I’m the first to admit that I have control issues in the kitchen. The stove is a ship and I, its captain. This makes it near intolerable for anyone who dares to help me put together a meal. It also makes it very difficult for any sophisticated appliances to be truly useful in my kitchen. My need for control means that I must stir the pot myself, pottering between that and chopping of the next ingredient to be added, while simultaneously shooing out anyone who ventures in.
When Tefal asked me to trial their Cook4Me Electric Pressure Cooker, I have to admit I was sceptical. I am a stovetop pressure cooker user from way back, refusing to be swayed even by an exploding-dhal-from prematurely-opened-cooker incident a few years ago. Would I still be ‘hard core’ with an electric pressure cooker, I wondered?
I don’t know exactly when I officially joined the Tefal Cook4Me camp. Was it the heart-achingly moist, buttery fish fillets I made using the ‘Sweet Chilli Salmon’ recipe? Or the realisation that I didn’t have to pay attention and count the whistles from a stovetop cooker in order to ensure my lentils were cooked but not pureed? Whatever the trigger, the result is that I now use my Tefal Cook4Me almost every day.
You guys, this thing not only cooks things to perfection, retaining moisture and flavour, but it also tells you how to do it!! It is programmed with loads of gorgeous recipes that take you through the cooking process, step by step, for 2, 4 or 6 people. Even an intuitive cook like me is quite happy to minimise the firing of neurons at the end of the day and still end up with a delicious, healthy meal. Also, this thing is one sexy looking machine! I know, I know……I saved the most important bit till last.
A lot of things are supposed to change your life these days…..appliances, cars, cosmetics. The Tefal Cook4Me may not change your entire life, but it sure will transform the way you cook, especially if you like quick, healthy, simple meals that are easy to clean up afterwards and so, so good to eat.
Oosli, or Spiced Black Chickpeas with Coconut, is a traditional South Indian Dish, popular during festival times but made throughout the year. It is a protein rich dish, perfect for those who rely on non-meat sources of protein, but also delicious as a filling workday lunch. The earthiness of the legume is offset by the freshness of coconut and a subtle-but-definitely-there hint of lemon. If you can’t find black chick peas, you can also use regular chick peas.
Tefal Cook4Me was kindly provided by Tefal Australia, however all opinions are my own. Cook4Me images are from Tefal.
Spiced Chickpeas and Coconut (Oosli)
Serves 2-4 as a side dish
1 cup dried small black chick peas, soaked overnight
2 tsp coconut or vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
½ to 1 hot green chilli, split down the middle
2 dried red chillies broken into large pieces
8-10 curry leaves
3 tbsp fresh or fresh frozen (thawed) grated coconut
Small handful coriander, roughly chopped
Tefal Cook4Me Electric Pressure Cooker
Drain and rinse the soaked chickpeas. Place in the Cook4Me pot with plenty of the water (chick peas should be completely submerged with about 1 cm of water above them). Choose manual on the Cook4Me panel and reduce the time using the dial to 2 minutes. Press ok to start. Once your Cook4Me beeps to indicate that it is finished cooking, allow the pressure to dissipate (about 5-10 minutes). Open the lid of the Cook4Me and remove the pot to drain the water from the chick peas. The chick peas should be cooked through but firm.
Replace the empty pot into the Cook4Me and use the manual option to choose the ‘Browning’ setting. With the lid now left open, heat the oil in the Cook4Me pot. Add the mustard seeds. Once they have popped, add turmeric, asafoetida, red chillies and green chilli. Cook, stirring gently for 1-2 mins. Add 4-5 curry leaves (they will splutter so step back or momentarily lower the lid). Once the curry leaves have crisped, remove the green chilli and discard.
Drain the cooked chick peas and add to the pot. Add 1/2 tsp salt to start with. Stir and leave to cook, with the lid lowered (but not latched), for a couple of minutes. Add the coconut and remaining curry leaves, toss through. Taste and add more salt if needed. Stir again.
Turn off the Cook4Me and add 1 tsp lemon juice. Toss through, taste and add a little more lemon juice to taste. The dish should be a little lemony but this shouldn’t be a dominant flavour.
Sprinkle with coriander just before serving. Serve as a side dish or as a vegan protein-rich main dish with flatbreads.
All the ingredients should be available in Indian grocery stores.