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Kitchen Tools

July 25, 2008

King Knife

I don’t know if anyone gets as excited about kitchen tools as I do. The one handy tool in any Indian kitchen, when I was growing up, was the trusted knife. In those days, the knife was sharpened by the Chhoori Wala (the knife, not the hand knife sharpening tool you find here in the US, but an actual human being who would roam the streets with his/her handy knife sharpening machine fixed to a bicycle. If my memory serves me right, this was a stone disc mounted vertically. The disc would be rotated and part of it would be immersed in some water so that as it rotated the entire disc would be wet and the knife would be moved against the rotating edge of the disc, at an angle so it would be sharpened, without the sparks that the action causes ). This handy knife would chop everything, peel fruits (I can’t do that without my trusted peeler), cut the rope-thread of the rice bag,open the milk packet-yes, we get milk in plastic packets in India and many, many more such applications. My mom would chop vegetables into tiny, even pieces for a salad, cubes for a gravy dish or cut greens finely for a stir fry (no, we don’t use terms like julienne, chiffonade, dice etc. in our simple form of cooking). Even now, when she’s around, she’s doing the chopping chore in my kitchen. I have my trusted Henckel’s knife set and a Chef’s knife with which I practice my knife skills. I use way more tools to do the various kitchen tasks that my mom would do with her one trusted knife.

Ginger Garlic Press

I know one can mince ginger and garlic with a knife, but I didn’t inherit my mom’s patience. So, I reach for my Ginger Garlic press for that- and I really love the one I got from IKEA not very long ago (alright, I know IKEA is no William Sonoma, but you can’t beat the design and functionality of its products). Its called the KONCIS and it minces ginger and garlic like a charm with no wastage. Other ginger garlic presses I’ve used would manage to get some juices out and destroy the integrity of the ginger and garlic without giving me any meat at the other end. With KONCIS, there is no wastage- you put a 1/2 inch piece of ginger in and you get a beautiful, minced 1/2 inch on the other side. I’ve used other ginger garlic presses (and not used them after I bought them because they waste a lot) and the KONCIS is the best one I’ve come across so far. And, the clean-up is a breeze thanks to the removable thimble (it looks like a thimble- they call the part an “insert”!)

The Hand Blender

Now this one is my second favorite after the ginger garlic press- your gravy too chunky? Just use the nifty hand blender to make is smooth. Make a nice bisque-like soup, if you don’t like the rustic texture of a chunky vegetable soup. And the best part is- you don’t have to waste time while you wait for something to cool- the hand blender can take the heat! My Cuisinart works like a charm….

Espresso Pot

I love filter coffee, but don’t have the time in the morning to boil water and wait for my filter to drip the decoction so I can use it. The Espresso Pot, an Italian invention, boils the water and makes the espresso (with your favorite filter coffee powder) in under 10 minutes. All you have to do is heat your milk and add the decoction to it. There’s tons of brands and options in the market (aluminum and stainless steel) in the market- I like the one I got from IKEA (again)- its called Trivsel- its stainless steel and is very reasonably priced. A Bialetti espresso pot goes for about $40-$50 (not my cup of tea, or should I say coffee???)

Silicone Tools

I commend whoever it was that discovered the alternate use of silicone- silicone cake pans, muffin cups and pans, and my final favorite kitchen tool- the Silpat baking sheet. Love it- cookies come of without any effort and fat (goes with my whole “healthy culinary point of view”)

Would love to hear what some of your favorite kitchen tools are….write me or leave a comment!!

  1. That is one good writeup about the various kitchen tools that you use. I want to share the tools that I use in my kitchen.
    Will post it soon.

  2. Priya Raj permalink

    My fav. is my trusty Kitchen AID stand mixer… I make the chappati dough with it’s bread-maker attachment and it has made my life so much easier for that.
    I have a professional mixer but my friend has a artisan and she said that this works just fine.

    After the mixer… no more frozon costco chappati’s or even chappati’s from any stores.

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