Cooking under pressure (is a time saver!)

Our trip to India was such a soul enriching, eye opening… and taste bud tantalizing trip! On top of all the rich curries and tasty street foods we had, the best meal by far was the homemade meal we enjoyed in a traditional home during our “Taste of Jaipur” cooking tour (story coming soon). And besides falling in love with vegetarian dishes such as gobhi aloo, mattar paneer masala, moong dal… I also met my new love in the kitchen – the pressure cooker. Our gracious hostess whipped up tender potatos, soft cawliflower and hot fluffy pulao (Indian pilaf) in less than 10 minutes and her secret weapon was the mighty pressure cooker.

my new love in the kitchen: my Tefal pressure cooker with 2 settings and a steam rack

my new love in the kitchen: my Tefal pressure cooker with 2 pressure settings and a steam rack

So within one week of getting home, with the memories of Taj mahal and smell of masala still fresh on our mind, we went down to our little India aka Lulu hypermaret and purchased a Tefal secure5 7-L pressure cooker. It’s a mid price range stove top model with two pressure settings (for vegetables and meat) and a steam rack for steaming.  The first recipe I tried is cooking brown rice, which is always a bit tedious for me because of the soaking and long cooking time.

first time making mixed rice (brown, wild black rice and beans) in the pressure cooker. 20 minutes and no soaking!

first time making mixed rice (brown, wild black rice and beans) in the pressure cooker. 20 minutes and no soaking!

Here’s how I cooked brown rice on the pressure cooker in 20 minutes:

1.5 cups brown rice (I used a mixture of brown rice, red wild rice and black beans)

2 cups water, boiled

1 tbsp oil and 1 dash salt

– Rince rice a few times and drain.

– Place rice in pressure cooker and add water hot from a kettle.

– Add a little bit of oil and salt. Close lid and lock. Set the release to “1” (low setting)

– Heat on high until the pressure gauge pops up and steam starts to come out then turn the heat to low and start a timer for 20 minutes.

– After 20 minutes, turn off heat.  Set a timer for 10 minutes and let it sit. Let the pressure come down naturally.

Voila! Now you have beautifully chewy and fluffy, evenly cooked brown rice.

Chicken Rice Variation: (this is similar to the Hainanese Chicken rice except I don’t have any pandan leaves on hand)

Additional ingredients: 2 tbsp garlic/ginger paste, chicken stock (instead of water) or chicken stock cubes, chicken grease (instead of oil), chopped green onions.

– fry the garlic/ginger paste in pressure cooker with some oil until fragrant

– add rice and fry until translucent

– add chicken stock and chicken grease and some salt

– cook per above instruction

– open the lid, fluff the rice and mix in chopped green onions and addtional salt to taste, close lid and let sit for additional 5 minutes.

– Serve with your favourite Asian dishes!

soy sauce steamed fish and garlic morning glory to go with the mixed rice

soy sauce steamed fish and garlic morning glory to go with the mixed rice

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