Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Hardware for Indian Cookery


Recommended Posts

We seem to go into amazing detail about spices, herbs and other culinary ingredients.

Can we also spend some time touching on what would be considered essentials for the Indian kitchen. Lets talk pots, pans, implements, and all other stuff that helps in the preparation of these edibles we enjoy.

Are there things that one must buy that are Indian? If so, what are they? Where does one get them? What do you use them for?

Are there Western Counterparts for certain pots and pans that would be used in Indian kitchens that work just as well? What are they? What recipes do you use them for?

What would be the bare essentials you would suggest a kitchen ought to have before you cook Indian food?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

what about grinders?

i use a big mortar/pestle, a small mortar/pestle, a coffee grinder, a food processor and a vita-prep blender for grinding. i think i've got most tasks covered, but that's five tools for one job. online, i've noticed various indian-made grinders that i don't recognize. can anyone describe some of these grinders and how they work? are there any really good all-in-one wet/dry grinders? is a sil-batta the final answer?

what about coconut graters?

my routine involves removing the shell, then peeling the coconut with a peeler and finally micro-grating or grating/freezing it. kind of a pain in the butt. indian coconut graters i've seen seem to disregard the shelling/peeling aspect of things. but what about the brown skin??

any other thoughts on region-specific pots? steamers? fryers?

just a couple of tiny questions.

whippy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[what about coconut graters?

a version of the one shown here is what i use.

mine has a suction cup on the base so i can tuck it away when i'm done but i think there are versions that clamp onto the countertop.split the coconut,hold a half to the serrated blades and twirl your way to lovely grated coconut.stop when you get to the brown bit.really easy and if you want a creamier texture toss the feathery shavings in the blender.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

beautifully!i just remembered -you can see the thing in action over in the egci-Monica and chef Vinod's class on south indian breads features the same kind of grater as well as the traditional one it's based on-the serrated tongue of metal in a fixed base. the coconut would be scraped on one of these and then ground together on/in a grinding stone with spices for a chutney or masala.nothing to beat that combination for the most extraction of flavour and the best texture!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a friend up in Bakersfield, from Punjab.

She has a deep. heavy wooden bowl, about 15 inches in diameter, with a very thick bottom into which is pounded what looks like a railroad spike, with the head that is exended on one side (to hold the rail in place).

The extension has been cut with a file so that it has teeth or serrations. She cracks the coconuts in half, holds the bowl between her knees and rubs the meat against the "teeth" and the nut meat comes off in shreds very rapidly. She can clean out a coconut shell in about the time it has takne me to type this note.

She said her grandfather made it for her when she was just a girl and learning to cook.

The odd thing about this is that our cook, when I was a child, had a similar thing for grating coconut.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a friend up in Bakersfield, from Punjab.

She has a deep. heavy wooden bowl, about 15 inches in diameter, with a very thick bottom into which is pounded what looks like a railroad spike, with the head that is exended on one side (to hold the rail in place).

The extension has been cut with a file so that it has teeth or serrations. She cracks the coconuts in half, holds the bowl between her knees and rubs the meat against the "teeth" and the nut meat comes off in shreds very rapidly. She can clean out a coconut shell in about the time it has takne me to type this note.

She said her grandfather made it for her when she was just a girl and learning to cook.

The odd thing about this is that our cook, when I was a child, had a similar thing for grating coconut.

the traditional "aravaamanai" chopper / slicer in tamilian kitchens

(fixed blade; you sit on the seat part and move the veggies to slice / dice / shred)

(similar to bonthi in bangla i think) had that spiked circular

thingy at the top for coconut grating.

the fancy new electric tabletop dosaimaavu grinders also have a

detachable piece that's a WICKED looking spiked circular grater

so you fix it onto the central shaft instead of the grinder and

hold the half-coconut (still in shell) on it, and it whirs super quick and

grates for you.

i'm still too scared to try it and have visions of self in ER with

mangled hands. so i stick the method described by whippy:

dig out chunks from shell, food processor, freeze.

milagai

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the fancy new electric tabletop dosaimaavu grinders also have a

detachable piece that's a WICKED looking spiked circular grater

so you fix it onto the central shaft instead of the grinder and

hold the half-coconut (still in shell) on it, and it whirs super quick and

grates for you.

