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Microwave Cooking

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Microwave Oven :

The water particles in the vegetables get agitated and vibrate when subjected to Microwaves. This vibration causes heat and the vegetables get stewed. The moment Microwave oven stops, the radiation stops immediately. No radiation is emitted by the food. Use microwave oven comfortably without inhibitions.

Because mostly the vegetables get cooked with the water they contain, there is no need to put lots of water. Just sprinkle few drops and cook. That will be sufficient!!!

Use thin and transparent microwave safe plastic bowls for better cooking. Or else use heat proof bowls like borosil bowls to cook the vegetables.

Use the high, medium and low power options to cook the vegetables. Give standing time from 2 to 5 minutes before opening the door. Vegetables cooked in microwave retain the flavors. It is hassle free to cook in microwave. Use both gas stove and microwave to get the dual advantage. Beginners may use only high power option initially. Cook any Vegetable, for seven minutes on microwave high. Stir the vegetables once and again cook for 5 minutes on high power. Give standing time of 5 minutes to find your vegetables cooked. If not, (in rare cases) cook on microwave high for 5 more minutes.

For preparing dry curries, drain the excess water from the vegetables. Store that water in fridge till put to use. It is called “vegetable stock”. This water can be used instead of ordinary plain water in gravy vegetables, Dals, Rasams, soups etc.

It is simple to dry roast in Microwave. Use paper plates for dry roasting. It is convenient to handle when we are using paper plates. If you don’t have paper plates you can even use a newspaper. Put the ingredients in a paper plate and microwave for 30 seconds on high power. Stir once and microwave on high power for another 30 seconds. Now grind them in a mixie to get fresh powders. The powders we get from markets will never match with this fresh flavoured powder. In this way you can get coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, rasm powder, sambar powder---any powder you name it Even Red Chillies—just dry roast and grind---so simple!!!!!

To remove skin from the peanuts(ground nuts), dry roast them in a microwave. Take them into a rice bag and beat it to the kitchen platform. The skin gets detached easily this way.

For Andhra special AAVAKAYA, prepare mustard powder like this: take a paper plate and put some mustard seeds in it. Microwave, for the first batch, for 2 to 3 minutes and grind them in a mixie jar to get a fine powder. For the next batches it will take even less time to get dry roasted.

To soften rock hard ice cream microwave it in high power for 30 to 40 seconds. So put your bulk ice cream mixture (for parties) in microwave safe bowls for freezing.

Click here to decide which oven to purchase.

Pros and cons of Microwave cooking - a Discussion

Following is a letter from my viewer on the safety aspects of Microwave cooking together with my reply detailing my views on the subject


Hi Gayatrigaru,


First of all let me express my bliss over your recipes that are being posted day by day.

I am one of your regular viewers for your recipes.

Thanks for giving us many useful, new, delicious, nutritious food recipes.


The main subject that I write this mail is that I would like to let you know some facts of microwave cooking, that may be useful for you which I learnt from my Doctor.


Before going to that, I would like to tell you that I am not going to hurt your feelings of Microwave Oven feasibility.

I currently reside in United States and I would like to share my happiness of the thing " My pregnancy " with you :)


My pregnancy is confirmed recently and I am strongly opposed by my physician regarding the usage of Microwave.

Of-course, I never used it before but the doctor herself told me not to eat anything cooked or prepared in Microwave.

She cautioned me that it’s not at all good for the growth of fetus. Microwaves are unsafe for baby's milk.

She also told that they are trying to educate their patients and clients regarding the biological adverse effects of Microwave usage.


I came to know many things about this topic recently. We also know the fact that Soviet Union banned the usage of Microwave oven in 1976. Of-course microwave ovens are so convenient and energy efficient to use in our daily purposes.

But I came to know many hidden hazards of this way of cooking. Also, I don’t wantto  list out all of them becoz by doing so.. I think

I may hurt your personal feelings.


Gayatri garu, I know how you care for the nutritious healthy food before making any recipe and presenting it to the viewers.

The same thing, I thought of telling you some truths that I heard directly from a very good Doctor here in my place (New Jersey ).


And I am also happy that in my 7th month of pregnancy we are planning to go to my home town in India where I can escape from this Electric Stoves even, as the facts say that they are also not that much good for the digestive and intestinal organs. Of-course I have no other way right now except using the electric stove in my apartment.


Gayatrigaru, if by anyway.. mee abhipraaayaalni vyathirekinchi unte.. I am sorry.

You are an Intellectual and you know what is right from your point of view.

