My Favorite Must-Have Kitchen Tools

January 11, 2019

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You guys, this is one of those topics that gets me so excited to talk about. Yes, anything and everything KITCHEN! 

I find spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking highly therapeutic, it is such a stress buster! Honestly, I think cooking comes naturally to me while baking is something that I picked up after moving to the US. 

But sadly, both cooking and baking made my list of lows last year (read more here). But I am all determined and already working on getting back to it with full-force this year, so expect to see a lot of food-related posts on here and across my social media platforms. 

As I get back into my full-on cooking and baking mode, I wanted to share with you all my most used, loved and trusted tools in my kitchen. These most definitely make cooking/baking, and life in general, a whole lot EASY! 

P.S: I started writing a bit of a backstory to about my love for cooking, but realized that it became far too long a post. So, I am simply going to share that story in another post (coming real soon) and just stick to sharing my favorite must-have kitchen tools in this post.

Excuse the mess, I was cooking up a storm in the kitchen right before the first Christmas party at home.
Hubby walked in with the camera, said 'Say cheese. You've still got it, baby!' and snapped these pics.
And I was so not prepared for a pic, neither was my kitchen. But hey, that's #reallife :)


INSTANT POT (IP) - This is one of those items that needs no introduction or explanation as to why I love it so so much! Not only is it easy to whip up dishes in it without having to babysit, but it is even more fun to try making all kinds of traditional recipes in an IP! And no matter how much I use my IP, it always feels like I could get so much more out of it. Everyone is so innovative in putting their instant pot to great use. I know people who host parties for large groups making dishes using just the instant pots. I have been to one myself, it was an IP galore. They had at least a dozen instant pots in their home, of course, borrowed all but 1 from friends, but still, how creative! 

VITAMIX - This one was a happy accident! Before Vitamix came into my life, I extensively used my most trusted mixie (as we call it) that I got from India. I would take so much pride in how well I could make all the batter and smoothies and everything else that needed grinding or blending in it. So I never wanted to invest in a Vitamix despite hearing all the rave reviews about it. But the mixie I used for 7 years broke down right after my baby boy was born. So the hubby went straight to Costco and picked up a Vitamix, it was a no brainer decision. The taste of smoothies and soups made in a Vitamix is a whole other level (especially when you use as many ingredients as I do, including all the nuts). Get my superfood smoothie recipe here

FOOD PROCESSOR - If you don’t want to end up spending hours upon hours in the kitchen just chopping, dicing, slicing, grating, and spiralizing veggies, then you have to have one or all of these in your kitchen... A rectangular chopper - no more tearing up while cutting onions (and excuse the use of shapes here, didn’t know how else to distinguish between this chopper and the next). A round chopper - not just for cutting veggies but this is also great to make pesto, guacamole, salsa, hummus, and more. A spiralizer - for all the pasta-loving friends, this is a great way to make healthy pasta (get the recipe here), well, you could do more than that including slicing but you get the point. Or, you could splurge and get this high-end processor. 

STAINLESS STEEL COOKWARE & UTENSILS - I got rid of all my nonstick cookware when we moved to Seattle and invested in a big stainless steel set. Back when I was growing up, my mom (and every other mom) only used stainless steel and later came the craze of using nonstick, until, we all realized how unhealthy and harmful it is to use anything nonstick for cooking. So, I trashed them all and only use stainless steel. There are so many available out there, just look for a set that is easy to remove tough stains/burnt food (hey, accidents do happen). 

KNIFE - My favorite one is from India, it was about $1 when I bought it 8 years ago. No, I am not kidding, I swear it is the ABSOLUTE BEST and it does an OUTSTANDING job! It is EXTREMELY SHARP and I haven’t had to sharpen it, not once, in all these years. We cook a lot (it is an Indian thing too) and this knife has withstood the test of time and the test of the insane amount of cooking that my mom and MIL undertake when they spend those 6 months with us every few years). But for those who can’t get their hands on this exact knife, here is a good alternative! 

