Utensils in Indian kitchen

that everyone would like to steal!!

 

India is all about food and festivals. For Indians best way to celebrate a festival is enjoying their favorite and delicious food. They also have unique style of cooking with unique utensils. I have listed some of them here:

1. Chakla-Belan

Chakla-Belan is one duo that is found in every kitchen; one is rarely sold or found without the other. Chakla is the wooden circular platform that acts as a rolling surface for the dough.

The rolling pin, or ‘belan’, is usually made of wood and used for flattening dough to make flatbreads (known as ‘Roti’ in Hindi). Its cylindrical body lets you apply pressure to specific areas for more evenly rolled flatbreads. These flatbreads are roasted on a frying pan until they are golden brown in color. It’s also good for shaping the crust of a homemade pizza.

2. Pressure Cooker

It would be hard to find Indian kitchen that does not have pressure cooker. It is a sealed vessel for cooking food under pressure. Indians love to eat meal with 5-6 dishes at a time, this tool cuts cooking time from hours to minutes. A pressure cooker can make perfectly fluffy rice in 15 minutes and can also be used to cook dry lentils and beans, and braise tender meaty curries.

 

3. Thali

This traditional serving platter is used to accommodate a multitude of Indian curries, different flavored pickles, curd, rice and bread accompaniments. Before easy-to-clean stainless steel platter became the norm, copper or brass platters were used for the ions activated when hot rice or bread hit the center of the plate: “That’s why food is always served on metal instead of glass. Indians believe eating off of metal helps the body pick up on those trace minerals”. In India, eating with your hands is also a sensory part of the experience: Your hands touch the warmth of the food, they touch the plate, and it makes everything more authentic and enjoyable. It all goes together.

 

4. Davara Tumbler

South India is famous for filter coffee because of its prevalent plantation. So, this duo will be found in every kitchen cabinet. These are very similar to cup and saucer, davara being the saucer here. It can be made of copper or stainless steel. This crockery has been following traditions for centuries. There are several reasons of using davara with the tumbler:

In Indian culture (particularly in southern part of India), it is considered unhygienic and disrespectful to touch your lips while drinking. They directly pour liquid down the throat instead of sipping. So they serve the steaming hot coffee after pouring back & forth from davara to tumbler till the time it cools down a bit and the coffee becomes light frothy and sipped slowly or dropped into mouth without the lips touching the tumbler. The distance between the pouring and receiving cup to cool down the coffee, leads to another name for the drink, "Meter Coffee".

Aerating the mix without introducing extra water (such as with a steam wand used for frothing cappuccinos). The drink tastes a lot more delicious if it is from davara-tumbler.

 

5. Hand held churner

This wooden structure is widely used in India to churn butter. This is traditionally made from wood or metal. Also called as ‘Madhani’ or ‘Ghotna’ in Hindi language. Its very easy to use. Indian women use this quite regularly in their kitchen. Churner is used for multiple purposes in India:

• It is used to separate butter from curd. They continuously stir the curd with this churner until butter separates leaving buttermilk behind in the bowl which is considered as a good summer cooler drink.

• A churner is always a savior if you want to enjoy sweet lassi – a quite famous drink in India. They put curd, sugar and some roasted cumin in a jar/bowl and stir the mixture vigorously with the churner until all the ingredients are blended well and a soft lather is formed on top of the jar.

6. Murukku press

Essentially a cookie press, this extruder pushes out crunchy, spicy murukku (in English “twisted”) snacks. Made predominantly in South India, the simplest dough combine rice flour, ghee, and dried red chili powder. Any pattern plate is kept at the bottom of the hollow cylindrical part and already prepared dough is put into it.

 

Then the dough is pressed with the other half cylindrical part. Depending on the shapes are pressed directly into bubbling oil, they curl upon themselves, fry out in long ribbons, or are stamped through plates into charming shapes.

Photo cr: yummytummyaarthi

These shining and mouth watering murukku is a perfect snack for daily evening tea.

7. Spice box (masala dabba)

Indian dishes are incomplete without a flurry of spices, not just one or two. Instead of searching through fancy and expensive spice wheel racks, Indians prefer to invest in a spice box (called ‘Masala Dabba’ in Hindi language) for most heavily used spices. It is used to store spices like turmeric powder, mustard seeds, cumin powder, red chili powder, white salt, black pepper, and what not!

The dabba, which is most commonly made from stainless steel typically contain small bowls for each spice and a tiny spoon perfect for scooping and sprinkling.

• A time - saver: It does not require opening several lids for multiple spices.

• A space - saver: It stores frequently used, most basic and sufficient quantity of spices for daily use- all at one place.

 

8. Strainers

Different shaped strainers have their own usage in Indian kitchens. 

Sifter

Indian cooks tend to make flatbreads daily from scratch. To ensure that the dough is smooth and not clumpy, they run flour through a charni (sifter in English), which is an ultra fine mesh set in a metal rim. The particles which remain in the sifter are the unwanted particles from the flour and are thrown away. This way Indians make sure their dough is free of any impurities.

Tea strainer

It is placed over a teacup to catch loose tea leaves. In India, tea is brewed with tea leaves freely suspended in the water. They don’t use teabags. As the leaves themselves are not consumed with the tea, it is usual to filter them out with a tea strainer. Strainers usually fit into the top of the cup to catch the leaves as the tea is poured.

So, next time you visit India, Do not forget to take these basic and not-so-basic Indian utensils with you!!

   
 

Written by Cheffy from India

 

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