Microwave ovens feel like magic wands for cooking quick one pot meals when we are in a hurry. Just throw a few ingredients together in a pot and set the timer and this wonder machine called microwave takes care of the cooking process. The timer tells you the food is ready and you can lay the plates for the family.
While the idea of throwing a few ingredients in a pot and letting them cook on their own seems bizarre for Indian style food where spices are fried till aromatic and vegetables are sautéed till browned and then a dish cooks slowly on stove, one pot microwave cooking is not that difficult and the spicy aromatic foods can be recreated if one works a little intelligently.
There are a few tips that come handy when preparing one pot meals in microwave and it is not rocket science. Almost all urban cooks keep a few much used condiments and spices ready to be used all the time and those are very helpful when making one pot meals in microwave. If the fridge is well stocked with pre cut vegetables, chopped herbs, some bhuna masala and some boiled or grilled leftover meat or chicken, the efficient Whirlpool microwave ovens with 6th sense 1-2-3 chef technology can help rustle up a quick one pot meal. Vegetarians can use paneer or roasted nuts to add protein to the one pot meal.
Pulaos and tahiris are great one pot meal favorites in India and most families like them in vegetarian version. Although adding some chicken or ready to use cold cut meats and sausages is a clever option to make a tasty meal quickly in microwave. Most health conscious families want the meals to be cooked in minimal oil, vegetables to be fresh but the taste quotient must not be compromised. Microwave cooking is one of the most practical options for such people.
To make 2 servings of a vegetable tahiri in microwave, take 1/3 cup of washed basmati rice with 2/3 cup of water in a large microwave safe dish and add 2/3 cup of green peas, 1 cup of chopped beans, 1/3 cup of cubed potatoes and 2 tbsp of chopped and fried cashew nuts into the same dish. Now add 2 tbsp of bhuna masala and mix well. Place the dish into the microwave and cook on high for 6 minutes. Let it rest for 3-4 minutes, cover the dish and microwave again for 6 minutes. Now let the dish rest inside the microwave for about 5 minutes more so the cooking process continues inside the hot vessel, a great way to conserve energy. Else you can cook the tahiri for 2-3 minutes more and serve immediately. Your piping hot aromatic tahiri is ready to eat, serve it with plain dahi or raita or a tomato salsa and pickle.
To make variations of this tahiri you can add 2/3 cup of paneer cubes instead of the cashew nuts or the same amount of shredded chicken breast or cubed salami or sausages if you like. You can also add boiled chickpeas or kidney beans to the same if making variations of this tahiri. Green beans can be replaced with cauliflower, broccoli, baby corn, bell peppers or even mushrooms.
This one pot meal with rice can be customized to cook with other grains like daliya or quinoa if you wish. Just replace rice with these grains and follow the cooking instructions on the packet to adjust cooking time. If the cooking time for daliya is less for example, you should cut the vegetables in smaller pieces so they cook in the same time as daliya.
Cooking in these intelligent microwave ovens with 6th sense technology is easy as the aroma of spices distributes evenly through the dish while each grain of rice and each piece of vegetables cooks evenly and completely. There is no worry of food sticking to the bottom of the vessel and there are lesser utensils to wash too. Indian home cooking could never be so convenient thanks to super-efficient microwave ovens from Whirlpool.