Kevin Vance - About once a month, the Indian food eaters in my family like to get…

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01:33 am

Saturday, January 26th, 2008
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About once a month, the Indian food eaters in my family like to get takeout curry from India Gardens, a good place in West Chester (they'll also make it pretty spicy if you ask). So we were crestfallen tonight when they weren't answering their phone. Hopefully they're just randomly closed and not actually out of business. Fortunately, I came up with a backup plan, and it worked better than I had hoped.

Last month, I got a replacement rotating valve for the old pressure cooker we have. It was a wedding present for my parents that they kept, never used, and lost pieces of. I've tried it once before to make chana dal with disappointing results (I have no idea how to cook those things). So this time, I thawed some chicken pieces, cubed some potatoes, and put together the ingredients for my typical curry in about 30 minutes.

Usually after that, it cooks in a slow cooker for 5-6 hours, but tonight was different! I was skeptical about the cooking times I read online, but I decided to try it anyway, and I cooked it under pressure for 10 minutes. The results surprised everyone. The potatoes were perfect, and the chicken, which I had sliced smaller than usual, was overdone! I'm beginning to see why pressure cookers are so popular on Iron Chef (the only place I've ever seen them).

I guess they're not so popular for families because big containers of high-pressure steam are scary, and the convenience of microwaves (my parents raised the point that before microwaves, this was the *only* way to cook stuff fast). But this is definitely something worth examining further.
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Comments
[User Picture]From: dariusk
2008-01-26 02:28 pm (UTC)
Pressure cookers were actually really unsafe up until a few years ago, so they still carry that reputation. Modern ones are as safe as any microwave.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2008-01-27 01:16 am (UTC)
Huh. What changed?
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From: ex_md744
2008-01-27 09:09 pm (UTC)
More safety regulations.

Wikipedia says there needs be a primary safety valve (15 psi) that keeps pressure low normally, and then there's a self-destructive valve that blows at a higher pressure (20 or whatever, and the pot is safe to 25 psi or something). The lid of the pot also cannot be removed if it is under pressure.
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[User Picture]From: pyrop
2008-01-26 06:17 pm (UTC)
Man, my parents used pressure cookers all the time. Then again, my parents seem less susceptible to "it's going to explode in our son's face"-type fears than most parents.
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