Srivalli of Cooking 4 all Seasons has come up with various events on Microwave cooking, and this month, its on MW basics. With my just few basic knowledge in this regard, decided to go for it..and as someone , some where..would have said...."things are best explained when done using an example", this is my first entry to the event..
Making of Palak Thoran in MW.
Now the term "Thoran" is one universal name for the side dish prepared for meals, especially rice in Kerala cooking. The basic ingredients just remains the same, only the master-veg keeps changing..be it carrot, beans, cabbage..and here, its Palak.
I purposefully went for Palak, and only prefers it cooked this way in MW, as the stove cooked one just seems to get too soggy once its done. And for all those out there, who are not much good fans of Palak, (just with the lame excuse that it gets sogged up once cooked, inspite of its all healthy aspects)..this is the Full-Stop to it!!!
Ingredients used here:
Palak - 1 bunch
Oil - 1 tbs
Onions - 2 small
Grated coconut - 3-4 tbs
Garlic, green chillie, curry leaves, turmeric powder, salt (as per taste)
The general skeleton of all cooking, remains the same..be it on stove, or in MW.
The 3 basic elements which needs to be kept in mind while cooking in MW is
b) Cooking Time
c) Standing Time
and once we get a flavour of the above seetings for each kind of dish (naturally, in course of time, and by trial and error!!)...Eurekkaaaa, we are done!!!!
Back to Palak,
Step 1: Heat the oil.
The main advantage of using MW is that it just requires very little oil compared to stove cooking. Max 1-2 tbs.
Power - High.
Time - 30 secs...always. Needn't go for more than that.
Do note, keep the cover of the dish (MW safe bowl, of course) closed.
Step 2 : Add in the basics
Mustard seeds, onions, garlic, green chillie and curry leaves to the heated oil and mix well with the spoon. MW it in the below setting, again as usual, with the cover over the bowl.
Power - High.
Time - 1 minute.
Time - 1 minute.
If using large quantity of onions..say 3-4 , keep for 1 more minute, till you see the light sauted look and colour on them. See image below.
Step 3 : Add in the master veggies
Now add into the sauted mix, the chopped Palak, little turmeric powder, grated coconut and salt. Mix well. Do not add any water!
Once the vegetable is added, (which ever is being used), always keep in mind to reduce the Power-level. Keep it around 70-75 % only, and with increased cooking time.
Power - 75%
Time - 3-4 minutes.
Do mix the ingredients once in between the cooking process...(and see that the salt is as per your taste ). Just press the Stop button, take it out, mix and place it back. Don't worry, the power and time setting, will not be affected, even if you interrupt in between, unless you cut off the power supply.
Once the set time is up, leave it on for a couple of minutes...called the Standing time, because the cooking process will be still on...say, leave it as such undisturbed for 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile, you can finish off washing the other dishes, chopper boards, and cutleries!!! Once you are done..the curry is done too.
Take the dish from the MW, and be very careful in lifting the lid up. We do have the tendency to peep into the bowl to see if it cooked, but get the hot steam land hot straight right on your face!!! Raise the lid in such a manner that it opens towards you, blocking the steam from yourself.
Here you are, with my Palak thoran, which is cooked in very less oil...not the least soggy, and taste much better tooo !!!
Enjoy...try it out, and let me know how it went.
Sona..the kitchen scientist.