Enjoy Cooking -- Enjoy Serving -- Enjoy Eating -- Eat Fresh -- Eat Limited -- Eat Regularly -- Stay Healthy -- Stay Fit
I post the following two videos keeping the newly married in mind, so that they can properly plan, purchase and maintain the requisite items for their kitchen. I suggest the youth to buy these kitchen items over a period of time keeping sufficient intervals between each purchase so that there is a novelty, newness and excitement with each purchase.
The more affluent may like to purchase all the items in one go, but still I feel they should resist the temptation. You two should build a home unlike acquiring a house which is to be done at one go. Even today I dream of purchasing a few items and defer them so as to first realize the full satisfaction of the items already acquired.
Now you may have the question as to who should and how to decide which one to buy when and where. Together, you are the best judge. If TOGETHER you go to the market and acquire the items, the joy is compounded.
Now let us know some important kitchen aids and their uses. I own these presently and this entire contingent forms “Haathi Mera Saathi” in my GayatriVantillu. I do not intend to promote any of the brands shown in the videos. Better products may be available in the market.
Kitchen Aids - 1
I suggest the use of a four burner stove for quicker cooking. Use the back burners for pressure cookers and milk boiling which have one operation to do. For anything to be stirred, fried and cooked, use the front burners. We don’t purchase gas stoves frequently. Hence newly married may straight away go for a four burner stove.
It is easier to cook rice and dal in a pressure cooker. Any hard to cook vegetable gets cooked easily and faster in a pressure cooker. Steel cooker is relatively easier to maintain. Remember that your family grows. Accordingly purchase an ideal size as per your requirement. Many put the rice or dal directly into the cooker while cooking. This can be dangerous. Avoid this to the extent possible and use separator bowls. Do not fill the cooket to the brim. Remember that there would be froth when the steam is released which can choke the passage, for which sufficient gap should be there between lid and food. To the extent possible have a cooker whose safety valve is placed under the cover of a handle. In such cookers during unforeseen circumstances, when the safety valve releases the pressure, the hot food doesn’t come out like a fountain to spill over our face. Similarly if it blows off also the handle takes the hit first for which we are saved of cut and burn injuries.
It is advisable to use two small refrigerators (165 Lts) than a single big one. Buy one now and added another after 10 to 12 years when your children are in teens. Generally refrigerators if maintained properly run for years together. I have the one which is 20 years old and is working fine. Refrigerator is of great use to store dairy products like curd, milk, paneer, cream and butter. Do not dump the refrigerator with vegetables required for the entire month. Vegetables when bought fresh have some nutritional value rather than fridge stored vegetables. In the fridge the climate is dry for which vegetables loose water content and slowly dry. Enjoy going out atleast once in a week to get vegetables. The lady can plan which recipes to make while the husbands discloses his wish list in the Vegetable market
In many houses refrigerator is never attended for months. Items stored deep inside remain to be discovered when it is carted for repair. All food items have a shelf life and hence we should clean the fridge once in a week before replenishing the new stock of vegetables or atleast once in a month.
Avoid fridge water for better teeth and health—instead use the age old pot water to get cool and fresh water. Use one or two pots for every summer season and enjoy natural cool water along with the beautiful smell of the clay. I use a copper storage to store all my drinking water and water used in the kitchen. Water stored in copper vessel has many health benefits.
Use the small jar extensively for grinding masalas, green chilli- ginger paste, ginger garlic paste and also for dry powders. Have two small jars preferably---one for wet grinding and the other for dry grinding, there would be occasions when you need to do both the grindings in the same cooking session, hence I am suggesting for two small jars.
Use big jar for grinding batters etc.
We get the best texture of the masala when the ingredients are 1/3 to ¾ of mixie jar. Allow space for the masala to be ground by the blades. It shouldn’t be too less nor too full. While wet grinding add water in little quantities in intervals, instead of adding all the water at one go. You arrive at the right texture for the masala only if you have patience.
Use food processor to cut vegetables etc.. I use thin slicer blade (Cabbage, onions etc..), finger chips blade (for vegetables used in preparing chutneys like tomato, ridge gourd etc..), grater blade (for coconut, carrot, beetroot etc..) kneading blade (for kneading flour, paneer for rasagullas, for making butter out of cream, cake mixing etc…), Juicer attachment (for milk shakes, lassi, cold coffee etc..). After purchasing a food processor, only few people use all the attachments. Using the right attachment for the right purpose reduces your workload and enhances the looks of the dish. Use the given attachments innovatively as per your requirements. Food processors machines have lesser revolutions per minute (RPM) compared to a Mixer Grinder. Hence Food Processor cannot be 100% replacement for a mixer grinder.
Apart from cooking rice this appliance also keeps the food warm. I find it useful to keep the sugar syrup warm while cooking Gulabjamuns, Kalajamuns, Ladoosetc . Similarly we can even steam Idlis in this rice cooker.
