Ayurvedic cooking is a highly meditative and healing process.
It is also pretty hard for someone for anyone to whom spices, and, herbs, dont come easy.
Some months ago, a couple came to me who were stressed because of jobs that took most of their time–my prescription was –cook one meal together and eat it and dont watch tv later. They connected and
were able to conceive–! (Well my herbs helped too–but the idea is modern lifestyle has made dinner a PROBLEM, instead of a process)
Touching grains, and materials from mother
earth in a meditative process, transforming them helps us heal at so many levels.
Both Atul and I use cooking as a tool to meditate, and, heal–our son also loves the preparation of cooking with our help.
I am an Indian and I do use pressure cooker for beans. I use one by Macys–all steel and safe. I grew up with pressure cookers. Yes, I wash and soak the beans with salt–so they absorb the water fast all night till they absorb all the water and are nice and fat.
Then, I boil them for 15-20 minutes in pressure cooker, then, slow cook. (I add hingu right in the beginning along with curry leaf–bayleaf–it helps take
vayu out). And, yes claypot preparation looks far more interesting.
There is a method to this Ayurvedic Cooking madness–specially when you start teaching your clients–
1. Preparation the night before –Have all the ingredients ready, chopped, soaked. For example if you are making mung bean dosa or pancakes–then soak the mung
beans all night. Same for rice. Atul will also put reminders on the fridge–and, make sure he has all ingredients needed. Make sure your Ghee is ready, your spice mixes, and churnams are ready.
2. Start with the item that will take the MAXIMUM time. For example, kshira or Kheer. Instead of waiting around while kheer is cooking–which it will take a good 45 minutes or so—we move to item that will take less time.
3. Now, we move to red kidney or any beans. Put them to boil–and wait. Mung beans take very less time to cook–pinto and kidney beans, chick peas take maximum.
However, soaking them in hot filtered water with some salt added and cooking in pressure cooker–cuts the time in half.
4. Now, we move to other things like stirfry veggeis or mung bean pancakes or rice—I love making jira rice with ghee. Soak rice. Add ghee and cumin (jira)–with bayleaf. Add rice–mix well. Put in boiling water–basmati rice should be done in 12-14 minutes on low flame.
5. Last, but, not the least–CHUTNEYS. We start block 1 with chutneys because they are the easiest–and we dont want to scare the students away.