Of-course I also know that I should not expect that a simple mail like this will change ones opinions and self experience. But I can't resist myself from writing a mail. This is just my opinion. That’s it.


And I also say that I admire your upcoming recipes as usual and continue to support you forever as I do always.

If you think that I have written a bigggg mail.. just feel that I am a wellwisher of yours.


Thank You,

Kiranmayi Duvvuri.



Dear Kiranmayi,


I’m happy to receive your mail. It’s more heartening to know that you are an expectant MOTHER. It’s a great moment and feeling, in one’s life. I congratulate you on the occasion and suggest that you should lay your hand on the book titled “New Baby Book”, so as to enjoy each and every stage of pregnancy. With the baby in womb and this book in your hand, you get a feeling as if you both are suddenly able to communicate with each other. Treating that you are my daughter, I feel you are carrying the most precious thing in the universe. Thus you shouldn’t be exposed to any artificial chemicals, radiation etc. Thus it is good if you are avoiding during pregnancy - Microwave ovens, cell phones, packaged pre-cooked food with preservatives etc.


As regards microwave ovens, let me first say, I am not emotional on its issues as I’m its user only - but not its inventor.  I generally adapt (not adopt) things to my requirement so as to take the best amongst the available.. The Sanskrit saying tells “Ati Sarvatra Varjayeth”, i.e., excesses should be avoided everywhere. Having said that, I would like to mention that I use microwave in the desired fashion and also share the following:


After my marriage, I didn’t have a micro-wave for 15 years. When my husband became diabetic, on doctor’s advice, there was a need to cut down on carbohydrates and fats to control his sugar levels. He was advised to reduce oil intake by 2/3 of what he was consuming. That was the time when I was also told by the doctor to reduce weight through Life-style change, i.e cutting down on carbohydrates and fats. In right earnest we reduced oil in all recipes. Such a drastic reduction is bound to make the recipes bland. Though we reconciled, others in the family, no more liked the food at home. My child put his foot down. At this juncture, it was nearly impossible to make three different  types of curries every day one for diabetic, one for weight reduction and another for feeding a growing child.  Just because one or two members in the family become calorie conscious why others should suffer? Thus the quest to prepare food without compromising on taste but with less calories began. Microwave oven together with Gas stove opened the gates of new method of cooking.


You would have noticed that in most of my recipes, I use both Gas stove and Microwave. The microwave is used mostly to sizzling vegetables with little or small quantities of water. Seasoning of these vegetables is again done on a Gas stove. While seasoning I have successfully cut the oil quantity to 1/3 of what I used to put earlier. As the vegetables are sizzled and cooked in Microwave the recipes started coming out better with the unique taste of each vegetable. They do not become soggy (as they would be when cooked in a Pressure cooker) or seek more oil when put directly on to the pan. You may check that, in most of my recipes the microwave sizzling doesn’t exceed 10-15 minutes.


The ill effects of microwave can be categorized into 3 types and they are also ranked accordingly

1.   Radiation

2.   Container / vessel  related chemical alteration, reaction on the food  

3.   Chemical alteration in the food stuff


Radiation: It’s a hazard, if the manufacturer has not adhered to the industry safety standards and the microwave leaks from the oven. We presume the enforcement agencies are conducting the routine and mandatory checks before giving licenses/ permissions to ship and market different models of these microwave products.  However pregnant ladies and people sensitive to radiations need not take the risk unnecessarily and avoid microwave ovens.

Container related chemical alteration in food: It’s a known fact that food reacts with the container in which it is cooked. Thus I prefer Iron pans to Aluminum pans while cooking on gas stove and have also put an article on this subject on my website. While the food is cooked in microwave - Glass, ceramic and plastic ware, is the descending order to specify the inertness for reaction of the food with different containers. Though plastics are the most convenient ware for day to day use, only a few plastics are microwave safe. At times even plastic-ware labeled micro-wave safe, turn out not to be truthfully labeled. Thus, I use a thumb rule for all microwave ware i.e when I put the food in a ware and heat in microwave, the food should get warm, but not the container. Such of the containers only I choose for cooking. I presume that when the container is neutral to the microwaves, the food obviously cannot react with it.

