Introduction to MW cooking These recipes and timings have been tested in a MW oven with an output of 800 watts. Suitable modifications of timings would have to be made for other ovens. Power level cooking 100 % High 75 % Med high 50 % Medium 25 % Low The time given in the recipes is approximate. It varies with the size & output of the MW, besides nature & moisture content of the food. Whatever you are cooking (both liquids & solids), stirring once in 3 mts ensures even cooking. Never overcook – this is very important in MW cooking. After switching off, food tends to get further cooked in the heat. Reheating can be done in foodgrade plastic ware, but cooking is best done in microwave glass bowls or ceramics. Use deep dishes to prepare gravies & fill only ¾. Otherwise gravies are likely to spill. For dry vegetables use shallow, flat dishes. Milk based foods tend to boil over & so use large & deep containers. If the food is taken cold from the fridge, it takes longer to heat up than food at room temperature. Always space food apart – even cooking is only then possible. Do not pile one over the other. Round containers ( which have no corners) are better than square or rectangular vessels. Always give standing time to the cooked food, since, as given earlier, cooking process continues after MW is switched off also. If you double the quantity of food to be cooked, do not always double the time also. Increasing a little is sufficient. Rice: Basmathi gets cooked better than Ponni rice. Pulaos can be cooked well. Dhals: Turdhal is best not cooked in MW, but only in the pressure cooker. For moong dhal, masoor dhal & gram dhal: Use a large vessel so that t will be only half full. Soak dhal in 2 ½ times boiling water covered ( outside M W0 for 30 mts. Add haldi & little oil. Cook OPEN in the MW, stirring regularly. If the water gets fully absorbed, before it is completely cooked, add a little more hot water. Cooking vegetables: It is important to cut vegetables into even sized pieces for uniform cooking. Cook with very little water. Eg: 250 gms of beans, cabbage etc + 2 tbsp of water take about 8 mts Cover & stir once inbetween. Keerai (greens) – open bowl – sprinkle water – less time Kovakkai – 250 gms – apply little oil – open bowl( stirring once inbetween) 7-8 mts Ladies’ finger & Brinjal – apply little oil – closed bowl – 5,6 mts Whole brinjal, potato, if cooking whole, shoud be slit or pierced to prevent bursting. I find microwave steamer ideal for steam cooking vegetables. Stuffed brinjal etc can be steam cooked & sauted on a nonstick frying pan, using very little oil. In MW cooking, colour of vegetables is retained very well. The nutrients are better preserved. I regularly boil milk in MW. I litre - High 10 mts + lo 5 mts ½ litre - High 5 mts + lo 3 mts Remember the above timing is a general guide only.