Healthy, inexpensive, and delicious, this pressure cooker Indian Vegetable Rice is a perfect side OR main dish, and thanks to the almighty Instant Pot, it is easy as can be!

Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Healthy Indian Vegetable Rice

Huge fan.

I’m a huge fan of this Indian Vegetable Rice.

Not only is it healthy and extremely tasty, but it is ridiculously easy.

Over the last year or so, I’ve transitioned from making rice on the stovetop to almost exclusively making all the rice we eat in the Instant Pot.

Using the IP is fast and hands-off and makes perfect rice every time.

I have a recipe for a delicious Brown Rice Pilaf in the Instant Pot; it’s wonderful…

But most of the time, this is me around 4:47 p.m.: frantically throwing handfuls of rice in the Instant Pot, adding broth or water, sealing the lid, and letting it go (while I most likely finish piano lessons with the kids or run someone to a soccer practice).

Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Healthy Indian Vegetable Rice

My general rice ratio for the Instant Pot (be it white or brown rice) is 1 cup of rice to 1 1/4 cups liquid. I add a pinch of salt and usually use low-sodium chicken broth for the water, and that’s about it.

Nothing terribly fancy, as you can tell, but it does the job for rice that’s going to get smothered with stroganoff or Indian butter chicken or red beans chicken sausage.

Sometimes, though, a deliciously quick and tasty rice dish that can stand on its own (no gravy or sauce needed!) like this Indian Vegetable Rice can really make one feel like a rock star.

And on a week where I’ve been feeling a little insecure and doubtful and failure-ish with many things in my life, I’m embracing the fact that Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice can make me feel kind of awesome.

Even if it’s a temporary awesomeness lasting only until the final spoonful of rice is gobbled up, I’ll take it.

Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Healthy Indian Vegetable Rice

This Indian vegetable rice is one of those dishes where the yummy factor comes largely from it’s simplicity.

Simple, every day ingredients are tossed into the Instant Pot, and a little over 30 minutes later, you have a wonderfully healthful side (or main) dish staring you in the face!

I use brown basmati rice in this recipe, but you could definitely use long grain brown rice OR sub in long grain white or white basmati rice (just make sure to read the notes of the recipe, because the cooking time is drastically different for white rice vs brown rice).

My favorite brand of curry powder (I’m a broken record about this, I know) is the Sweet Curry Powder from Penzey’s Spices. Best ever.

But if you don’t have it, no worries. You can use any brand of curry powder here as long as it’s a flavor you love, of course.

Lately, I’ve been making this Indian Vegetable Rice in the Instant Pot almost every time we have grilled chicken (particularly delicious with the coconut milk grilled chicken I posted last week) or grilled pork chops.

It is such a tasty side dish! It will elevate your side dish game without hardly any effort on your part, and it will get a few extra veggies in your (and your kids’) diet.

I can’t be mad about that.

Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Healthy Indian Vegetable Rice

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Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Healthy Indian Vegetable Rice

4 votes


Instant Pot {Pressure Cooker} Indian Vegetable Rice





Yield 4-6 servings

Ah, curry powder. I talk about it a lot on every recipe I post using it. As a recap, my favorite brand of curry powder is the Sweet Curry Powder from Penzey's spices. I buy it in bulk, and it is what I use in this recipe. It is a yellow curry powder, and it is not spicy. If you are using a spicier version of curry powder (every brand is different!), adjust the amount in the recipe to taste. 

You could definitely use white rice instead of brown. If doing so, make sure the carrots are chopped very small since the cooking time is much shorter (maybe even consider adding potatoes, too, which don't fare well with the longer cooking time of the brown rice). All other quantities can stay the same, but the white rice only needs to cook for about 4 minutes on high pressure. 


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot (can sub yellow or white onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 1/2 cups brown long grain or basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot (small diced), about 1-2 medium carrots
  • 1 teaspoon coarse, kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (see note above)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas


  1. Heat the olive oil using the Saute function of the Instant Pot (or other electric pressure cooker; can also use a stovetop pressure cooker). 
  2. Add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the edges start to turn translucent. Add the garlic and rice. Stir and cook for another 30 seconds or so. 
  3. Add the carrots, salt, curry powder and chicken broth. Stir to combine.
  4. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 22 minutes (select Manual and then dial up or down to get to the correctly number of minutes; the IP will start on it's own). 
  5. Let the pressure naturally release (or if you are in a hurry, let it naturally release for 10 minutes and then quick release the rest of the pressure). 
  6. Fluff the rice. Add the peas and give a little toss/stir action to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed.
  7. Serve immediately. 

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (inspired by this recipe at Weelicious; converted it to the Instant Pot and changed quantities/method)

Disclaimer: this post contains Amazon affiliate links. 

Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Healthy Indian Vegetable Rice

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49 Responses to Instant Pot Indian Vegetable Rice

  1. Sarah says:

    I made this on the stovetop as I do not have any type of pressure cooker (although that may be changing soon!). The taste was delicious, but if anyone else is thinking of trying this on the stove–I had to add a lot more liquid (I’m guessing at least 1 1/2 cups) and the rice was still a bit hard.

  2. Jamie Jarvis says:

    Brown rice in my IP is beloved. Never thought to pressure cook rice with my previous pressure cooker that died.
    I have a recipe for Mexican Rice that I think is way better in a Dutch oven in the oven than in the stove top. I am going to get brave and use the recipe in the IP and see if everyone still raves!! That would be especially good in the summer when I don’t want the oven on for two hours.
    I posted the above recipe on FB and I’m going to try it this week. I think I might add some shredded cabbage with the other vegetables. I think lots of rice dishes and soup need cabbage. If you use the Julienne on your mandoline slicer, no one will even see it after it is cooked. For years with Fried Rice, I did the small julienne because my kids were convinced they hated cabbage.
    I was glad to see you added the peas at the end just to warm them.

  3. Mike S. says:

    I’d like to make this today but only have non-low sodium broth. If I just omit the kosher salt will I still be in the ball park?

    • Mel says:

      Sure…and actually, I usually season to taste with salt at the end, so you may be fine with regular broth and the salt, but it is probably safest to cut back on the salt and season at the end.

  4. Cheryl Svir says:

    Hi Mel,
    Just wondering…if I grab some Penzey’s sweet curry powder – are there any other Penzey’s spices that you love or I will see in your recipes? Easier to grab everything at once! Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hey Cheryl – this is kind of my standing order for Penzeys: sweet curry powder, cinnamon (their signature blend; my favorite cinnamon!), mexican oregano, california basil, sandwich sprinkle (we use this on the outside of grilled cheese or paninis, on vegetables, on garlic bread), smoked paprika, black pepper blend, cumin, and probably a few others, but that’s all the ones coming to my mind right now. I have little jars that I refill, so I buy the spices in their larger bags which is more cost effective.

  5. Abbie says:

    First I have to say that I don’t like curry! But there was something about this recipe that kept me coming back to it and debating whether or not to give curry another try. It could be that it was made in the IP or just how simple it was or that it healthy. I’m going to say it was a little of all of them. Well I made it tonight and I have to say WOW!!! This will definitely be a regular on my meal plan. I do have to cook my brown rice for longer as it still had a bit to it. This best part of it was watching my toothless 9 1/2 month old eat this like there was no tomorrow!!! Thanks for another fantastic recipe.

  6. Jasmine says:

    Delicious! I added a chopped sweet potato along with the carrot and at the end some chopped kale and pea shoots.

  7. TJ says:

    Loved this recipe! I added chicken to make it a meal and it was delicious. Definitely doubling it next time.

  8. Michelle says:

    Mel. I never leave reviews or comments but had to after trying this recipe. It was amazing. I happened to have everything on hand and dumped it into the Instant Pot and had an incredibly delicious lunch. Thank you, thank you for posting this today! I was wondering if this would cook as well in the oven? I use your method for brown rice in the oven all the time and I’m curious if the results would be the same. I’d like to share this recipe with my friends who don’t own a electric pressure cooker.

  9. Amy W. says:

    This looks so yummy!!! I wonder how it would be with saffron? Thanks, Mel!

  10. Melissa says:

    This was a hit at my house tonight! I also threw in frozen shredded chicken I found in my freezer and made it a complete meal! Incredibly fast and easy, this will be a regular at our house.

  11. Angelina says:

    I love your Instant Pot recipes. You are definitely inspiring me to purchase one for my apartment!!

  12. Madison Grunig says:

    Do you teach your own kids piano lessons? I teach mine and some people tell me I’m crazy, that it’s too much tension between Mom and kids. I want them to learn to play the piano and think it’s crazy to pay someone else to teach them something I can do for free! It’s definitely not smooth and peachy everyday, but I’m glad we do it. Also, I made your carrot cake for Easter and wow! It was such a hit. Several people told me they didn’t think they liked carrot cake until they had that one. Thanks for making me always feel like a rock star in the kitchen!

