Home Food 10 instant pot recipes for Indian vegetarians

10 instant pot recipes for Indian vegetarians

These instant pot recipes for Indian vegetarians are bound to make your diners super-pleased and awed by your culinary skills (unaware of how easy and quick these dishes can be). There's a splendid chance to walk out of the kitchen not with a monotonous plate of everyday meals but with some rich and flavoursome dishes and not in a slogging and tiring fashion, but a confident and swagger style!

August 8, 2021: Does your world circle around paneer and potatoes? Be it a simple homely meal in the comfort of home or a camp fire with friends and relatives out in the woods, an instant pot recipe is a pre-requisite. Those recipes make sure that you don’t miss out on all the fun and cry over FOMO. However, it rules out the event of just mixing spices from here and there and cooking a meal half-heartedly. Most outings feel exciting because of the anticipation for tasty and exotic meals. So, what’s the solution? While you rampage ideas in your brain, we shortlist 10 finger-licking instant pot Indian vegetarian recipes that range from paneer to cauliflower, chana to aloo, and take not many utensils nor much time! These instant pot recipes for Indian vegetarians are bound to make your diners super-pleased and awed by your culinary skills (unaware of how easy and quick these dishes can be).

Instant pot Indian vegetarian recipes

These recipes are bound to make your diners super-pleased and awed by your culinary skills (unaware of how easy and quick these dishes can be). There’s a splendid chance to walk out of the kitchen not with a monotonous plate of everyday meals but with some rich and flavoursome dishes and not in a slogging and tiring fashion, but a confident and swagger style!

Favourite 10 Instant pot recipes for Indian vegetarians

So, without further ado, skim through this article to get a glimpse into the makings of 10 Indian vegetarian dishes, the tastes of which will send you into an enchanted reverie!


1. Chana Masala

2 black cardamom
5 cloves (or Laung)
½ inch Cinnamon stick
1 tsp Coriander powder
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
½ tsp Cayenne or Red Chilli powder

Half cup Chickpeas

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 bay leaves

2 onions chopped

1.5 tsp ginger garlic paste

Salt as per taste

Green chilli chopped

2 tomatoes

Kasoori methi

Black peppercorns


Instant pot recipes for Chana Masala

This article gives you the step-by-step recipe to make Chole in pressure cooker.

1. Firstly start with soaking the chickpeas overnight or at least for 4+ hours. On the hour of cooking, drain the water from the chickpeas and set them aside.

2. Start the cooking the chole putting the instant pot in sauté mode.  Add in the whole spices – cumin seeds, bay leaves, black peppercorn – and ginger, garlic and green chili.

3. As the ginger garlic changes hue to a golden brown, add chopped onions and sauté for about 3 minutes. Then add the tomato and spices. Stir in the chickpeas and add 1.5 cups of water.

4. It’s time to change the instant pot setting to manual mode for 35 minutes with vent in sealing position. As the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. Wait until 20 minutes for the process to take place manually, if it does not release the pressure on its own, you can manually release the pressure.

4. For those who like a thicker gravy, use a hand masher to mash the chole a bit. Now add the dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi) and dry mango powder (amchur). If you don’t have dry mango powder, replace with lemon juice.

5. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve this delicious Punjabi chole coupling it with the goodness of naan, bhatura or parathas. They also taste great with plain or jeera rice


2. Dum Aloo Instant pot recipe:

1. Take the potatoes in a pot and cook them on a high flame until they turn light brown.

2. Remove from oil and set it aside.

3. Now add black cardamom, whole red chillies, and cumin seeds. Saute for 30 seconds.

4. As you notice the crackling of cumin seeds, stir in the minced garlic, ginger paste, and pureed onion.

5. Let it sit on the flame for 5-8 minutes and keep stirring occasionally. Add pureed tomatoes to the cooked onion paste.

6. Stir in the spices and cashew paste. Mix it well. Let it sauté for 2 minutes, and now it’s time to add dried fenugreek leaves. This provides a creamy texture to the gravy.

Note- If you prefer a nut-free sauce/gravy then add yogurt or cream to the sauce. After the cashew paste is added, the sauce needed to be cooked well.

