Indian Style Rice in the Instant Pot

It's not easy to meal plan. I am not always organized enough to do all the shopping and planning ahead of time for the week. 3 kids and a busy work schedule means that, most days, I don't even have time to think. This Indian Style Rice can be made in 25 minutes in the Instant Pot. The recipe uses my Magic Masala Spice Mix to make the thinking process of dinner go away. The spiced rice with the nuttiness of toasted almonds and the natural sweetness of dried cranberries is the side dish that makes the meal! Literally, put ANYTHING on top of it and it will taste like you spent all day cooking.

a platter of Indian Style Rice

watch the video for how to make here

New to the wonders of Instant Pots? This link will take you to the general, moderately priced Instant Pot- great for beginning cooks, young teens, or anyone who can benefit from a quick one-pot meal.

Important Things to Know about Rice

  • White versus Brown. All rice is brown when it is harvested. White rice is simply brown rice with its outer bran husk removed. This process removes a lot of nutrients as well, but do you know why people do this? It's because white rice, if stored properly, can be kept for decades. Brown rice, however, because of its bran layer, can go rancid from oxidation in just a few months. When you don't have a lot of money, and the main staple of your diet is rice, what do you think the better option is? Something to think about when questioning why someone would give up the added nutrients of brown rice.
  • Rice is eaten in almost every country on the planet. China and India consume the most rice out of the entire planet, equaling a total of over 250 million metric tons for just those 2 countries alone. It's no wonder there are so many amazing rice dishes to come by.
  • There are over 120,000 varieties of rice in the world. For this Indian Style Rice in the Instant Pot I use either Jasmine or Basmati. Basmati rice is traditionally grown in India and Pakistan and, like Jasmine rice, is a fragrant long-grain rice. The difference lies in the amount of starch and "stickiness". Basmati tends to be a less sticky, dry rice that has more of a fluffy texture than Jasmine. They are both so similar though that they are interchangeable in this recipe.

Want to learn more about rice? Check out this site for all of the rice geeking details.

How to make Indian Style Rice in a Regular Pot

Coming from an Asian mother, I learned to make my rice the old fashioned way, in a pot. If you ask any Asian, they will usually tell you they measure the water in one of 2 ways:

  1. Put the washed rice in the pot. Place the tip of your index finger on the top of the rice and fill the water until it reaches the first line of your finger. or,
  2. Put the washed rice in the pot. Place the palm of your hand on the top of the rice and fill the water until it reaches the top of your fingers.

It's a funny thing, because once while I was teaching a cooking class and we all were in discussion about this, an Indian man in the class said "I learned that way from my mother too! (speaking of the palm on the rice way)". Cooking and recipes are handed down for generations in these small nuances that are so special. It's important to me that as I use new tools and gadgets, I remember to teach and talk about the old ways as well so that we don't lose that history.

How to Make Perfect Instant Pot Rice

  • Because an instant pot works as a pressure cooker, it does not take the same amount of water content that cooking in a pot does. It also doesn't matter if it's brown rice or white rice. All rice is equal parts (volume) rice to water. So if you use 2 cups of rice, it will always be 2 cups of water to cook it.
  • Be sure to still wash your rice by soaking and rinsing it in cold water and pouring out the cloudy starch filled water. Then, strain thoroughly, and place in the instant pot.
  • Do not use the "rice cooker" setting. Use the pressure cooker setting (between 15-20 minutes depending on the rice) and then let it natural release for 10 minutes before pressing the force release button.
  • Always fluff with a fork after first removing the lid. This ensures that the grains stay fluffy and separate.

I use the basic, simple Instant Pot. Nothing fancy needed.

The range of spices, flavors and textures in this Indian Style Rice make it one of my favorites to make.

Recipe

platter of Indian Style Rice

Indian Style Rice in the Instant Pot

Kajsa@TwistofVegan
This Indian Style Rice can be made in 25 minutes in the Instant Pot. The recipe uses my Magic Masala Spice Mix to make the thinking process of dinner go away. The spiced rice with the nuttiness of toasted almonds and the natural sweetness of dried cranberries is the side dish that makes the meal! Literally, put ANYTHING on top of it and it will taste like you spent all day cooking.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Recipes- Grains
Cuisine Indian

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Wash the rice by soaking it and rinsing in cold water.  This will help remove all the excess starch.
  • Drain the rice completely so that there is no more water.  Set aside.
  • Set your Instant Pot on sauté setting for 5 minutes.
  • Once it is hot, add your Magic Masala mix and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to froth.  
  • Press cancel to cancel the sauté setting.  Do this even if the entire 5 minutes has not completed yet.
  • Add your rice and stir, making sure to scrape any of the spices off of the bottom of the pot and mix it in with the rice.
  • Add the dried cranberries, salt, and water.  Stir again to combine.
  • Place the lid on your Instant Pot and turn on the pressure cook setting- high.  2o minutes.  DO NOT use the "rice cooker" setting.  
  • While the rice is cooking, toast your almonds by placing them in a dry sauté pan on the stove over medium heat.  Stir frequently and cook for a few minutes until they have nicely toasted and started to brown.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  • When the 20 minutes is up, set a timer for 10 minutes and let it naturally release.  Once the timer goes off, press the button to quick release the steam and pressure. (follow instructions from manufacturer).
  • Open the lid carefully and fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Add the toasted almonds and continue to mix in to the rice mixture.
  • Transfer to a serving dish if eating right away, or let cool and store for later.  This rice will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Video

Notes

If you do not have dried cranberries then raisins, currants, or dried figs are good substitutes.  Feel free to substitute the nuts as well.  
Sometimes, I will add a pinch of saffron to the rice at the same time as the water.  The fragrance and flavor of saffron will not compete with the spices, but will give the recipe a different nuance.
Keyword Basmati Rice, Indian Style Rice, Instant Pot Vegan Recipes, Jasmine Rice, Masala, Plant Based Food, Rice, Spices, vegan, vegan recipes
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Comments

  1. Lori Theriault says

    5 stars
    The aroma as it cooked was the first indication of how good this would be, and it did not disappoint! I used dried cherries instead of cranberries because it's what I had, and I love it - it's a wonderful side, and leftovers were great tossed with some salad veggies for lunch.

    • Kajsa@TwistofVegan says

      Thank you so much for leaving a review. Glad you liked the rice, it's one of my favorites

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