As regards doctors reservations about using microwave for heating milk and feeding bottles: Pausibly, the underlying reservations about the quality and inertness of the feeding bottles must be the reason why your doctor did not subscribe to the idea of giving microwave subjected milk to the child. Another important reason is that the milk heated in the microwave-safe feeding bottle would be very hot, and there is every chance of we unable to gauge the heat of the milk inside , due to its inertness to MW heat. Thus when the nipple is pushed into the infants mouth there is a danger of his mouth getting burnt with hot milk. Thus I really understand why the doctors say a BIG NO for heating milk in microwave to feed the infants. This "NO" is more due to the chances of a mistake that one can commit rather than the radiation and chemical alteration in the milk.

Chemical alteration in food due to microwaves: It’s known fact that raw vegetables contain the best nutritional values. The moment food reaches fire, alteration takes place – vital components are lost or are altered. So is the case with microwave also. Ill effects of cooking exist in all modes of cooking whether it be on Fire, Gas stove, Electric stove or Microwave. That is one of the reasons why fauna in the jungles which feed on raw food, do not have neither diseases nor doctors. But we can’t eat raw food, isn’t it?  Thus nutritional losses are inevitable in all modes of cooking.

We are yet to have credible outcomes of research categorically denouncing microwave cooking compared to other cooking modes. We find innumerable sites listing nutritional losses and alterations that occur in the food cooked in microwave. It’s true, but it’s equally true for other modes of cooking too, which are seldom listed. In India, I’m yet to find announcements on this subject by credible institutions, so must be the case in other parts of the world. I feel that if cooking is an evil then the different modes be compared and the lesser practically convenient evil be suggested by the researchers. Plausibly microwave cooking couldn’t be proved to be the biggest of all the evils as yet, and that is one of the reasons as to why microwave ovens are not only sold but bought more and more. Following are the two sites which look to have hosted credibly on this subject.


This entire discussion takes me back 35 years ago when my father first bought CALTEX gas stove for my mother. Elders at home, refused to take food cooked on this. For auspicious occasions and srardhaas this stove was turned off because they genuinely believed that AGNI DEVATA cannot reside in the gas flame which can be turned on and off instantaneously. Compared to those days, see, what is the position which a gas stove occupies in our houses today.Dinosaur didn’t adapt to change and therefore vanished from earth, whereas Giraffe adapted and survived

Now the secret of my choosing microwave + Gas stove is to reduce the overall cooking time so that vital nutrients are lost lesser and at the same time I use less oil. That’s the adaptation in Gayatrivantillu.

Reverting back to your issue, I endorse your concerns for which you may avoid microwave oven at-least till your baby comes on to solid food

Never-the-less the modern motherly (grandmother to your child) instinct makes me write this reply almost immediately. I am hosting your letter and my reply under the Title “Generation Gap on Microwave Cooking?”

God bless you and your family.

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 Our Earlier discussions on the Blog

Venkata Ramana said...

Dear Gayatri Garu:
I was just going through your discussion re: Microwave oven. I thought of specifically the ill effects of MW. (We use MW regularly at our home). Please go through the links given below. Mostly they advice against using Plastic in MW and radiation. There many sites in this regard. Dr.Jammi (

April 27, 2011 7:59 PM

Gayatri Vantillu said...

Venkata Ramana garu,

Thanks for your post. I hope its individuals convenience, experience and opinion in the matter as regards using Microwave and the bowls there-in.

In my article,I also ranked the preference of the ware to be used.

I use both plastic and Glass in my day to day use. Sometimes convenience takes priority in deciding the ware to use for a particular recipe. Individuals diligence is very important

May 4, 2011 6:47 AM

Anonymous said...

hi gayatri garu,i am regularly watching your site.i have normal microwave oven, i dont have
convection gril.can i make cake,
bread,biscates. then how it is?.

March 4, 2009 2:04 PM

BloggerGayatri Vantillu said...

I am afraid that it is not possible to bake in a micro-wave oven. You need a convection oven or OTG for baking. Recently there were a fews ads on convection model ovens (without microwave)which are available in Delhi. You may check, if you are from Delhi

March 4, 2009 7:35 PM

AnonymousAnonymous said...

Hi Gayatrigaru,

yela unnaru?gurthu pattara?chaala rojulayindi.Mee website roju visit chestu untaanu.I enjoy making recipes from your website.Mee website visit chesthe,ammatho maatladi nattu untundi.Recent curry i tried from your website was Capsicum-methi-potato curry.rotis tho chaala bavundi.

I also liked the article about how to maintain good figure. Thanks for your recipes and i appreciate your interest and passion in sharing good things with all of us.

I have a small suggestion for you, regarding Plastic Microwavable containers which you are using for cooking in microwave.Any plastic Microwave safe containers are to be used only for reheating the foods and not for cooking purposes.It is always good to avoid using plastic containers for reheating purposes as well.Glass containers with microwave safe are to be used for cooking purposes. I recently learnt this from my doctor and iam using glass containers.Hope this info helps you.


