Setting up a new home and a kitchen requires planning. And if you love cooking or plan to get into it, then a fully set up kitchen with all the essential pots, pan, utensils, ladles, spoons tools etc is extremely essential for everyday cooking. So this article, has been meticulously written for you to plan and shop the various kitchen tools and utensils that are needed for an Indian kitchen.
In addition, through this article, you will find a guide to understand the basic utensils and tools and when and where they can be used in the kitchen and cooking.
Cookware Material for Utensils, Pots & Pans
The most common cooking medium for everyday use is stainless steel and iron. These are two study mediums which are long lasting and great for everyday cooking. Stainless utensils like saucepans (thapeli for boiling milk, dal ), mixing bowls ( for kneading dough), lids to cover the utensils etc are extremely useful and important they are in stainless steel.
Below are the most safe and commonly used materials for Indian Cooking.
- Stainless Steel
- Hard Anodised - read more
- Iron / Cast Iron
20cm Small Stir Fry Pan - Non Stick (For Omlette, Tadka Etc)
Tadka Pan - Hard Anodised
Steel Mixing Bowls
Mixing bowls comes in various shapes. Buy ones that are wide and ones which come in at least 3 different sizes. They can be used for making roti atta, mixing flour, mixing imli and a lot of other uses. Even keeping chopped vegetables while you are cooking and also for making cakes, cookies etc.
Small Sauce Pan - Hard Anodised (1.5 Litres For Chai/ Milk etc)
This saucepan will become a boon in your kitchen. It is an absolute must have in every kitchen. From making chai, to boiling milk or simply making a small quantity of sauce - this sauce pan is a must have.
Hard Anodised is once again a great material for this pan, as it is easy to clean and maintain as well, especially when you make chai / tea everyday at home.
Saute Pan / Curry Pan With Lid - Stainless Steel (22cm)
The saute pan also known as a curry pan is a must have in every kitchen. Ensure the pan you buy has a lid, so a lot of times we have to cook vegetables, dal's and curries on low it for 20 to 30 minutes. And covering a dish and cooking it on low it brings out a lot of flavours and also helps in cooking faster.
A pan with a glass lid will also work. Here we have shown a stainless steel, but essentially hard anodised will also work as a great material for this use.
Also do ensure you have at least two of these pans. You will find it handy when you are making two sabzi's/ curries at the same time.
Large Kadai / Stir Fry Pan
This is another pan, that we absolutely recommend. A large Kadai or a Wok is an absolute must in every kitchen. And this one we have shown is one of our favourites, as it is hard anodised and works great for making bhindi sabzi, aloo bhaja ( potato roast), Chinese stir fries, Hakka Noodles and a whole lot more.
Kadai/ wok are great for stir frying foods on medium to high heat and a lot of times it works great when you are making a dry sabzi/ vegetable.
If you find a wok or a kadai with a lid, then it's a bonus. If it does not come with a lid, then you can always, use another lid from the kitchen to cover and cook the dish.
Deep Frying Pan / Iron Kadai
Deep frying kadai is another pan, which you must invest. And if you do, then ensure it is made of iron. Iron is a great material when deep frying. As it helps maintain an even heat and helps making puri, samosa etc much easier.
In addition, you do not have to worry about the kadai getting spoil because of oil scalding, as iron inherently requires this oil to maintain it to be rust free.
These iron kadai/ wok can also be used for cooking curries and stir fries. Ensure that, after every use - wash and dry it well. Once dried, grease the kadai with a little oil and then keep it in store.
Biryani Pan/ Stew Pot - Hard Anodised (3.5 Litres)
From Making a Biryani or a large quantity of stew, curry or dal - this Cooking Pot is a multi utility pot which you can optionally own in your kitchen. It is great to have when you are making food for 4 to 6 people in your family, especially biryani.
And the best part is, this particular pan is hard anodised and it is also a cook and serve pan. Which essentially means, you make your one dish meal in this pot and simply serve!
Stainless Steel Vessels With Lids
These are the classic Indian vessels, which every home in India has. It does have a lot of various uses in many homes. Starting from special vessels kept for boiling milk to vessels for making Rasam, Sambar, Kuzhambu, Kadhi and Simple Dal Tadka etc - these are super efficient and great uses in its own way.
