Recently we reviewed Spices and Seasons by Rinku Bhattacharya. You can read it here if you like, but suffice to say it’s great. Bhattacharya is back with another cookbook, Instant Indian. Instant Indian focuses on utilizing a pressure cooker to make a wide variety Indian dishes.
I want to state first of all that I loved what I cooked. The food is simply delicious.. But where Seasons was an easy recommendation, there are some problems with Instant Indian we have to cover.
For instance, the recipe for the Everyday Masala Sauce, has a small but alarming typo. The recipe is great, it’s the best version I’ve found and it has replaced my previous one. However, it says it makes 1 ½ cups. It makes A LOT more than that. Which is good as it is needed for many recipes. Most of the recipes do call for 1 ½ cups so that may be where the mistake happened. But it does call into question if there are other mistakes that could alter the recipes.
Another issue came when I tried to make aloo gobi. Aloo gobi is one of my favorite dishes and I was super excited to see it here. In the end it did not disappoint. It was flavorful and I ate it for lunch the entire week (along with some chicken curry of own creation using Everyday Masala Sauce as a base.) The cooking time was off and the potatoes were rather undercooked. In most cookbooks this wouldn’t be an issue. I’d just keep it on the stove a little longer and monitor it. Cooking is an art, but cooking in a pressure cooker is a bit more of a science. If you mess up it can be a challenge to fix as it has to re-pressurize which takes time and you can’t check on it while it’s cooking. I ended up cooking the dish for another 10 minutes resulting mushy cauliflower, not the end of the world.
So, while there are some problems with the recipes they are not insurmountable. The food is really good, I can’t overstate that enough. However, with this book I would only recommend it to more experienced cooks. Pick up Bhattacharya’s other book first, master some things in there and then get this book. Your belly and those of your loved ones will be glad you did.
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 authorized by Instant Pot!
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 Indian features numerous vegetarian and vegan options , and nearly all recipes are gluten-free.
With step-by-step instructions and color photos throughout, Instant Indian makes Indian cooking easy and fool-proof using all the functions of this popular appliance.
About Rinku Bhattacharya
Rinku Bhattacharya (spicechronicles.com) 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.