    • Mel says:

      I do teach them piano. I tried outsourcing it for about 4 weeks, but I couldn’t justify the cost of someone else teaching them when it’s one of the few skills I can actually help them with. We’ve gone through peaceful times and not so peaceful times. My 13 year old wants to quit really badly, but we’ve made a deal that they have to keep playing the piano if they want to do sports (big motivation for the four boys) and at the end of 8th grade, they can finally choose for themselves to continue or not. I’m not raising them to be concert pianists, but I want them to be able to proficiently play hymns at church and sight read songs they enjoy. I’ve had to learn to let go a little bit – we don’t do lessons religiously every week. I mean, we TRY, but if we go every 10 days, I’m ok with it. And also because I listen to them practice day in and day out, our lessons are pretty short, since I kind of help them as they go along. I joke that teaching my kids piano takes a year off my life every time we do have a lesson, but I haven’t quit yet, so it can’t be all bad. 🙂

      • Madison Grunig says:

        What you’ve described sounds a lot like our house! I teach my two boys for now (11 and 8), but I think I’m going to start teaching my girl soon. She’s 5 and in preschool. She knows her letters so hopefully that will be enough. Guess I’ll find out soon enough!

        • Samantha says:

          Can I suggest Hoffman Academy? They offer free online piano lessons. My boys (9 and 6) really enjoy the lessons, and I think he does a great job teaching. It makes my job easier, as I really only have to reinforce what they have already learned. We now pay for a membership, but we started out and learned a lot with the free stuff.

  13. Jill says:

    I just wanted to say…Easter dinner was superb thanks to your recipes! Thanks for making my life so easy and my family thinking I’m an awesome cook!

  14. Bridget says:

    I think it’s safe to say we have all felt like failures and have self doubt. My husband often tells me that I over analyze things WAY too much. I really appreciate your genuine approach to parenting, cooking, and life in general! I have made so many positive tweaks in my life since following your blog. Thanks for giving so much of your time to helping me (and countless others) feel like a success!

    • Mel says:

      That is so true, Bridget – I know I’m certainly not alone in those feelings. And I join you in the overanalyzing camp. 🙂 Thanks for your kindness.

  15. Brian Johnson says:

    Silly question as it has been a long day. Is the heat from the finished dish enough to cook the frozen peas? Or did I miss a step?

  16. Judy cash says:

    This looks delicious and I love it when you share instant pot recipes!
    I made your carrot cake recipe for Easter dinner and it was a huge hit. Taylor said ‘now I know why we had to mover to Logan – Melanie Gunnell!!’
    Your name is revered around our dinner table ❤

  17. Paige says:

    This looks so delicious! I need this in my life!


  18. Helen says:

    Every time you post an instant pot recipe I do a little happy dance. I use mine several times a week now, and I owe it all to you !!! This rice looks perfect …. We love rice of every variety at our house. Any suggestions for a yummy way to do Spanish rice in the IP? I’ve tried a couple … But nothing I’ve totally fallen in love with.

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t perfected a Spanish rice version…but I have one that’s pretty close! I’ll post it soon (and if not, I’ll email it to you!).

    • Karen says:

      I make Spanish rice in a rice pot all the time. Add sautéed onions & peppers and dissolve tomato bullion in hot water then follow directions for cooking the rice. Fluff when it’s done

  19. Sheila H. says:

    Even after too little sleep, constant squabbles, and not getting my to do list done, I still have to feed their and my bodies. Thanks for just being you and giving us real, edible food that I cook again and again.

  20. Tiffany says:

    I was given a used rice cooker and I’m wondering, can things like this be cooked in a rice cooker? I’m not experienced with rice cookers and I don’t have an Instant Pot-though it’s on my list of things I’d like to get one fine day!

  21. Ashley says:

    Mel, do you have an instant pot cookbook or blog that you really have success with?

  22. Sally says:

    I make something similar to this on the stove top. For each cup of rice I cook, I add one garlic clove and about 1/2 cup each of diced onion, carrot and red bell pepper plus some salt. When the rice is done cooking, I add 1/2 cup frozen peas, fluff the rice and let it stand for 5 minutes. The seasoning varies depending on how I plan to serve it.

  23. Megan says:

    Hi Mel! As a lover of all Indian food, this recipe looks delicious. 🙂

    I also have a random Instant Pot related question for you. I’m getting married soon, and my fiancé and I are also moving to New York City. This means we will have a tiny apartment with not a lot of storage space. Would you recommend the Instant Pot as a good multi-purpose alternative to a regular slow cooker? I will mostly just be cooking for the two of us, and while I’d love to register for both appliances, I just don’t think it’s practical. Thank you so much for all of your wonderful recipes!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Megan – great question, and if given the choice between a slow cooker and Instant Pot, I’d definitely go with the Instant Pot. It’s versatility outweighs the slow cooker, and I find that personally I’m turning to my IP more than my slow cooker these days (plus the IP has a slow cooker function, too). Congrats on your upcoming wedding!

  24. Emily says:

    These are the reasons we love you, Mel!
    Amid the “insecure and doubtful and failure-ish,” you get dinner on the table, and give us hope that we can too!

  25. Heather bell says:

    This needs to be my Mother’s Day gift though a spa day would prob suffice. Lol I hope you have a better week with less “fails”.

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