Pressure cooker (PC), Schnell-Dampfkochtopf garer, the new versions - rice-cooker-steamer, Crock-pot...
My mom’s daily ritual started in the kitchen around 6am with a pressure cooker. Every housewife including my grandma, aunties, cousins, have their own personal relationship with their precious PC. There are a few gadgets that we Indians cannot live without. One of them is a pressure cooker. I still have my very old Indian aluminum Indian PC which is suitable only for gas stoves. Unlike some of the modern electric and European versions, these models work on the “whistle” method. In my cooking courses here in Switzerland, I use steel PCs, without a whistle, suitable for the induction stove. This all-in-one-pot wonder is a very practical and useful gadget for speeding up the cooking process.
How does it work: The main container is filled with water at the base. There are upto 4 separators inside. Each separator is filled with, say, rice, potatoes, daal or pulses, meat or vegetables with the correct ratio of water. The 4 separators are stacked up one on top the other and are placed inside the cooker. This cooking method was very efficient: saved water, energy, time and best of all, the food retained its nutritional value! "It's about cooking food in its own juices at the highest possible heat, in the lowest possible time”!
Every morning this method of cooking was done, then for the next 2 meals, lunch and dinner, only the finishing touches were added to each dish, in a pot or pan, with their respective spices, seasoning and sauces. Whole wheat Chapathi, raita or a raw salad was freshly made, to accompany the main dishes. These daily basic simple wholesome meals were enhanced with small add-ons, like, chutneys, pickles, pappads and chaas (buttermilk).
A PC is a very good long-term investment. In my experience, if treated right, it lasts FOREVER! It is very versatile, other than the method above, one-pot-dishes can be made from start to finish like biriyani, an Indian paella-like rice dish, lentils, soups, stews and curries. Amazingly, my mom also made caramel custard, handvo (an Indian Gujarathi savoury cake), etc, in this one-pot-wonder! And with another mould, Idlis (see pic below), a breakfast dish or a fancy snack, can be steamed in the same PC!