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Pressure Cooking

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Today, when homemakers are also breadwinners, a pressure cooker is one of the most essential of kitchen appliances. Few homes can do without this time and energy-saving device which helps to produce a meal in a matter of minutes. Gone are the days when foods were left to simmer for hours over a low heat to the desired perfection. With a pressure cooker, a quick boil, a lid securely fastened and a few hisses later, a complete meal can be served with the minimum fuss and waste of time. For those who have not yet discovered the joys of pressure-cooking, here’s why you should get one right away and make your time in the kitchen both enjoyable
and less stressful: Food cooks faster in a pressure cooker thus saving time. Because food cooks faster less fuel is used resulting in a saving of gas, electricity or other fuels. Food is cooked under pressure at a higher boiling point than water, resulting in the food being rendered more bacteria and germ free. The nutrient levels of food are preserved as food is cooked for a shorter time. Many food can be cooked at the same time in a pressure cooker resulting in savings of time and fuel. While pressure-cooking has many advantages, it is important to use the cooker safely and wisely for optimum benefits. Here are some tips to get the most out of your cooker:
Safety Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully for safe and economic use of the pressure cooker.
Always check that the vent or safety valve and weights are clean and in good condition before using the pressure cooker. Ensure that the rubber gasket is flexible and clean. Never use less than the minimum amount of liquid as recommended by the manufacturer. Do not fill the cooker more than two-thirds full while cooking most foods or the half full when cooking foods which expand on cooking or are made up of a lot of liquid, like dals, soups etc. Do not use more than a quarter cup of oil or fat while cooking in a pressure cooker.

Bring the food to a boil on high heat before sealing the cooker with a lid. Continue cooking over a high heat till full pressure is reached and then lower the heat to maintain the pressure. Always check to make sure the pressure has dropped back to normal before opening the locking lid on a pressure cooker. When in a hurry, you can release the pressure by running cold water over the lid. Make sure that you do not run the water over the vent or valve.
Cooking Follow the cooking times as given in the recipes. Cooking for a longer or less time will affect the texture and the tenderness of the food. Trim the fat from meat, and cut meat, poultry, fish and vegetables into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking. When cooking different foods together, cut those that cook more quickly into larger pieces and those that cook more slowly into smaller pieces for even cooking. Do not fill the cooker too much - the more food in the pressure cooker, the longer it will take to reach full pressure. Thick sauces, gravies or fats should not be counted as part of the minimum liquid necessary for the cooker. As salt raises the boiling point of water and delays pressurization, add salt at the end of pressure cooking. While steaming foods in an aluminum pressure cooker, add one teaspoon of vinegar or lemon skins to the water to help prevent stains or discolouration. I have included a number of recipes for every course in a meal from soup to dessert. As you will see all foods can be cooked in a pressure cooker with no difference to taste or texture. As always, every recipe has been tried and tested and serves four persons. So take the pressure out of cooking by using a pressure cooker for tasty, nutritious meals in a fraction of the time!


Other Books by Sanjeev Kapoor

The Yellow Chilli Cookbook
Vegetarian Cooking with Dahi
Konkan Cookbook
Mushroom Mania

Published by :

Popular Prakashan

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Format :

Soft Cover


6.5’ x 4.5’

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Sanjeev Kapoor

Sanjeev Kapoor, Celebrity Chef, ‘Best Chef of India’ award by the Government of India.

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