As I sit in my kitchen watching my Daal cook slowly on the stove top in a conventional pot I yearn for my pressure cooker. We left it behind during the move to California and we have not yet bought a new one.
For those that don’t know the wonders of a pressure cooker, it is a pot that uses the power of steam to speed up the cooking process by alot!. It looks like a normal pot but has a top that completely seals. On the lid there is a whistle that releases steam when it becomes too pressurized. Some models whistle every few minutes while others contentiously release a bit of steam.
When I first started dating my husband I remember I had gone to his apartment and he was making some Indian potato dish and was pressure cooking the potatoes. As I sat watching him cook, which has never again happened since we married, I was startled by the loud and sudden release of steam from the pressure cooker. It sounded scary and dangerous! Even after we were married I was scared to use the darn thing!
Alot of Americans are afraid of pressure cookers. In the past there were accidents caused by pressure cookers, and since then there has been a fear of using them. The reality is that pressure cookers are alot better made and there are no longer accidents being caused by them. They are safe!
Pressure cookers are very commonly used in India and by Indians abroad. I have yet to see an Indian household that did not use one! Oh and with all these pressure cookers in the Indian community I have not seen a single burn from these ” dangerous” pots.
In India lentils and dried beans are a staple in most peoples diets and the process of cooking dried beans takes a long time. No one wants to waste the time or the gas ( which is expensive) to heat the pot for that long. Pressure cooking is a time and energy saver.
Once I started to use a pressure cooker I became addicted to it! I can cook a whole pot of daal ( lentils) in less than 10 minutes! its great for chili, garbanzo beans, potatoes, black beans, vegetables, and meat! It cooks everything fast and it tenderizes and infuses the food with wonderful flavors! You can cook a whole chicken in 25 m minutes and it will come out tasting amazing! An other great thing about pressure cookers is it saves you money. Dried beans and lentils are incredibly cheap in bulk, and the pressure cooker makes them so easy to prepare. The Pressure cooker is my most favorite tool in the kitchen! I cant wait until we get another one ! Until then I will be waiting hours for my meals to finish cooking….. Sigh…….