How to Steam

Old pan used for Steaming

I use this old electric pan for steaming. The lid is closed, to begin steaming

Vegetables to be steamed

Vegetable in container to be steamed

Container to hold vegetables placed on disc

Utensil to hold vegetables placed on disc

Disc placed on prong

Disc placed on prong

 Prong placed in pan with water

Prong placed in pan with water. This will ensure that the level of container, used to steam food is higher, than the water level

Steaming Tools

Some tools that I use for steaming

A reader recently expressed an interest in trying the, Patha Recipe. However, she was not sure how to steam patha. I realized that there may be others who may need help with the steaming stage.

I have set out to describe how I do it, but firstly a little information on steaming.

Steaming is a method of cooking, where the objects do not come into direct contact with either water, as in boiling, or oil, as in cooking, on the stove on high heat. It is regarded as a very healthy way to eat, as the nutrients, largely, remain intact and are not lost by boiling or cooking. The natural flavors of steamed vegetables are evident. The food can be eaten, as is, after steaming. You may choose to add condiments, add butter/margarine, or a sauce.

Yu may purchase a sort of sieve, that holds vegetables for steaming. There are special pots that can be used for steaming. However a regular pots works as well. If using a regular pot, water is partially filled in the pot. Then a support is placed in the middle of the pot for the dish, that holds the food that has to be steamed. The lid of the pot then covers the pot.

It is as if the steaming gadgets are sandwiched between the base of the pot and the lid. The stove is switched on to boil the water. The heat that is created, will cook the vegetables in the container. That is how steaming works

When it is approaching the end of the steaming period, take a peek to check if the food is tender, (poke with a fork.) More water may be added if the level of water in the pan/pot, is very low, & the food still needs steaming. Do apply caution when checking, as the pot and contents will be very hot.

I usually use an old electric pan when I steam food. I like using this, as it is a fairly large size pan that holds the contents quite well. It looks a bit shoddy, as the steaming over the years seems to have caused some peeling on the lid.

I half fill the pan with water, then place a metal prong in the middle of the water. On this prong, I use a flat disc, that has holes. It belongs to one of my pressure cookers. On this flat plate, I place the dish that holds the vegetables to be steamed. The pan is then switched on high heat, and the lid is placed to cover the contents. There is usally a time that is recommended, for the steaming to be done. For patha, it is usually, 20-30 minutes.

You may find that, the contents are rather wet. If you prefer it to be dry, as in patha, just remove the lid, leave the heat on for a few minutes, until the water dries up.
Here are pictures of my how I do my steaming. Please note, instead of a prong, you may use any object that will support the dish of vegetables to be steamed.

I hope this description of steaming is of help. If you have other questions or comments, you can reach Nirmala via the Contact Form or email Nirmala at:
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