"Teen seeti ke baad gas bandh kar dena," is a command we've all lived up to through the years as brown kids who had mothers juggling a bunch of chores, making lunch or dinner being one. The pressure cooker is an integral part of the Indian kitchen because of its time-saving and resourceful nature. So much so that for the longest time, the airtight cooking device was on the top of the list of wedding presents to be bestowed upon newlyweds.
As we embark upon the new normal that brings with it a fair share of working from home and shuffling between emails and the kitchen, it might be a good idea to reconsider the desirability of a pressure cooker. And to help, we have 10 easy recipes to get you going right here.
Rajma chawal is always the first choice, but there are days when you don't want to go through the process of preparing the two separately. That's when this recipe will come in handy, where you need to soak and par-boil the beans, sauté the spices, onion, tomato and garlic and then, pressure cook it all with soaked rice to make yourself a hot plate of rajma pulao.
Most things pale in comparison to a slow-cooked mutton curry. Be that as it may, not always do you have the time for it, so here's one that makes use of a pressure cooker, roasted whole spices, fried onions, curd, meat and only eight minutes of your time.
A favourite in many households, kheer is a dessert that you can make within minutes in a pressure cooker. Soak rice for 15 to 20 minutes, add milk and let it cook till a whistle goes off. Let it cool and cook it for a couple of minutes more by adding sugar, almonds and other dried fruits.
Salsa chicken is a quick, hassle-free recipe that calls for ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen on most days. In your pressure cooker, lightly brown the chicken breasts after seasoning them with salt and pepper. Remove the chicken and sauté green bell peppers, onions and tomato puree with lemon, chilli flakes and tabasco sauce. Let it simmer for a few minutes and then pressure cook the salsa with the chicken till it's tender. Serve hot with rice.
Come monsoons and a bowl of hot stew and fresh appam is all you need in the afternoon. To make this stew, heat oil in the cooker and add whole spices like cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns. Sauté the vegetables of your choice with the spices and pressure cook till soft. Add thin and thick coconut milk after opening the lid and finish it off with coriander leaves.
Honey garlic chicken
Be it potatoes, tofu, paneer or chicken, a honey and garlic sauce can make anything taste better. Gather soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, chicken thighs, cornstarch and water from the kitchen and whip yourself this delicious pressure-cooked recipe in under 10 minutes.
A few ingredients and vegetables is all it takes to make khichdi, but this one comes with a healthy twist in the form of quinoa. Soak half a cup of quinoa with half a cup of moong dal and pressure cook it with spices and vegetables for a quick and easy treat.
Coconut prawn biryani
Like most biryani recipes, for this one too you'd have to spend a good couple of hours chopping vegetables, marinating the prawns in spices, making a masala, frying onions and eventually combining it all with rice. The good thing here is that once the prep is done, you can throw everything in the cooker along with coconut milk and forget about it for 15-20 minutes till it's ready.
Eggless banana cake
Well, we could not have written this story and talked about 2020's biggest star - banana bread. Ours though is a simpler one that can be made in a pressure cooker like in the old days. To make it, prepare a batter with mashed bananas, sugar, oil, milk, flour, baking powder and cinnamon powder. Pour the batter into a baking pan and place it in the cooker over a wired stand. Pressure cook without whistle for 30-45 minutes and there you are.
In our books, aloo and baingan are probably a better pair than Kanye West and Irina Shayk. But because preparing a sabzi can be painstakingly long, we're offering you the option of speeding things up with this recipe. All you need is to heat oil in a cooker, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, diced potatoes and brinjal. Close the lid after adding chilli, coriander and turmeric powder and water proportionately. Cook up to three whistles and enjoy.
Manal is a gregarious and ambitious girl who talks about bread incessantly. Her penchant for writing and aesthetics transcends into everything she does. She loves researching the culture and history of things. When she's not writing, you can find her working on a dozen unfinished projects, and consuming an unhealthy amount of art.