Easy Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Soup Recipe

I’ve been on a major soup kick lately. It’s been so cold these past few weeks and so the kids and I haven’t really got out of the house much. To be honest, we’ve barely gotten out of our pajamas, let alone made it to the grocery store.

That’s the great thing about soups.  It doesn’t really matter if you haven’t left the house.

You can really make them with nearly anything–or nearly nothing, if that’s what you have.

easy instant pot pesto chicken soup

I made this hearty Pesto Chicken Soup in less than 30 minutes using my Instant pot and random ingredients I found in my fridge, freezer and pantry.  The flavors were outstanding, even the baby loved the broth.

If you’d like to give this recipe a try, click below to get the recipe! I hope you like it!

chicken soup with pesto in the instant pot

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Easy South Indian Style Lemon Rice Recipe

I love the food from Southern India. Truthfully it might be my favorite cuisine. The beautifully balanced flavors–spicy, tangy, sometimes a little bit sweet–I just can’t get enough! This South Indian Style Lemon Rice is no exception!

Quick and delicious, lemon rice can be made with fresh or leftover rice. It can also be eaten by itself or as a side dish.I often serve it along with a simple fried egg for lunch. So simple, yet nearly nothing beats it…

Click below to check out the recipe!

south indian lemon rice side dish recipe


Instant Pot Cauliflower, Sausage and Kale Soup Recipe {Keto/Low-Carb/Gluten Free}

I have been really thankful for my Instant Pot lately.

Although Minnesota winters are always pretty cold, these past few days have been brutal. With windchills nearly reaching -40 degrees F –yes, MINUS 40 degrees–we haven’t got out of the house much.

Being stuck in the house with a “threenager” is no joke. Arjun has so much energy that after tending to him I barely have time to make myself a cup of coffee, let alone cook. It’s ridiculous.

We could go to the mall or the (very few!) indoor toddler/preschool activities around town, and we probably should.  It’s just so hard with two little kids, especially when it’s cold/flu season…

So instead of making the trek to the grocery store, I’ve resolved to using up some of the foods I have in our freezer or pantry. We’ve been enjoying a lot of soups lately, and this recipe has definitely been a favorite!

Piyush said that it reminded him of Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana soup.  I suppose it is sort of a copy-cat recipe, but having never ordered the Zuppa Toscana I can’t be sure how close it is.

Give it a go, and let me know what you think! Get the recipe by clicking below:

soup click here (1)


Fish Pakoras: Spiced Up Fish Fry Recipe {Gluten-Free!}

Pakoras (fried vegetable or meat fritters) are one of my family’s most favorite Indian snacks.  Not only are pakoras crispy, salty and down-right delicious, but they’re the perfect compliment to a steaming glass of masala chai. **Bonus!**

They can also be made with nearly anything. Veggies, meats, legumes…

What more can one hope for?

When Piyush’s parents were visiting here a few years ago, Maa would occasionally fry tilapia fillets and we’d have them for lunch or tiffin.

Funny Story: Sometimes we’d try to eat healthy and bake the fillets. We’d smother them with spices, making them as flavorful as we could-while still keeping them relatively healthy. Maa hated the baked fish and would eat the rest of her dinner, saving the fish to fry the next day!

The fried fillets were delicious. Simple, but packed full of flavor. I was pregnant with Arjun at the time and couldn’t get enough! They’re like fish-sticks, only fancier!

If you’re looking for a simple, yet special, fish recipe that even your kids will love–try making fish pakoras!

They’re the perfect, spiced up, alternative to the “All American” fish fry.

Get the recipe below!

fish pakoras, pakoras, bengali pakoras, indian pakoras

New Post! Updated Shrimp Curry with Coconut Milk Recipe: Chingri Malai Curry

Finally, a new post! It’s been forever.

{Sorry about that!}

I’ve decided that My Fancy Pantry needed a bit of an update.  So much has changed in my life.  I’m still cooking (a LOT!), but now I’m also a mom to two little boys!

stay at home mom

I returned to this space to start blogging, but I just wasn’t feeling the love.

So, I’ve recently started a new blog, Spiced Up Mom, which will showcase both my love for cooking as well as my adventures in motherhood.

I hope you give it a look.  There’s not a lot there at the moment, but I’m working on that.  If you like what you see, please follow along!  I’d love for you to subscribe or follow me on social media.

I love instagram and post there often.  You can find me @spicedupmom

To get my updated Shrimp Malai Curry recipe, please click on the photo below.  This Shrimp Curry is amazing. Trust me. You’re not going to want to miss it!

Not only does it taste really good but it is also so quick to make.  Dinner can be on the table in 20 minutes! As a busy mom, that’s something I appreciate!

shrimp malai curry recipe


This little blog has been severely neglected for quite some time (sorry! ), but for good reason.

Actually there are a few reasons,  but I’d like to introduce you to the main culprit:

Meet Arjun.  My sweet baby boy!


Arjun is now 1 month old and I’m finally beginning to feel like myself again.  My energy is returning and I’m finally feeling like cooking again.

I had a wonderful pregnancy and a very fast labor,


A few hours befor I went into labor--on Saraswati Puja


Time to have this baby!

but I suffered with extremely low blood pressure which caused me to have absolutely no energy until after Arjun was born. 


The night Arjun was born

I seldom cooked while I was pregnant, and my doctors actually put me on a junk food diet to try and increase my pressure so that I wouldn’t need fluid infusions every week.

Now that Arjun has begun to develop a routine (kind of…),


I’m hoping to start cooking and sharing some new recipes!

Mango Date Chutney with a Bengali Touch

It’s the end of May, and I’m so happy to announce that Winter has finally decided to leave Minnesota!  In all my memory–granted, that’s a little less than 30 years–I have never suffered through such a horrible, never-ending season.  It was terrible.

The -60 degree F (-51.1 degrees C, for all you non-American peeps out there) windchills not only made life miserable for me (actually, this winter life was miserable for nearly everyone!) but it also took it’s toll on my beautiful gardens.

Sadly, my beloved lavender plant did not survive.  It’s dead stems are still protruding out of the ground and I keep hoping maybe–just maybe–they’ll send out some new, green shoots.  So far, no luck.

I’ve been meaning to get a few new posts up on this space for quite a while now, but I’ve just been so busy with cleaning the yard/gardens, mulching, and planting.  I keep telling Piyush that he gets the better end of the deal.  He pays for the supplies and I do all the labor while he’s out golfing.  Haha…after all, a happy marriage is all about compromise!

bengali mango and date chutneyLast week our local market had mangoes on sale.  The mangoes we get here in Minnesota are mostly tasteless and I don’t really enjoy to eat them plain as a snack. However, they do star wonderfully in a delicious, homemade chutney!

Typically (or at least what Piyush tells me), in India mango chutney is made with green, unripe mangoes.  But because ours have little flavor I always choose to let them ripen until they’re at their sweetest.

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