The Great Indian Kitchen is the cornerstone of any household, secondary only to the Great Indian Wedding. But whether you’re a newlywed who has somehow been gifted 17 toasters or a freshly relocated youth with no idea of your kitchen needs- we have your back. Here are some basic pans and utensils you should stock in your kitchen:
Frying Pan -Tawa Kadhai set
We love a good deal, especially one that is the start of our kitchen journey. The first thing you would need is your stove set- which is a set of a non stick frying pan, tawa and Kadai.
You may ask why these, and why are they so important?
To start with, a frying pan is a kitchen staple. Be it fried eggs or tadka to any boring dish- a frying pan will make both jobs easy peasy, lemon squeezy (no seriously, lemon squeezed after a tadka is unrivalled). The frying pan can also be used to prepare omelette, cutlets and for easy shallow frying.
The second is of course the Tawa; making Rotis is hard work, but Roti is a part of our staple food; and we need a tawa to make rotis. Even if you’re more of a rice person, a tawa can help you prepare cheelas, pancakes, dosas and all the fancy naans you need.
Now that you’ve got the Roti, all you need is a curry for it to go with; and what’s better than a handy dandy kadhai for the kitchen? Kadhai is a type of a deep-bottom pan, much like a wok. From deep frying any food item to preparing curries, kadhai has various usages. Kadhai can be of various sizes, so choose the right sized kadhai as per your need. Our suggestion would be to stick with a medium sized Kadhai if you only want to choose one.
Ah, the hellish pressure cooker which has acted more like an alarm than our actual alarms. You need the pressure cooker for three reasons- one, because of its endless versatility (Dal, Rice or whatever- put it in and forget it), it is a time saver (most pressure cookers take about 30 minutes or so) and thirdly, your roommate needs the nostalgia of their home (and what better than that blaring whistle to make your skin curl but heart warm)
Cast Iron Skillet
Cast-iron skillets can be used for sautéing, pan-frying, searing, baking, braising, broiling, roasting, and even more cooking techniques. Pro tip: The more seasoned your cast-iron skillet is, the better flavor it's going to give to whatever you are cooking--from cornbread to chicken. Cast-iron cookware is unmatched in its heating properties and capacity - which means it gets extremely hot and stays extremely hot. This is important for many reasons, but especially when searing meats to create a nice char, making great hash potatoes, or pan-roasting chicken and vegetables. Cast iron skillets should never be washed with soap (unless you're about to re-season them). For those lazy-when-it-comes-to-the-dishes home cooks, like myself, this is wonderful, wonderful news. To wash, simply rinse in really hot water while scrubbing with a stiff brush.
Here's a great guide on maintaining your cast-iron pan.
Grills are a dream appliance, whether it’s a clamshell grill, a panini grill or an electric griddle; grills are small, smoke-free and easy to clean. If you want to modernize it, electric grills make your job easy and can make the best paninis or pressed sandwiches out there, but if you’re a rustic one like we are, non electric grills are perfect for searing vegetables or bacon and even creating perfect smoked sandwiches. Food cooked on a grill tastes great and can be a lot healthier than pan-fried food, and is a perfect excuse to make every night tikka nights at home.
If you’re someone who likes no mess cooking, baking and serving, grab a heavy duty baking dish and see the wonders of it. Simply roast, marinade and serve your meal in this dish for your next rustic home buddy meet, and see their faces glow. Checkout this link for some quick and easy sheet pan meals.
We're currently crushing over these bake and serve trays from Nestasia.
Woks rarely come off as versatile kitchenware, but they are a blessing for all Pan Asian fares. When we think of Woks, the first thing we think is a stir fry (or Chandler trying to heat milk in it), and that’s fair, a wok is beyond excellent for a stir fry, especially when done in large quantities. Its sloped sides make it ideal for tossing and flipping food quickly and efficiently, and because it's made from carbon steel (which retains heat very well), the food that you toss and flip repeatedly will be exposed to an enormous amount of heat when it comes in contact with the pan, imbuing it with charred flavor without overcooking it. Woks are used in a range of Chinese cooking techniques, including stir frying, steaming, pan frying, deep frying, poaching, boiling, braising, searing, stewing, making soup, smoking and roasting nuts. Check out this Iron wok with handle - Super versatile and convenient.