Instant Pot Daal, Shaak (Subji) & Rice

The hardest part about cooking Indian food is all the prep work, and the endless amount of dishes that are left to wash afterwards. For me, by the time I finish making Indian food for dinner, cleaning up and finding time to eat, I’m exhausted and can’t even enjoy the meal.  Luckily, if you own an Instant Pot you can save yourself a lot of time by cooking things all at once, in a single pot with very limited babysitting. 

To make a simple daal, shaak/subji and rice can be fairly quick in the Instant Pot once you get the hang of it. The method is the same for most shaaks/subji’s. When I’m making these three items, I use the sauté  mode using the base of my pot and use the pot in pot method to cook multiple items at a time. I use this method and switch out the vegetables to make various shaaks/subji’s. 

Here is a quick guide to making shaaks/subji’s, daal and rice in the Instant Pot. You can switch out the veggies and modify the vagaar/tadka per your own recipe. The shaak/subji pictured below is cabbage also known as Kobi (nu shaak) in Gujarati. You can add potatoes or other vegetables to this per your own recipe but the guide below will provide you with the appropriate cooking times, along with which settings to use on your Instant Pot to make a quick, healthy Indian meal.  


Cooking Daal & Kobi nu shaak in the Instant Pot

How to use the Instant Pot sauté mode & pot in pot method to make Indian Daal, Shaak/Subji and rice – 
  1. Select SAUTE on your Instant Pot
  2. Select ADJUST and click until the red light is on NORMAL. You will see the red light move from LESS, NORMAL or MORE with each click. 
  3. Give the pot a minute to warm and burn off any water that may be in the pot
  4. Add in oil, once your oil is warm add the remaining of your sauté mode ingredient such as rai, hing, etc. 
  5. Add in your raw daal & at least 1 cup of water (more if you want it more liquified, but not less otherwise the base will burn). 
  6. Take a separate stove friendly pot, and do a normal vagaar/tadka for your shaak/subji. There is no need to use a stove friendly pot if you don’t plan to warm it up again on the stove. 
  7. Once your shaak/subji tadka is ready add in the vegetables, spices and water if needed
  8. Turn off SAUTE mode. 
  9. Stack your shaak/subji pot into the base of your Instant Pot (trivet optional), on top of your daal.
  10. Stack another pot with rice and water on top of the shaak/subji pot (or vice versa depending on the size) 
  11. Close lid, use MANUAL mode HIGH and cook for 20 minutes. 
  12. Allow for a natural release once cooking is completed and remove the top layers (don’t forget to wipe the bottoms of the pot if you plan to heat on the stove again). 
  13. Add additional spices or water to all pots as needed. 
  14. Blend your daal using an immersion blender (to save a pot, you can use a regular blender or a manual blending tool as well).
  15. Select SAUTE mode, ADJUST to Low setting and let your daal come to a boil for about 15 to 20 minutes. 
  16. Select OFF once your daal is to your liking.

Please note all vessels will be hot, so handle with care. Also cooking times are approximate and will vary depending on the quantity and cooking pressure. 

What are your favorite Instant Pot shaaks/subji’s??? 

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