An understanding of the basic pots & pans or cookware required for cooking can come in handy along with the ingredients we saw earlier.
Indian cooking that goes easy on the pocket
To make most Indian dishes, you don’t always need specialty equipment. And if there is a specialty vessel needed, you can find substitutes in many cases.
So what are the pots & pans required for cooking most Indian dishes?
Read my notes below or watch the video
Round bottom vessel
- Kadhai: Food like sabjis, dals, poha, upma are well cooked in a round-bottom vessel commonly called Kadhai. They come in various sizes with very large ones as well.
- Handi: This is also used for similar purposes like kadhai. It comes in handy because when you give a tadka or temper the oil, the mustard seeds, and all the masalas, they stay in one place, and that’s why the infusion of the flavours is better than in a flat bottom pan.
Flat bottom Cookware
- Flat-bottom pan: Some kitchen stoves nowadays, have a hot plate or a flat top on which the round bottom vessel can’t sit properly. In such cases, we can go for flat-bottomed pans. A whole bunch of things can be prepared using a flat-bottomed pan. I like to make spring onion with moong dal (paticha kanda) in a flat-bottomed pan like the one shown in the picture to the right. Additionally, they are great for roasting eggplants without creating a mess.
- Wide-mouth flat-bottom vessel: And then there is the wide-mouth flat-bottomed vessel which is useful for making delicate items like fish. A large piece of fish fits snugly in this kind of vessel. It’s also great for cooking veggies that are to be stacked beautifully on top of each other.
Frying Pans & Tawas
- Frying pan:
Then there are simple frying pans like the one in the picture. They are great for making eggs or tossing a few things together. These multipurpose pans can be used for shallow frying cutlets or tikkis, or even to roast spices.
- Tawa / Flat Pans/ Crep Pans: We have flat pans or tawas for making flat breads like dosas or chapatis. These tawas are similar to crep pans, which can be used as an alternative. Tawas can be the non-stick kind as well as cast iron ones.
Cookware For Making Chapatis / Roti
To make rotis you will need a wide mouth vessel (parat) to knead the dough. If you make bread at home, you may already have something similar.
- Roling Pins & Rolling Board (Latna & Polpat) Just like we have a rolling pin to flatten any dough, there are similar rolling pins for roti. In marathi they are called latna, or belan in Hindi. The flat surface for rolling the roti is called polpat (aluminium polpat). If you don’t have a polpat, you can use a chopping board to roll chapatis.
Pressure Cooker / Pressure Pans
- Pressure Cooker:
Then there is a pressure cooker for cooking rice and dal, which we will learn to do in a later video. These days there are electric cookers as well that make life much easier.
- Cookers generally have round, squat vessels in which the food like rice or dal is placed. We can use cookers without these vessels as well. There is a flat disk or steamer that stands at the bottom. Not only does it protect the vessel from sticking to the floor of the cooker, it has holes that allows the steam to pass without any barrier.
- Pressure cookers are great for making meat or non-vegetarian food as well as the pressure created cooks the meat faster. Check out my quick Indian chicken recipe here. It can be made in a pressure cooker, saving precious time.
- Tea Strainer: There are different types of strainers, they differ in size based on their usage but they all do the same thing of straining liquid.
- Colander: This is used to drain water from say, fresh vegetables, or flattened rice or poha. You must have seen this before as similar stuff is used to drain pastas.
Cookware for Tadka / Tempering
Previous In Series
Understanding the most basic ingredients is the best place to start your cooking journey. We will see some of the common ingredients required in most Indian Cooking and you will be amazed at what you can do with them….