7. Don’t let it still for long. Keep stirring occasionally and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until the oil starts to float on top. Before adding potatoes, ensure that the oil is floating on the top of the sauce/gravy. If rushed, you will end up with an uncooked taste of tomatoes in the sauce/gravy.

8. Return the baby potatoes to this thick sauce/masala and coat it thoroughly in the sauce. Pour in the water and mix to combine. Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. After the Instant Pot beeps, allow the steam to release naturally. Add water or refrain, as per the consistency of your choice and enjoy!


3. Paneer Butter Masala

1 lb paneer or cottage cheese chunks
2 tbsp butter
1 green chili pepper (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 onion cut in large pieces
1 tbsp ginger minced
1 tbsp garlic minced
4 tomatoes cut in large pieces
¼ cup cashews
2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
¼ cup water
¼ cup cream heavy whipping or coconut cream
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt adjust to taste
½ tsp ground turmeric (haldi powder)
1 tsp coriander powder (dhaniya powder)
½ tsp ground cumin (jeera powder) or garam masala
1 tsp cayenne or red chilli powder adjust to taste
2 sticks cinnamon (dalchini)
5 green cardamom (elaichi)
2 black cardamom (moti elaichi)
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cloves (laung)

Instant Pot Recipe for Paneer Butter Masala:

1. Make a spice pouch by adding the whole spices to a cheesecloth. Tie it such that the spices cannot come out of it.

2. Barring paneer, cream and honey, add all ingredients and spice pouch to the Instant Pot including the spices. Close lid with vent in sealing position. 

3. Set the instant pot to manual or pressure cook mode on high pressure for 8 minutes.

4. As soon as the instant pot beeps, release the pressure naturally.
5. Remove the spice pouch carefully. Mix well the contents in the instant pot with an immersion blender or regular blender to a smooth paste. If using regular blender, you may need to cool the ingredients before blending. Get the contents back to the instant pot. 

6. Now it’s time to add the cream and honey. Stir into the sauce. 

7. Next, add paneer chunks. Stir them into the sauce and let it rest for 5 minutes. You can cover with a glass lid. 

8. Paneer Butter Masala is ready to be served. Garnish with dry fenugreek leaves or coriander.


4. Vegetable Korma

For the Onion Cashew Paste
1 medium sweet onion 155 grams, roughly chopped
15 raw cashews
1 inch ginger 12 grams
4 large garlic cloves 18 grams

For Vegetable Korma
2 tablespoons oil 30 ml, use oil of choice
6-7 black whole peppercorns
4 green cardamoms
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
½ cup tomato puree canned, use store bought or puree 2 large tomatoes and use
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon red chili powder or adjust to taste
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½-3/4 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
½ cup water 4 oz
1 cup coconut milk 8 oz, use full fat or lite from a can
½ teaspoon sugar
1 large potato 175 grams, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup large cauliflower florets 130 grams
2 medium carrots 110 grams, cut into rounds
¼ cup frozen green peas soaked in warm water for 5 minutes
A pinch cardamom powder
Juice of half lemon
2 tablespoons chopped coriander for garnishing

Recipe for Instant pot Vegetable Korma:
1. Take in a blender onions, cashews, ginger and garlic. Grind to a fine paste and set aside.

2. For this recipe start by clicking on the saute button on your Instant Pot, once it displays hot add oil to the pot and then add peppercorns, green cardamoms, whole cloves and bay leaf. Saute for few seconds until the spices are fragrant.

3. After that blend in the prepared onion cashew paste and cook it for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring continuously. Stirring is important else the paste will get stuck to the bottom of the pot.

4. Now add the tomato puree, mix and cook for another 2 minutes.

5. Next step is to add in the spices – coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Stir to combine and then add ½ cup of water.

6. Add in the coconut milk, sugar and mix well and deglaze the pot by scrapping the bottom with a spatula. There should be nothing stuck at the bottom of the pot (no brown burnt bits).

