To idly or not to idly?

I’m going to start this with a confession. I thought this was a book of slow cooker recipes. Turns out it’s a book of pressure cooker recipes. Oops. And I have a slow cooker, but not a pressure cooker. Double oops. However, if ever a book was going to convince me to free up some space in my kitchen cupboards, then this is it. Seriously, the bread maker can go. I never use it anyway.


Because it has my all-time favourite Indian recipe – the humble idly, or idli. (pronounced “id” as in “hid”). Or as they are known in my house, flying saucers. I’ve been lamenting the sad demise of my wonderful local southern Indian restaurant which supplied my regular fix of idli and dosa. And now it turns out they’re really easy. I just need a mould.

Now I’m really excited and I start to read, but the first recipe scares me rigid. I need a gallon of milk? Last time I heard of a gallon of anything, my dad was putting petrol in the car. A gallon seemed like a swimming pools worth. Or at least a bucket full. Alexa – how many litres is a gallon? It turns out a gallon is almost 4 litres. That actually is a bucket load. To make 1 3/4 cups of evaporated milk? Pretty sure I have a can of Carnation.

Don’t let that put you off. I LOVE this book. Most of the recipes are straightforward (once you’ve converted from pounds and gallons).

Here is a seriously quick and easy one that is top of my list to try.

Cozy Butter Chicken Creamy Chicken Curry with Tomato Fenugreek Sauce

Butter Chicken is one of those dishes that makes a party complete. A classic from the corners of old Delhi in Northern India, this dish has seen many variations, including the creation of its famous cousin, Chicken Tikka Masala. This is our household’s easy variation, sure to warm us up on chilly days—which is why we call it “Cozy” Butter Chicken. It is an incredibly flavorful version of the comforting chicken dish, but without any cream. Greek yogurt yields a thick, flavorful sauce that is finished with a dollop of butter to add in the right amount of indulgence.

Serves: 4 to 6

Total Time: 40 minutes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Sauté Time: 15 minutes

Pressure Cook: 10 minutes

Pressure Release: 10 minutes


2 tablespoons oil

1 medium red onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon tandoori masala (page 34)

1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder or paprika

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

Method of Preparation

  1. Set the Instant Pot® to Sauté mode and heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté for about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring well, to allow the onions to gently turn pale, golden brown.
  2. Mix in the tandoori masala, Kashmiri red chili powder, cayenne pepper powder, chicken thighs, and salt and sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Stir in the tomato puree, tomato paste, and sugar and stir well. Add the Greek yogurt and mix well.
  4. Press Cancel to turn off the Sauté mode. Close the lid and set the Instant Pot® on Manual Pressure for 10 minutes.
  5. When the cooking time is complete, allow for Natural Pressure Release for 10 minutes. Once the pressure is released, remove the cover and gently stir in the fenugreek leaves and butter or ghee. Serve with bread or steamed fresh hot rice.


Now I need to really need to give you the book name. I guess the clue that it wasn’t a book of slow cooker recipes is in the title, and the blurb. OK, you’re going to laugh at this …

Instant Indian – Classic Foods from Every Region of India Made Easy in the Instant Pot

Discover favorite foods from all over India with the first regional Indian cookbook authorised by Instant Pot!

Instant Indian Cover


Rinku Bhattacharya — cookbook author and founder of Spice Chronicles — has put together a collection of 100 authentic recipes that showcase the diversity and range of the foods of India, where every state and region boasts its own unique dishes. Whether you crave takeout favorites or want to be introduced to lesser-known specialties, this cookbook brings the best of India to your table in an instant!

The Instant Pot®lends itself perfectly to Indian recipes, making flavorful, nutritious Indian fare (like simmering-all-day dals, legumes and all manner of curries) in minutes instead of hours. Instant Indianfeatures numerous vegetarian and vegan options , and nearly all recipes are gluten-free.

With step-by-step instructions and color photos throughout, Instant Indianmakes Indian cooking easy and fool-proof using all the functions of this popular appliance.

Purchase Links

US –


 About Rinku Bhattacharya

Instant Indian - Bhattacharya_pic

Rinku Bhattacharya ( was born in India, and now lives in a house with a vibrant backyard in Hudson Valley, New York with her husband, an avid gardener, and their two children. Rinku’s simple, sustainable approach to Indian cooking is showcased on her blog, Spice Chronicles, and in her Journal News column “Spices and Seasons.”
Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years, and works extensively with local area farmer’s markets on seasonal demonstrations and discussions. Rinku is also the author of The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles (Hippocrene Books, 2012), winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2013 for Best Indian Cuisine. She writes for the Poughkeepsie Journal, the Journal News, and several online sites, and is a frequent guest on CT Style TV.


About Lexi Rees of adventurous books for children, horse-mad sailor and crafter, caffeine fuelled.

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