There are several basic essentials required in an Indian kitchen. Generally, Indian style of cooking will need these products in the kitchen for sure. There can be special cooking utensils or pots that you may use once in a while, but then a lot of basic things are required in everyday cooking and these are in daily use.
If someone is new to Indian style of cooking. Then this will help them a lot or if someone is trying to make a new kitchen, this read might help you with the essentials. These are a few essentials that we will recommend: –
Sharp Kitchen Knife
It really does not matter what style of cooking you do, having a knife is really crucial for everyone, while in Indian style of cooking, you need to chop onions, garlic, vegetables. Generally, people get in chef knives and then keep using them for a very long time, hence they loose their sharpness. In India, people generally use knives that are made of stainless steel, but the food sticks to it, so, using non stick knives are also recommended. We should use minimum two to three types of kitchen knives and they should also be of different lengths. The length should depend on person to person, as what really suits them or what feels more comfortable while holding in hand. There is no value of a knife if its not comfortable in the hand, even though it may be a really expensive high quality knife.
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A Cutting Board
This is again another very important basic requirement, generally, a lot of people like to cut on the kitchen counters or shelves but that is not recommended. Using chopping boards is suggested because kitchen counters or shelves can blunt your knives faster. The general size of a chopping board is considered to be 12 inches by 18 inches. Since a lot of Indian dishes use a lot of basic ingredients like tomatoes, onions, garlic, chillies; all these can be done at the same time on the board. You can either use wooden cutting boards or plastic cutting boards, both of them are great. Whenever, you buy plastic boards just make sure that you buy high quality plastic boards only, as they can protect you from dirt and bacterial growth. Plastic boards also have another plus point that they are dishwasher friendly. On the other hand, if you go for wooden boards just make sure you clean it time to time and that shall be good. You can wash it with bleach and water time to time. Let it dry properly and only then use it. Indians do not have a habit of keeping two boards but if you cook both vegetarian and non vegetarian food then you should also have sprat boards to avoid food-borne bacteria. Make sure of one thing which is to not buy chopping boards made of marble or glass, which again dull the edge of the knives.
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Every Indian household has a frying pan because a lot of Indian food is fried. You should always have two to three frying pans of different sizes, the usage should be according to the food. Moreover, you should keep shallow and deep frying pans for different type of food. Now choosing the raw material for frying pans is also a very wide topic, it is recommended to buy either stainless steel frying pans or you can buy non stick aluminum frying pans. If you do not have much time to cook then non stick is the best way to go further as they are easy to cook and clean. Otherwise, if you believe in proper Indian style cooking and love to brown your food, then using stainless steel frying pan is a good choice. Apart from that there are other materials that you can buy frying pans in that is aluminum, which you should only take if it has a non stick coating on the outside or is hard anodized aluminum.
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This is an item that every household in India already has, though it is really important to have at least three to four of these, as Indians love drinking tea. Generally, Indians use sauce pans to make tea. Sauce pans in India are used by people for generally warming up milk, water, coffee, tea etc. This is a really essential kitchenware product and a very basic cookware to have. The best sauce pans that you can use should be of stainless steel or hard anodized aluminum.
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Again this is a really important part of the kitchen, without the you cannot finish your basics while cooking. Now a few of these are required like a ladle, skimmer, turner, masher and basting spoon. All these things you should have and try and have two of each. One should be made of stainless steel to work on normal stainless steel woks or cookware. While the second should be wooden or made from nylon, to work on non stick cookware. Apart from this you can also keep tongs for handling a few hot things while cooking, but that is of course optional. Try and use only wooden or nylon kitchen tools on non stick woks and pans to avoid the non stick layer to come out by scratching.
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Food Processor or Mixie Grinder
A mixie is also something that every Indian household has, since Indian food includes a lot of ingredients in several dishes, so a mixie grinder helps to make a paste for a lot of dishes and does it quickly. You can mince garlic, onions, chillies etc in seconds as it is a huge time saver. You can even make a great curry with several ingredients as it grinds it easily.
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Pin and Board ( Chakkla and Belan)
This is something that everyone should have whosoever, wants to make chapati Indian style. Make sure that you buy a wooden one. The round board helps you keep the chapati in shape and the pin should be light weight, so that it is easy to handle. You can use the round board also for cutting or chopping purpose. Using a chakla and belan is very helpful for any amateur chef, struggling to keep the chapati’s round.
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Tawa / Chapati Griddle
Generally in India people use aluminum cookware that is not safe when it comes in touch with the food directly. It is recommended that you should use either cast iron tawa or non stick tawa.
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Kadhai/ Kadai / Woks
This is also an essential for cookware as all the curries or sabzi, Indians tend to make in this. Generally, in India people use aluminum kauai which is not recommended. You should either use a stainless steel one or a non stick one. These also work perfectly for deep frying for several dishes. These are perfect for making Indian style chicken, daal, make snacks like smash and what not.
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Last but not the least a pressure cooker is a must for any cook trying to cook Indian food. Again, pressure cookers used by Indians are made of aluminum generally, according to a lot of studies aluminum coming in direct contact with food is not safe. So it is recommended to use a stainless steel pressure cooker. These days pressure cookers come of different style, different locks. These have been modernized with time and made cooking even easier. Most Indians use the whistle pressure cooker. These days manufactures have all developed steam cookers.
An even modern way of pressure cooking is using the electrical cookers, that eases up cooking in a very huge way.
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These are the most important essentials needed by an Indian kitchen, with the help of these equipments anyone can start cooking Indian meals and enjoy them.