7. Finally add the diced potatoes and mix. Cover the pot with a glass lid and let the potatoes cook for 3 minutes. This step is important so as to get the potatoes slightly cooked before we put the pot to pressure. Rest of the veggies don’t take much time to cook but potatoes do so this extra cooking time helps in getting the right texture for all the veggies.

8. After 3 minutes add in the remaining veggies – cauliflower, carrots and green peas. Add addition ¼ cup-1/2 cup water if your Instant Pot gives burn message. 

9. Mix well and sprinkle cardamom powder on top, then close the instant pot with its lid. Cook on low pressure for 3 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position.

10. Quickly release the pressure manually. Open the pot, stir the veggies and then add lemon juice and coriander. Serve vegetable korma with naan or rice!


5. Instant pot recipe for Indian vegetarians: Pav Bhaji

2 tbsp butter or oil
2 cups red onions diced
3 cups tomato chopped, about 5 large
1″ inch ginger
8 cloves garlic
3 whole dried Kashmiri red chili pepper
1 bell pepper chopped, 130gms
3 potato medium, peeled and chopped. i used russet potatoes. about 3 cups or 440gms
1 carrot cut in pieces, 90gms or ⅔ cup
1 ½ cup cauliflower (gobi) cut in small pieces
¾ cup green peas
1 cup water
2 tbsp pav bhaji masala
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp lime juice

For Pav

10 Dinner rolls (Pav) or Dinner rolls
2 tbsp Butter

To garnish
½ Onion chopped
¼ cup Coriander to garnish

Recipe to get a dig on the delicious roadside style Pav Bhaji:

1. Firstly start by soaking red whole chili in 1 cup water for 15 mins. Grind chilli, ginger and garlic along with the water to a paste. (Note: if you skip grinding chilies with water, then do add 1 cup water before pressure cooking and add the ginger/garlic along with the onions)

2. Set the pressure cooker in sauté mode (high flame for stovetop pressure cooker) and heat 2 tbsp butter/oil in it. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes.

3. Add bell pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes.

4. Add tomatoes, pav bhaji masala and salt. Add the ground chili paste. If anything is stuck to the bottom of the pot, scrape it with a spatula. (See notes if you have had a Burn issue in your instant pot or using 8qt instant pot)

5. Now add cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, and green peas. Mix well.

6. Press cancel and close lid with vent in sealing position. Change the setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 8 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, release the pressure naturally.

7. Cut neatly each pav or dinner rolls in two halves.

8. Take some butter on a pan, heat and place the sliced pav on it. Lightly toast on one side and then turn to toast on the other side. 

9. Pav are ready to be served with bhaji.


6. Aloo Gobi

1 tablespoon oil 15 ml, I used avocado oil, use oil of choice
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large red onion 125 grams, finely chopped
1.5 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
2 medium tomatoes 265 grams, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon amchur also known as dried mango powder
¼ teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
¼ teaspoon garam masala
¾ teaspoon salt or to taste
2 medium potatoes 350 grams, diced into 1 inch pieces
6-7 tablespoons water divided
1 medium head cauliflower 500 grams, cut into large florets
2 tablespoons coriander chopped

Instant pot recipe for Indian vegetarians: Aloo Gobi
1. Get everything ready by chopping all veggies before you start. Remember to chop the potatoes and cauliflower in large pieces, as mentioned.

2. Turn the pot into saute mode on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add oil to the pot and then add the cumin seeds. Let the seeds sizzle for few seconds.

3. Add the chopped onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until onions are soft and translucent. Add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for another minute.

4. Add the chopped tomatoes, stir and cook for 2 minutes until soft.

5. Now add in all the spices – coriander powder, turmeric powder, amchur (dried mango powder), red chili powder, garam masala and salt and mix. Cook the spices for 30 seconds.

6. Blend in the diced potatoes along with 2 tablespoons water. Cover the pot with a glass lid and let the potatoes cook for around 3 minutes. You may stir them once in between.

6. It’s time to remove the glass lid and add around 3 to 4 tablespoons water to the pot and deglaze it. There shouldn’t be any burnt bits at the bottom of the pot. Place the cauliflower florets on top and then sprinkle with chopped coriander. Do not stir.

