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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Brown Basmati Rice Pilaf with Baby Portobello Mushrooms and Edamame in Instant Pot

I bought the Instant pot this November, and since then I have been trying to experiment different recipes in it.  One thing I really find it useful is for cooking brown rice. Brown rice is so difficult to cook on stove or in Microwave (this is how I usually cook my white rice in) It is always not cooked correctly. So I decided to cook brown rice in it and after few experiments, when I had the recipe down for brown rice, I decided to make the brown rice pilaf first and then brown rice Biryani, which I am going to post next.

  • 1 cup Basmati brown rice
  • 2 and half cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 table spoon Olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter.

  • One yellow onion
  • 5 green onions
  • 4 oz of baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup of cooked shelled edamame

  • 3 table spoon of Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1" stick of Cinnamon
  • 1-2 pods of dried red chilies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Asefoetida (optional)
  • 1/3 cup of roasted unsalted cashews 
  • Salt to taste

  • Wash and soak brown rice for 4-6 hours (if you don't have time to soak the rice, you may have to add more water and increase the cook time to 27-30 min instead of 25 min.
  • Wash, Chop and prep onions, mushrooms and green onions.
  • I used frozen shelled edamame, cook them in microwave per instructions on package.
  • Turn the instant pot on and put it on saute mode.

  • Add 3 tablespoon of olive oil to the instant pot container
  • When oil is hot add cumin seeds
  • When these crackle. add asefoetida followed by bay leaves, cinnamon stick and dried red chili pod.
  • Add cashews stir it till slightly brown.
  • Add onions, green onion, saute until caramelized.
  • Add mushroom.

  • Stir for 1-2 min and then add edamame
  • Add salt.
  • Cook for 1 min then empty the content in a bowl and set aside.

  • Place the container back in Instant pot.
  • Keep the setting at saute mode.
  • Drain all the water out of rice.
  • Add 1 table spoon of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter.
  • Add rice and saute  for 1-2  min stirring it lightly. 
  • Add water and salt.

  • Close and lock the lid in place and press the manual button.
  • In the newer version which I bought, the manual button is "Pressure cook" which is the last button on right side.
  • Press that and set the timer by pressure the plus button to 25 min.
  • Turn the steam release handle to "sealing"
  • Once the pressure builds up, the clock will start counting down.


  • Once the clock has counted down. allow the pressure to naturally  release for 10 min.
  • Once the clock shows 10 min has passed, carefully release the remaining pressure and remove the lid.
  • Fluff the rice with wooden fork /spoon or silicone spoon. 
  • Transfer the rice in the serving casserole.  Mix and gently toss in the sauteed onions, mushroom and edamame.

Serve hot.
Enjoy !
Recipe and Photographs by Surekha

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Monday, January 1, 2018

Funfetti Pancakes from ready made Cake Mix

I am posting this recipe on special request from my nephew Vardaan.  I had made these pancakes when my son was visiting for Christmas and then I took the batter to  my sister's house and made the pancakes there for Vardaan. Both my son and my nephew absolutely loved these pancakes.
I had Funfetti cake mix box in my pantry and I was thinking there must be some recipe out there to make the pancakes out of ready made cake mix and I was right I found one online on this site "" .
This time I did not modify anything but just cut the recipe in to half because the recipe was for ~18 pancakes and I  used only half the cake mix from the box.  I used Funfetti cake mix for this recipe. Here I am posting the entire recipe using one box of cake mix.

Here is the entire recipe for 12-18 pancakes:
  • 1 box of Funfetti cake mix
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 and half cup of milk *
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • Cooking spray
  • Butter to cook pancake 

* I would start with gradually pouring milk to desired consistency of batter. Use less milk if you like thicker pancakes. Exact number of pancakes will depend on how much milk and how big the pancakes you make.

For topping:

  • Butter (if desired)
  • Maple or any other fruit syrup
  • Cool whip or non dairy topping
  • Seasonal fruits (I used canned pineapple tid bits and mandarin segments drained)

  • In a large bowl, whisk and  mix eggs, milk and oil.
  • Add cake mix and flour.
  • Mix together until combined and smooth
  • Heat an electric griddle to medium setting, or you can use nonstick pan on the stove on medium heat.
  • Spray with cooking spray and wipe with paper towel.
  • Pour pancake batter.
  • Drizzle some butter around to cook, if desired.
  • When top of batter starts to bubble and other side is golden brown, flip the pancake with ladle and cook the other side.
  • Cook for another min or until other side is golden brown.
  • Repeat the process and continue until all the batter is used.

Serve  hot and Top with butter, cook whip, fruits and syrup as desired.

Enjoy !

Recipe courtesy of
Photographs by Surekha.
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