i'm still too scared to try it and have visions of self in ER with

mangled hands.  so i stick the method described by whippy:

dig out chunks from shell, food processor, freeze.

milagai

sounds like a wise desicion Milagai-http://www.innoconcepts.com/prideplus.htm

We do not sell the coconut scraper attachment.  We believe the coconut scraper is not a safe product to use in this country.  We do not recommend or approve the use of coconut scrapers with ULTRA grinders.  Customer assumes the responsibility for any unapproved use of coconut scraper
.

worth trying one of those hand cranked ones though-they really work!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sounds like a wise desicion Milagai-http://www.innoconcepts.com/prideplus.htm
We do not sell the coconut scraper attachment.   We believe the coconut scraper is not a safe product to use in this country.  We do not recommend or approve the use of coconut scrapers with ULTRA grinders.  Customer assumes the responsibility for any unapproved use of coconut scraper
.

worth trying one of those hand cranked ones though-they really work!

i'll be damned! :blink:

wonder what number of injuries (and maybe

threatened lawsuits?) it took for the manufacturer to come out

with that statement?

or maybe i am wronging them deeply and they are genuinely

looking out for customer.

i'll keep an eye out for the hand cranked grater next time i am

in a store and will give it a try...

milagai

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am new to the forums, and love that there is a topic all about Indian cuisine!

Any hints/suggestions on idli steamers? I have seen entire set-ups, and then I have seen just the actual idli "mold" itself, and am wondering which is best.

Thanks!

-- Judy B

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.

--James Michener

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestion on the idli makers. I think I have something that would fit snugly, but I'd have to bring the holder itself home with me to be sure. The guy that runs my Indian grocery is wonderful, and I bet he would let me.

OK, now, what about grinders? Are they truly necessary as some say, or can you really use a food processer like, for instance, Julie Sahni's books suggest.

-- Judy B

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.

--James Michener

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A chimta - those tongs made from a long thin flat strip of metal. Unless you have palms of leather, they're invaluable for tossing chappatis, and I find myself using them for all sorts of other things. Like I have been burdened with a most annoying oven which the top and botton heating elements cannot be separately adjusted, so I basically have the choice of an underdone base and perfect crust or perfect base and burned crust. The answer I've found is an elaborate routine using covers of crumpled foil that keep having to be put on and take off and the chimta is hugely helpful here.

Vikram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

also i'm surprised pressure cookers haven't been mentioned.

very true.

for the whole daal scene, including the sabut ones,

there is nothing else that does the job.

why do the crock pot thing for hours and hours

when 10 minutes and 1 whish later, it's all done?

my other favorites:

kadhai, idli steamers, chimtas of various kinds, graters,

idli grinders, but best of all:

someone else to cook for you.

i envy those who live in more south asian dense areas of the

US who can advertise and hire an entity known as a "gujju lady"

who'll come, cook, and fill the fridge with yummy home-made dishes.

milagai

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      This almost had me in tears of nostalgia. My London home is a few minutes walk from here and I love the place. So glad to hear it seems to be being protected from developers, as I had heard it was under threat.   Wonderful food, too. Mostly vegetarian, which I'm decidedly not, but will happily eat from time to time.   London's most authentic Indian food?    
       
    • By Sheel
      Prawn Balchao is a very famous Goan pickle that has a sweet, spicy and tangy flavor to it. 
      For the balchao paste you will need:
      > 8-10 kashmiri red chillies
      > 4-5 Byadagi red chillies
      > 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
      > 1/2 tsk turmeric powder 
      > 1 tsp peppercorn
      > 6 garlic cloves
      > 1/2 tsp cloves
      > 1 inch cinnamon stick
      > Vinegar 
      First you will need to marinate about 250 grams of prawns in some turmeric powder and salt. After 15 minutes deep fry them in oil till them become golden n crisp. Set them aside and add tsp vinegar to them and let it sit for 1 hour. Now, make a paste of all the ingredients mentioned under the balchao paste and make sure not to add any water. In the same pan used for fryin the prawns, add in some chopped garlic and ginger. Lightly fry them and immediately add one whole chopped onion. Next, add the balchao paste amd let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the prawns and cook until the gravy thickens. Finally add 1 tsp sugar and salt according to your taste. Allow it to cool. This can be stored in a glass jar. Let this mature for 1-3 weeks before its use. Make sure never to use water at any stage. This can be enjoyed with a simple lentil curry and rice.
    • By Deeps
      This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish.  Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
      Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.
       

