For my grandmother’s generation, the big invention was cake mix, for our mom’s, it was the microwave and for me, it’s the iPhone-and that’s enabled us to do so many different things more efficiently at home. -Brit Morin
A microwave oven is a blessing in disguise to the otherwise busy housewife. It is clean, efficient and is the most convenient method to reheat food. It’s easy to operate and can be handled by children too. Infact in most traditional and conservative households, a microwave has been added to their kitchen.
In a microwave, food is cooked evenly and quickly. It retains the colour and freshness of the vegetables and minimum amount of oil is required for cooking. Furthermore, as cooking time is controlled, the food does not burn or get overcooked. The biggest plus point would be food cooked can be served in the same dish which means fewer dishes to clean!
When I picked up my first microwave it was used to only reheat food. Everybody at home learnt how to operate the microwave and at the end of the day, each of us – serving what we want for dinner on a plate and reheating – was just a boon. It meant you didn’t have to use all the pots and pans available to reheat food. It’s when I picked up my next microwave with convection mode, that I started trying out simple recipes and cakes. I was just so amazed, you didn’t have to stand and stir, you could multi-task and before you knew it the dish was ready to be served. Cooking – over. Wow! What took me by surprise was when you turn on the convection mode your microwave become an oven and you could use your aluminium cake tins, nonstick, infact any metal which otherwise cannot be used in a microwave.
Thank you Percy Spencer for inventing the microwave in 1946! By the way, it was by accident!
There are definitely some basic rules you have to follow, which I’m sure all of you must be aware of. I would say – the main principle behind microwave cooking is when you want your food moist, cover the dish while cooking and if you want it dry keep the dish open. I have tweaked this recipe a little to make it spicy and full of flavour. It’s the first of many microwave recipes – tried and tested over and over again.
- Basmati rice -1 cup
- Water -2 cups
- Onion-1 sliced
- Ginger- garlic paste -1 tsp
- Kashmiri chilli powder- 3/4 tsp
- Cinnamon, cloves, cardamom- 2 each
- Saunf -1 tsp
- Green chilli slit – 4-5
- Cooked corn -1/2 cup
- Mushroom -100 gms (cut in ‘T ‘ shape)
- Ghee- 3-4 tbsps
- Salt to taste
- Wash the basmati rice 2-3 times, drain thoroughly and soak again in 2 cups of water.
- In a microwave dish, add ghee and microwave (MW) for a minute till warm.
- Add saunf and all the whole spices and MW for 2 minutes.
- Add sliced onions, sprinkle a little salt and MW for 3-4 minutes.
- Add ginger-garlic paste, Kashmiri chilli powder, mix well and MW for 3 minutes.
- Add corn, slit green chillies, cut mushrooms and rice and water mixture.
- Add salt to taste, stir, cover and cook for 12 minutes.
- Let it stand for 2 minutes, sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves on top. (optional)
- Fluff up the rice with a fork and serve hot with cucumber raita.
- You could add a tablespoon of ghee on top before serving.
- The water you soak the rice in -after washing is the water you’re going to cook the rice with, so measure the water out carefully.
- You could substitute one cup of water with one cup of coconut milk.
- For those of you who like spice, you could add 1/2 a teaspoon of Garam masala along with the Kashmiri chilli powder.
- 1oo grams of mushroom can be substituted with 1/2 cup each of cubed carrot, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, etc.
- In case you want golden fried onions, fry the sliced onions separately on a gas burner and add to the spices.
- For 2 cups of rice, your cooking time would be 14 minutes – covered.
- In case you’re doubling the recipe, increase the cooking time for each step.
- A cup of rice serves 2 people.
Till my next post