There are somethings which I can’t live without in the kitchen, especially when it comes to cooking Indian food. I will try to give you work arounds for these Indian cooking utensils and equipment. However, if you cook as much as I do it might be worth investing in some of my kitchen essentials.
Food Processor / Chopper / Blender
Traditionally, you would use a pestle and mortar to mince and crush spices, chillies, garlic and ginger into a masala paste. This method still works but can be time consuming. I use a food processor to chop my ingredients into a fine paste.
I have a few food processors. I use a Kenwood HDP408WH, which comes with lots of attachments mainly for chopping small quantities, hand blending and whisking. I use the Nutribullet to blend liquids, sauces, juices and dips. To chop dhal, vegetables and generally bigger quantities, I use the Midi chopper.
I use an unbleached muslin cloth for straining excess moisture from vegetables. This method is easy and the cloths can be reused. Of course you can use your hands to squeeze out excess moisture from cucumber, carrots and cauliflower but this is much simpler. The cloth can also be used to make cheese and almond and soy milk. I usually go to my local fabric shop to buy my cloth and I would recommend purchasing about 50 squared centimetres and reuse it.
Tongs are essential when making chapatis, unless you have asbestos hands like me! They are used to turn the roti while cooking on an open flame. I also use them when grilling poppadoms, vegetables or serving noddles.
Indian Spice tin
The Indian spice tin, also known as masala dabba, is a staple item in Indian kitchens. It’s full of seven fundamental spices needed in everyday Indian cooking. The ‘tin’ is round, comes with a fitted lid and is mostly made from stainless steel. It comes with seven containers and mini teaspoons. The spice tin is super convenient and means you don’t have to open individual jars when cooking and using so many spices.
Rolling pin – Velan – Belan
Velan is a thin rolling pin used for roti and other flatbreads. The skinny rolling pin without handles is lighter in weight and helps to get the roti thin and round. You can use a normal rolling pin, just be careful not to apply too much pressure when rolling as the roti is more delicate than standard dough.
The chakla is used with the belan when making chapatis. It has a round surface with little legs which provide stability. They are typically made from wood or marble and used to roll out chapattis. You can also use a clean flat surface.
Flat pan / tava / tawa
This is a cast iron flat or concave frying pan usually without a handle. It’s used for cooking roti, flatbreads or dosa. The benefits of using a tava are it retains the heat and is hardwearing.
Stainless Steel Wire Roaster / splatter screen
If you have an electric hob like me, you will need one of these to puff up chapatis. You can use a splatter screen but I recommend a wire roaster as they are sturdier and the wooden handle allows for a better grip.
That is the essential Indian cooking utensils and equipment you will need to get start on cooking authentic Indian food. I would love to hear from you leave me a comment below…
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