Dhaba Style Tadka Daal – Instant Pot

Dhaba Style Tadka Daal


Main Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Jeera (Cumin Seeds)
  • 5-7 Kadi Patta (Curry Leaves)
  • cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Red Onion Chopped
  • 1 Tomato Chopped
  • 1 cup washed Toor Daal (Split Pigeon Pea)
  • 3 cups Water
  • Salt to taste
  • Dhaniya (Cilantro) to garnish (Optional)
  • 1/4 tsp Haldi (Turmeric Powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Dhania (Coriander Powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Mirchi (Red Chili Powder) 


  1. Start you Instant Pot in sauté mode and add the oil until it heats.
  2. Add Jeera and once it splutters add Garlic and Kadi Patta.
  3. After the Garlic turns light brown, add the chopped Red Onion and cook for 2 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add Tomato and sauté for another minute.
  5. Add spices and sauté for another minute.
  6. Add the washed daal and water.
  7. Switch the Instant Pot setting to Pressure Cook for 6 minutes and Quick Release the pressure.
  8. Garnish with dhaniya (optional) and serve.

**If you like your daal to be on the thicker side, reduce the use 2.5 cups of water instead of 3.**


Basmati Rice – Instant Pot

Basmati Rice

As I was doing my research before diving into using my Instant Pot, one thing I kept running across over and over again was all the trouble various people were having in cooking rice. 

  • What setting do I use?
  • How long do I cook it?
  • What’s the rice to water ratio?
  • Do I cook it in the inner pot? 
  • Etc. Etc. Etc. 

I decided to try a PiP (Pot in Pot) method that I came across on one of the many Instant Pot groups because I figured if it didn’t turn out right, at least I wouldn’t have to clean the inner pot and start all over again. I could start in the Inner Pot right away as it would be clean. I’m happy to share with you that the ratio, the method, the PiP all worked out great and the rice was perfect! Fluffy, Soft, Separated Grains and just YUMMY! 

Here’s what I did:

  1. Rinse 2 cups rice and put it in the pot you want to use, add 3 cups water.
  2. Add a tbsp of oil to coat rice grains with oil (so it doesn’t stick to the pot).
  3. Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes with Natural Pressure Release

**Again, I haven’t tried this yet but I read that you could do the same for 18 minutes and do a Quick Release.** 

Tofu Stir Fry – Instant Pot

Tofu Stir Fry



  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Vegetarian Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Chili Garlic Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Corn Starch
  • 3 tablespoons water

Main Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or fine chopped
  • 1 cup chopped green beans 
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 cup broccoli florets 
  • 1 small bell pepper, cut in small pieces
  • Tofu (I used store bought fried tofu)


  1. Mix all ingredients listed under sauce and whisk till cornstarch is dissolved – keep aside.
  2. Chop the Vegetables and Tofu – keep aside.
  3. Turn Instant Pot and pick Saute mode, heat level to ‘more‘.
  4. Once the displays says “hot“, add garlic and sauté until it starts to brown a little (make sure it doesn’t burn).
  5. Add onions and sauté until translucent and then add the rest of the vegetables and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the tofu in the end if you are using the fried tofu otherwise you can add it with the vegetables.
  7. Once the vegetables are about done, mix the sauce and add it to the vegetables in the pot until it coats the vegetables.
  8. Leave it on sauté mode for 1 minute and then turn the Instant Pot off.
  9. Serve with hot white (Basmati or Jasmine) or Brown rice. 

**I haven’t tried this yet but I read somewhere that another way to cook this would be to pressure cook the vegetables and tofu for 1 minute on Pressure Cook, do a Quick Release, and then sauté with the sauce till it all comes together.** 

Instant Pot Cooking

If you’re like me and you don’t particularly enjoy cooking, you’re probably always looking for ways to simplify the cooking you have to do. I kept reading about how easy it is to cook almost everything in the Instant Pot and after months of contemplating I finally gave in and bought a 7-in-1 Instant Pot during the Black Friday sale at Amazon. 

Being a prime member, i received it in 2 days however, I kept coming up with reasons and excuses about why I didn’t want to open it and start using it just yet – until tonight! 

I decided I would take it easy and make something simple and start with that. What can be easier than rice? 

Well I needed something to eat with my rice and came across a recipe for Kung Pao Chicken. Not being a fan of peanuts in my cooking and being a vegetarian, I modified the recipe to be my own and made it the way I usually make my Tofu Stir Fry on the stove and boy did the food turn out GOOD! 

The food was delicious, it was easy, there was no mess and I’m motivated (at least until tomorrow morning for sure) to use this magical pot again! 

Take a look at the recipe section for the measurements and tip on cooking Basmati Rice as well as my recipe for the stir fry. 

Enjoy & Happy Cooking! 

#SAW – Shootout at Wadala


Shootout at Wadala is a saga about the rise and fall of dreaded Mumbai gangster Manya Surve (John Abraham) in the 1970s, and his death in 1982 in what is supposedly the first police encounter.

Based on a chapter in S Hussain Zaidi’s book ‘From Dongri To Dubai’, the movie has director Sanjay Gupta written all over it.  Anyone familiar with this director’s work such as Kaante, Zinda etc, will recognize it as having his stamp all over it!  Gupta is a director for the masses and SAW is no different.  Full of seeti-maar dialogues, item songs with sexy girls, sex and violence show traces of  Terentino’s fan in the film.  

