Do you remember? Our grandmas would spend almost all day in the kitchens and take hours to create culinary delights using the essential kitchen tools of their times.
We remember and crave for even now but which cannot be possibly re- created by use of our fast and time saving machines today.
Part of the magic was in the expertise of the cook, the other part in the traditional pots and pans in which the food was cooked.
Even today cast iron skillets and tavas, bronze urlis, as well as pots, kadais and bottles made from clay are available,
However with less time available at hand, our new generation wants to have instant results in cooking (like in all else of course)!
Therefore the idea of this “Blog Post” is to provide basic info on available cooking tools in today’s market, their benefits and uses, market info on where to buy and price range. So, let’s start with first on the list,
The ovens come in huge variety in the market today, and no you do not have to go out to the nearby market in the heat and buy one, it’s available online!
Just click on what you like and voila!
Then you have choice of paying on delivery or by card whichever you wish.
1. The Microwave
Everyone needs an easy way of cooking and time-saving method for any task so that they can divert to the other activities once they are finished with it.
Women get bored with their kitchen work and long hours spent cooking and really enjoy the time saving and easy cooking in a microwave oven.
The touch buttons help to set time according to recipes, It works this way- molecules present in the food vibrate faster and build up thermal energy.
The time of heating is so short that the nutrients and vitamin-C are maintained in a microwave without being destroyed.
The microwave, however like all machines has advantages and disadvantages.
- First advantage of microwave is that its time-saving, convenient and maintains the nutrient and water composition of the food.
- Microwave oven heats food without burning, as we can set the time.
- Easy to use, as it is automatic.
- Defrosts any frozen food within no time.
- Cooks fast so the vitamins are preserved in the food.
- Ability to cook food with less oil allows us to prepare a low fat diet.
- Bake food without any mess.
- It cannot be used for deep frying or making chapatti.
- It is dangerous to health as the studies show that using microwave could cause cancer as it produces cancer causing agents.
- Radiation it emits is dangerous.
- Microwave retains the nutrients but the texture of food, color, and taste will change, compared to when its cooked on a stove.
- The water content decreases and food becomes dry and tasteless sometimes.
2. Oven Toaster Grill / OTG
Oven Toaster and Grill or OTG is well known kitchen appliance exclusively to bake, grill and toast.
If you are person who loves to bake cakes or grill or even make that excellent toast for breakfast, then OTG is the appliance for you.
Here are the functions and uses of OTG,
- We can BAKE using an OTG.
- Cakes, Pizzas, tikkas etc.. all come out tasty and evenly cooked.
- Here we set some temperature and oven heats up to that temperature, we keep inside it our cake batter or meat and bake it / roast it.
- Grill function tikka or kebab crispier.
Disadvantage of OTG
- Uses electricity in order to function and takes time to make stuff like cakes, pizzas etc. That means that you will be paying for the electricity that the toaster uses and this could marginally increase the cost of your electricity bills.
Cookers are of different varieties – Pressure Cookers, Rice cookers and lately there is a smart new addition to cookers – The Clip on lid Pressure cooker!
We all have Pressure cookers at home,
we know that certain dishes like rajmah or mutton will take ages to cook if the pressure cooker was not used.
Advantages of cooking in a pressure cooker
- Food items cooked in a pressure cooker get ready faster, using less liquid
- Foods that are pressure cooked retain more nutrition, color and flavour.
- Faster cooking results in significant energy savings and lower Electricity Bill.
- Keeps the kitchen cooler, When cooking with regular stovetop pots and pans, the heat rises through the pan and travels upwards and heats up the kitchen but a pressure cooker keeps the heat and steam locked inside so that none of it escapes to heat up your kitchen. Reducing the amount of heat and steam results in a cooler kitchen.
- A pressure cooker has a secured lid that prevents any splashes from escaping the cooking vessel. This also does not allow boil overs which require further cleanup and after cooking, there’s only one pot to wash.
GAS STOVES AND INDUCTION STOVES
Gas Stove uses liquefied petroleum gas or other flammable gas as a source of fuel.
In old times the stoves or chulhas as they were called relied on solid fuel such as coal or wood.
Gas stoves were developed in the 1820s.
The advantage of a Gas Stove is that it’s adjustable and can be turned off and on with ease and needs less labour to use or turn off and on.
Induction Stove, in Induction Cooking a cooking vessel gets heated by magnetic induction,
Inductive heating directly heats the vessel and very rapidly increases the temperature.
