Monday, August 9, 2010

Pressure cooker

They kept on saying jo biwi se kare pyaar, woh Prestige se kaise karen inkaar? My father, of course, never had a point to prove in their marriage, and hence we had a Hawkins, and subsequently many more. To be honest I cannot remember a time when we did not own a pressure cooker.

From a very young age the pressure cooker has always intrigued me. It took me a long time to figure out how to open (or close) the lid of one, and if you want a candid answer, I'm still not 100% confident of achieving it with ease. The other aspects that really attracted me to the Hawkins were its uncouth rubber band along the rim of the lid, and the small head-like metallic thing that came off when pulled.

The pressure cooker was, in more ways than one, an overwhelming experience. Nothing in this world can possibly hasten the process and murder the end-product of cooking to such a significant extent the way a pressure cooker has done. It cannot be a coincidence that both saas-bahu serials and eating out are gaining popularity over time - we now have more time in our hands and crappy food on our tables.

Apart from such controversial issues, a curious feature of the pressure cooker has been its whistles. We had a kitchen well-isolated from the residential segment of the house, and I clearly remember myself, standing open-mouthed at the kitchen door, waiting for that whistle to happen.

***

A lot of my friends went for a PhD in the USA. A lot. The usual process was the same: sit for a GRE, then a TOEFL, get recommendations, apply to all sorts of universities, get your tickets, get a pressure cooker, pack your bags and leave.

Hang on, get a pressure cooker? Why on earth?

They don't have them in the USA, apparently.

WHAT? WHY?

No idea.

This incredible fact about pressure cookers fascinated me. The Americans, from what we've known, believe in speed a lot more than we do, isn't it? Then why this baffling reluctance on using pressure cookers?

***

Then I realised that they possibly don't believe in the concept of increasing pressure to achieve quicker, low-quality results. They let everything be. Just like that. Hence no pressure cookers. And no necessity for films like 3 Idiots, either.

10 comments:

  1. 1. Amar barite Hawkins nei....clear????

    2. Pressure cooker-e Biriyani, Polao besh bhaloi hoy...kintu chaal:jol besh chap (pressure)srishti kore...;)

    3. topic-ta besh ghyam.

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  2. abar ekta anobadyo topic ar anek choto khato kintu advut khabor jene professor shonku er golper ses e anondo paoar motoi anondo pelum...

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  3. another awesome post, though I don't read blogs that much, but whenever I read I read urs n I never get disappointed. I mean u can make any topic worth reading the way to write, great stuff!!

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  4. ....or possibly just that the Americans are scared of the pressure cooker -that puffs like the magic dragon of hana lee ;) and would not just charter the uncertainties associated :).

    A lot of Indians like you would love to believe that US is all about the better world, more intellect and more sensibility which might not be the case. ;)

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  5. also, american ra ki emon kichu barite cook kore adou tht needs anything more than a microwave. ora stove top e use kore na to pressure cooker to onek durer kawtha.......

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  6. Pressure cooked food is not all that bad you know...the west has somewhat incorporated the idea in their kitchens minus the time/fuel saving factor....(steamers, slow cookers, rice cookers etc). Most part of the story we already know...when the whole world is turning energy efficient...US of A walks in the other direction! Every Indian Saas-bahu should be specially awarded for their conviction of saving the world!

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  7. I really enjoyed this post. I am kindof scared of pressure cookers - certainly can never be sure of attaching the lid everytime. The interesting thing, though, is that while the Prestige pressure cookers now come in gorgeous colours and shapes, the Hawkins one still comes with an old-fashioned cookbook! On how to cook in the pressure cooker. Naturally I got the latter with great fanfare (am entirely dependent on cookbooks). Number of times pressure cooker used: 2. Both times, everything else in the kitchen was dirty. Therefore, used the base as saucepan to make tea :)

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  8. can't believe they don't use pressure cookers..! the americans..!:D

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  9. The first loud sound that a baby hears in India is probably that of a pressure cooker.
    I realised this when I noticed the startled expression my baby had,when all of 8 months and sitting in her high chair,she first heard the pressure cooker whistle from our kitchen.To make sure she didn't bawl in fear, I immediately laughed and said "cooker".Maybe that's how one of the first words she spoke was "cookah".
    Children usually scream out of the kitchen upon hearing the whistle go off.Only adults know of its benefits.

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