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Indian Red Moong & Beet Greens Curry 

  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: Serves 4



For the Stew

  • 1 cup red moong beans (see variations below)
  • green leaves from 1 bunch of beets, roughly chopped (see variations below)
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil of choice
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 23 dried red chilies, optional, broken into halves
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • regular Indian red chili powder, to taste
  • 2 tsp kala/goda masala or garam masala
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups water

For the Rice (optional, if cooking pot-in-pot)

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1½ cups water


Making the Stew


  • Rinse the red beans in a sieve under cold tap water and set aside. 
  • Place the inner pot in the Instant Pot and press the Sauté button. When the display shows “Hot” add in the oil along with the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and asafoetida. When the seeds splutter, add in the smashed garlic and the dried red chilies. Sauté for 30 seconds and then add in the onion. Sprinkle some salt to help the onions soften and sauté for about 5 minutes till they turn translucent, stirring frequently. 
  • Stir in the turmeric, red chili powder and the kala/goda masala or garam masala and sauté for 30 seconds to let the spices bloom. 
  • Add in the chopped tomato and stir to combine. Deglaze the bottom of the pot by scraping with the cooking spoon. This is an important step. If the bottom of the pot is not deglazed well, the “Burn” error might appear during the pressure-cooking stage. 
  • Continue cooking for another 5 minutes till the tomatoes are soft and lose most of their moisture. 
  • Press the Cancel button to turn the Instant Pot off. 
  • Stir in the chopped beet greens and the rinsed red beans and toss to combine well.
  • Pour in the water and stir well, ensuring the leaves and the beans are well immersed in the liquid. 


Making the Rice Pot-in-pot


  • For pot-in-pot rice, place a trivet over the uncooked beans and greens mixture at the bottom of the pot.
  • Rinse and drain a cup of brown basmati rice. Add rice along with 1½ cups of water in a stainless steel Instant Pot insert and then place it over the trivet.


Pressure Cooking 


  • Close the lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Press the Multigrain button and the Adjust button to select the default settings for time and pressure with 20 minutes on high pressure. Note that old beans may take longer time to cook. When cooking is complete, open the lid after the pressure has released naturally. It will take about 15-18 minutes to depressurize. 
  • Open the lid and using a pair of tongs or silicone holders, remove the insert with the brown basmati rice. Give the beans stew a quick stir and check to make sure the beans are cooked thoroughly. 
  • Serve the rice in a bowl and spoon the stew over or next to the rice. 
  • Garnish with cilantro.  Serve warm along with raita or yogurt on the side.

Keywords: Comfort Foods, Healthy Recipes, Instant Pot Recipes, Pot-in-pot Cooking, Zero-Waste Recipes, Weeknight Cooking