Friday 9 May 2014

Kitchen utensils (சமையல் பாத்திரங்கள்)

Most women consider the kitchen to be their personal work space. Hence, while setting up the kitchen, the equipments, utensils and storage containers are chosen as per individual tastes and preferences. However, some utensils are considered essential and are frequently used in Indian households. I have tried to cover some of these utensils in this section. Hope you find the information useful.

Small kadai with handles and lid
Big kadai with handles and lid
Kadai (இலுப்பச்சட்டி)

Kadai, called 'Karahi' in Hindi is a thick, deep cooking pot used extensively for making curries. Kadai is also useful for deep and shallow frying. This is available in varying sizes, with or without lid and with or without handles.

Ideally a kitchen should have at least two kadais to optimize the time spent on food preparation.

Common kadai without handles

You may get kadai made of clay, cast iron, aluminium/alloy or stainless steel. Non-stick coated and copper-bottomed varieties are also available.

Common kadai with handles

It is preferable to have separate kadai for deep frying.


Handi (சட்டி)

Handi is a deep cooking pot with a narrow mouth used for making gravy preparations. You may get Handi made of clay, aluminium/alloy or stainless steel. Non-stick coated and copper-bottomed varieties are also available.

Pressure Handi

Pressure Handi

Pressure handi works like pressure pan and is very useful for making recipes that involve cooking under pressure. Various brands of pressure handis' are now available in the market offering you a wider choice. Both pressure handi and pressure pan help you to cook faster.

Tadka pan

Tadka pan/ Spice pan (தாளிக்கிற கரண்டி)

Traditionally spices for seasoning are heated in a cast iron hollow ladle (இலுப்பை கரண்டி). Nowadays, spice pans are available with heat proof handles and are made of aluminium/alloy, stainless steel, or hard-anodised metal. Tadka pan is a frequently used cookware in an Indian kitchen.

Sauce pan

Saucepan (உலோக கலம்)    
Saucepan is a shallow, round pan with long handle, with or without a lid. It is available in stainless steel, aluminium/alloy and non-stick coated metal. Saucepan is useful to cook small quantities of food.

Kuzhi paniyaram pan

Kuzhi paniyaram pan (பணியாரச்சட்டி)

Kuzhi paniyaram (குழிப்பணியாரம்) is a typical South Indian breakfast/ snack item that is made in a special pan with hollow moulds. Traditionally pans made of stoneware or cast iron were used. Batter is poured into the moulds and the paniyarams are turned with a wooden stick to ensure uniform cooking. These days non-stick paniyaram pans are available in the market.

Dosa Tava

Dosa Tava (தோசைக்கல்/அடைக்கல்)

Dosa is one of the most common breakfast preparations in South India. Common dosa tava is a round griddle, which is slightly hollow at the center. It is made of cast iron or aluminium, with or without a handle. Tava can be used to make adai (அடை ), dosai (தோசை) or uthappam (ஊத்தப்பம்).

Roti tava

Roti Tava (சப்பாத்திக்கல்

Flat round griddle is usually preferred for making chappati/ roti. Cast iron or aluminium flat tava is available with or without a handle. Tava may have slightly raised edges which prevents cooking oil/ ghee from spilling over. Though the same tava can be used for making dosa and roti, it is preferable to have two separate tavas for getting best results.

Appa Kadai

Appa Kadai (ஆப்பச்சட்டி)                                 

'Appam' (ஆப்பம்) is a delicious South Indian breakfast item, prepared in a specific way. Appa kadai is a shallow cooking pot with handles and a lid. Though a common kadai may be used for making appam, it is preferable to use an appa kadai for better outcome.
Idly Mould - makes 16 idlies
Idli Mould (இட்லி தட்டு)

Idly is the most popular South Indian breakfast item. Traditionally idlies are steamed in a mould kept inside a closed vessel (இட்லி குண்டான்). Idly mould is available in varying sizes starting from single plate with 3-5 moulds. Idly cooker may be used for steaming. Alternatively, you may use the pressure cooker or rice cooker. Microwave safe idly mould is also available for using in a microwave oven.