June 16, 2009 7:15 AM

BloggerGayatri Vantillu said...

Shanti Garu,

Thanks for the feedback. I would definitely consider you suggestion on use of glass ware instead of Plastic ware. The latter are more convenient in handling. Of-course I am only sizzling the vegetables and not really cooking in the plastic, because the sizzled vegetables are invariably taken to the pan for seasoning. But never-the-less the suggestion is welcome.

June 16, 2009 7:16 AMBlogger

chidambari said...

Dear Gayatri garu

I am regular visitor to your site. Your video recipes inspired me to purchase a microwave oven. Basically we are andhra brahmins. I need oven for daily basis usage like u use for small quantity cooking like that and also for making cakes and biscuits to my daughter aged 5yrs. Can u give me your suggestions which type i can select?? I do not have any idea on ovens usage so i need your help badly. After going through your kitchen aid i have doubts which i need clarifications from you. 1.If i purchase solo type oven ,will it work for baking cakes and biscuits ?or I have to purchase both solo and convention separately ??? As you rightly said i want to reduce repair costs to minimum. We can purchase an oven but cost of repairs also we should keep in mind at the time purchase itself is my idea.If i purchase solo and convection models separately then these two will work for my needs ?? gayatri garu kindly help me. with advance thanks

July 2, 2009 12:40 PM

BloggerGayatri Vantillu said...

Chidambari Garu,

I belive you are in India only and write the following.

Let me share my experience candidly. For day to day cooking for small families, micro-wave solo model is sufficient. Because the oven cavity is small, the quantity of food to be cooked is also small, the general 800 watts microwave capacity is sufficient. This oven in India costs around Rs 2500 to Rs 4000. After three four years when a magnetron needs to be replaced it costs around Rs 1500 maximum. Micro-wave oven can only cook, it cannot bake.

For baking we need a convection oven for good results. In convection oven air needs to be circulated inside the oven during baking for which we need a fan inside. Imagine an OTG oven with a fan inside. Such type of ovens are not available in India atleast at Vizianagaram where I reside.

Higher ranges of Micro-wave - cum - convection ovens only have a fan inside the oven. Nowadays many companies are marketing their lower range products as convection models even without a fan inside. You need to spend at least Rs 12,000 and above only for getting the lowest range of the microwave-cum-convection model with a fan inside. The baking in these ovens is a real pleasure, because the temperature and timings are electronically controlled and exact.

You get a mid-range OTG for Rs 4500 to Rs 5500. If you modify it as shown in my video "Dum-Biryani - 2" to some extent you would get a Convection type of effect. You need to experiment to arrive at the baking temperatures and timings with lots of patitence. OTG has very few parts which need maintenance for which the repair costs are almost zero.

If you spend Rs 12000 and above on the microwave-cum-convection ovens, you get everything neatly packaged into one. The negative features are, the micro-wave cavity is large for which a higher power magnetron would be used thus consuming higher electricity costs for daytoday use. Even if a small part goes out of order, both convection and micro-wave modes would not work and the repair costs are relatively higher compared to the solo models of OTG and Microwave.

I started with the biggest oven available in India with all the features after paying Rs 18000. Believe I use micro-wave oven every day and spent almost Rs 22000 for repairs in the last 6 years on this oven itself. Every time it looks promising that with this repair it would work excellently. During these 6 years I was forced to purchase a solo micro-wave which works without problem and the magnetron was replaced after two years. I purchased an OTG and modified it for my requirements. Thus I want to caution my viewers not be carried away by the features of all-in-one type of ovens. These are good for occasional use by not for daily use. Segregate your needs and purchase accordingly or end up buying three ovens like me. I dont set an example here, mine is a case of caution.

I hope you are more confused after reading the post!!! Be cool and take a decision which suits you best. I just highlighted the facts. With three ovens at home it has been long since I have gone to the market to see various new models are available. I am out of touch.

July 5, 2009 6:33 AM

Anonymouschidambari said...

Dear Gayatri Garu

I am in india, last year i moved from hyderabad to bangalore.

Thankyou so much for spending your time to explian the microwave oven types and its usage in practice. I hope this will help not only to me but also to the regular visitors to our site. I will definitely inform you after my oven selection.It may take within 6 months time to purchase. Once again thankyou very much for your elaborate explanation and with u r detailed explanation now i can go for oven shopping .

with best regards

July 5, 2009 11:17 AM

AnonymousAnonymous said...

