It is a misnomer in India, that delicious dishes cannot be cooked in the microwave oven unlike the
conventional methods. Gone are the days when women had to toil in the kitchen from sunrise to sunset churning out dishes. Cooking in the microwave oven is very clean and efficient.The number of utensils involved would be very less, thus making life easy for the womenfolk. Microwave cooking is fast, generally, cooking food takes one-fourth the time in the
microwave than it takes in your conventional oven. Hence women, especially those working find it a boom. Cooking heat is created within the food, so ones’ kitchen does not get overheated. With the prices of microwaves dropping very low with increases in technology, everyone can buy one these days.
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Kitchen remains clean and spotless and easy to clean. The natural flavours are retained in the food materials.Hence a healthy life is assured. Reduced cooking time means more vitamins and minerals are retained in the food. Overcooking in conventional methods generally removes the nutrients present. It is very economical and convenient to use the microwave oven.
Microwave cooking helps to make your life easier. Cooking healthy, appetizing meals very quickly changes your attitude in life. The microwave oven is one of the great inventions of the 20th century -- millions of homes around the world have one. Indians are slowly joining the bandwagon. In microwave cooking, the radio waves penetrate the food and excite water and fat molecules much evenly throughout the food. No heat has to migrate toward the interior by conduction. There is heat everywhere all at once because the molecules are all excited together. Microwaves are high-frequency electromagnetic waves which release energy to food to cook or reheat without changing either the form or the colour. Microwave ovens are used to defrost, reheat or cook.
www.indianmirror .com has compiled a list of Indian recipes that can be cooked over the microwave oven easily.
Time is very essential for cooking.
Modern day living does not accept the slow way of cooking practiced in earlier
days. One device that has defied the clock in the kitchen is the microwave oven.
It not only cooks faster but is also healthier and convenient to use Nowadays
even conservative and strictly traditional homes too have added it in their
kitchen room, since it is an instrument of great creativity.
of microwave cooking
Food cooks evenly, quickly and efficiently in the microwave.
Also the nutrients are preserved and the actual taste of the food is retained
to a higher degree.
Only a minimum amount of oil is required for cooking continental as well as
traditional Indian dishes and so it seems desirable
from the health point of view.
Also shorter and controlled cooking time means that the food does not get burnt
Food may be cooked and served in the same dish.
Another major advantage is that food is cooked minus the smoke, grease and heat
and so the kitchen remains neat and tidy always.
Microwave has multifarious uses like de-frosting, re-heating, etc.
Microwaves are a form of the electro-magnetic energy.
The microwave oven is designed to generate electro-magnetic waves, which are
contained in the cooking cavity.
The waves cannot be seen. Microwaves act in three different ways.
Absorption - when the food
is micro waved, the water molecules present in the food get stimulated and heated
up and so the energy of the microwave is concentrated on cooking the food faster.
Transmission - Microwaves
are attached only to water molecules and so they ignore everything else except
the food to be cooked.
Reflection - Microwaves are
absorbed by food and pass through materials like glass, china, wood, paper and
plastic, but they reflect on metal.
There are two types of microwave
1) Simple microwave oven
2) Microwave and convection oven.
The microwave oven
cooks food as well as re-heats it. The convection system heats, browns and dries
the surface of the food for crisping. This type of combination cooking is best
for tandoori dishes and the convection system alone is best suited for cakes
and other pastry - based appetisers that need a flaky crust. But for microwave/
convection combination cooking, the cookware should be both heatproof and micro
safe. For convection cooking, the cookware needs only to be heatproof.
USING A MICROWAVE OVEN
Food must be placed off-center as
the microwave energy disperses more to the corners and sidewalls. Items like
idlis should be arranged in a circle with space among them. Chops should be
arranged with the thinner areas pointing to the middle of the utensils.