After much experimentation with different companies Idli plates I found the traditionalIdlipatra to be more useful for preparing soft Idlis without a fuss.
Round Slotted Griddle:
A stainless steel griddle with a handle is a best buy. It is used for making rotis, naans, papad frying.
This is a pan made with wrought iron. Batter filled round slots when cooked are a real treat. To enjoy Guntapongadalu this pan is a must.
Slotted steel Vessel:
This vessel is used for pressing curdled milk while making paneer. Inspite of this it is used for straining stock from cooked vegetables, to remove water from washed vegetables etc..
Spoons & Ladles:
Have sufficient number of spoons and ladles for easy cooking and serving. Have a stainless steel masher also. Use wooden spoons and spatulas for non stick ware.
Iron Pans & Griddle:
Use iron pans for daily cooking to combat the deficiency of iron. It is a better option to use iron pans for cooking than popping up iron pills.
Parathas taste better when fried on an iron griddle.
This is used to shape Kajjikayalu—a sweet preparation of Andhra or Gujiya—a sweet preparation of North-India.
This is made from wood with even spaced grooves. One can even make Gavvalu with a clean comb or a lid of any jar which has grooves. But sooner this wooden peeta becomes an antique piece as we see less number of people are making Gavvalu these days.
Use this thermometer to see the temperature of sugar syrups. It is easier to check the temperature than test the thickness of sugar syrup by burning your fingers.
Roti Making Frame:
This thing is used while preparing rotis. This is used to flip the roti to roast on sides while cooking on direct flame.
This perforated ladle is used to make Boondi. This has small holes. Hold this ladle above hot oil and add batter which will drop into the hot oil.These droplets when fried become Boondi.
Perforated Deep Ladle:
This is used to fry Rice flakes, Cornflakes etc..to make tasty mixtures.
Last but not the least this dust-bin is a very important and useful thing in a kitchen. Many people treat dust-bin as an untouchable. Its often dirty and stinks. It’s a breeding house for cockroaches and other insects and bacteria. Diseases need not come from outside when we have breeder within our kitchen.
If you maintain the dust bin then it is no more an untouchable thing. Spread a plastic bag evenly in the bin. Put all the days trash into it as and when collected. Use paper bags for dry dust. At the end of the day remove the plastic bag and throw it away. Now it is easier to clean your dust bin without a trace of trash. Every day it should be cleaned. Keep your dust bins clean for your family’s health.
Kitchen Aids - 2
In traditional cooking we often put vegetables in the pan and add water to cook. Depending upon the vegetable, it may take a bit long for the food to get cooked. It needs constant attention to see that it doesn’t get burnt. Microwave oven, in contrast takes relatively less time for cooking / sizzling.
I suggest, purchasing simple microwave oven (i.e the one without, grill and convection modes) with a smaller capacity for better efficiency in the kitchen. I use microwave extensively so that I can cut down the oil usage while cooking vegetables. Cook vegetables in a microwave and then season them in less oil. In this method you can reduce 50 to 60 % oil usage. Vegetables cooked in microwave retain shape and taste.
It is advisable to have a convection oven with a fan for baking biscuits or cookies or cakes. The fan circulates the air within the oven for which the browning takes place evenly. It serves better if there is turn table also in it. In India I haven’t come across one, in this type in OTG models. We have micro-wave integrated in such type of ovens. Hence I had to purchase a Micro-wave oven having convection and grill options also. I use it only for baking purposes and avoid using its micro-wave for day to day cooking because
1.Its cavity being large uses higher micro-wave power, even for smaller quantities
2.Even if one component is non-functional the unit becomes dead
3.The repairing costs are very high to put it back into service
It would be better, if we distinguish the needs of cooking and accordingly purchase ovens. In the price of one big convection-cum-grill-microwave oven, we can get home two to three simple micro-wave ovens. Grill option is seldom used and hence there is no point in paying more for the grill-cum-microwave oven being aggressively marketed. In short, I suggest you not to invest in this variety oven.
While choosing the oven be careful to see that the grill inside the oven is covered by a mesh. Many ovens in the market have naked grill protruding into the cavity of the oven. Accidentally if we come in touch with this grill during baking we get very bad burns. Therefore if the grill is covered by a mesh the problem gets slightly mitigated.
Go for a smaller to medium capacity OTG, preferably with a thermostat control to regulate temperatures if you are not ready to invest in a convection oven immediately. The only problem in OTGs in India is, their thermostats are inferior and the temperatures are not set correctly when we require them the most while baking.
Cotton Hand Gloves:
Use a pair of these gloves to hold things while removing from hot ovens. Do not forget to purchase this pair at the time of bringing the oven home. Make it a practice to use gloves on both the hands each time you need to handle hot surfaces especially during baking operations when the temperatures are very high. It reaches almost 190 degrees centigrade in baking compared to the micro-wave option where the temperatures wouldn’t be more than 110 degrees centigrade. Purchase thick washable gloves. However careful we are, it is bound for the gloves to come into contact with food for which they need to be washed occasionally.
