Category Archives: KITCHEN EQUIPMENT – My Favorite Things

Ebleskiver Pan/Paniyaram Pan

Watching how quickly, almost magically the paniyarams I made for the first time last week cooked in this pan, I wondered why I’d not bought it a long time ago already, after the first time I had paniyaram at my friend Sukhie’s many years ago.

I love how non-messy and simple the process of cooking with this pan is.
And while searching online for paniyaram recipes. I realized that the Danish ebleskiver pan looks and and works the same way, and that has set my mind thinking that I ought to try and make the Danish pancakes of that name one of these days. If it works out well, it will be another  addition to the breakfast options I’m always looking for 🙂

pan

These are available I believe in a cast-iron version as well, and that is possibly a good one to use as,from what I read,  the heat while cooking is very evenly in a pan of that material.

Their first drinking cup

Recently I have been sorting through all the cupboards in the apartment and the various suitcases and boxes in the cave, before I begin packing for the move back to India. So many memories have been tumbling out in the process, as this one did from the back of the kitchen cupboard when I cleared it yesterday of the things I will not take back.

My ma gave this little tumbler to me when Indira was about 6-9 months old, to help her transition from breast-feeding to drinking from a cup. Noor learnt that trick with this same tumbler too.

Unlike some of their other baby things that I like to think I might keep for their babies, I don’t suppose I’ll take this tumbler back with me. But it was so very useful at the time and I’d reccommend the idea to anyone wanting to avoid using the bottle to feed their baby.

A clever serving dish

This is a style of serving platter I haven’t seen in India and discovered only when I moved to France and then found variations to this in the U.S. too.

Plates with this design element have traditionally been used in France to serve olives, with the smaller receptacle being used to drop the pit of the fruit that is kept in the larger one.

I find it a very practical idea even for those starters which need a dip served on the side.

 

French Fries "Bag" with Stand

That is the name – as on the box – of this cute little holder for fries that I bought at Casa today. I fell in love with this dish as soon as a I spotted it.

It will do equally well for potato wedges, or other small-ish sized finger foods, I think.

It reminded me, when I saw it in the store today, of the humble paper donas, so common in India, that are used to hold street foods like peanuts, spiced or roasted chana and jhaal muri which is still the one thing I look forward to on train rides that go across Bihar or West Bengal.

I have sometimes seen similar paper bags being used here too, to sell roasted chestnuts and caramelized peanuts during fairs, though they are not

as common a sight.

I thought the girls might get a kick out of this, to see their beloved wedges served in this dish. But more because it is such a reminder of times past, I decided I just had to buy this !

Thingummyjig for turning tikkis/serving fish

I am not sure what this little turner – a miniature version of a serving spoon for rice (the latter is often called a “haath” i.e hand) – is called in Hindi.

It is so handy for turning over tikkis as you fry them. Larger-sized turners can be awkward to wield in the limited space there is between the five or six tikkis that one typically cooks at one go.

I saw it first in Ayesha’s kitchen a couple of years ago. When I described it to Ma on the phone, she appeared to know exactly what I meant and brought me a couple of these on her trip here last April.

It takes all the pain out of making tikkis.

What’s more, I use it now to lift portions of steamed/baked fish off the skin before serving it on to plates, another quite tricky – for me – task made easy by this spoon.

Thank you Ayesha, thank you Ma !

A Fantastic Herb Chopper

This is just the coolest kitchen tool, one that’s always such a pleasure to use.

As Bou di says, there is something almost elegant about it.

I got this one from IKEA and it works like a beauty.

Butter Churner

This kitchen tool is not exactly a favorite.

But it deserves its own post here to record the memory of this evening, when the story of “The Three Little Pigs” led us to attempt making butter by hand…

One of my not-favorite memories of my Ma’s kitchen is of all the times I was roped in to help make the butter. It required working, with one of these hand-operated churners, the large quantities of cream she collected ( this was done over several days by removing the layer of cream formed on top of each day’s supply of milk- delivered fresh every day by the neighrborhood doodhvala –  after it had been boiled, and adding it to the previous days’ collection which was stored in a large pot or box in the fridge) . The process always seemed never-ending and very tiring.  So, much as I enjoyed helping her in the kitchen, I simply dreaded being around when Ma took the cream out with the intention of making butter with it !

But these churners do have other uses, such as to make daal more smooth, if the grains do not appear as well-blended as they should be, so I do have one in my kitchen too, though until today I had never thought I’d ever use it to make butter.

Then, some days ago, Noor wanted to know what a butter-churn is. The version of  “The Three Little Pigs”  we were reading that night says that the third pig hid himself inside a butter churn to escape the wolf and I found myself suggesting that we could try and make butter ourselves, with the kind of churner I have, to understand how this works.

The girls of course jumped at the idea since they love any such experiments.

Which is how Shri and I found ourselves bent this evening over a bowl of creme entiere, churning away, as we all watched the news after dinner.

Here’s the result of over half an hour of our hard work  –

I do look forward to eating this with a parantha tomorrow 🙂

Sometimes, when in Ma’s kitchen we happened to make the butter in time for breakfast – she planned it this way when possible –  a pat of the freshly made butter on a hot aloo ka parantha made the effort suddenly worthwhile

The girls could not stop exclaiming about the effort this task involved as Shri and I worked at it. Well, I certainly hope they’ll remember this particular experiment !