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).


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