there are ways to prepare & season a mortar and pestle when the material is definitely porous like lava rock (pumice?)

Avocados turn brown very quickly and become mushy when exposed to air, due to oxidation, just like apples.

  • Tips for storing leftovers:
    • Squeeze extra lime / lemon juice on top
    • Put plastic wrap on top and remove any air bubbles between the food and plastic wrap
    • Do both of the above (preferred)

தேங்காய் துவையல் (சட்னி) / Coconut chutney (thuvaiyal)

  • into a blender
    • 1 cup shredded coconut (in terms of weight, approx 1/3 of a pound)
    • 1/3 cup பொட்டுக் கடலை (roasted bengal gram split)
    • 1/2 cup warm water
    • ginger (size of first joint of a thumb?)
    • 1 dried red chili. pinch off the stem and throw away, then break into 2 or 3 pieces)
    • 1 tsp of salt. better to not add too much now and adjust later.
  • blend until a smooth consistency
  • pour into bowl / container
  • can use a tiny amount of water to wash out the bits stuck at the bottom of the blender
  • in a pan
    • 2 tsp of oil
    • 1/2 tsp of கடுகு
    • 1 tsp of உளுந்தும் பருப்பு
  • add to rest of ingredients, stir to mix completely

அடை / Adai (“No-fermentation ‘thosai’ batter”)

TBD. This is from a friend of a friend, and I haven’t tested it, but people say it’s good:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup thuvaram paruppu (toor dal)
  • 1/2 cup paasi paruppu (moong dal)
  • 1/2 cup ulunthum paruppu (urad dal)
  • soak the quinoa separately, soak the paruppus together. soak both for 5 hours
  • grind the quinoa (in a blender?) for 30 mins. should get fluffy (expand?). do the same for the paruppu mixture.
  • combine both and add salt

மாம்பழத் தேங்காய்க் குளிர்கழி / Mango coconut dessert

  • 2 cups mango (2 large ripe mangoes, diced)
  • 2 cups of “coconut butter” (finely stone-ground coconut)

After peeling the mangoes, I sliced the easily slice-able parts of the mango over the blender jar so that the juice would fall in. For the hard to cut parts of fiber attached to the center pit, instead of slicing, I squeezed it hard within my hands so that the juice would come out. This part of the mango has the sweetest juice.

Blend together until it’s as smooth as it gets. It will look and have a texture like gelato. I choose not to turn it into a drink or smoothie so that I do not consume too many calories at a time. A good rule for staying healthy is to “never drink your calories”. Eating it in small quantities like you would expensive dessert avoids unhealthy eating habits and makes the food last longer.

Note: Notice that no extra sugar was added. Also, I tried this previously with shredded coconut and added 1 cup of water, and the result had the texture of a coconut cake. It was okay, but I enjoy it much better with the smoother texture from using coconut butter. Given the alternative ways to make coconut milk, it might be possible to use coconut cream instead of coconut butter, although that might end up with a more liquid-y result (“milkshake”), maybe?

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