After a summer of being in the kitchen with my kids; this week I’m handing over the post to Chrysty Miles – an avid traveler and foodie, who likes to see the world in a different way. And as you’ll notice below, we also share a love for Indian food …
Onto Chrysty and her great list of handy tools for people looking to create more Indian flavors in their kitchen.
The Essentials: Important Tools for Indian Cooking
Cooking ethnic food that you’re unfamiliar with can seem difficult, especially if those dishes require special pieces of cookware, but anyone who enjoys spending time in the kitchen can’t help but try to replicate some of their favorite meals.
Like me, if you’re one of the many amateur or even experienced chefs who enjoy a good traditional home cooked Indian meal, then here are a few important tools to pick up for your kitchen.
This is an important piece of equipment that any chef looking to step into Indian cooking needs to have in their kitchen.
Karai is essentially just a saucepan, very similar to a wok, and the best ones are made from aluminum or alloys such as hindalium. Contemporary ones sold now-a-days have a flat bottom as opposed to the old curved ones to best suit modern stove-tops. Fortunately it’s so easy to find equipment such as saucepans at Tesco.
Known as a “tava” in Hindi, the Chapati Griddle is made out of iron and is used specifically to make chapatis and other flat-breads. Traditionally they used to be curved, but are now available in flat versions to better accommodate modern stoves.
While you can cook rice in a regular pot, for slow cooking meats, lentils, vegetables, and dumplings like idlis, it is ideal to purchase a good quality pressure cooker.
In Indian cooking, a rolling pin is generally paired with a flat round cutting-board, known as ‘Chakla Belan.’ These are used specifically for creating all kinds of Indian breads, everything from chapati to parotta and my favorite lentil stuffed flatbread Puran Poli.
Indian Spice Box
At the heart of all Indian cooking are spices, and with the many types of spice blends that are used in the country’s diverse dishes you will need a place to store them all; the best place being a traditional Indian spice box or Masala Dabba, where you have easy access to them as needed.
Spatulas, Ladles, Slotted Spoons
In Indian cooking, food is stirred and flipped often. One of the most used tools is the multi-purpose long handled ladle, known as a kalchi or khunti. Two other commonly used spoons are: the flat spatula used for flipping flatbreads and the slotted spoon for draining oil after deep frying.
Making your own delicious Indian food can seem tricky, but it is certainly made easier when you have the right utensils and cookware on your side.