HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

meat curry in a pressure cooker?

Friends over for dinner on Monday, and I'm going to combine two firsts: (1) cooking meat [goat, on the bone, Indian style] curry, (2) in a pressure cooker.

I'm not sure why I've never cooked goat - it just hasn't happened. I've certainly eaten lots. Baaaaa.

I'm not sure why I've never used my pressure cooker. Maybe I did try it once, and the benefits weren't obvious, but cleaning was a pain.

Anyway, here I am. What is the secret to cooking curry in a pressure cooker? Will it blow up?

I have done some research. My pressure cooker is a western model - a F*GOR - but all the Indian pressure cooking recipes I've found measure time in "number of whistles" which I don't think applies, as my pressure cooker lacks the familiar whistle on the top.

Help!

(As an aside, does a pressure cooker offer any quality benefits over other methods of cooking? I know it's supposed to be faster, but that is somewhat offset by the cleaning hassle.)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. yes you can do it and it will be fabulous.

    you have your curry recipe?

    you have your fagor instruction manual?

    consider the curry a "MEAT STEW" for analogy purposes. you will pressure on high.

    tips: don't fill too high (there is a fill line indicator) and don't use too much liquid. chick peas are a nice addition.

    http://missvickie.com/howto/times/tim...

    ~~~~~
    is this what you mean about indian recipes - "whistle goes off four times"? http://www.spicytasty.com/meat-and-se...

    ~~~~~~~
    after some deep searching, i found this info from miss vickie: ""To adapt an Indian recipe that uses whistles for cooking in either a 'jiggle-top' or the modern spring-valve cooker, allow about 3 minutes-per-whistle.""" http://missvickie.com/library/whistli... HOWEVER, i do not think that this is enough time. a "four whistle" would be only 12 minutes. that's not enough time to cook meat. here is fagor's meat cooking timing chart: http://fastcooking.ca/pressure_cooker...

    LUCKY FATIMA could answer this question for you in her sleep. Hey girl, we need your help!!!

    ~~~~~~
    i've gotta run for now, but will see how this thread is going when i get back later. we'll get it sorted out together! ;-).

    1 Reply
    1. re: alkapal

      according to the fagor chart (beef or lamb -- 1-1/2" cubes), it looks like 12- 15 minutes per pound IS correct (ok, miss vickie, you're vindicated, although 12 minutes still seems on the low side...).

    2. Personally I don't like to do "firsts" for company.

      1. I heard great things for doing slow cooking (including meat curry) in a pressure cooker, but I have never done it. My understanding for the advantage is that it is much faster, as you have stated. The disadvantages are that (a) the ingredients have to be added at the same time, and (b) you cannot check on the progress of your cooking, not regularly anyway. If you are to check on the foods regularly by opening and closing the lid, then there is not much of a point of using a pressure cooker.

        Of course, pressure cooking performs differently depending on the pressure. Consequently, it is a great tool if you have already used it once or twice on a recipe, and that you know the optimal timing and the optimal pressure. Moreover, if it is a recipe which cannot be overcooked, then it is fine too.

        1. This is probably NOT what you want to hear, but:

          I never use the pressure cooker on meat because it gives the meat a weird sort of fluffy texture. Goat gets that great soft, breakable by pressing it into rice or roti, falling off the bone texture in about 1 hour and 15 mins to 1 and 1/2 hours of regular cooking. I can always detect pressure cooked beef and goat.

          Many many Indian homecooks use pressure cookers simply because it is faster, they are used to it, and also because in India it is cheaper fuel wise to cook with it. Many Indian cookbooks written for an Indian audience actually give instructions with the assumption that all readers will be using a PC. I am on the way out the door now, but I do recall finding a whistle-less pressure cooker timing guide somewhere through googling.

          If you insist on it, go low and slow with the flame for pressure building. High flame will get you faster whistles (or build faster pressure cuz you don't have whistles) but it really gives a distinct and inferior taste to the meat. All the taste goes.

          BTW not all pressure cookers are equal, and you have to get used to the timings with each model you use. I would not recommend cooking with it for guests until you are used to its timings.

          I use my pressure cooker for large legumes and whole maash daal. Chhola, rajma, black channa, they all come out wonderfully (and fast!) with the PC.

          3 Replies
          1. re: luckyfatima

            "I never use the pressure cooker on meat because it gives the meat a weird sort of fluffy texture"

            Well, technically if you have NEVER used a pressure cooker, then how do you know?

            :P (just teasing you)

            1. re: luckyfatima

              Actually, that is super helpful. I'm not committed to the idea of pressure cooking - just thought I should try the experiment - but I am happy to learn from the experience of others.

              I will cook the regular way. Thank you!

              1. re: luckyfatima

                "I never use the pressure cooker on meat because it gives the meat a weird sort of fluffy texture. Goat gets that great soft, breakable by pressing it into rice or roti, falling off the bone texture in about 1 hour and 15 mins to 1 and 1/2 hours of regular cooking. I can always detect pressure cooked beef and goat."

                This is true IF you overcook the meat in a pressure cooker, which can be quite easy to do if you're not careful. Generally when you braise meat the usual way on a stove, it tends to become more tender as you go. With pressure cooking, it does the job in a third of the time and if you go longer it will totally break down the meat resulting in either tough or super-soft texture like you described. Another mistake that people make is releasing pressure the wrong way. A lot of people always pour cold water over the cooker since it's faster but meat needs to be de-pressurized naturally to complete the cooking process.

              2. Jacques Pepin did a PC lamb curry on his More Fast Food My Way series. The recipe hsould be available on the show's website.