The art of pressure cooking

 

Pressure Cookers have become a staple in every Indian kitchen today. And this is no surprise as pressure cookers are a boon to busy lifestyles. This must-have kitchen gadget reduces the preparation time, all the while maintaining nutrition value.
 
Pressure cooking is a healthier cooking alternative as it retains the vital vitamin and mineral content of the food. Due to its high temperature and moisture retention capabilities, pressure cooking kills harmful bacteria that are present in the ingredients. Pressure cooker prevents evaporation; it condenses steam and subsequently makes the food flavoursome. For example, potato retains its natural flavour as well as its earthy taste in the cooker. However, are we using our pressure cookers correctly? What are some of the safety rules that we need to pay heed to? Here's a handy guide:
 
 
Never use your pressure cooker for deep frying. Always use water, vegetable or meat stock, wine or milk to boil your ingredients. Oil is an unlikely and dangerous substitute.
- Inspect the gasket of the cooker regularly and make sure it is flexible. The strength of the cover is determined through the gasket. This help seals the heat and steam within the pressure cooker.
- Take off the gasket to clean after every use. It is the most delicate and crucial component of the pressure cooker. Rubber gaskets should be replaced every six months.
- Pressure cookers require minimal amounts of energy. Therefore, they are ecologically friendly and save time.
- It is essential to note that an empty pressure cooker must never be locked, instead, the lid of the pressure cooker needs to be placed on the top in an upside down fashion.
- Pressure cookers are not for storing foods. The core that the cookers are made out of is not for food storage.
- Never tamper with an electric pressure cooker; also, stay away from cold water steam release. This not only reduces the cooker's lifespan, but is also hazardous.
- Between the electric and normal pressure cookers, it is believed that normal pressure cookers rate higher in the matter of nutrition retention.
 
 
By Dinesh Garg
The author is executive vice president, TTK Prestige Ltd.