We’re sharing delicious, healthy Instant Pot Indian recipes with authentic flavours and textures from curries to saag including gluten-free, paleo and vegan options. Homemade is often better than takeout!
This roundup has recently been updated with even more delicious recipes and ideas!
Everyone loves a simmering curry with its spicy goodness served over steamed rice or with warm naan bread. Or perhaps you’re in the mood for delicious biryani rice or an Indian-inspired soup. No matter what you craving, these Instant Pot Indian recipes are a treat for the body and soul.
While some of these Indian recipes require a little effort, the extra work is no sweat when many of these recipes use simple, aromatic ingredients to bring home that authentic flavour, plus the pressure cooker cuts back on cooking time. Most of these recipes are probably quicker than picking up the phone and ordering in!
Plus, Indian cuisine is naturally quite nourishing and is easier to make even healthier at home.
Common Ingredients In Indian Cooking
Indian cuisine is rich in spices, herbs, vegetables, legumes, and grains. Here are some common ingredients in Indian recipes:
- Spices: Cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, garam masala, fenugreek, mustard seeds, and curry leaves.
- Herbs: Fresh ginger, garlic, cilantro, mint, and curry leaves.
- Vegetables: Onion, tomato, garlic, ginger, potatoes, eggplant, spinach, cauliflower, peas, and bell peppers.
- Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, and split peas.
- Grains: Rice, basmati rice, quinoa, and wheat flour.
- Dairy: Yogurt, ghee (clarified butter), and paneer cheese.
- Sweeteners: Jaggery, honey, and sugar.
These ingredients are used in various combinations to create the unique flavors and aromas that are characteristic of Indian cuisine.
Indian Recipes You Can Make In A Pressure Cooker
Before we get into our favorite Indian and Indian-inspired recipes for the pressure cooker, let’s summarise the most common dishes that you can cook in the Instant Pot pressure cooker
- Curries – such as Chana Masala, Butter Chicken, and Chicken Tikka Masala.
- Lentil Dishes – such as Dal Makhani, Lentil Soup, and Lentil Stew.
- Rice Dishes – such as Vegetable Biryani, Pulao, and Lemon Rice.
- Vegetable Dishes – such as Aloo Gobi, Baingan Bharta, and Saag Paneer.
- Sambar and Rasam – South Indian lentil-based soups with a tangy flavor.
- Chutneys and Dips – such as Coconut Chutney, Tamarind Chutney, and Hummus.
- Desserts – such as Rice Pudding, Kheer, and Mango Cheesecake.
These are just a few examples of the many types of Indian dishes that can be cooked in an Instant Pot.
Below, you will find the recipes divided into non-vegetarian and vegetarian options. Most non-vegetarian options can be made with substitute plant-based ingredients.
Best Instant Pot Indian Recipes (Non-Vegetarian)
Alright, let’s get right into it with our favorite Indian and Indian-inspired recipes for the pressure cooker.
You can’t go past the classics. This gluten-free Instant Pot butter chicken is perfect for a warm flavorful meal when you want something different without having to leave your cosy home. Serve with rice and some garlic naan bread.
Rich and creamy, this Indian-inspired lamb curry will be a hit with the whole family. Indian spices, tomatoes and coconut pair beautifully with nourishing lamb meat and the whole stew can be on the table in 60 minutes, much quicker than cooking it on a stovetop.
This Goat-style Instant Pot shrimp curry is simple to prepare but has complex flavours and a little chilli spice to keep every bite interesting and exciting. Serve with rice, cauliflower rice or some naan bread.
What’s your Indian recipe knowledge without some chicken tikka masala? You need this one in your life! It’s flavourful and JUST spicy enough, plus it’s inherently dairy-free with that classic creaminess from coconut milk. You can make this one in the slow cooker or the Instant Pot.
There’s nothing like getting tender, juicy, shredded chicken and perfectly cooked through potatoes at once, and the Instant Pot really comes in handy for that. If you add some curry sauce to the mix, you end up with this fragrant and comforting meal… in minutes. It’s healthy and paleo-friendly to boot. Recipe from Cookin’ Canuck.
Chicken Biryani or Chicken Dum Biryani is a one-pot Indian classic food dish, where marinated chicken is steam-cooked with aromatic basmati rice and flavored with saffron and cardamom. This is a simplified and easy Instant Pot Chicken Biryani recipe from Spice Cravings you can do in under an hour.
Goat is underused in most cuisines besides Indian cuisine, so it’s fabulous to have a healthy and scrumptious goat curry recipe handy. This stuff tastes slow-cooked, but curry in a hurry holds true with the Instant Pot! It’s all about the spices in this tender stew of goat and potatoes.
For a healthy version of butter chicken, try this nightshade-free, dairy-free version from The Castaway Kitchen. Even the most sensitive folks can enjoy the spicy and warming tastes of it.
Instant Pot Indian Vegetarian Recipes
Here is our selection of vegetarian-friendly Indian dishes for the pressure cooker.
Inspired by the famous signature dish from London’s Indian restaurant chain Dishoom, this Instant Pot dal makhani is made in a fraction of the time compared to the original (which is cooked for 24 hours in the restaurant), this incredible lentil dish will delight with its complex flavors and heavenly texture.
A delicious classic vegetarian Indian dish also known as cauliflower and potato curry cooked with onions, tomatoes and spices. Serve over rice or with a side of naan bread.
This Instant Pot Spinach Rice (also known in Indian cuisine as Palak Pulao) is a nutritious and healthy dish that can be served as a side dish with your favorite curry or a main dish with some vegetables or salad on the side. This rice recipe is super simple and is gluten-free, vegetarian and can be made vegan-friendly.
