Meatballs and turmeric rice for the Instant Pot from Migraine Relief Recipes
My first-ever Instant Pot recipe since getting my Instant Pot about six months ago. I’ve been having a lot of fun trying it out. Not going to lie… not every experiment has been worthy of the blog. But this one, inspired by and adapted from Instant Indian: Classic Foods from Every Region of India Made Easy in the Instant Pot by Rinku Bhattacharya is one I make almost once a week now.

Instant Indian cookbook by Rinku Bhattacharya
Please note that this recipe only works in an Instant Pot or similar electric pressure cooker. Since I’ve made a number of changes as I’ve worked with this recipe, it’s most accurate to say it’s inspired by and adapted from Rinku’s recipe. I have made at least six recipes from this cookbook. It was my first introduction to the Instant Pot (I actually borrowed one to try out the recipes when the publisher sent me my review copy). I liked it so much the Hubs surprised me by buying one on Cyber Monday. Besides this recipe for Kofta Pulao (Golden Rice Pilaf with Chicken Meatballs), I have made and loved Dark and Spicy Indian Truckstop Chickpeas, Whole Baked Cauliflower in Tomato Mint Sauce, Coconut Fish Curry, Chicken in Tomato Herb Sauce, and her Pork Ribs. Yum.

You can make this recipe with 93% lean ground turkey, ground chicken, wild boar, and very lean ground beef. If you do not wish to use bread in the meatballs, omit both the bread AND the eggs and substitute one tablespoon of ground almonds or toasted ground sunflower seeds in the meatball mixture. The meatballs will have a firmer texture but taste just fine. I do not recommend regular ground pork, as it is too fatty for this recipe.
Meatballs and turmeric rice for the Instant Pot from Migraine Relief Recipes

Meatballs and turmeric rice for the Instant Pot from Migraine Relief Recipes

Spicy meatballs and turmeric rice for the Instant Pot

Mildly spicy turkey meatballs cooked with golden rice pilaf in the Instant Pot.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 servings


Turmeric rice

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice (285 g) organic, rinsed and drained 3 times
  • 2 tablespoons ghee grass-fed if possible
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil organic, extra virgin
  • 1 large onions any color, diced, OR 2 bunches scallions, thinly sliced for migraine diet
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt omit for low-sodium, migraine, Meniere's diets
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2.75 cups chicken stock (low-sodium) can substitute filtered water
  • 1 package mint leaves (fresh) leaves only, chopped, can omit

Spicy turkey meatballs

  • 2 tablespoons ginger (fresh) grated or minced
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 slices bread (gluten-free) toasted and cubed
  • 1 jalapeño or other hot pepper, stem removed, sliced
  • 1 pound turkey (ground) ground chicken thighs, wild boar, or extra-lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs free-range, large
  • 2 teaspoon cumin (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder omit for migraine diet
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt omit for low-sodium, migraine, Meniere's diet


Turmeric rice

  • Rinse the raw rice in filtered water three times, or until the water runs clear. Drain well and set aside.
  • Turn the Instant Pot to the Sauté function on medium (press the Sauté button to cycle through the settings). Melt the ghee and oil until shimmering.
  • Stir in the onions or scallions, and sprinkle over the spices and salt if using. Sauté until golden brown, stirring often. (I usually am working on the meatballs while this is cooking.) Add a little water or chicken broth to loosen anything stuck to the bottom. Turn power OFF.
  • Stir in rice and broth and let sit while you make the meatballs. Make sure all the rice is submerged.

Spicy turkey meatballs

  • Pulse the ginger, garlic, and jalapeno in a food processor until finely minced, scraping down the sides if needed. Add bread cubes and pulse to fine crumbs. Scrape into large bowl.
  • Add rest of ingredients to bowl and mix with your hands just until completely mixed. (I wear vinyl food prep gloves to keep the peppers from burning my hands.) Mixture will seem a bit loose.
  • Use ice cream scooper (level each scoop) to drop meatballs directly into broth. I use 1-3/4" scooper, #30, 1 fl. oz.
  • Close lid of Instant Pot. Set to Pressure Cook on HIGH for 14 minutes. It will take 34 minutes to come to pressure. Once IP turns itself off, let sit for 20 minutes for NPR (natural pressure release). Set a timer, then immediately release the rest of the pressure, turn IP OFF, open lid, and remove food so rice doesn't burn on the bottom. Stir in mint at this time.
  • Serve immediately. If desired, sprinkle with chopped cilantro, chopped mint, and/or chopped parsley.


Makes 6 servings of 4 meatballs and 1/2 cup rice. I also sometimes add one diced carrot when I sauté the onions.