In an induction Stove, a coil of copper wire is placed under the cooking pot and an alternating electric current is passed through it
This results in the induction of the magnetic flux by the oscillating magnetic field,
This produces Eddy Currents in the pot and heats it!
Gas Stove VS Induction Stove
- Gas stove works without electricity so it’s a major advantage where there are power cuts, however getting a LPG gas connection is a bit of paperwork and providing ID cards, which is a hassle we dont find in Induction stove – just get it and use it!
- Any type of cookware can be used on a Gas Stove, while on a Induction stove only specific cookwares made for induction stoves can be used, a cooking vessel must be made of, or contain, a ferromagnetic metal such as cast iron or some stainless steels. However,other metals can be used if placed on a ferromagnetic disk.
- Keeps the kitchen cool. This is because induction stoves only heat the cookware you’re using and nothing else. Less risk of burning yourself or setting something on fire!
- Induction stove is much safer than gas stove. An Induction Stove has many user friendly features it can automatically power off the moment the pan leaves the surface. Some of them are even cool to the touch within seconds. some have timers and child safety systems.
So to conclude this comparison, we can say that its best to have both in the house – the gas stove and the induction stove.
POTS AND PANS
Saute Pan: this pan can be used for boiling noodles, rice, making Biryani and curries, also dry vegetables.
This is a non stick saute pan with lid, non stick pans are good for a quick clean up, the lid keeps the food within and locks the heat in too!
Wok is used for Stir-Frying, Steaming, Deep-Frying and Re-heating
Tawa or a flat skillet is necessary item in Indian Kitchen. Roti is made daily across all households in India, Rotis and parathas as well as Dosas are cooked on a tawa.
Tadka Pan: In India, we season our Raitas and curds, Dals and Dhoklas and for that we need a tadka pan.
Tadka is a technique of cooking to bring the flavours of spices and aromas of onion and garlic into the food with use of less oil.
A food processor is very important addition to the kitchen area,
It has attachments for grinding both wet and dry spices,
It has a liquidizer for making smoothies and shakes and can be used to make wet masala pastes and pureé ingredients like onions and tomatoes for gravies.
You can also knead doughs, whisk perfect whites for cakes and omelettes, cut fries the perfect size.. many other tasks which take ages can be done using a food processor in a jiffy!
There are many varities in market with many functions, just chose what suits your needs and your pocket too!
MORTAR AND PESTLE SET
These are used for rough / coarse grinding of fresh herbs and whole spices. It’s very useful for some indian dishes.
It’s available in wood, marble and steel mostly,
However, i would prefer steel, as it’s easier to maintain.
These are available in various materials like plastic and wood,
I believe wooden one is better as plastic cutting boards are easier to sanitize.
But cutting on them also leaves lots of cuts where bacteria can hide.
Wood is tougher to sanitize, but you wont find as many deep scratches in the surface.
Basically two diferent knives are needed for cutting both meat and vegetables,
However if you check in market.. There are so many variations for fruits, vegetable and so on.
One can always buy a set like this,
Either that or choose different knives for different items, as per your needs!
Though there is a grater attachment in a processor sometimes, but when the power is off or in a hurry, the grater comes in handy, it also comes in various sizes!
These are available in Glass (Borosil) and Plastic, Aluminium and Steel also wooden,
They are used for making dough for different kinds of bread, mixing batters for cakes and other raw mixes.
This is a much liked item and useful too while being cost effective.
That is the name of indian rolling pin and it’s accompanying disk used for rolling chapatis, parathas and other indian breads and also pastry,
It should be niether too heavy nor too light.
It’s available in wooden and marble makes!
It’s easily available in local markets and you can buy it online too!
SIEVE / COLLANDER
For draining rice and noodles and washing vegetables and lentils and fruits also for making tea.
It’s usually available in plastic and steel material.
This vatiety is good for vegetables washing, rice draining and washing fruits!
The small metal variety will be ideal for tea straining.
SPOONS FOR COOKING
Cooking spoons is necessary for every kitchen, mostly steel spoons are used but one can opt for wooden ones or plastic ones which go well with non stick cooking utensils!
Here is a set of spoons needed,
This looks like it will be good enough for a small kitchen.
Hopefully you got all the information needed to set all essential kitchen tools for your starter kitchen. Let me know if we miss something here in the comments and we will look into it. Thankyou!