Indian cooks embrace the Instant Pot

While Instant Pots and their clones have become a phenomenon in the US, Canada, and beyond, most people who have purchased one were not already owners of a stovetop pressure cooker. Or perhaps they had one, but rarely used it because it was intimidating (I will include myself in the latter category). Stovetop pressure cooker recipes were just not that common in most people’s homes. 

Instant Pot

However, there is at least one country where a stovetop pressure cooker is an everyday item: India. Many Indian households use one to make dishes like biryanis, dals, curries and kormas, which are particularly well suited to this cooking method. The Indian diaspora was among the first to embrace the Instant Pot – there are a half-dozen Indian Instant Pot Facebook groups, with a combined membership of nearly 200,000 active users. 

Hand in hand with this trend, cookbook publishers are releasing electric pressure cooker cookbooks focused on Indian cuisine – more for this genre than for any other. They’ve become so popular that even Knopf Doubleday (which releases precious few appliance cookbooks) is publishing one by renowned author Madhur Jaffrey, titled Madhur Jaffrey’s Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook. Unfortunately, we have to wait until May 2019 for this book.

Jaffrey translated the recipes for traditional stovetop cookers into ones suited for an Instant Pot. It took some trial and error to find the best setting for each type of dish. “This is an Instant Pot,” she wrote in an email to the NYT. “It is not a Magic Pot. It will make food for you but, rather like a computer, you have to create the programming that gives you the perfect dish.”

This wave of Indian pressure cooker books follows on the heels of the higly successful Indian Instant Pot Cookbook: Traditional Indian Dishes Made Easy & Fast by Urvashi Pitre (2017), which has sold over 100,000 copies and enjoys a 5-star rating in the EYB Library.

You can preview recipes from the EYBDigital book Instant Indian: Classic Foods from Every Region of India Made Easy in the Instant Pot by Rinku Battacharya, out this month (stay tuned for a contest for this book as well as promotions for Ivy Manning’s IP titles with an Instant Pot as a grand prize). Another recent volume to consider is Chandra Ram’s The Complete Indian Instant Pot Cookbook: 130 Traditional and Modern Recipes (we will have a promotion on Chandra’s title as well.  

Currently, Amazon has the DU0 7-in-1 model on sale so now is the time to pick up one!

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