The space over at 101 Cookbooks has been one of my favorite food blogs for years. The photos are beautiful, the writing light and whimsical and the recipes wholesome and delicious. Given Heidi’s more Martha Stewart than Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee. So it was a surprise (albeit a pleasant one) when she got in on the Instapot action with this dedicated Instapot section on 101 Cookbooks. Heidi’s turmeric spiced congee had been on my list to try for a few weeks.

Congee is a savory Asian rice porridge dish. The mixture of brown rice (I used brown basmati) and quinoa created a creamy, toothy base topped with crunchy peanuts, fresh microgreens, sautéed bok choy and crispy tofu plus a healthy drizzle of toasted sesame oil and Japanese 5 spice.

A breakfast – or lunch – of champions. I loosely followed Heidi’s recipe which you can find here.


Sunday Masala Meal Prep

April 8, 2018

I may need a second Instapot. And if the second one can be the adorable little 3 quart Instapot then all the better.

It sounds a little over the top but when you really think about it, it’s very practical. The number of times I’ve found myself thinking, “If only I had another Instapot, right now I could start the…” But it would probably take relocating to the suburbs to gain enough storage space so we’re a one Instapot only household.

I’ve really been loving 101 Cookbook’s Instapot recipes. While I was making her Brown Rice Turmeric Congee, I prepped all of the ingredients for My Heart Beet’s Indian Onion Masala.

I went a little over the top and also made these spicy green beans from Dakshin Vegetarian Cuisine from South India. The title is pretty self-explanatory. It took me about a year since my dad gave it to me for me to get over my fear of cooking South Indian food. More to come on that front.

Onion-ginger-garlic-tomato masala forms the base of many North Indian curries. A few weeks ago, I made a vat of it in my Instapot and froze it in a silicone muffin tray.

I’ve used it to make Paneer Makhani, Yellow Split Pea Lentils (Toor Daal) and Spinach with Chickpeas. It reduces cooking time to under 20 minutes.


Crispy Spinach Chaat

March 3, 2018

I’ve always thought of zucchini flowers as an excuse to eat fried ricotta cheese. Spinach chaat is a similar excuse to enjoy crunchy, spicy chickpea flour with tangy spices, minty chutney plus cool creamy yogurt. It’s a mix of textures, temperatures and tastes that all come together in one bite. That mouthful pleasure is what makes chaat – or Indian street food snacks – so finger licking good. Literally.

We first had Spinach Chaat at Rasika Roi in Washington, DC. The first time we ate there, we were both dying to understand how you could batter and fry something as delicate as a spinach leaf. Spoiler alert – not only is it possible but it is also amazing.

Crispy Spinach Chaat


  • Coconut oil for cooking
  • 2 cups of spinach leaves
  • 1 cup besan or chickpea flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water or more as needed
  • Toppings:
  • Yogurt
  • Mint or Coriander Chutney
  • Tamarind Chutney


  1. Heat coconut oil in a deep and wide skillet.
  2. In a big mixing boil, mix the besan and spices. Add the water and create a thick pancake like batter.
  3. Dip each spinach leaf into the batter then fry in oil. I do this in batches to make it easier.
  4. Drain fried leaves on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
  5. To serve, plate a handful of spinach leaves then top with yogurt, mint (or coriander) chutney and tamarind chutney. Serve hot.

Rasika just came out with this cookbook, and while I haven’t bought it yet (but probably will soon!), I heard it has the recipe for their Spinach Chaat, which is their most popular dish.


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