Hello and welcome to my 300th post on this blog. Yes! Sounds a bit daunting even to my own ears. But I still remember the day I wrote my first post, the turmeric pickle recipe. For many years, it ruled Page 1 of Google search until the turmeric fad caught on.
If you’re a regular here, you may have noticed it has been a while since I blogged. As you will know based on my last post, I am busy putting finishing touches to my upcoming book Rice Bowl. And then, there was this little matter of the 300th post. I wanted to do something special or different, but just couldn’t come up with it. And then, I hit upon this idea.
What would our life be without kitchen tools or kitchen gadgets? Using them is second nature to me, and they make the whole cooking process so easy.
There was a time when I moved a lot and had to set up a new kitchen very frequently. These kitchen accessories are the things that I invariably ended up buying every time. Nothing fancy here like apple corers, or corn shucking devices. Just simple things I need to get from Step A to Step B.
Over the years, I have bought these time and again in new cities, from your standard stores like Walmart, Target, BB&B, Ikea and so on. Nowadays, everything is so easily available online. Since most of you guys live in the US and in India, I searched around on Amazon portals for these two countries and picked out some good brands for my must have kitchen accessories. Some brands like OXO, Cuisinart, Kitchen Aid, Anjali etc. need no introduction, and I have used them several times over.
So settle down with a cup of coffee and check these out. If you are like me, they will make your pulse race – guaranteed.
How many of these do you have in your kitchen?
1. Cutting board
Whether it is a simple plastic one, or a fancy wooden one, who ever got away without chopping or dicing something? Here are my top picks.
This 3 piece cutting board set is perfect for an omnivore family like mine – you have one board for veggies, meat and cheese each. You can get this off Amazon US here.
Priced around 250 INR, this is a great pick you can get on Amazon India.
Unless you’re a chai fan, you may not know what this is for. But tea drinkers cannot start their day without this. I favor a metallic strainer over the plastic one, and can only dream of the silver strainer I read about in historical romances.
This OXO strainer on Amazon US seems a bit high priced, but I am sure it will last a long time, considering the brand.
Some things are just so much cheaper in India. This metallic strainer on Amazon India costs about 100 INR and it is a set of two.
3. Lemon Squeezer or Reamer
I fondly remember winter afternoons spent juicing lemons for lemonade, which we invariably drank through before April. These come in a couple of different types, and I have come to prefer the wooden one.
This wooden reamer by OXO gets plenty of use in my kitchen. You can find it here on Amazon US.
When it comes to the Indian market, Anjali is the most trusted brand. This stainless steel lemon squeezer is available at Amazon India.
Long before using lemon zest became en vogue, we used the microplane for grating ginger into our tea or nutmeg into coffee. And I still use the microplane for that every morning.
5. Oven Mitts
You won’t need these unless you have an oven or an OTG. Or maybe even a microwave. The fancy silicone mitts are all the rage since RR started using them on her show.
These pastel mitts on Amazon US look pretty and are available in many colors. They also serve as pot holders.
These silicone grips are very economically priced on Amazon India.
6. Can Opener
You can live on canned food for ever, right? Not without a can opener though. The power operated ones are super cool.
This electric powered can opener on Amazon US will save your 40 year shoulder :).
Priced at over 1000 INR, this can opener is still a premium kitchen gadget on Amazon India.
7. Pizza Cutter
Now you know I make lots of pizza at home :). But a pizza cutter can be used for other stuff too, you know. Like cutting strips for a lattice pie, or empanadas?
This stainless steel pizza cutter is priced above 10$ on Amazon US.
Surprisingly, this pizza cutter in India costs around 125 INR only.
Toss pasta or flip rotis, a pair of tongs will take you a long way. You need tongs alright, even if it is just to pull toast out of the toaster.
These RR brand tongs are priced slightly high at 12$ on Amazon US.
These stainless steel tongs are priced around 150 INR on Amazon India, and are good for rotis, salad or pasta. Talk about being multi functional!
The old fashioned way to open old fashioned wine bottles, or vinegar bottles, maybe?
This corkscrew on Amazon US comes with a wine stopper. Some of us may not need it though ;).
Ten years ago, I had to search high and low in Pune for a corkscrew that netted me over 2000 bucks. This corkscrew on Amazon India is priced around 220 INR. Sadly, the prices of wine have sky rocketed since.
They cost pennies but they keep me sane. And I don’t just use them for chip bags. I use them for all those dozens of tiny bags I store in the pantry or refrigerator.
These fancy chip clips on Amazon US will last you forever. Only risk is losing or misplacing them – I would.
These ordinary cloth clips on Amazon India are multi purpose. I can never have enough of them.
11. Kitchen shears
I wonder what I did before I discovered these. Cutting greens like spinach, finely snipping herbs for garnish, even cracking nuts, my kitchen shears save me plenty of time and bother without having to pull out the cutting board.
These KitchenAid shears on Amazon US need no introduction.
These kitchen shears on Amazon India are low priced and pack a punch.
12. Mortar & Pestle
Although I advocate minimum ingredients and simple approaches to cooking, there are some things I swear by like using fresh herbs and spices. I always use fresh cracked pepper, or use freshly pounded spices. A small mortar and pestle comes in super handy for this.
This small marble mortar and pestle is easily available on Amazon US.
This kind of mortar and pestle is quite common in India, and probably cheaper in some street side store. But nothing can beat the convenience of online ordering.
Peeling potatoes and carrots apart, I use my peeler for peeling cukes and zukes for fancy salads. And I often use it to peel ginger. What would I do without it?
This kind of peeler is my favorite, and just one of the many different types you will find on Amazon US. This peeler on Amazon India is more common here.
A grater is what I use for a quick salad or cheese. Who wants to bring out the food processor for a small job? I prefer exerting over the grater to washing the FP.
This Cuisinart box grater on Amazon US is slightly high priced, but you know it will probably last you a lifetime.
This box grater on Amazon India is priced at just around 150 INR.
So alright folks. These are some of the things that are lurking in the drawers and behind the cabinets when I cook. I simply cannot do without them. Which of these are familiar to you, and which are unknown? Which of these do you absolutely need, and which ones you can do without?
Please chime in and let me know. I want to hear from you.
Please Note: This post contains some affiliate links to Amazon products. This means I might earn a few pennies on the dollar if you decide to buy using those links. There will be no extra cost to you.