Some of them come with lids, that you can use to cover and keep these dishes on the side once they are cooked. So do get lids for them, as they come in handy in the kitchen.
Iron Tawa For Roti/ Paratha Dosa/ Cheela
Iron Tawa is great for regular use. if you are making dosa and roti's everyday then its a good idea to own two of these iron tawa's. One of them for making Roti and the other for making dosa.
Most important tip for using iron tawa for dosa is that it has to be well greased and seasoned. Before making your dosa, you need to grease the tawa and place it on medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes. You will notice the oil is splitting away form the pan. Once you notice that, grease it again and then make the dosa in the iron tawa.
Pressure Cooker ( Hard Anodised & Stainless Steel)
Pressure cookers are a boon in every Indian kitchen and are a must have appliance. Pressure cookers help in fastening the cooking process from cooking vegetables for poriyal's, palya, sabzi, one pot sabzi, dal, rice etc - they are very versatile and help ease the time in the kitchen.
It's always a good idea to have at least 3 different sizes of pressure cookers -
5 litre - great for making large quantities for food like dal, biryani, rice when you have guests over or you have a large family
3 litre - perfect for a family of 4 ( must have)
2 litre - great for steaming small portions of the vegetables & cooking for 2 ( must have)
Steamer ( Idli/ Dhokla / Vegetables) - Stainless Steel/ Hard Anodised
From making Idli, Dhokla, Kozhukattai, Momo's, steaming vegetables etc - this Multiple Cooker, which has plates for all of them is a must have in every kitchen. It gives you the opportunity to making and experiment with a variety of recipes and will make cooking enjoyable.
I personally love this multi cooker, as it also has a glass lid making it great for making a curry or a dal.
Wooded Ladle Set
Wooden ladles are extremely useful in the kitchen especially for cooking. It makes cooking smooth, create less noise while cooking food. In addition, if you are using non stick as well, using wooden ladles will help minimise wear and tear.
So do invest in this set, as it will be really help in everyday cooking and making your experience in the kitchen more joyful.
Serving Ladles Set
Invest in at least two pairs of this set. I have 4 pairs (8 of each) at home, as I cook multiple dishes and have many guests often at home and hence having them is extremely helpful and I am not scrambling for serving spoons.
There are two types that come in these - a flat and scoop. The flat is great for sabzi & rice and scoop is great of dal, rasam, sambar, kadhi or anything that is of flowing consistency.
Cooking Ladle Set
This set of cooking ladles have a specific purpose. The slotted spoon and the flat spoon are of at most importance. Slotted spoons are important for deep frying and the flat spoon is great when you are making parathas, cheela etc.
These cooking utilities are must haves. Ensure you have them in your kitchen and they are forever useful.
One more thing you need to add to this list is the
Bottle Opener & Tin Opener & Tea Strainer
From (left to right)
- Pakad (idiki/ pot holder)
- Potato Masher
- Lemon Squeezer
Chakla Belan Set
These are so important, as roti, parathas or even making bread is common in almost every Indian kitchen. They come in different materials like marble, wooden and stainless steel. I personally prefer the marble, as its sturdy and long lasting.
Tip: Make sure you look for the right stable board. Sometimes the groves will be slippery and keeps moving as you roll. The best ones are the heavier ones which will stay stable.
Black Natural Stone Mortar & Pestle Set
Mortar & Pestle is also a favourite kitchen tool that most of us love. It makes cooking fun and is a quick way powder small quantities of spice and add into your food while cooking.
Ensure you choose a little wide one or even one which has a high wall.
Other Miscellaneous ingredients
- Knife Set - A basic equipment to cut and chop all your vegetables and ingredients for your cooking. You can have two basic sets for a normal functioning or you can even have a set of different knife for different purpose.
- Colander or Strainer/Sieve – Both have multiple uses but mainly used for straining stocks or to wash vegetables. You can buy the ones that are made from stainless steel which are sturdy.
- Utensil Holder- These are very helpful when your pots and pans have no ladle. It helps to hold it tight and keeps intact.