GLASS CONTAINERS - Along with all my nonstick cookware, I also tossed out all the plastic containers when we moved to Seattle. These glass containers are great to save all the leftovers, store veggies and fruits, and it is also perfect for the hubs to pack lunch to work. These are airtight and the lids latch well so there is never any spilling. I guess this can also be categorized under Organization and Storing (maybe I should do a whole other post on how I keep things in my home organized, can’t wait to show off my cabinets and pantry, haha). 

CAST IRON GRIDDLE - This thing is raved by just about anyone, cuz it is the perfect base to make your pancakes, crepes, and even roast veggies at times. I am a South Indian and I am married to a dosa* lover aka there needs to be a well-made, crispy, and tasty dosa on the plate cuz nothing subpar satisfies the dosa lover! And this cast iron griddle does a darn good job at making exactly the kind of dosa the hubs loves (though he keeps complaining that I don’t make them enough, but with my baby boy taking after his dada and going all doche doche (for dosa), that might change soon)! *Dosa -> Indian breakfast dish, also called fermented crepes or thin rice pancakes. 

WHISK - Speaking of dosa, I try to make them as healthy as possible for my baby boy by adding boatloads of veggies with rice alternatives (like just pulses, or millet flour, etc). That means the dosas don’t turn out as thin as the plain rice dosas do, so I use a whisker to spread the batter on the pan and even it out to get a thinner consistency (instead of a spatula). I use it even when making omelets) and it works great. I also use a whisker (besides while baking, of course) while making oatmeal, cream of wheat, etc. etc. as this thing perfectly mixes everything without forming any lumps even on the stovetop, plus, it doesn’t let anything ever stick to the bottom of the pan. 

BAKING SET - I bought this set during Thanksgiving sale for less than $20. I know this is non-stick but I haven’t found a set which isn’t non-stick and good and trust me I have purchased quite a few and none of them were of good quality and they didn’t last long. I forgot to use these when we hosted the holiday parties but I did use them after and I have been loving them so far. 

MICROWAVE LID - This is such a time saver you have no idea, there is no longer a need to spend over a minute to clean the microwave, ever! Best $2 I ever spent! ;) 

MIXING BOWLS - I bought mine from Ikea but these are a great alternative and they come as a set.

MEASURING SPOONS AND CUPS - I never really measure anything while cooking (I got it from my mama). But measure everything to the T when baking, so these are great.

FOOD SCALE - Again, so useful while baking. And I have also been using to measure ingredients while preparing food for my baby boy. 

FOOD GRATER - So handy to be sneaky and feed veggies to all your picky eaters, and who doesn’t love some extra cheese on top ;) 

STEAMER - If you are on a healthy eating and healthy lifestyle journey then you sure need one of these. Steamed veggies are the best and so nutritious too. 

MORTAR & PESTLE - In Indian cooking, we use a lot of spices and some freshly made spices at that. So this is great to have, even to mash things like garlic, or powder peppercorns. 

ICE CUBE TRAY - Again, I also use a lot of herbs while cooking. I buy some in bulk, prep them, and freeze them with some oil in these trays so they come in handy when I don’t have fresh herbs in the fridge. Great way to store herbs before they go bad in the fridge when you can’t use them all at once. If you like drinking cold water (I like mine warm, yes, warm, or even hot) then you can also make infused water and freeze them for you to use later. 

HERB KEEPER - This thing keeps the herbs fresh a lot longer than when you simply store them in the fridge. It is also good to store veggies like asparagus, celery, etc. 

GRILL - A countertop grill to make those perfectly soft and perfectly crispy avocado toasts every single morning. I also sometimes roast veggies on this thing. And the frozen chickpea samosas (from Sukhi brand, which is oh-so-yum BTW) can be made on this grill, no need to turn on the oven and wait for it to preheat when you are craving something exciting and savory. 

Those are my faves in the kitchen. 
Now tell me, what your must-have kitchen tools are? 


“A pinch of patience, a dash of kindness, a spoonful of laughs, heaps of love.”



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