The art of Pressure Cooking

It’s not about the whistle. It’s about how long!

In India, especially back home in Mizoram, we use pressure cooker a lot. I have seen various methods to decide when the dish is cooked – the number of whistles, time and water vaporizing when you sprinkle water on the side surface of the cooker. From my humble cooking experience, I have found “time” to be the most reliable and economical. I don’t care if the cooker whistles or not as long as the lid is air tight.

5 minutes on full flame, another 5 on medium and 3 minutes on sim. Note: I don’t dip the finger any more to measure the amount of water. 🙂 The ratio 1(rice):2(water) always works. That is for one cup of rice, add two cups of water.

Pulao, Vegetable biryani
5 minutes on full flame, another 5 on medium and 3 minutes on sim.

3 minutes on full flame. Another 3 on medium. That’s it. Let it cool down naturally. When the pressure is gone and the lid can be opened, heat it with the lid open for 2 minutes or longer depending on how mashed you want the dal to be.

Beef Curry
Cook for 10 minutes on full flame. Another 10 on medium flame. And 25 minutes on sim. I like it well done and 45 minutes has been right for me.

Mutton Curry
For mutton, 35 minutes works for me.

Before I started to consciously ‘time” when cooking, I had to several times open the cooker to check if it’s done. Whistle or no whistle does not bother me any more. Let me know your tips and tricks cooking with pressure cooker.

I drafted this post before leaving for Andaman. I happen to be awake early today. Perhaps my body clock continues the island time. I woke up pretty early when I was there. So I figure I might as well finish and publish this.

4 thoughts on “The art of Pressure Cooking

  1. Good post. The time taken for me cook rice for me is about 15 mts on a medium flame (just for 1 person). My whistle doesn’t blow on 2 out of 10 occassions.So I have to be alert all the time or else the rice may burn and or overcook. And for water, I find the ratio thing useful rather than dipping a finger as it looks dirty.

    • Right about the finger 🙂 But you do wash with your hands right? I personal don’t if someone I know does it.

      I wonder why don’t the manufacturer make the gas stove a bit smart. I suppose there are high end models out there but why not make something smart easily available.

      btw. I cooked solely on a cooker for weeks before I vacated my house in Bangalore. no real need to be alert.

      I made rice, pulao, chicken biryani, veggie stew etc.. If I get back to Bangalore, I think I will an induction cooker and electric rice cooker alone will do.

  2. I had “deduced” long ago that the whistle doesn’t really play a part in whether the content is cooked or not. It’s just hot-pressurized air escaping. In fact, that would actually slow down the cooking process. A technique I had in mind to conserve LPG is to simmer it just before it whistles (hot air stays inside, temperature maintained, cooks faster:) )

    PS: I use only 3 setting on the stove… Off, High and Sim

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