I eagerly look forward to reading the Washington Post especially on Wednesdays! Why? for the Food Section ofcourse. Today's was about "Pressure Cookers" sheer coincindece just yesterday I was answering a question about it. I have always known (but not happy) that Pressure Cookers are not popular in the US but all the same surprised to read that Pressure Cooker ownership is actually going down, thought it would be other way around, going by my eye survey, Pressure Cookers are being sold in department stores compared to few years ago - the sales person would give you a blank look even if you asked for it.
The fear factor is one reason and I can understand having witnessed the contents spewed all over the ceiling when the safety valve gave out. The scence was clearly in my mind when I started using pressure cookers, glad to report besides one incident when I forgot to put the weight nothing has spewed out and I use the pressure cooker everyday and sometimes more than once . Pressure Cookers today have safety valves that are much more advanced and the kind of explosion is not common unless you put the pressure cooker on the stove, lock the door and decide to go grocery shopping.
If you are interested in the inner workings of a Pressure Cooker, here it is in pictures in the Wasington Post website.
1. Workings of a Pressure Cooker
2. Chefs and Cook book Authors - Slow Cooker Vs Pressure Cooker
Do I have to say I am a BIG pressure cooker fan and can't cook without it. Like the recipe which follows which would have taken hours if not for my trusted pressure cooker. 2 different dals to cook, no problem it is possible in one shot with the vessels they provide placed one on top of the other and put in the pressure cooker.
I was planning on stir frying the Moong beans a la Thoran but decided on the 'Dal' Sambhar to make it a one pot meal.
1. Toor Dal 1/2 Cup (washed and cooked in a pressure cooker with 1 1/2 cups of water a pinch of turmeric powder and 1/4 tsp of oil)
2. 1/2 Cup Whole Green Moong Dal cooked (I drained the water but the water can also be added to the sambhar just reduce the amount of water accordingly)
2. 1/2 Red onion chopped
3. 6 small red radishes slcied in rounds
4. 10-16 Beans cut into 1 inch pieces
6. seasonings cumin, mustard, curry leaves
7. 1/4 cup of tamarind pulp
8. 1 tbsp sambhar powder
9. 1 tsp of oil
1. 1/2 tbsp corriander seeds
2. 1 tsp of cumin seeds
3. 1/2 tsp of pepper
4. 1 Red chilli
5. few fenugreek seeds (methi)
6. 1 tbsp of grated fresh coconut
Dry roast 1-5 till they are slightly browned and pleasant aroma, add the coconut and saute for a minute. Make a paste.
1. In a pot heat the oil, add the seasonings, cumin, curry leaves and mustard and when the mustard starts to pop
2. add the onion and saute till brown, now add the beans and radish and saute till they start to brown.
3. Add the sambhar powder and saute for a minute or two.
4. Add the tamarind pulp and let it boil and when veggies are almost cooked
5. Add the cooked toor dal enough water for required consistency, salt and let it boil for 5-10 minutes and the veggies should be cooked.
6. Now add the cooked moong dal, the paste and cook for another 4-6 minutes.
Serve with rice or idlis or just by itself.
Pressure Cooker Pictures
Pressure Cooker and Dal utensils