There’s recently been a new addition to my kitchen: a pressure cooker. Now, my memories of pressure cookers was of the great big one my Mum had, hissing away, I assumed that’s what pressure cookers did, made lots of noise and created lots of steam. I couldn’t tell you anything about how it worked or what she used it for. Since entering blogworld, I have read more and more blog posts, mostly from Indian food bloggers, utilising pressure cookers in their day to day cooking. They cook beans and lentils and all sorts in a matter of minutes in a pressure cooker, it sounded amazing and very useful. I would always prefer to use dried beans rather than tinned, but I was never comfortable with having the gas on for an hour plus to cook them, so I would cook large amounts of beans every time so that I made the most of using all that gas, and then I’d get fed up with having so many beans to get through!!!
I found this cute three litre version to use on my hob/stove. After looking at the box for a few days, then finally unpacking it and looking at the pot for a few more days and reading the instruction manual over and over, I got brave enough to try it out. I tried cooking amaranth in it first, a tiny little grain, the grains are smaller than a pin head, and the experience wasn’t what I’d call successful. Put it like this, I had to hoover those tiny grains up from every corner of my kitchen! As the water had come to the boil inside the pot, it started bubbling and a few bubbles of water and amaranth started to escape from the tiny valve on top of the lid…then a whole fountain of water and grains started erupting, everywhere!!! I had to quickly put the vent whistle over the hole and hope for the best!!
So I tried again with pinto beans which I’d soaked overnight; it was much more successful this time! And so cool, 250g pinto beans were fully cooked in under 10 minutes – amazing!
I ate these with some roasted purple broccoli – another new experiment, I just sprayed the brocoli with some spray olive oil and roasted them until the tops were crunchy and the stems were cooked, it was really good – and some butternut squash dip that I’d make this week too and the combination was lovely.