Tuesday, September 13, 2016

An ode to the pressure cooker.

This post was published on Women's Web on 12.9.2016.

Pressure cooker is one handy device for cooking. It eases off the pressure to cook a nutritious meal . 

As per Wikipedia Pressure cookers can be said to have been brought into existence by Denis Papin ,a French physicist in 1679.He made a steam digester which cooked food faster. This was followed by Georg Gutbrod of Stuttgart of Germany who made pressure cookers of tinned cast iron .In 1918, patent was given in Spain to Jose Alix Martinez for making “express cooking pot “ .By 1924, Jose had published the first pressure cooking recipe book listing 360 recipes. And then there was no looking back.

Pressure cooker is primarily used for cooking rice & dal in Indian households. Homemakers nowadays use pressure cooking for many dishes like cakes, steam cooking of dhoklas, flavoured rices, one pot cooking , etc. The advantages of pressure cooking are that it is time saving.All the nutrients of food are preserved. And when food is steamed & then sometimes shallow fried, it is more healthy as it contains less oil.

Pressure cookers can be used to whip up a variety of dishes namely cakes, dahi vada, pulaos, biryanis, mixed lentils, chhole, rajma, even sweets like rasgullas, gajar ka halwa, aate ka halwas, even sabzis like aloo matar, vegetable kurma, etc. So  a whole range of dishes can be whipped up in a matter of minutes ! And that is so very amazing !

Please find a list of dishes which can be made in the pressure cooker ….

Flavoured rice. A simple pulao or biryani can be pressure cooked & you will be surprised that it tastes great ! 

Khichdi Simple mung dal rice khichdi  can be cooked in pressure cooker .And isn’t this comfort food made in minutes ?

Even bisi bele bhaath,the one pot dish from Karnataka can be whipped up in a pressure cooker .

Steamed dishes  Idlis can be made in pressure cooker. Even dhoklas can be made in pressure cooker.Even patras, kothimbir vadas  & muthias can be steamed in cooker & then shallow fried to get healthier versions of these delicious snacks.

Even momos can be made in pressure cooker.And that brings us to modak, the mouth watering sweet from Maharashtra & the favourite of Lord Ganesha .modaks can be  steamed in pressure cooker.

Sabzis  Aloo matar  can be just cooked in a pressure cooker from the beginning till the end .Undhiyon is an exotic Gujarati dish that can be cooked faster in the pressure cooker
Vegetable kurma can be cooked in pressure cooker as shown in an advertisement for a branded pressure cooker.

Lentils Sangeeta Khanna, an avid food blogger has this one pot quick lentil recipe made from whole masoorI have made this many times & believe me it is quick &  easy .Needless to add, it tastes great !
Mixed sprouts  can be pressure cooked to enjoy a nutritious meal !

The tasty Sindhi kadhi can be cooked to perfection in a pressure cooker. Sindhi rasoi shows the way !

Chhole@http://www.spiceupthecurry.com/chole/ can be ready in a jiffy thanks to it being made in the pressure cooker.

Sweets : Rasgullas @http://www.divinetaste.com/archives/homemade-rasgulla/get made so fast in a pressure cooker that you will be amazed !Rasgullas are one of the healthiest Indian sweets. It has very little sugar & is protein rich ! Excellent for vegetarians !

Gajar halwa can be prepared in pressure cooker very easily. Not to mention that this pressure cooker recipe saves time !

Cake can be made in a pressure cooker as well.A branded cake mix is advertised as a cooker cake !

I can go on & on about dishes that can be made faster in a pressure cooker. I am sure, you must have tried many dishes apart from what I have stated above in the pressure cooker.And I am sure, you must have been surprised that the dish turned out superb in the pressure cooker. Do take time to share your recipe with others in the comments below .

A few precautions while using the pressure cooker. Please do not overload the pressure cooker with too much of ingredients. Always clean the pressure cooker thoroughly.Keep gasket in good condition. Always make sure that there is sufficient water in the cooker before pressure cooking. Be careful with foods that froth as steam valves of the cooker may get blocked by froth. Following safety tipwill make pressure cooking a pleasurable  experience !    

Nowadays, the microwave oven , slow cooker, electric cooker, air fryer are getting a lot of attention.Yet, none of them can match the pressure cooker in terms of convenience & cost !
My pressure cooker occupies pride of place in my kitchen for reasons stated above.In fact ,I have two pressure cookers of different sizes.One a large one for rice –dal cooking & another a small one for one pot cooking of khichdi, chhole etc.And both the pressure cookers have a pressure pan thrown in  for free when I brought them ! 

This makes it all the more economical…saving fuel, time & money.And the nutrition remains intact !  What more can anyone possibly ask for ? !  

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