       
      Prep Time : 5 mins
      Cook Time: 5 mins
      Serves: 2
       
      Ingredients:
      1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
      1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
      1 green chili, slit
      1 dried red chili
      1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
      1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
      1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
      1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
      A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
      Few curry leaves
      Salt to taste
       
      Directions
      1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
      2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
      3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
      4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
      5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
    • By loki
      Sour Tomatillo Achar

      Made this one up from a recipe for lemons. It really works for tomatilloes. A unique spice mix, and really sour for a 'different' type of pickle, or achar. It is based on a Marwari recipe - from the arid north-western part of India. Tomatilloes are not used in India (or at least not much) but are quite productive plants in my garden while lemons or other sour fruits are not possible to grow here. No vinegar or lemon juice is used, because tomatilloes are very acidic and don't need any extra.

      Ingredients
      3 lbs tomatilloes husks removed and quartered
      1/4 cup salt
      1 Tbs black mustard seeds
      2 star anise buds
      10 dried chilies (I used very hot yellow peppers)
      1 tsp fenugreek seeds
      2 inch ginger (ground to a paste)
      2 TBL dark brown sugar
      1/2 cup sugar

      1. In a large bowl, put the tomatilloes and sprinkle salt over them. Cover it and leave for a day, mixing occasionally.

      2. Next day drain the tomatilloes.

      3. Dry roast the star anise (put in first as these take longer, the black mustard, and the chilie pods (add last and barely brown in places). Cool.

      4. Grind the roasted spices with the fenugreek and put aside.

      5. Add tomatilloes, ginger, sugars, and everything else to a large pan and heat to boiling.

      6. Cook till fully hot and boiling.

      7. Fill half-pint jars and seal.
    • By loki
      Sweet Eggplant Pickle

      This is an Indian pickle, some would call a chutney, that I made up from several sources and my own tastes. It is based it on my favorite sweet brinjal (eggplant here in the US) pickle available commercially. It has onion and garlic, which are often omitted in some recipes due to dietary restrictions of some religious orders. It also has dates which I added on my own based on another pickle I love. I also used olive oil as mustard oil is not available and I like it's taste in these pickles. Use other oils if you like. This has more spices than the commercial type - and I think it's superior. I avoided black mustard seed, fenugreek, and cumin because almost all other pickles use these and they start to taste the same. One recipe from Andhra Pradesh used neither and I followed it a little. It's wonderful with all sorts of Indian foods - and also used for many other dishes, especially appetizers.
      SPICE MIX (Masala)
      4 Tbs coriander seeds
      3 hot chilies (I used a very hot Habanero type, so use more if you use others)
      18 cardamom pods
      2 inches cinnamon
      24 cloves
      1 1/2 Tbs peppercorns
      MAIN INGREDIENTS
      1 cups olive oil
      4 inches fresh ginger, minced fine, about 1/2 cup
      6 cloves garlic, minced
      1 large onion finely chopped
      3 lb eggplant, diced, 1/4 inch cubes
      1/2 lb chopped dates
      1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
      2 cups rice vinegar (4.3 percent acidity or more)
      2 cups brown sugar
      2 Tbs salt
      2 tsp citric acid
      Spice Mix (Masala)

      1. Dry roast half the coriander seeds in a pan till they begin to brown slightly and become fragrant - do not burn. Cool.

      2. Put roasted and raw coriander seeds and all the other spices in a spice mill and grind till quite fine, or use a mortar and pestle. Put aside.

      Main Pickle

      1. Heat half the oil and fry ginger till slightly browned, slowly.

      2. Add garlic, onion, and half the salt and fry slowly till these begin to brown a bit too.

      3. Add eggplant, turmeric, and spice mix (Masala) and combine well. Fry for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

      4. Add rest of ingredients, including rest of the salt and olive oil and heat slowly to a boil.

      5. Boil for about 5 minutes. Add a little water if too thick - it should be nearly covered with liquid, but not quite - it will thin upon cooking so wait to add the water till heated through.

      6. Bottle in sterilized jars and seal according to your local pickling instructions. This recipe will be sufficiently acidic.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...