Wednesday, 28 July 2010


I'm giving few tips for cooking in Microwave.These are tried and tested and have been updated here. I've not checked the coconut shell tip alone.

  • Always give the dishes a minimum standing time of 2 minutes before removing from the oven.
  • Boiling milk - To boil 1 litre milk, cook on full power for about 7-8 minutes. Then cook on 60% power for 5 minutes. Do not close the dish when boiling milk. Initially when boiling, keep the timings lesser than mentioned and try increasing by 30seconds or 1 minute till you find the right time else milk can boil over.
  • Melting chocolate - Chocolate can be melted in microwave avoiding the double boiler. Microwave on 50% for about 2-3 minutes.
  • The skin of garlic pods are easier to peel when microwaved for 30 seconds.
  • Before squeezing lemons, microwave them for a minute. The juice is easily squeezed.
  • Similarly, warming oranges for a minute would yield more juice.
  • When making recipes with milk, use deep bottomed vessels to avoid boiling over.
  • Tur dal is best cooked in pressure cooker. Other dals can be cooked in microwave. Before microwaving, soak in hot water for 30minutes outside and then microwave until cooked.
  • To remove the coconut from its shell, microwave it for 3-4 minutes.
  • Glass jars can be sterilized in microwave before using them to store pickles, curry leaves etc.
  • Roasting peanuts - Place peanuts in a small bowl and microwave for a minute and slowly increase the time by 30seconds periodically checking on them. If left for a longer cooking time, peanuts can get charred and the odor would be difficult to get rid of and even your neighbours would know that you've burnt something. ;-)
  • Re-crisping biscuits - Have the biscuits gotten soft. Its simple to get them back to crisp state. In a paper towel, place the biscuits and microwave for a minute.

Cooking Rice - Rice can be cooked in microwave. If rice is used directly without soaking, the time taken is more. For example, a small cup of rice would take 10-12 minutes on full power and another 8 minutes on 50% power. Again the timing is to be increased if the rice is not cooked.

The rice cooked in microwave is best used for pulaos, biryanis, all variety rices where we want the grains separate and not sticky.

To shorten the cooking time, soak the rice in hot water for about 20-30mins outside and then microwave.

Do not put all the water necessary for rice at once. This can lead to overflowing of the water when the rice is boiling. Add half the required quantity at first and the rest when almost no water is left. Or use a large bowl with all the required quantity of water at once.

Steaming, Cooking vegetables
-Any vegetable can be steamed in a oven. There are a couple of things to keep in mind.
  • Its very important that you cut all the pieces of approximately the same size. This will ensure even cooking.
  • When cooking / steaming, stir once in 2-3 minutes. This will ensure the vegetable getting cooked evenly from all sides.
  • Never pile food one on top of other.
  • When cooking an assortment of veggies, keep the hard veggies at the bottom and tender ones at the top. This will ensure that all the vegetables get cooked at the same time and none is over-cooked or under-cooked.
  • When boiling whole potatoes, make few pricks with fork and place over the glass table. Note here that we are placing it directly on the glass plate of the oven. Cook for 6-7 minutes. its important to make pricks to avoid bursting of whole potatoes. This applies to big brinjals as well.
  • Here's a pic of the vegetable steamer that am currently using. The one on the left is the bottom most which would hold water. The 2nd dish is the one that would sit on top of the water holding container. The veggies would be placed in this. This will be covered with a lid that has adjustable vents for the steam to escape.

  • Steaming veggies - Cook on high power for 5 minutes. Then cook on 50-60% power for another 3 minutes. This way the veggies get cooked well. If the veggies are not cooked still, increase the cooking time. This varies with each veggie.
  • Extracting tamarind juice - For making rasam, sambar, if you do not have tamarind paste at hand, this tip would work the best. In a small bowl, put the required amount of tamarind with little water and put in microwave for 1-1.5 minutes. The tamarind would tenderize and extracting juice is just kids play.
  • I've found that when tomatoes are cooked and pureed and used in gravies, rasam, sambar, the dish taste awesome. For this place cut tomatoes in a small bowl with little water and cook for 4 minutes. Blend and use.

Preparing instant coffee or tea -
  • To make instant coffee directly in a glass (best when making for 1-2 persons) -Place milk in a microwave safe glass and microwave for a minute. Keep a watch since milk can boil over. Add instant coffee powder, sugar. Stir well and put it back into the oven for another 30 seconds.
  • For tea, place tea leaves with required water in a microwave safe pot and microwave for a couple of minutes.

Reheating Food -
Most people use microwave for reheating purposes. Here are few tips for reheating food.
  • Reheat idlies by sprinkling very little water over then and cover with a cling film.
  • Reheat rice by covering with a cling film and make small incisions on the film for the steam to escape. You may even reheat without a cling film.
  • Never cover dishes with lids while reheating for more than a minute in a microwave safe plastic dishes.
  • Other foods may be simply reheated without covering the dishes even with cling film.
  • UPDATED (30 Aug 2011) - Reheat chapathis in a closed microwave safe container for a minute. If reheated in open, the chapathis would get harder once they cool down. By reheating in a closed container, the moisture from chapathis is retained and even when little cooled down would remain soft.

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Padma Srikanth said...

hey Pavi...gr8 going...nice tips related to microwave....Thanks dear... :)

Anonymous said...

Good brief and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you as your information.

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