7. Close the pot with its lid and press the manual or pressure cook button. Use the adjust or pressure level button to set pressure to “low”. Cook on low pressure for 3 minutes, with the pressure valve in the sealing position.

8. The pot takes around 8 to 10 minutes to come to pressure so be patient. Do not try to open the pot in between and check if it has come to pressure or not – it will! See notes above.

9. Do a quick pressure release. Open the pot and with a spoon gently mix the cauliflower with rest of the masala and the potatoes. If you like it drier, you may press the saute button to drain off any excess water. Serve aloo gobi with roti or paratha.


7. Saag/Palak Paneer

1 lb spinach (palak) washed
2 cups paneer or cottage cheese cut in bite sized cubes
1 tbsp ghee or oil
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 green chili pepper chopped
1 onion medium, chopped
5 cloves garlic chopped
1″ inch ginger chopped
1 tomato medium, chopped
¼ cup water
1 tsp garam masala

Spices required:
½ tsp ground turmeric (haldi powder)
½ tsp red chili powder (mirchi powder)
1 tsp coriander powder (dhaniya powder)
1 tsp salt adjust to taste

Recipe for the instant pot Palak Paneer!

1. Start the instant pot in sauté mode. Heat oil and add cumin seeds.

2. As you notice the cumin seeds starting to splutter, add ginger, garlic, green chili and onions. Sauté for 2 minutes.

3. Add tomato and spices. Stir and let it cook for 2 minutes. 

4. Add water and deglaze the pot (see notes). Add in the spinach. Press cancel and close the instant pot lid with vent in sealing position. Set on manual or pressure cook mode on high pressure for 2 minutes.

5. When the instant pot beeps, do a 5-minute natural pressure release, which means release the pressure manually 5 minutes after the beep. 

6. Blend the ingredients in the pot to a creamy texture using an immersion blender.

7. Add the paneer and garam masala. Let it sit for 5 minutes, so the paneer soaks in the flavours. The luxurious Palak Paneer is prepared and all set to be relished with naan, roti or paratha.

Image: WhiskAffair

8. Dal Makhani (Madras Lentils)

1. Black gram dal or whole urad dal
2. Kidney beans or rajma 
3. Ghee/ Olive oil – you could use another oil if you have it on hand
4. Cumin seeds 
5. Dry bay leaves 
6. Onion – white onions are best for this recipe
7. Garlic and ginger- grated or crushed
8. Chopped coriander 
9. Turmeric powder 
10. Red chili powder 
11. Tomatoes – crushed
12. Cumin or coriander powder 
13. Kasoori methi 
14. Salt – add to taste, but you can omit if you are watching how much salt you eat each day
15. 1 cup whole and split lentils any combination of whole black lentils, whole mung beans, whole masoor beans, red lentils, red kidney beans, etc, soaked overnight

Spices required:

1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ – 1 teaspoon cayenne
2 tomatoes chopped
3 cups water
2 tablespoons ghee adjust to taste
Coriander to garnish
Drizzle of heavy cream optional garnish

Instant Pot Recipe for Dal Makhani:

1. Let the lentils soak in cold water overnight. Drain, rinse and set aside.

2. Click on the sauté button on the Instant Pot, add the oil and allow it to heat up for a minute. Add the cumin seeds and once they start to brown, add the onion and bay leaf. Stir-fry for 6-7 minutes or until the onion begins to brown.

3. Add the garlic, ginger, spices and stir, then add the tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes break down.

4. Add the lentils to the pot along with the 3 cups of water and mix well.

5. Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 30 minutes at high pressure. Allow the pressure to release naturally.

6. Stir in the ghee and garnish with coriander if desired.


9. One of the Instant pot recipes for Indian vegetarians: Cauliflower Tikka Masala


8 cups cauliflower florets from 1 head cauliflower, 3 pounds
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons garam masala, split reserving 1 teaspoon for the end
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon each ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 can coconut milk, refrigerated, see notes
1 – 28 ounce can whole fire roasted tomatoes


1. Dissect the cauliflower into florets about 1″ in size and set them aside.

2. Turn a 6-quart Instant Pot on to the sauté setting and add the avocado oil. When the oil is just starting to shimmer, add the onion and sauté until the it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Now add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Turn the sauté setting off and scoop the mixture out of the Instant Pot and into a blender. Add the spices using just 1 teaspoon of the garam masala reserving the other teaspoon for the end of the cooking time. Scoop the hardened cream from the top of the can of coconut milk and set it aside to reserve it.