Preferably go for aluminium cookie sheets for faster and even baking.
Select the size which fits into your oven. Good for baking sponge cakes for rolls.
Use smaller baking tins-so that we use less batter and the product will be finished with one go rather than storing over night. Cakes are to be eaten fresh and in limited quantities only, as they have high sugar and fat content. Its better we give a gap of few days between tasting different cakes. It takes longer for the eggs to get digested and we need to exercise sufficiently to burn the calories that has come with butter and sugar.
Icing Syringe & Spatula:
Use spatula for spreading icing on a cake. Use Icing syringe for decorating the finished cake.
Cookie Cutters & Moulds:
Use aluminium cookie cutters which come in different shapes. Use modak moulds to prepare modaks easily. Use these modak moulds for shaping Sandesh (a Bengali dish).
Bake and Serve Glassware:
Use Borosil or any heat proof glass ware for baking and serving. They can also be used in microwave cooking.
Microwave Safe Plastic Bowls:
Use thin and transparent or white plastic ware for better results in microwave cooking. Food gets cooked faster in these bowls. Use these bowls for vegetable cooking, milk boiling storing etc. They are available on the shelves of Super markets. Only check they have the micro-wave safe symbol placed on them. One need not invest a fortune in branded and labeled products, which some time take more micro-wave power to cook the vegetables. Remember that when a plastic ware is put in microwave, it should not become soft and melt. Only the food should get cooked. This test should be done before you use the plastic ware to use.
Small Steel Cups:
I use small steel cups for making cakes so that we get individual whole cakes for every serve. These cups can also be used for serving chutneys with Idli & Dosa.
Use a branded company for better maintenance.
Hand Mixer with Bowl:
I observe that these days the bowl attachment is not available. However having a hand mixer eases the process of cake mixing. If a “Stand & Bowl” attachment is available it is the best.
It is advisable to have a smaller capacity weighing machine for every kitchen. I have a 500gms weighing machine in which each division is of 2gms. Do not be tempted to purchase higher capacities which are priced almost the same for kitchen purpose. For example in a 5 Kg machine one division is equal to 20 grams while in a 500 gms Machine one division is 2 grams. In the kitchen we often need to put small quantities for which it is easier to have smaller capacity scales.
Measuring Cups and Measuring Spoons:
A set of four cups (1 Cup, 1/2Cup, 1/3Cup and 1/4Cup) are available in the market. Similarly a set of spoons (1table spoon, 1/2 table spoon, 1teaspoon, 1/2teaspoon and 1/4teaspoon) are available in the market. Preferably have 2 sets each of cups and spoons. One set use for wet ingredients and the other set for dry ingredients. Beware to note the distinction between Table spoons and Tea Spoons. In many recipes the authors commit mistakes by mentioning Table spoon for Tea spoon and vice-versa. Similarly you should not get confused while preparing the recipe. With experience one will come to know for which recipes which ingredients would be in teaspoons but not in table spoons.
Chocobar Mould & Kulfi Moulds:
Get the aluminium moulds for better freezing. This way there will be also a measure while eating ice cream rather than using scoops and scoops to fill your bowl. A chocobar mould is a better option compared to having ice cream scoops. Similar is the case with kulfi moulds also.Enjoy your Life in its full !!!
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|Our Earlier discussions on the Blog|
March 27, 2011 4:39 AM
Hi Gayatri Garu,
Wed, Jan 7, 2009 at 10:35 AM
Gayatri Vantillu said...Madhavi Garu,
Wish you too a happy new year.
Correct measurements help in bringing out good recipes. I always use measuring spoons, cups and weighing scale (500grms) while preparing recipes. I am attaching the photographs.
In the weighing scales in the same models you have upto 5 Kgs also. Do not be tempted to take higher capcity ones because it would be difficult or impossible to measure lower quantities in grams. For example in my scale one division is equal to 2 grams, In 5 Kg model one division is equal to 20 grams. If you can have smaller capacity of scale it would be better. When I purchased they were not available.
Enquire a Kirana shop from where he got his weights and measures. He would direct you to the shop in your city.
Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 5:28 AM
hi gayatri garu,I am unable to find candy thermometer in vizag..Can you suggest me the shop?
August 8, 2010 4:33 AM
Gayatri garu mee iron skillets ki emaina brand unda?where is good and safe to get iron cookware...Please let me know
October 13, 2009 12:00 AM
|Your Earlier comments on the Blog|
June 5, 2009 4:00 AM
gayatri garu meeru cheppinatlu modak mould konnanu cmr vizag lo ee madhya nenu vizag vachchinappudu.thanks andi.pedda kastam avvaledu vetakadaniki. Also price kuda 4 rupees anthe for any others info.
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