This Instant Pot mushroom curry is made with sliced white mushrooms that pair perfectly with the sweetness of green peas in a tomato-cashew–based sauce.
This healthy and delicious Instant Pot rice pilaf is made with protein-rich chickpeas (garbanzo beans), warm spices and cilantro for a perfect vegetarian and gluten-free main or side.
Chana masala is another Indian food staple. This dish is vegan and gluten-free with a hearty base of perfectly cooked and textured chickpeas, rich with plant protein… oh, and big flavour! This recipe has a rich and tasty tomato base plus all of your classic spices – just make sure to use the freshest ingredients possible!
Punjabi black-eyed pea curry or Punjabi Lobia Masala is warm and comforting with rich, buttery beans to enjoy in every bite! Oh, and did you know black-eyed peas are a fabulous source of calcium? They also take less time to cook than the average legume, but that’s not an issue with this Instant Pot recipe, of course.
If you want nutrient-dense food with Indian taste fast, get this spinach dal on the table tonight. Heck – we won’t even tell if you pick up some naan at the store on your way home. This is cooking with economy and grace at its finest. Recipe from Cooking With Mali.
One-pot wholesome meal, this quinoa khichdi is a healthier spin on traditional Indian khichdi. Made with quinoa and lentils, this khichdi is lightly spiced and packed with nutrition.
For a greener, even healthier version of Instant Pot paneer dish, try this Indian Saag Paneer curry made with fresh spinach leaves, warm spices and cubed firm cottage cheese in the pressure cooker.
Paneer is basically Indian-style cottage cheese. It sounds intimidating to make at home, but the Instant Pot makes it quite a bit easier. Besides, it’s a rewarding endeavour when you get to dig into the stuff with those satisfying grill marks on the side after a yoghurt marinade. Are you drooling yet? Recipe from Every Nook and Cranny.
Saag is a creamed spinach dish that is oh so dreamy. Greens and ghee are all you need – no cream required in this lightened up, good-for-you recipe. You can use any greens you like in this, or a variety, but traditional opts for spinach and mustard greens – the more you know! Recipe from My Heart Beets.
This dish is a toned-down, everyday lentil curry (also known as dal) that is very comforting and nourishing. It captures the essence of a rich Indian dal but with a lighter, more tomato-based sauce and the addition of potatoes and carrots (sometimes beans can be added).
Kathal Biryani is a tasty Indian, vegetarian rice recipe that is perfect for a weeknight dinner. You can use mushrooms, paneer, asparagus, or artichoke hearts instead of jackfruit in this recipe. It’s gluten-free and vegan-friendly.
Sweet Indian Recipes
Milk burfi, or milk powder burfi, is a dense milk fudge made with dry milk powder, sugar, ghee, and cardamom. You can then garnish with pistachio. Recipe from My Heart Beets.
Rasmalai or roshomalai is a milk-based sweet dish originated in East Bengal of India. This dish consists of steamed paneer patties dunked in “rosh” or saffron milk. A famous Indian sweet dish often made during the festive season. Recipe from My Dainty Soul Curry.
Kheer or Payasam is an Indian dessert for special occasions. It is rice pudding made with rice and milk infused with saffron, cardamom and assorted dried fruits. The best thing about this, no stirring and it is ready in less than 40 mins! Recipe from Piping Pot Curry.
A rich and decadent dessert made with split mung beans (moong dal), ghee, saffron, cardamom, and lots of love. Recipe from Spice Cravings.
A perfect treat for any occasion, infused with the richness of whole milk, the sweetness of sugar, and the aroma of cardamom. It is a dump-and-go recipe, ready in just 20 minutes. Recipe from Easy Indian Cookbook.
Badam Halwa or Badam ka halwa is a rich classic Indian Dessert recipe made with almonds flour, milk and sugar with generous amount of ghee. Recipe from Indian Veggie Delight.
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Instant Pot Indian Recipes: Chana Masala
For the Rice
- 1 cup brown rice rinsed and drained
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
- 1 tsp salt kosher
- 1 cup water
For the Chickpeas
- 1 cup onion coarsely chopped
- 1 cup tomato coarsely chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tbsp ginger fresh, minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper small, minced
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp chana masala spice blend (like this)
- 2 tsp salt kosher
- 1 tsp turmeric ground
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup chickpeas dried, soaked and drained (see notes)
- 1½ cups water
- 1 tbsp tamarind extract /paste (see notes for swaps)
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped fresh (optional)
- For the rice: In a 6 × 3 inch round baking pan, combine the rice, oil, salt, and water. Stir well to combine; set aside. (You do not need to cover.)
- For the chickpeas: In a food processor, combine the onion, tomato, garlic, and ginger. Process until finely chopped. You could also do this by hand.
- In the Instant Pot, combine the onion mixture, jalapeño, garam masala, chana masala spice blend, salt, turmeric, cayenne, chickpeas, and water. Stir to combine. Place a tall trivet in the pot over the chickpeas. Place the pot with the rice on the trivet.
- Secure the lid on the pot. Close the pressure release valve or point to Sealing (depending on the model). Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK and set the pot at HIGH pressure for 30 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pot to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure by pointing the pressure release handle to Venting (known as a quick release).
- Carefully remove the rice. Use the back of a spoon to mash half the chickpeas until thickened. Stir in the tamarind extract (or the substitute).
- Serve the chickpeas with the rice. Garnish with cilantro, if using.
Hopefully, you’ve found a recipe for your favourite Indian dish here to make in the Instant Pot! Let us know which dish you’re most excited to make, and share this roundup with your pressure cooking pals!