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A question about a recipe: South Indian Sundal (Chickpea salad) I see mention of "whistles" when using a pressure cooker, in Indian recipes

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I have a question about step 1 on the recipe "South Indian Sundal (Chickpea salad)" from AshaFSK. It says:

"Soak the beans, in enough water and a little salt, overnight. Cook the beans in salted water in pan or in a pressure cooker (2-1/2 whistles) until just done. Drain and set aside. This can be made up to 2 days ahead. How can we tell when 2 1/2 whistles has arrived? Is there a time or a signal on an American (made in China) pressure cooker?


asked by susan g about 6 years ago
5 answers 3445 views
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added about 6 years ago

Prestige, the largest selling pressure cooker brand in India has these weights that have to be fitted over the central steam exhaust. When the internal pressure builds up it pushes the weight to release steam that emits a hissy tweet which is referred to as a whistle. A lot of Indian cooks describe the done-ness of rice & dals by the approximate number of 'whistles' that have to be emitted to cook the stuff inside the pressure cooker. A rough approximation of my personal whistle calculator..
1-2 for rice
2-3 for dals like mung dal & lentils, black eyed peas
4-5 for tougher stuff like pigeon peas, pre soaked kidney beans & garbanzo
8-10 for kidney beans & chickpeas (w/o pre soaking)

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added about 6 years ago

Thanks, that helps! Funny thing -- I was asking you a question about your Sundal while you were answering this. Another 'don't we love Foodpickle' moment.

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added about 6 years ago

and as i was taking pics for this reply i realized that I had totally melted the plastic part of the weight yesterday. The cooker & the weights in the photograph are mismatched!, I need to dash out & get another weight ASAP...

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added about 6 years ago

But how does that translate with a pressure cooker that doesn't whistle? Mine is a newer one, and it just shoots steam. Is there a time equivalent for a whistle? The cooker my mom had did a thing we called "chukka chukka" when pressure was up. As in, "As soon as it goes 'chukka chukka' turn the heat down and set the timer for 3 minutes."

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trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

added almost 3 years ago

I know this is an old thread, but I would really like to know how to translate this whistle thing to a different kind of pressure cooker too. Then again, this whistle thing is an awesome idea... hmmm... I know what I'm getting myself for Christmas.

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