Objective: To explore associations between household food security and home gardening, use of soya and pressure cooker ownership in low-income households affected by HIV/AIDS in Aurangabad, India. Design: Cross-sectional pilot study which assessed household food security using the validated US Department of Agriculture's food security core-module questionnaire. Questions were added to explore household environment, education, occupation, home gardening, use of soya and pressure cooker ownership. Households with very low v. low food security were compared using logistic regression analysis, controlling for confounding by socio-economic status. Setting: Aurangabad is an urban setting situated in a primarily agricultural dependent area. The study was carried out in 2008, at the peak of the global food crisis. Subjects: Adult caregivers of children affiliated with the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Aurangabad. Results: All except for one of 133 households were identified as food insecure (99·2 %). Of these households, 35·6 % had to cut size or skip a meal in the past 30 d. Households that cut meal size due to cooking fuel shortages were more likely to have very low food security (OR = 4·67; 95 % CI 1·62, 13·44) compared with households having no cooking fuel shortages. Owning a pressure cooker was shown to be protective against very low food security after controlling for confounding by socio-economic status (OR = 0·27; 95 % CI 0·11, 0·64). Conclusions: Only pressure cooker ownership showed a protective association with low household food security. Pressure cookers save household fuel costs. Therefore, future interventions should explore pressure cookers as a sustainable means of improving household food security.