A versatile kitchen appliance, rice cookers are used to cook rice in a quicker and hassle-free manner that doesn't require you to attend or keep stirring. They were made available to the public in 1955 by Toshiba, a Japanese electronics company. Originally only used for cooking rice, they are now multipurpose appliances and can be used for cooking, steaming, boiling and in some cases stir-frying a wide variety of foods. They are also used for reheating leftovers. Most of the hi-end models are integrated with “fuzzy logic” technology that enables them to recognize the type of rice you are cooking and adjusts itself accordingly to make better porridge, sushi, brown rice etc. Shopsy presents to you a list of brands selling rice cookers at affordable prices in Pakistan. Also, read on to know what you can cook in modern rice cookers other than just plain rice.
Pros & Cons
Can cook different types of grains
No need to attend or stir constantly
Can be used for steaming, boiling and cooking a variety of foods
Keep-warm option allows for keeping the food warm for 30 mins to 12 hours
A lot of cleanup involved
Doesn't cook brown rice well
The cooked rice will absorb all starch that is bad for health
Affordable Brands in Pakistan
Philips, Alpina, Panasonic, Anex, Westpoint and Pigeon etc are some of the most affordable and great quality rice cooker brands in Pakistan. The prices of these appliances vary greatly, depending on the features, materials used, capacity and the country of origin.
Capacity & Typical Components
The smallest single-person modern domestic models come in 1 rice cup (180 ml) capacity. Larger models can accommodate around 10 cups whereas commercial models can hold up 20 or above. Typical components include power cord, a measuring cup, steaming plate, spoon and straining net. Less than 1 cup of rice will not cook well in a cooker. The best quantity is 2 cups of rice with 4 cups of water.
Cooking Time & Mechanism
One cup of regular short, long or medium-grain rice would typically take up to 15 minutes to cook. 1 cup preboiled rice will take around 20 minutes and between 40 to 45 minutes for 1 cup of whole-grain rice. Rice These appliances are integrated with thermocouple that makes it capable of sensing when the rice is done. The thermocouple is able to recognize temperature changes in the inner pot and instantly turns off the heating element as soon as the inner pot reaches above boiling temperature.
What You Can Make in Modern Rice Cookers
Apart from cooking plain rice and reheating leftovers, you can make a variety of dishes in these multipurpose and convenient appliances. They can be used for cooking, steaming, boiling and lightly stir-frying some foods. If the model you purchase doesn't come with a steaming basket or rack, you can get it separately and add to the cooker for steaming foods.
1. Biryani, Khichri & Pulao
Pakistanis love eating rice and biryani is one of the most loved rice dishes in the country. With modern rice cookers, you can easily make chicken biryani, pulao or khichri by mixing in oil, rice, masalas and other ingredients and timing the appliance. You can pre-fry chicken and add to the biryani while it is getting cooked in the cooker. The end result will be delicious steam cooked chicken biryani with lots of flavours and intense aroma.
2. Chocolate Fondue
For a delicious pot of fondue, you can melt chocolate in your rice cooker. Make sure to use dark chocolate as a healthier option.
3. Steam Fish, Chicken or Vegetables
You can easily make a one-pot meal in these versatile appliances by lining the steamer basket with vegetables and placing fish or chicken in the middle. Add herbs, spices and sauces for a juicy and tastier one-pot meal.
4. Steamed Mashed Potatoes
Directly place potatoes in the pot or in the steaming basket and steam until they are tender. Once done, mash them with milk and butter until you reach your prefered consistency.
5. Boil Eggs
Place eggs in the steamer compartment and add a cup of water into the rice container. For soft boiled eggs, cook for 12 to 14 minutes while hard-boiled eggs would require 17-20 minutes.
6. Hot Dogs
You can either steam cook them or boil them directly in water. ... Literally, you throw your hot dogs in the rice cooker, add water, cover them, and wait for about 11 minutes or so.
Modern-day cookers have porridge mode option but even the most traditional ones can cook porridge without an issue. You can easily cook a smooth porridge made out of steel-cut oats or quinoa by adding 1 part quinoa or oats with 2 parts water. 1 cup of oats or quinoa will take around 15 minutes to cook.
8. Cook Pasta
You can cook pasta in a rice cooker and throw in some vegetables or chicken for an even better and wholesome meal.
9. Soups, Curries & Stews
This versatile electric appliance can be used to make a variety of soups and stews out of vegetable, fish, chicken etc. You can make daal makhani in a rice cooker as well as lentil soups.
You can also bake in your cooker delicious foods like chocolate cakes, brownies, pancakes, chicken patties, bread patties etc.