Indian food has a global presence. Its distinctive aroma and taste have discovered a worldwide following. Have you ever thought about how our grandmothers used to make mouth-watering dishes, without the help of any electrical appliance? Peep into any kitchen in India, and you will see a variety of utensils used to make different dishes. Regardless of the difficulty level of the cooking process of a dish, kitchens of India express how Indian utensils have developed over the years not overlooking their essential purpose.
The preparation of Indian food is process intensive and has a comprehensive methodology. These procedures need to be followed in the very same way, as it is handed over from our ancestors. This includes utilizing similar materials and shapes in the utensils that are being utilized from days of yore.
Conventional Indian cooking utensils were made of different materials, for example, clay, stone, wood, copper, bronze, lead, gold and silver. Choice of the material relied upon the utilization, status of the user, and the reason for which the utensils were made.
Today, we should take a step back and recall all the cooking, slashing, and bubbling utensils utilized by our grandparents. So, let’s refresh those blurred yet unfading memories.
The Hamam-Dasta which is also known as mortar-pestle and khandni-dasto was traditionally made of wood and granite. The huge standing bowl and the stick called the kootni was used to hand-granulate dried condiments or spices. When beaten, these spices would in general deliver a fragrance that would add novel flavors to the food. From rapidly beating garlic–ginger and green chilies for sauté to thumping the fragrance out of clove, cardamom, and ginger for tea this food processor has remained the major support system of Indian kitchens till date.
The flat mortar-and-pestle grinder known as sil-batta or pata-varvanta was made of Makrana marble. The beginning of sil-battas can be traced to the Tittiriya Samhita, a manual for rituals written during the Vedic time. This incorporates a huge stone section called drasad used to granulate the wet spices with the assistance of a smaller stone called upala placed on the drasad. For more than three and a half centuries the sil-batta has been utilized consistently in almost every Indian household to make some delicious chutneys and other pastes.
To churn lentil soup or curds to lassi, the churner was used. This utensil was known by names such as Mathni, Ghotni, and Phirni in different regions. It was originally made from wood and sometimes stainless steel. To explain its shape, it was a stick to which pentagon-shaped blades attached on one end supported by a stick on the other end. The user had to churn by alternating the rotation like oscillation after adding the required amount of water, the materials turned into a less viscous liquid.
Stone Pot/Kal Chatti
Kal implies stone and Chatti implies a pot to cook in. It was commonly found in the south Indian families. The pot is made of metamorphic rock called the soap stone. It was advised that before cooking the pot had to be seasoned with hot rice water for a couple of days. This was done to dodge the pot from breaking ablaze. The utensil was believed to add an extra flavor to sambar and different famous South Indian curries.
Spice Box or Masala Dani
This utensil was made to store spices. As spices are dry in nature, it stores them without permitting heat and moisture inside. There were separate compartments for the spices and a single lid that ensured that the spices held their fiery nature. This utensil was constantly kept close to the cooking range for simple and easy access.
In many parts of India, handi which looked similar to the American beanpot was named as Bhagola, Pathila, Thapela. It was made of metal with the cooking surface covered with tin, having a neck that had to be smaller than the base. Handi was and rather is still famous for its dum biryani and bhuna dishes. The cooking was usually done at the lower part of the container to keep the food from sticking or burning. While its top lid helped in holding the aroma of the food.
Despite the fact that these utensils have lost the race of existence against present-day appliances, their significance will surely stay for the individuals who have taste buds for traditional flavors. Hop onto the Indian store in your neighborhood and stock on these utensils for that authentic Indian food.