3. Don’t lose the leftover liquid from the coconut milk. Pour it into the blender along with the fire roasted tomatoes and the salt. Blend until mostly smooth, then pour the sauce back into the Instant Pot. Add the cauliflower florets and stir to partially cover. Secure the lid and pressure cook for 1 minute.

4. As the cooking time gets done, use the quick release function, and when the Instant Pot is safe to open remove the lid. Turn the sauté setting back on, and stir in the coconut cream along with the remaining 1 teaspoon of garam masala, simmer for 1 minute to combine the flavours.

5. Season to taste, and if you desire for a thick gravy, slightly mix together 1-2 teaspoons tapioca starch with 2 tablespoon of water until smooth. Drizzle in small amounts of this mixture into the simmering tikka masala stirring constantly until the sauce thickens to your liking. Serve hot and enjoy!

Image: Swasthi’s Recipes

10. Last but not the least, one of the favourite instant pot recipes for Indian vegetarians: Paneer Biryani

3 tablespoons whole milk yogurt use thick yogurt
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon biryani masala or use garam masala
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon red chili powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
225 grams paneer cut into cubes, around 1.5 cups cubed paneer

For the Rice

1 cup basmati rice 200 grams, soaked 30 minutes
1 tablespoon milk with pinch of saffron strands (for saffron milk)
2 tablespoons ghee divided
1 medium red onion thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
2-3 cloves
4 green cardamom
5-6 black peppercorns
¾ teaspoon shahi jeera or use cumin seeds
1.5 teaspoon chopped ginger
1.5 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoons broken cashews
1.25 cups water 10 oz, divided
½ teaspoon biryani masala or use garam masala
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon rose water or kewra water
Chopped coriander to garnish
Pomegranate to garnish

Recipe for Instant pot Paneer Biryani, say the name and drool all over:

1. Take in a large bowl, yogurt and whisk it until smooth. Then add ginger-garlic paste, coriander powder, biryani masala, paprika, red chili powder, salt, chopped cilantro. Mix it well.

2. Now add the paneer cubes. Mix until all paneer cubes are coated with the marinade. Cover and chill the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

3. As this gets done, simultaneously rinse the rice until water turns clear and then soak it in 2 cups (16 oz) water for 30 minutes. Drain the water after 30 minutes using a colander and set the rice aside.

4. Add pinch of saffron strands to 1 tablespoon of warm milk and set aside.

5. Start with the process of making the biryani after the paneer has been marinated for 30 minutes and rice has been soaked for 30 minutes. You can start sauteing the onions before the 30 minute mark.

6. Put the Instant pot on saute mode. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon ghee. Add sliced onion to it. Saute for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often until onions are browned. Once the onions are browned, remove them from the pot.

8. Now carefully add the remaining tablespoon of ghee in the pot. Add the whole spices (bay leaf, cloves, green cardamom, peppercorns & shahi jeera) and let them sizzle.

9. Next, add the chopped ginger, garlic and cashews. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until garlic, ginger and cashews start changing colour.

10. Blend in the marinated paneer and toss. Add 1/4 cup (2 oz) water and deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom of the pot with a spatula. Make sure there’s nothing stuck at the bottom of the pot.

11.Then add remaining 1 cup (8 oz) water and rice.

12. It’s time to sprinkle the biryani masala, salt, 1/2 of the fried onion and the prepared saffron milk on top.

13.Also add the rose or kewra water. 

14. Cover the pot with the lid. Switch on the manual or pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.

15. Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Place paneer biryani on a serving plate, top with cilantro and remaining half of the fried onion. You may also add some pomegranate arils on top. Serve with a side raita or plain yogurt or curry gravy.

Also read: Easy Egg Kebab recipe to make your boring days better

By Arpita Patro


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