When do you think about Indian food, what is the first thing that springs to mind? An immense amount of comfort food? Bollywood movie? Beautiful color combinations?
Yes, all of these things are correct, but the list’s top is most likely spices. Wild, tasty, enjoyable, outreaching, and throat burning. Every bite of Indian food is like a new journey to the heart of Asia.
And in terms of spices, you can be sure of one more thing, and that is the fact that they tend to be very aggressive. They might not burn the hole in your home cooking tech. Still, they will most likely add additional wear to it, especially if you are using anything that has a Teflon layer.
The best choice in terms of tasty and possibly mineral-rich Indian cooking is in my opinion GRANITESTONE 2590 12-in-1.
Why use stoneware for cooking Indian style food?
Indian cooking is old. Very old. It dates more than 3000 years back. In those days, non of today’s tech existed, so logically people were cooking on stoneware. This style of cooking translates into the taste of the meal immensely.
These types of cookware did survive in the present day, but you can see centuries embedded into them. Their wear and tear are not caused by time only, but mainly by actually using them for cooking.
The most significant benefit of using cookware made out of some form of stone is the fact that as you are using it releases minerals that it contains. In this way, our ancestors were given a healthy dosage of additional nutrients in their food.
These days we are supplementing those by eating pills containing a cocktail of minerals, vitamins, and other beneficial things. How great would it be if the cooking was good enough?
Many old-school Indians will tell you that they remember a specific taste of food from their childhood. The most common reason for this is that their family used ceramic, stone, or copper cookware.
The problem that we face these days is that making/buying a full ceramic/stone inner pot for an instant pot is very expensive. This is the reason why most instant pots have stainless steel as their inner pot material. We have an abundance of it, and it is easy to bend it to any shape or form we would like.
As this is the case, it is tough to find any instant pot with some other material in its insides. Luckily this is the place where the GRANITESTONE 2590 12-in-1 comes to play.
I have to warn you here.
Even though it is the closest commercially made instant pot with a ceramic inner pot, it is not full-blown ceramic. The inner pot is only ceramic-coated. It doesn’t mean that it is not better than stainless steel, but it is not as good as a whole ceramic-made inner pot.
It is still the safest and most beneficial way of cooking in the instant pot currently available.
On top of that, you are getting closer to real Indian cooking. So why not choose a more beneficial option if you have a chance?
The potentially added minerals increase the worthiness of instant pots even higher than they already are, as you know from my article.
Are there any other options?
I realize that you might not want to buy a new instant pot just for that one Indian recipe that you have seen on youtube. Or the mentioned instant pot is not sold in your location.
In any case, let’s take a look at some other options you might have and what to look for in an instant pot that is a good fit for Indian-style cooking.
As I have mentioned many times above, stainless steel inner pot of and the instant pot is the second option. It may not provide as much of an added taste, but it is still a great choice.
Most instant pots these days do have their inner pots made out of stainless steel, but you should always be on the lookout for those that have at least a grade of SS304.
This information should be either listed on the product page or mentioned on the box of your chosen instant pot. If this is not the case, I would not risk it. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
If you don’t have an instant pot in mind, I recommend you to get something with a history of quality behind it. Specifically, I am talking about: Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus Pressure Cooker 9 in 1. There is a brand, a nice following, and excellent service behind it.
Whatever you decide is OK, as long as it has at least the stainless steel inner pot.
Please steer clear from Teflon as hard as you can. It is not safe in any of your appliances and cookware that you have at home.
Why get an instant pot for Indian food?
I bet you have seen tons of recipes everywhere online. Every single one is mentioning how easy it is to make Indian food. That, you will only need some spices and a pan/skillet, and you are ready to go.
By the way, the essential list of basic spices often lists these:
- Garam masala, preferably from an Indian store
- Green and black cardamom
- Turmeric powder
- Cumin powder
- Red chili/cayenne pepper powder
- Coriander powder
- Whole cumin seeds
- Whole brown mustard seeds
- Cinnamon/cassia bark
- Black pepper
And this is not a shortlist. But you can find all of those spices in your local Indian shop.
Back to the instant pot.
So apart from a wide variety of spices, pan/skillet, you also need time. As I have mentioned before, Indian cuisine is very old. Some recipes are transferred from generation to generation in terms of their prep. They are very costly when it comes to the time needed to do them correctly.
Luckily for us, we have a modern home cooking tech, and we can do something about it. The instant pot gives you the option to shorten the cooking time for a lot of recipes to the bare minimum while not hampering the meal’s taste. As you know from my article about how an instant pot works.
Also as are instant pots based on pressure cooking, they are greatly simplifying the mixing of flavors. Most Indian recipes have a lot of small bits and pieces in them. For example, the butter chicken from Daring Gourmet not only needs a long prep time but there are a lot of ingredients and techniques needed.
On the other hand, if you use the Instant pot, you can shorten this time to 30 minutes. If you are interested in a recipe, check out this one from Spruce Eats.
Quick and delicious.
Has a lot of different ingredients in its base and usually requires a long time to prep and cook. All the parts have to break down, mix together, and mix their flavors.
The instant pot helps significantly in this as it forces pressure into all those ingredients at the same time. This not only speeds up the cooking but also helps to break down each ingredient in the same way and at the same time allowing proper combining.
So, ceramic-based inner pots are best for Indian-style cooking. I would say they are great for any recipe, but they shine the most in the Indian ones.
You might get the GRANITESTONE 2590 12-in-1 or a different instant pot, but my recommendation will always be that it should be one with either ceramic-coated pot or whole ceramic pot if possible.
I hope that I have been able to give you solid guidance for your decision and that you will be enjoying supremely tasting Indian recipes with added hints of minerals.
Until next time have great and mineral-rich pressure cooking.