Ovenware treated for high- intensity
heat such as bowls, cake dishes and also bags, film, paper towels, practically
any material can be used except metal. But metal can be used for the convection
mode. Metallic dishes should not be also used in the combination mode. Pottery
and plastic ware declared microwave-safe could be used in the common microwave
Ceramic wares can also be used but
make sure that they don't have any metallic rim as they may cause arcing. Food
items containing high proportion of fat and sugar should not be used in glass
utensils, otherwise they can be used commonly.
Melmoware and melamine wares are
to be avoided; paper towels, greaseproof paper and cardboard can also be used
provided they don't have any staple pins in them. Wood items can be used in
the micro-oven but not for a long time.
This is an important factor to be
noted. Dishes must be ½ or ¾ filled depending on the liquid content of the food.
If the dish is too small, the food will boil over and if the dish is too large
the thick curry will spread out and overcook. Shallow vessels make cooking faster.
Cakes, chicken, meat and rice dishes cook well in large bottomed vessels while
round dishes are ideal for cooking vegetables and curry dishes.
The microwave oven door should not be subject to any strain.
It should not be used often and also a bang is to be avoided. Any misalignment
may cause leakage of the microwave.
Small quantities of food with low moisture content can burn, spark, or catch
fire if re-heated for long.
Do not operate an empty oven as it can cause damage to the oven.
Keep at least five cms space between the back of the oven and the wall immediately
near it as it allows the exhaust air to escape.
Do not install the oven near gas burners or near radios or TVs.
Do not deep fry in the oven as it is not possible to control the temperature
of the oil and it may result in catching fire easily.
If food catches fire turn off the oven, remove the plug out, but do not open
the door of the oven.
Keep the interior of the oven clean as small specks of food particles inside
can reduce its efficiency.
Do not cook eggs with the shells as they explode.
Do not heat food or liquids in bottles with lids closed.
Do not warm bottles with lids on for babies.
Milk or any food for kids must be heated on simmer mode only.
Pierce vegetables and fruits with tight skin to prevent them from bursting before
TIPS FOR COOKING DISHES IN MICROWAVE
Place some 5 potatoes in a micro-safe
dish with half water. Cover and cook in High mode for around 9 minutes and then
allow it to stand for sometime. Then drain and peel.
Place a handful of corn in a micro-safe
dish and cover it. Then cook on high mode for 5 minutes and then transfer it
to a paper packet.
In a micro-safe dish put one tablespoon
of oil, one tablespoon of ginger-garlic paste and cook on high mode for 4 minutes.
Then add some chopped tomatoes and the required masala for the flavor desired
and cook on high mode for another 4 minutes adding some water to the mixture.
Roasting of nuts
Spread the nuts on a ceramic plate
adding salt or any other masala to taste and cook high for 3 to 4 minutes. Serve
after 5 minutes.
Mix well one-cup milk, two tablespoons
of sugar and two tablespoons of custard powder thoroughly and cook on high mode
for 2 minutes and serve after cooled.
Place one-tablespoon oil, one-cup
tomato puree, one-cup tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste in a micro-safe
dish and cook on High for about 6 minutes.
In a micro safe dish put about 250
grams of vegetables desired with salt tot taste and about two cups water and
cook on High for 16 minutes.
8) To make
Cook bread in the oven on High mode
for 2 to 3 minutes and then crush it.
Wrap the chapattis in a napkin or
in a paper towel and heat on high mode for 2 to 3 minutes.
10) To crisp
Place the biscuits, nuts or chips
on a plate and heat on high for 1 minute and allow it to stand for 5 minutes.
11) To prepare
Micro High a small bowl with two
tablespoons water and juice of one lemon. It can also be placed in rooms to
absorb any strong odours.
Take two pieces of chicken, one onion,
one potato chopped and salt and pepper to taste with two cups water and cook
on high for 14 minutes at power level of 60. Drain and keep the stock aside.
Take the vegetables, onion and chopped
potato and salt and cook on micro 60 for 12 minutes