Indian Essentials : Common Equipment in a South Indian Kitchen

Common Equipment in a South Indian Kitchen

Daba / Dhaba: A container with a lid that holds 6 or 7 individual pots containing spices commonly used in that household. Sometimes they have a transparent lid so that the spices can be seen.

The spices that are kept in a dhaba vary, but most commonly are: coriander powder, chilli powder, cumin, black or brown mustard seed, turmeric powder, split black gram. The container in the centre holds cinnamon, cloves or cardamom. Some boxes have a top tray for dry red chillis and Indian bay leaves – Tej Pat.

Handi: A deep, narrow-mouthed cooking vessel used in Indian cooking.

Kadai / Kadahi: A wok like fry pan with two handles used for stir-frying, boiling, frying and deep-frying. It is different to a Chinese Wok.

Tawa / Tava: A flat griddle or rimless pan used for making roti, paratha and dosa, and for roasting spices.

Pressure Cooker: Used extensively in Indian cooking to shorten the cooking times, especially of lentils.

Mixie / Mixer / Grinder: Specialised tools exist for grinding lentils, dried beans, wheat etc into flour. A blender can be used but may not obtain the fineness that is possible with a Mixie. It can also be used to grind spices and spice mixes (masalas) and make shakes.

Non-Stick Frying Pans: These are commonly used to cook dosa etc more easily. However, if your tawa is sufficiently seasoned it is possible to cook them very well on a good tawa. In addition, the taste is much better cooked on the tawa than on a non-stick pan.

Belan: Rolling pin. There are very thin, short rolling pins for rolling roti and other flat breads.

Karche / Ladle: A larger spoon, more like a flat Western soup ladle.

Donga: Serving bowl.

Sevai Press: Sevai Presses are used to make Sevai, Sth Indian rice noodles (gluten free).

 

You might also like Common Indian Ingredients and Techniques, and to browse the Indian Essentials. All our Indian Recipes are here and here.

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