Idiyappam stand

Idiappam stand (இடியாப்பத்தட்டு)

Idiappam (இடியாப்பம்) also called as 'sevai' (சேவை) is noodles made of rice flour. Idiappam is prepared by passing rice flour mixture through the traditional press (சேவை நாழி (அ) தேன்குழல் அச்சு) directly on the plates of an idiappam stand. You can also use the idli mould for steaming idiappam.

Idiappam stand can also be used to steam dokla and plate idlies!

1 & 4. Long spoon, 2. Hollow ladle, 3. Leaf spoon, 4. Rice spoon

Ladles and spoons (கரண்டிகள்

Commonly used spoons and ladles are shown here. Numbered from left to right -

1 & 4. Long spoon (அகப்பை ) - used for stirring & mixing large quantities of food
2. Hollow ladle (குழிக்கரண்டி) - used for serving rasam, sambar, payasam etc.
3. Leaf spoon (இலைக்கரண்டி) - used for stirring & mixing small quantities of food
4. Rice spoon (சாதக்கரண்டி) - used for serving rice

5. Flat spoon or Spatula, 6. Frying spoon, 7. Sieve spoon

Numbered from top to bottom -

5. Flat spoon or spatula (சட்டுவம் (அ)  தோசை திருப்பி) - used for making dosa
6. Frying spoon (எண்ணைக்கரண்டி) - used for deep frying
7. Sieve spoon (ஜல்லிக்கரண்டி) - used for deep frying, especially making boondhi laddu and kara boondhi

In olden days brass spoons were used in the kitchen. Now, all spoons and ladles are available in stainless steel. Wooden spoons & ladles are useful on non-stick cookware.

Mortar and pestle

Mortar and pestle (உரலாணி) 

Even though, mortar and pestle cannot be categorized as utensils, I chose to include them in this section as the pair makes a very useful kitchen equipment. The mortar is a heavy bowl made of stone, metal or ceramic, while pestle is elongated round ended object for pounding the ingredients.Traditionally, mortar and pestle are used in the kitchen for powdering small quantities of spices or making pastes such as ginger, garlic or green chilli paste.

Mini Idly Mould

Mini Idly Mould (சின்ன இட்லி  தட்டு)

Idlies can be made in different shapes depending on the mould that is being used. Mini idlies, which are less than 1" in diameter, have become quite popular. After filling the mould with batter, you may use idly cooker for steaming. Alternatively, you may use the pressure cooker or rice cooker. This standard mould consists of four plates with each plate making 18 mini idlies.

Somas Mould
Somas mould
Somas Mould (சோமாஸ் அச்சு)

Somas mould, used to make the traditional sweet somas, is available in aluminium, alloy or even plastic. It has two concave sides connected by a hinge. The dough layer with filling is placed inside and the sides are  pressed together to get the correct shape.

Kozhukkattai Mould
Kozhukkattai Mould
Kozhukkattai Mould (கொழுக்கட்டை அச்சு)

This mould is used to shape kozhukkattai, a traditional steamed snack. It has three concave sides connected by  hinges. The dough layer with filling is placed inside and the sides are  pressed together to get the correct shape.

Kitchen Press (தேன்குழல் அச்சு)
Kitchen Press (தேன்குழல் அச்சு)
Kitchen Press (தேன்குழல் அச்சு)

Traditional kitchen press has two parts. The outer part is hollow with a detachable bottom holding the sieve. The outer part holds the flour paste and inner solid part is used to press the flour through the sieve (அச்சு). Sieves have different type of holes and you can change the sieve based on what you are making. Sieve with many small round holes, is used for making idiâppam (இடியாப்பம்) and sev (ஓமப்பொடி). Other sieves are those with star shaped holes (முள்ளு தேன்குழல்), big round holes (தேன்குழல், காராசேவு) and slit like holes (ரிப்பன் தேன்குழல்). They are used for making different types of savories.

Vegetable Masher

Vegetable mashes has a sturdy stainless steel base with holes or slits. The base is attached to a handle, which may be metal, plastic or wood. It is preferable to buy a masher with a heat proof handle. Vegetable masher is particularly useful when you need to mash the cooked vegetables or pulses for recipes such as potato masala, vegetable kuruma, dhal, and channa masala.   

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1 comment:

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