Thursday, 13 June 2019

Instant Indian by Rinku Bhattacharya

Instant Indian by Rinku Bhattacharya
Published in America by Hippocrene Books on the 2nd October 2018.

I linked this post to June 2019 Foodies Read linkup at Based On A True Story

How I got this book:
Received a review copy via Rachel's Random Resources

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Add Instant Indian to your Goodreads

Discover favorite foods from all over India with the first regional Indian cookbook authorized by Instant Pot!
Rinku Bhattacharya — cookbook author and founder of Spice Chronicles — has put together a collection of 100 authentic recipes that showcase the diversity and range of the foods of India, where every state and region boasts its own unique dishes. Whether you crave takeout favorites or want to be introduced to lesser-known specialties, this cookbook brings the best of India to your table in an instant!
The Instant Pot® lends itself perfectly to Indian recipes, making flavorful, nutritious Indian fare (like simmering-all-day dals, legumes and all manner of curries) in minutes instead of hours. Instant Indian features numerous vegetarian and vegan options , and nearly all recipes are gluten-free.
With step-by-step instructions and color photos throughout, Instant Indian makes Indian cooking easy and fool-proof using all the functions of this popular appliance. 

If, like me, you've been living under a culinary rock for the past couple of years, you might also have been unaware of the Instant Pot phenomenon. Basically it's a 'must-have' multipurpose kitchen gadget which combines the functionality of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, frying pan, etc in one electrically powered unit. At the time I offered to review Instant Indian, the Instant Pot was so popular that there simply weren't any available in the UK. I still don't have one! However they are now available to purchase again (Amazon UK / Amazon US).

So, while bearing in mind that Instant Indian was specifically written with Instant Pot owners in mind, I was pleased to find that the book is also accessible and inspirational without one. Bhattacharya names each setting in the order it is used so it wasn't difficult for me to read Saute setting and translate that to Frying Pan, or Chilli setting to Lidded Saucepan, Rice setting to Rice Steamer - you get the picture. Obviously having had the Instant Pot machine would make cooking these recipes much less fuss and significantly reduce the washing up aftermath, but I was still able to make good use of Instant Indian.

What I particularly appreciate about Bhattacharya's cookery books is the way she demystifies more unusual ingredients and explains the recipes' geographical and historical influences. Here I learned about different rices and about different types of lentils and legumes. These are central ingredients to Indian cuisine and also important to a vegan diet so I was delighted to discover new ways to cook and present them. As with the other Bhattacharya book I read, Spices And Seasons, I was impressed by the thought given to organising multiple indexes so recipes can be found by dietary requirement, by ingredient, or by style of dish. This makes deciding on a particular recipe so much easier!

Overall I don't think I found Instant Indian quite lived up to Spices And Seasons, but it is still a valuable resource for Indian cuisine recipes and a worthwhile addition to any cook's bookcase.

Meet the author

Rinku Bhattacharya ( was born in India, and now lives in a house with a vibrant backyard in Hudson Valley, New York with her husband, an avid gardener, and their two children. Rinku’s simple, sustainable approach to Indian cooking is showcased on her blog, Spice Chronicles, and in her Journal News column “Spices and Seasons.”

Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years, and works extensively with local area farmer’s markets on seasonal demonstrations and discussions. Rinku is also the author of The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles (Hippocrene Books, 2012), winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2013 for Best Indian Cuisine. She writes for the Poughkeepsie Journal, the Journal News, and several online sites, and is a frequent guest on CT Style TV.

Author links: 
Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

Etsy Find!
by Spice Kitchen UK in
Birmingham, England

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

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Books by Rinku Bhattacharya / Food and cookery books / Books from India


  1. I don't have an Instant Pot but one of these days I'd like to try some Indian dishes.

    1. I love good Indian food! Delicious complex flavours and so much variety :-)

  2. This is the second review I have seen on this cookbook. Need to take a look for myself.

    1. If you don't have an Instant Pot then Spices And Seasons might be the more useful of Bhattacharya's cookbooks. If you do have a Pot, then this is absolutely a fab book to own!