So you’ve moved out and there’s things to buy. You’re 7 pages deep on amazon and probably have 57 things on your cart, with no idea whether these are good things or even necessary things. We get it. We’ve been there. Here are some tools you will possibly need in your venture as a freshly minted adult who would like to cook for themselves (or at least make it seem like you do).
We begin with the basics. Nothing fancy, just a simple rolling pin to make round rotis or threaten your kids with it, the usual. It's a great tool to have on hand rather than just a bottle of wine to do the rolling. You can work with all kinds of doughs, not just rotis but pasta, cookies and much more. Try to get either a basic wooden one or a marble one if you're feeling fancy. If you've got a little more margin to spend, we suggest you to get a board to go with it. It gives much more control and stability. If not, then your usual chopping board or the counter surface works just fine.
Rubber and Wooden Spatula
A Spatula is a multi purpose tool young adults need in their life, be it flipping pancakes in abundance or tossing salads like a pro- the spatula is a great way to go. Your spatulas come in majorly two materials- plastic/silicone or wood, each with their own pros and cons. The plastic spatula is a baker’s buddy- it is best for stirring, folding, and scraping cold, wet ingredients in a mixing bowl. No tool does a better job of cleaning sticky dough from a flat surface, anyone who works with dough should have a couple of these on hand. You always want to have at least two so you can use one to scrape the other. They are inexpensive and easy to find, so go ahead and buy a few.
The wooden spatula is an aesthetic powerhouse; it’s strong, can stir thick things without breaking, and it can scrape things off of the bottom of pans, won’t scratch the finish of your cookware and It’s insulated, so it won’t melt or ruin something sensitive to heat changes. The Wooden Spatula is also nostalgia approved, it’ll make you miss the home cooking with wooden cutlery you’ve grown up with.
Mortar and Pestle
For thousands of years, the mortar and pestle was one of the very few implements our ancestors relied upon to cook, to really grind into ingredients to maximize their flavor potential. Today, the mortar and pestle remains a crucial tool in culinary traditions around the world, and it deserves to be treated as an essential in every kitchen, because it is unrivalled in its ability to extract the absolute flavor from every grain and every aromat in the kitchen in a way no blade can ever rival. Our recommendation is to go for a solid stone mortar.
Stone such as marble or granite is strong, dense, and unyielding, giving you a powerful surface against which to crush things; not to mention you can channel your anger with the douche-y boss, the car that won’t start and just the world in general without worries of chips or cracks. The pestle can be used to create Italian pesto, Thai curry paste or to grind in your flavors for a spice rich paneer.
Check out this marble mortar and pestle from Ellementry
Knives are important- for cooking and threatening people- and there are plenty of different types of knives you could buy. But in reality, you only really need one or two. A chef’s knife is undoubtedly the most versatile of knives. You’ll be able to use it for the bulk of your basic cutting, slicing, and chopping needs. Chef’s knives may be slightly expensive, but are often long lasting and excellent for home use. If not a Chef’s knife, you’ll need a paring knife which is smaller in size and has a shorter blade which will give more control for more nuanced preparation. This will allow you greater control on your knife, as well as save big bucks.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Your mom didn’t use them. All her recipes say ‘a little bit of this’ ‘a dash of that’, but recipes on the internet, or actually any recipes in general will need some form of measurement. Even if you feel like you eyeball ingredients, some level of standardization is always helpful. It’s exceptionally more helpful for new bakers who want to attempt cakes for friends (or to eat alone in front of the TV) or some breads that pro bakers swore was easy, because baking is an extremely exact science, with one misstep creating both disaster and a great waste. Measuring spoons are used to precisely measure smaller amounts of liquid or solid cooking ingredients than measuring cups.
Wishing chair has the cutest measuring cups. Check them out here if you're looking for something more playful!
Every Indian adult just got flashbacks to that one time they lost their mothers’ containers, but as an adult you’ll end up sympathizing with their cause. Be it for stashing leftovers, repacking takeout, sending care packages to friends or prepping the ingredients for your meals- a lock safe Tupperware container will become your best friend. It will allow for easy storage and less wastage.
The pandemic has highlighted beyond words the need for top notch safety. You know what this means- veggies and fruits must be washed beyond meticulously. A colander is a draining device which will help you remove water from your utensils; it is helpful for cleaning your ingredients, but also draining out water from pasta or rice.
Microplanes and Graters
You probably already know you need a Grater, but a microplane is a new addition. Lets say you want to grate cheese directly over a pot of pasta, or garlic over the pan without bruising your fingers on a grater- the microplane is a fine grater which allows for easy grating, and because of its straight design, it can be done directly over the pot for maximum MasterChef appeal.
Look at you, all ready to take on your kitchen head first!