Masala Bhaat

This dish holds a special place in my heart because it is from my childhood. It is a specialty of a close family friend who is Maharashtrian. She introduced me and my mum to her secret masala (spice mixture) that was used in this dish – Goda Masala. Whenever we met, she would prepare this dish and the house would simply smell magical. While I don’t get to eat her version anymore (because we live in different countries and we have not met in years), she does transport a whole load of the masala for me and mum.

Goda masala is a unique masala from the Indian state of Maharashtra. It has a very distinguishable flavor and aroma. Its uniqueness comes from the use of very rare spices such as cassia buds and lichen. Every household is known to have their own variation and personal touch to the masala. While it has a very pungent aroma, it is not “hot”. The masala typically has standalone use in a dish due to its overpowering flavor. The version of masala that I use is from India and is not available here in the US (Maybe I will do a giveaway some day 🙂 ). In the meanwhile, other brands of this masala are readily available on Amazon or at an Indian grocery store.

This dish makes for a perfect, one-pot weeknight meal and leftovers can be used for lunch boxes. Some basic spices, the secret masala, rice and a bag of frozen mixed vegetables are all you need. Go all out and use fresh vegetables if you have the time.

Prep time10 minutes
Cook time20 minutes



  • Mixed Vegetables – 2 cups, frozen (Or 2 cups worth of any combination of vegetables)
  • Baby Potatoes – 8-10, halved
  • Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped

Spices & Herbs

  • Dhania Powder (Coriander) – 1/2 tbsp
  • Goda Masala – 2 tbsp
  • Tej Patta (Bay Leaf) – 1
  • Dalchini Powder (Cinnamon) – 1/2 tsp
  • Laung (Cloves) – 3-4
  • Elaichi (Cardamom) – 2 pods or 1/2 tsp of the powder
  • Green Chillies – 3-4, finely chopped
  • Ginger – 1/2 tbsp, crushed
  • Garlic – 1/2 tbsp crushed
  • Salt – As per taste
  • Fresh Dhania (Cilantro) – A few sprigs for garnish and spice paste


  • Cooking Oil – 2 tbsp


  • Rice – 1 1/2 cups (washed and soaked)


  1. In a blender, add cilantro, green chillis, ginger and garlic (with a splash of water) to make an aromatic green paste. Keep this aside for use later
  2. Turn on the Instant Pot to “sauté” mode. If using a pressure cooker, heat it up on medium heat
  3. Add 2 tbsp of oil. To this, add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Fry for 30-45 seconds until the bay leaves start to sizzle
  4. Add onions and sauté until they are translucent
  5. All the baby potatoes, vegetables and sauté for 1-2 minutes
  6. Add the soaked rice and mix for 1 minute
  7. Add the blended green paste. Mix well for an additional 1-2 minutes
  8. Add coriander powder, goda masala and mix for 1-2 minutes
  9. Add the required water (approx. 3 cups of water of 1 ½ cups of rice), and then add salt as per taste
  10. Close the Instant Pot lid. Use the pressure cooker mode with a cook time of a 12-13 minutes. If using a pressure cooker, close the lid, place the pressure weight on the lid. Cook for 4-5 whistles
  11. Once the cooking is complete, manually release the pressure from the Instant Pot. If using a pressure cooker, wait for the cool down and then remove the pressure weight.
  12. Serve the masala bhaat on a plate. Garnish with lemon juice, fresh cilantro and dried coconut. Enjoy with a side of raita (spiced yogurt) or pickle

Cooking Suggestions

  • This recipe can work just as well with other grains such as quinoa or cous cous (for those who want to avoid rice)

You can also follow me on Instagram to be up-to-date with what is cooking my kitchen. If you like this recipe, do rate it and share your comments below. Don’t forget to post your version on Instagram using #foodformyloveblog.

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