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Ready to explore Indian cuisine in your own kitchen? With just a handful of essential tools, you can start whipping up delicious Indian meals in no time!
New to Indian cooking?
For those who are new to Indian cooking, don’t fret; you don’t need a ton of special equipment to cook Indian food. In fact, you probably have most of what you need already in your kitchen, especially if you’ve been cooking at home for a while.
As you explore the world of Indian cuisine and gain more experience, you may find that there are a few tools that come in handy, but for the most part, you won’t need to go crazy buying tons of kitchen gadgets.
So, let’s get started.
Basic Kitchen tools
Chopping board – It is best to separate chopping boards for veggies and meat. That’s why I like Index™ with knives from Joseph Joseph. This set includes four color-coded cutting boards with four corresponding knives to help reduce cross-contamination and make food preparation easier.
Lemon squeezer – To add a bit of tang to your meal, you need a lemon squeezer that will get every bit of juice out!
Can opener – A can-opener is a must-have, in my opinion. Think about all those cans of coconut or condensed milk!
Ice-cream scooper – an ice cream scooper is a must for all ice cream lovers!
Now that we have some of the kitchen essentials out of our way, let’s look at the must-have kitchen tools for an Indian kitchen.
Kitchen Tools in Indian Cooking
In this list of 10 items, I would consider the top four as absolute essentials. The rest of the tools in this list come in handy when you want to make Indian flatbreads (roti) and idli at home.
Pressure cooker – It is hard to imagine an Indian Kitchen without a pressure cooker. It is used to speed up cooking times for pulses and lentils, amongst other things. I prefer an electric pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot. If Instant Pot is not an option, then a stovetop cooker like Hawkins is a good alternative.
Mortar / Pestle – A mortar and pestle are useful for quickly grinding spices into powder.
Tadka pan / mini fry pan – These are perfect for tempering those delicious curries you’ll be making.
Saucepan – A saucepan is perfect for making tea or coffee on your stovetop.
Strainer – All you tea lovers, what would you do without a strainer?
Chakla / Belan (Circular board and rolling pin) – if you can or are planning to make chapatis / phulkas, you need chakla and belan. The ones I found online were outrageously expensive and not rated well. I think this kitchen equipment is best bought in Indian stores.
Pincer – This tool comes in handy when handling hot pans and pots.
Idly Stand / Idly Cooker -If you don’t want to go for an idly cooker, that’s fine; you could buy an idly stand that you can place in the cooker to get steamed idlis. I have used both, but I will be honest: the idlis in the Idli cooker come out much better.
Got any questions? Drop in a comment and let me know.
This post was originally published on 05/24/2018, and the text and images were updated on Nov 13, 2023.