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Indian Kitchen Ware

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                      Indian cooking does not need a lot of fancy equipment. A few good essentials will make cooking fun and easy. Traditionally a lot of cooking was and is still done in brass pots lined with aluminum or even thick stainless steel pots. With the advent of non-stick cooking equipment, the Indian kitchen has experienced a shift in tradition. Many Indian households have modern cooking equipment which is not only easy to cook in, but even to clean. Here is some of the basic kitchen equipment that you might need to get started. 
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Masala Dabba


Masala Dabba ( Spice Box) : Almost every Indian household will have a spice box.


As featured in Chile Pepper Magazine

A fixture in Indian kitchens, this one is a "must have"


It is a round stainless steel box with seven round compartments along with a small teaspoon measure which fits in the box. A good masala dabba will have a tight fitting lid in between the lid and the compartments of the box to ensure that the spices do not mix. 

The Indian cook will then fill these compartments with his/ her seven favorite regularly used spices. We like to recommend to put the following in your masala dabba. Red chili powder, Turmeric, Garam masala, Cumin powder, Cumin seeds , Black mustard seeds and Asafoetida.  You can personalize your masala dabba. Cooking will become a breeze and you will not have to look for the spices, which get lost in the cabinets sometimes !!!!!. 



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Red Chili powder, Turmeric powder , Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder & Garam Masala.  LABELED, SEALED ! 

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Tava :  Traditionally an iron griddle is used for making Indian breads and shallow frying. 

Tava or Iron Griddle

When used for a long period of time the iron griddle gets well seasoned and is the best.  With the advent of non-stick surfaces we recommend using a thick aluminum non-stick griddle because less fat/oil/ ghee can be used during the cooking process.      Top





Kadhai :  A traditional Indian iron wok.  

It is much deeper and narrower than Chinese wok. Used mainly for frying. Being versatile is used for cooking. In fact, "kadhai cooking" has become very popular in recent years. In authentic kadhai style cooking, the ingredients are cooked together in a thick, tomato-based sauce and seasoned with a savory garlic-ginger mixture. Almost all of the curries can be made in a well seasoned kadhai. 

A good size is about 13" wide and 3 inches deep. Again we would recommend using a thick aluminum non stick wok. This will ensure the reduction in the amount of oil or fat during cooking. Indian cooking sometimes requires browning of the onions and if the kadhai does not have a non stick surface then one needs to add more oil / fat during the cooking process. Investing in a good wok will make life in the kitchen easier. 

Kadhai cooking is quick and no water is used in this style of cooking. The main ingredients cook in the natural juices released by the tomatoes and meat in the dish, which is constantly stirred until cooked.  Top





          A good blender is an essential for making the smoothest masalas or chutneys without adding a lot of water. 

 The regular blender that holds 5-6 cups will first of all not grind small amounts and secondly will require larger quantities of water to even start the blending process. Try to find a 1 cup attachment which has blades that almost touch the floor of the blender attachment. You will be able to grind even the smallest amounts of e.g. ginger or garlic into a fine smooth paste. I would like to recommend an Indian brand of mixers / blenders called Sumeet. These are designed for Indian cooking.     Top


Chakla-Belan (Rolling board & Rolling pin) Belan : Rolling pin. Chaklas are round flat platforms made of marble or wood on which the dough for chapattis are rolled with the help of the belan, or the rolling pin.

Chimta *: Tong. Chimta (Flat Tongs)This is an unique Indian flat tong-like invention used to roast rotis or papads on an open flame.

Degchi i: Cooking pot made traditionally out of brass or copper. Nowadays, copper bottomed stainless steel pots and thick aluminum pots are also widely used. The neck or opening is narrower than the base. They are very versatile in the kitchen. Also known as pateela, handi, deg, these were traditionally made of copper or brass. Nowadays in most modern Indian kitchens, non-stick varieties are commonplace. So are aluminum and stainless steel ones. A pateela looks like a saucepan without a handle. The handi and deg are thick, rounded-bottom vessels where the neck, or opening is smaller than the base. Both are used to cook vegetables, thicker gravies and rice.

Handi The cooking is done in a thick bottom pan so that the food does not stick or burn; the lid helps retain the aroma and flavor. Both "bhunao" and "dum" are aspects of Handi cooking.

Katori (Bowl) A small bowl used to serve dals and other gravies.Katrori: Small metal bowls usually the size of a cup. Steel katoris are widely used in India to serve curries and daals. Silver katoris are taken out on festivals and special occasions

Pakkad (Tongs) Traditionally, Indian utensils did not have handles and were lifted onto and off the fire with a pair of tongs.

Parat: A steel/brass/aluminum plate with a high edge in which dough is kneaded.

Tandoor (Clay oven) A traditional clay oven used to barbecue meats, and cook breads like naans. It is believed the charcoal fire that gives the food its smoky flavor cannot be replicated in modern ovens, but most recipes can be suitably adapted to the modern electric/gas ovens.

Tandoor: Cylindrical clay oven. Found mostly in restaurant kitchens. Is very versatile and can be used as an oven and a grill. The flavor that it imparts to the food from the hot charcoal is very delicate and delicious. The Indian Tandoor is a clay oven in which meats are barbequed. It resembles a rounded bee-hive and can be embedded into the ground with a small opening at the base Tandoori is a drier form of cooking than the oven, since moisture escapes through the top of the Tandoor. It is fired by charcoal.

A traditional tandoori oven has to be seasoned. A paste is made of spinach and applied to the inner surface and left to dry. An emulsion of mustard oil, buttermilk, jaggery and salt is applied over the spinach. A small fire is lit and the temperature allowed to rise gradually until the emulsion peels away from the walls of the tandoor. A brine solution is sprinkled on the inner walls to facilitate the sticking of breads like naans to the sides. To know if the oven temperature is optimum, try and stick a naan to the sides, if it falls off, the oven is not hot enough. It is important to marinade the meats and paneers cooked in a tandoor as the process is very drying. Also baste with ghee or butter now and then to seal in the moisture that way the kebabs will remain succulent

Thaali: Individual serving plate. In an Indian restaurant you will be able to order a Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian Thaali and you will get an entire meal from appetizers to dessert on a plate.



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