Hi Gayatri garu, I have seen ur receipes. In mose of them u have shown that before cooking the vegetables u are keeping it in the oven. But if oven is not there in our middle class families, then how to cook.


August 25, 2009 4:37 PM

BloggerGayatri Vantillu said...

Sarita Garu,

I have adopted microwave-cum-gas stove cooking due to my husbands diabetes which needed to be controlled by reduction in oil consumption also.

You may add the vegetables to the pan after seasoning and add salt for cooking most of the recipes. If need be you may have to add water, in small quantities while cooking the vegtables. Cook in covered mode for better results.

August 26, 2009 4:41 AM

 Anonymous archana said...

Hi Gayatri gaaru.........
Naa peru archana.
Mee vantalu anni baguntunnay.......
neenu almost anni try chesthunnanu.....
ur presentation is superb.....
"But... meeru vantalu dadapuga anni microwave woven lo chupisthunnaru daani alternative kuda chepthe baguntundi......please ippati nunchina cheppandi.......... please....please..."

June 12, 2010 10:47 AM

Blogger Gayatri Vantillu said...

Archana Garu,

I use microwave extensively in my day to day cooking. This helps me in cutting down the oil consumption. As I need to be truthful in showing what I cook in my kitchen, I'm constrained to show recipes as I cook. Kindly bear with me.

June 19, 2010 11:57 AM

Anonymous Archana said...

mam this archana again.....
I asked for without microwave..... pls meeru microwave tho paatu daani alternative kuda chepthe(chesi chupettaka poyina kuda chepthe chalu) microwave leni vallaku kuda use avuthundi kada anduke baguntundani cheppanu.....
Thank for ur reply mam.....

June 20, 2010 1:09 PM

ravi's said...

I have recently seen your site and very much excited to learn all in telugu. I am new to cooking and I am new in using oven. My oven is having power from p1 to p10 and no stand by mode. What is meant by this. Please explain in detail.Thank You

January 20, 2010 7:48 AM

Blogger Gayatri Vantillu said...

Ravi Garu,

The product manual should guide you in the matter.

Standing time means, keep the dish inside the oven only for that much time before bringing it out. It cooks with the heat inside it.

My knowledge about micro-wave ovens is limited to the models I have in my home.

January 21, 2010 12:20 PM

Prasi said...

gayathri garu please be careful with the plastic you are using in the microwave it should have a number beneath the box which either should have 5 or 7 ...but i would suggest only to use glass in the microwave plastic is not good for you....especially the plastic you get in india...just a suggestion hope you ll look into it...your vontalu are super dee duper....thank you for all your efforts :)) you can email me at

December 3, 2009 8:33 PM

Blogger Gayatri Vantillu said...

Vagvani Garu,

Thanks for the feedback and concern. You may like to see the article on the subject

December 4, 2009 4:48 AM

Anonymous said...

hai aunty,
i am swarupa.
yestarday home made choclete prepare chesanu.Chala baga vachayi.Mouth lo vesukunte chala baga karigipotunnayi.Thank you very much for your easy recipe.
Meeru vegetables oven lo cook chestunnaru gada is it any danger for health?please give me suggestion for me.
thank you aunty.

November 25, 2009 7:46 AM

BloggerGayatri Vantillu said...

Paapa Swarupa,

Thanks for the feedback. You may kindly go through the articles on Microwave cooking in my website and decide regarding cooking vegetables in microwave

November 25, 2009 7:46 AM

 Your Earlier comments on the Blog

manasa chandra said...

thanks for ur recipes gayatri gaaru..u remind me of my mom..who is no more. U r simply wonderful.U r so open for constructive criticism (ur article abt microwave cooking) and novel ideas..Love u for that

May 28, 2009 5:02 AM


Gayatri garu,

I happend to read the mail "Generation gap on Microwave cooking" and the reply put up by you. I wish to share the information available on the following website with you and your Vantillu fans.

October 5, 2009 5:22 PMAnonymous

Anonymous said...

Hi Gayatri garu,
I like your recipes a lot. they are making my busy life a lot better.But i m just concenred about one thing. Isnt Microwave cooking harm for the health?

July 13, 2010 11:34 PM
Anonymous said...

Hi Gayatri garu,

I like ur procedure,good tips in preparing the delicious dishes.

suggestion:instead of microwave vegetables in water,I feel its good to steam vegetables in electric rice cooker.

September 22, 2010 12:48 PM

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