Thursday, July 9, 2009

Create your Indian Inspired Kitchen in America!

From Vegetarian Cuisine
Many recipes from India can be made using everyday cooking utensils that Americans use for American cooking in their kitchens. However, there are some special utensils that can be added to the kitchen to make Indian cookery easier or more authentic tasting. I am offering below a store with a wide listing of utensils, gadgets and appliances I use to make Indian food in my kitchen in America. It is not exhaustive as Amazon has yet to add things like idli pans (right), tumblers,
From Vegetarian Cuisine
south Indian coffee filters, chapati tawa, dosa griddle, dhokla pans, Indian size and shape metal and wooden frying utensils, and more regional items like the Kerala chirattu puttu maker (right) or the tubular puttu maker. Luckily for some items, American utensils can be replaced- such as for dosa griddle or chapatai tava, we can use a regular frying griddle pan. It would cook differently and sometimes better on the Indian made ones, but we can get a good outcome with the American cookery gadgets, too.

The most popular dish of south India is the dosa or idli. This is made by soaking rice and dhal, then grinding into a fine paste, and setting out about eight hours in a good, hot climate to rise and ferment. It is either placed in the idli pans (above) and inside a pressure cooker with water (no weight), or in a special idli steamer, or spread on a griddle just like any American pancake. In the past I have used American blenders like Oster, and the Magic Bullet (which I also used to grind dosa powders and masalas or curry powders) with descent outcomes. However, it was only when I purchased the Butterfly mixie grinder, the results have been outstanding.

Here are a few other American bought items I have integrated into Indian cookery:
The Oxo Good Grips 3-Inch Mini Strainer, I have used to strain tea leaves.
To strain pieces out of oil after making pakodas, bondas, vadas, I use the Norpro 5 1/2-Inch Stainless Steel Funnel .
When I buy those huge bags of Ponni or Idli rice, I store it in these large Sterlite Locked lid containers.
Likewise, I like to store dhals, dried beans like chole, rajmah (kidney beans), kadala, and even flours, like rice, maida, atta and besan in lock and lock boxes or sterlite lock lids, smaller size boxes.
I have started to grind dosa podis, currys, masalas, spice mixes and sambar powders in the Butterfly mixie grinder. However, before I had this, I used a coffee grinder and a mortar and pestle with descent results.
Pressure cookers are used for many items in Indian cooking. I have a small Hawkins Aluminum Pressure Cookers - 1.5 Liters cooker, I like to make small quantities of dhal and chole masala. For making sambar, larger quantities of dhal, steaming dhokla and idlis, I use a bigger PRESTIGE POPULAR- 6 Liter Pressure Cooker. Though you can use a pressure cooker to make rice, dhal and steam veggies all at once by adding in pressure cooker insert pans, one can also make rice and steam veggies in this handy dandy Joyce Chen 4 in 1 Microwave Rice Steamer. I read the directions say popcorn can also be made in this! Have yet to try. Another option for making rice is an electric rice cooker.

If you're looking for a pot with a dual purpose of cooking and serving sambar, stew, pongal or similar dishes, try the pot to the right! I got it a few weeks ago, and love it! When I saw the pot, I wanted to go back again and again for more sambar, mostly because the pot is so cute! I like how the pot handle's have a silicone coating on the inside part (think that is it). Because of that I did handle the pot without potholders.

These are just a few ideas I have experience with. I would like to learn more. If you have creative solutions to integrating American utensils into Indian cooking, please leave your comments below. I really appreciate you reading my blog and sharing your thoughts and experience with me!!

To see this store in another browser, click here (the code given overflows this frame)

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