There are pots and pans to suit each method of cooking. However, many of them are versatile enough to fulfil several functions. Listed below are some of the most commonly used cooking utensils and cooking aids:
Chakla & Belan: Chakla is a small marble or wooden platform and belan the rolling pin, usually made of wood. They are used for rolling dough to make various Indian breads.
Baking trays: Large and small, aluminium/stainless steel trays used for baking
Bamboo broom: A normal short broom of bamboo sticks, widely used in Chinese kitchens to clean the wok.
Chimta: In simple term, tongs, meant for holding a hot cooking object while frying, griddle cooking etc.
Chopping Board: Made of food grade fibre, comes in different shapes, sizes, thickness and colours used for the purpose of cutting and chopping food items on it.
Cling Film: A transparent food grade ultra thin plastic sheet used for covering cooked, uncooked food kept in food trays, bowls etc. under room temperature or refrigerated conditions.
Colander: Round, deep utensil with lots of holes meant to drain liquid and retain the residue for further processing.
Conical Strainer: A grooved stainless steel conical sieve used for straining soups, sauces etc. in large quantities.
Degchi/Pateela: A metal pot normally with good depth, round in shape, a very common utensil used in Indian cooking, generally provided with a lid.
Foil: It is a very thin sheet made of aluminium, which can be easily moulded to required shape. It retains heat well. It is a multi-utility product where the use ranges from wrapping finished product to keeping semi processed ones in the refrigerator and beyond.
Frying Pan: A shallow thick bottom pan used for shallow frying.
Gateaux slicer: A flat spoon with a handle at an angle to help in lifting delicate pastries, especially fresh cream cake slices.
Grater: An equipment which has sharp grooves of different sizes meant for the purpose of grating (reducing to very small size).
Hamam–Dasta: Generally known as mortar-pestle, used to pound dry masala.
Handi: Made of brass with the cooking surface coated with tin, it has a neck that is narrower than the base.
Kadai: A deep frying pan, made of various metals and alloys, the most common being iron, stainless steel, aluminium and brass.
Knife: A sharp edged tool used for cutting. It is a basic necessity in the kitchen and comes in various sizes and shapes for different purposes like carving, butchering etc.
Masala Dani: Commonly known as Spice Box, it contains the commonly used dry spices.
Moulds: Implements of different shapes, sizes, width etc. as required for the process of cooking, baking or setting of food items in a desired shape in which it is set or cooked.
Muslin cloth: A thin loosely woven cotton cloth used for fine straining purpose such as to drain curds, strain juices, or often used to line a sieve.
Nozzle: A small conical tool, used with the piping bag, to force out pulp or batter in various floral/leafy or other fancy shapes.
Palette knife: A long, flat, blunt knife used for the purpose of creaming and icing cakes.
Parat: A big round plate with high side rims, which is generally used for kneading dough.
Pauni: A perforated spoon meant for frying.
Piping bag: A conical bag with an opening for a nozzle made of cloth and lined with plastic. Temporarily it can be made with butter paper, used for the purpose of piping or creating a fancy shape. Eg, while making biscuits or icing on a cake
Potato Peeler: An implement with a sharp groove and a serrated edge on one side to peel potatoes and other firm fruits and vegetables. The serrated edge is used for creating ridges for decorative purposes.
Pressure Cooker: A stove pot hermetically sealed, in which steam pressure builds up so that food cooks quickly at temperatures above boiling point.
Round spoon: A stainless steel spoon with rounded base to help in lifting gravy or other moist preparations.
Scooper: A tool used to scoop out fruits, vegetables or ice creams in spherical shapes of different sizes.
Sieve: A tool of equal sized grooves, used for removing impurities and separating grains of different sizes. It is available in various sized grooves for different purposes.
Slicer spoon: A flat spoon with horizontal grooves on it.
Spatula: A flat spoon of a definite shape made of plastic or rubber widely used in bakery for the purpose of mixing ingredients and for smoothening the surface.
Tandoor: A clay baking chamber, which is heated with the live coals. It is used for baking various Indian breads, tikkas and other tandoori items.
Tandoor sariyas: Long iron rods, on which the food items are pierced and put in the tandoor for cooking. Similar rods with a hook edge or with a flat edge are used for removing rotis or other tandoori breads from the tandoor.
Tawa: A slightly concave thick iron/non stick pan used for cooking Indian breads like chapatti, parantha, etc.
Thali: A big plate, with straight rims, made of aluminium, stainless steel or brass. Traditionally Indian food is always served in a thali. It can also be used as a lid, to cover a vessel.
Tin cutter: A tool used for cutting and open the lids of a food can or container.
Wire whisk: A stainless steel wire coiled to resemble a balloon, used for beating of eggs, cream etc. to incorporate air and make it lighter in texture or for blending of sauces.
Wok: Similar to a kadai, made of very thin iron metal. It enables the heat to penetrate the food items easily for faster cooking used specially in Chinese cuisine.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.