The story is rooted in Manya Surve’s journey from an innocent, bright college student to one of the city’s most powerful mafia dons.  It follows Manohar – a boy is framed by the cops who befriends Munir (Tusshar Kapoor), in prison, and escapes a hardened criminal. Manya decides to stand up to the Haksar dons, brothers Zubair (Manoj Bajpai) and Dilawar (Sonu Sood), and form his own gang. Meanwhile, the cops, led by the dedicated Aafaque Bagraan (Anil Kapoor) and his team (Ronit Roy and Mahesh Manjrekar), try to contain the gang wars by pitting one against the other. Manya’s biggest weakness is his college sweetheart, Vidya (Kangna Ranaut), who does not approve of his work but can’t give him up or walk away from him.


The things I liked about the movie :

1.  Dialogues, dialogues, dialogues!  – Take a bow Milap Zaveri, you have emerged as the true hero of the film!  

2.  John Abraham – John pours his heart and soul in what is the role of a lifetime in his career thus far.  It’s hard to ignore the effort he has put into becoming Manya.  As endearing as he is as Manohar, he is just as likeable as Manya.  

3.  Slick camera work that is Gupta’s trademark and the direction which takes us into Gupta’s vision flawlessly!  

4. Manoj Bajpai – What dialogue delivery, what conviction!  Not once can you picture Zubair being played by anyone else … Bajpai is as usual, actor par excellence and the best in the movie after the dialogues! 

5.  Sonu Sood – who’d have thought that Chedi Singh from Dabang can also flawlessly portray Dilawar.  Sood has shown tremendous control and restrain and plays the perfect part of Zubair’s little brother.  BRAVO!! 

6.  Costumes – The actors all wear the retro look fittingly right down to the retro glasses worn by John.  The costume designer has done an AMAZING job! 


Things I did NOT like about the movie :

1.  Kangana Ranaut – her character is quite comic to put it as politely as possible.  Even with a weak character, there is nothing in her acting that makes you take notice of her.  The role could’ve been played by anyone and there would be no difference.  

2. Babli Badmash – this song is just a mashup of a long list of what’s wrong with it.  The choreography, it looked SO odd!! Priyanka Chopra, what a misfit!! Neither her, nor her costume looked anything like an item girl.  More importantly, this song was the only song in the movie which felt shoved in there.  

3.  Sunny Leone – as much as I liked the song “Laila” the only thing that didn’t fit there was Leone.  There are parts of the song where it is clear that she is purposely moving her lehenga just to showcase her legs and that makes it very evident that it’s the forced masala that is being shoved down our throat in the name of choreography.  

4.  The glorification of Manya Surve – as important as it was for us to understand the journey of Manohar to Manya, was it really necessary to glorify him?  What kind of message does that send to society?  


Track I enjoyed the most :


Sophie sizzles in this track and manages to look total item song worthy without looking vulgar or cheap.  The track is one that can easily get stuck in your head and one finds themselves leaving the theater humming this song!


Beautiful – soothing – lovely! 


All in all, if you are looking for an entertainer for the masses, go watch it!  A point worth noting though, it is an Adult certified movie due to the violence, language and the sex scenes so please do NOT take your kids along and, if you’re like me, you might not want to watch it with your parents either. 🙂 

Whether this movie will be a super-duper 100cr club hit or not is yet to be seen but, one thing is for certain – all the awards for best dialogue belong to Milap Zaveri next year.  

If you aren’t following him on Twitter yet, do so now instead of waiting until he wins all the awards next year – his twitter handle is @zmilap

Taqdeer ka khel …

Taqdeer ka khel

Jaanti hoon main mera bhavishya tum nahin magar

Meri taqdeer se chup kar ek baar phir mere ho jao …



Alag hui tujhse

Jaane kyon ye duriyaan hui

Pucha jo khuda se

Muskura ke bola

Pagli teri khata nahin

Is ishq ki dastaan maine likhi hi adhoori thi …

Hazaaron Khwaahishein Aisi …

Hazaaron Khwaahishein Aisi

Is baat ka gilah hai, malaal nahi mujhe

Woh paas reh kar bhi jaan na paaya mujhe

Yeh mohabbat ki chaahat hi ajeeb hai 

Thokar kha kar bhi paana na sahi

Par khona bhi nahi hai use

Kaisa ye Ishq Hai … Ajab sa Risk Hai

Kaisa ye Ishq Hai

Jude jab tere khwaab se
To jaage hum neend me
Ye kaisa tera ishq hai saajna
Tu haathon me to hai
Magar kyon nahin lakeer me

Safe Haven

Safe Haven

The Notebook is one of my favorite movies of all time!  In fact, all of Nicholas Sparks movies/books are a favorite for a hopeless romantic like me.  When I heard that he was coming out with a new movie called Safe Haven, I was very excited about it! 

I got lucky in a contest from Co.Co Sala and ended up winning tickets to the screening of the movie one week before its release.  Being the fan that I am, how could I refuse the offer so, of course I went with Manish. 

The movie started and as it progressed, I kept wishing for it to get better.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a good movie, a good thriller but, I kept wishing for what I like in a Nicholas Sparks movie – More Real Romance.  As the movie progressed, I was upset that Safe Haven was turning out to be more of a thriller than a romance but, the movie ended and all I can say is I was shocked – in a good way! 

It already had the romance all along and I was so wrapped up in the thriller that I did not even notice it.


Things I like about this movie :

1. The cast – everyone has done a great job in the movie but especially the kids!

2. It’s the kind of romance that makes you think at the end – specially since the kind of love does not exist anymore.

3. The rogue cop – David Lyons has played this role to the tee! 

4. The movie depicts both the sweet as well as the dangerous side of love. 

Things I didn’t like about this movie :

1. Nicholas Sparks’s romantic spark was missing a bit in the movie.

2. The movie seemed long and predictable at times so the editing could have been sharper.


All in all, it’s a good movie and definitely worth a watch.  Could you wait until it comes out on DVD? Absolutely!  No need to rush to watch this at the theater but, definitely grab the one you love, a box of tissues and some popcorn to watch this one on your couch! 

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