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Utensils of India - the heart of Indian Cooking. A peep into any kitchen in India will show an array of utensils used to prepare various dishes. Whether to roll a simple Roti or to cook an elaborate cuisine, a wide range of utensils are used. The foods prepared in these traditional kitchens were aromatic, flavourful and delicious. Indian utensils have evolved over the years not forgetting their essential purpose. The cookware that existed in the original Indian kitchen is very different from what is available today. The materials used, the different manufacturing processes for producing these utensils, & the ease of cleaning is the factors which have brought in the changes. Still there are several traditional Indian utensils that are still being used and in demand up to now but are manufactured using modern methods & modern materials. In India utensils make excellent gifting solutions for Indian marriages - it's one way to helping someone set up their home.
Some Basic Techniques of Indian Cooking:
Bhapa: This technique is simply steaming, usually in banana leaves or in foil. This is used in Eastern India and other parts of India for fish and vegetables. Since no oil is used in the cooking process the food cooked in this way is very healthy.
Bhunao/Kasha: This is the process of cooking mainly rich meat dishes in an onion spice base on low heat stirring frequently for a very long time. Though the end product is very tasty, foods cooked like this have a lot of calories.
Bagar/Chowk or Sambara: This is the process of tempering foods with the final addition of spices and ghee/oil. It is used for dishes like dals, chutneys. It lends a special flavour & a finishing touch to the dish.
Dum-Pukt: This process is cooking in a sealed steam pot; this method is typical of the cooking of Lucknow and is used for rice dishes such as biryanis and pulavs. This method of cooking under sealed pressure is called Dum Phukt. Some even place the charcoals on the top of the lid to distribute heat evenly.
Talna: This is the term for frying both deep and shallow. Tikkis and kababs, puris are cooked this way. Since a lot of oil is used in this process the foods cooked in this way are loaded in calories.
Sekhna: This is the process of pan roasting for nuts, rotis or chapathis on a tawa or griddle.