Retaining colour

During the sedentary months of the first lockdown we moved to a diet heavy in salads. But lately I’ve been feeling a little tired of this. The Family likes the lightness of salads, especially at times like the current months when our activity is again heavily curtailed. I tried roasting the vegetables some time ago, and was rewarded by the sweeter, deeper flavours created in the roasting. This week I discovered that a similar effect is obtained by steaming. As you can see from the featured photo, steaming can also retain the colours of the vegetables.

I put the recipe together from a few posts by wonderful home cooks that I could see on the web. Here is what I settled on:

  1. Clean the vegetables, remove the ends of things like carrots, beet, beans, and so on. You might want to peel the veggies (a step that I forgot).
  2. Put a low support at the bottom of the pressure cooker for the steaming vessel to sit on. I used a steel colander to hold the vegetables which need to be steamed.
  3. You need very little water for steaming, just three tablespoons of water was sufficient for the two carrots and the beans that you see in the photo. Make sure that the water does not touch the vegetables.
  4. Put the pressure cooker on a high flame and wait for two whistles. That took me between five and six minutes, the time could be more or less depending on the size of your cooker.
  5. Put off the flame, release the steam, and then cool the vessel under running water immediately. This helps to preserve the colour of the vegetables.

My first attempt turned out successful, and I’m not a great cook. I put a smear of mustard on the plate, and The Family and I scarfed the whole plate standing at the kitchen counter. Everything was soft, flavourful, and sweet, a better taste than the carrots that went into the same day’s salad. My excuse is that quick cooking makes me hungry. The Family says she did not want me to get poisoned by eating the whole thing. Love flowers in kitchens!

Categorized as Food, India

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.


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