Vegan Instant Pot – What We Ate Yesterday

I’ve been thinking about cooking my way through Nisha Vora’s The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook. You know, like Julie and Julia. On Monday I picked a few recipes to try this week and yesterday I made two things in the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Chickpea Biryani

First up is Chickpea Biryani. There were quite a few spices in this recipe and I don’t know the breakdown of the cost of spices. I have a collection of spices so I already had everything on hand. To start with I read through the recipe and laid out everything in the order it was used. At the end, I had cardamom pods and fennel seeds that I didn’t see in the directions where I was supposed to use them. I referred back to the list of ingredients and saw both were listed before onions, so I figured they were part of the first batch of spices.

Other than that, the recipe is really straightforward. Toast spices, add onion, add more things, stir, then cook under pressure for four minutes. Wait five more minutes before releasing steam and it’s done!

The cashews and raisins really made this dish extra tasty! My partner and kids were surprised by how much the raisins added to the biryani. My chickpea-hating 10 year old said she even liked the chickpeas! The frozen veggies got a little mushy for us so maybe fresh would be better if you like crunch?

It was enough for 4 dinners plus a serving of leftovers. If I had to guess how much it cost to make, I’d put it in the $10-12 range for 5 servings. That’s if you have all the spices already. I try to only have to buy a spice or two at a time because they really add up! Aldi has some spices for around $1-2 each and Publix has different brands that cost less than the major brand.

Next up: cake!

Nisha’s recipe calls for cake flour, but we’re gluten-free so I used slightly less all purpose gluten-free flour instead. I’ve found gluten-free flour can make things a little drier so when I substitute, I tend to use less of it. Other than that, I followed her recipe.

I didn’t make the raspberry topping, though I can imagine how good that would be! We had a can of cake frosting leftover from a birthday so the kids had that on their cake. My husband had his without icing and said it was fine as-is. I tried one bite and was surprised at how fudge-like it turned out.

(Side note: I can’t eat bread or anything bread-like, including cake. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis. The rings in my esophagus keep me from being able to eat some foods like breads and solid meats, which is part of why I went vegan.)