Friday, December 5, 2008

Ode to my paint brushes, easel and al.

“In the childhood memories of every good cook, there's a large kitchen, a warm stove, a simmering pot and a mom.”

My blog is still in its is still amazed at everything it sees on fellow blogs...! One such thing was Chitra Amma's Kitchen with her Kitchen Treasure Hunt event. A wonderful blog with all mom's cooking. Dibs is now hosting the Kitchen Treasure Hunt event.

After reading her post I jumped up to check out all my true kitchen mates that help me whip up delicious morsels for both my hubby and me...but remain oh so silent and dilligent. They allow me to use them to satisfy my cravings...sometimes they burn, sometimes they sizzle, but remain so faithful always. My paint brushes, easel and palette that help me paint the canvas of food, if I may say.

Although all my beautiful crockery, silver-ware, crystal glassware (wedding gift from my dearest friend), shiny cutlery, my exotic marble mortar and pestle that I bought on our honeymoon (imagine...I don't fail to pick up for my, expensive china, not-so-cheap teracotta cups, my griller (wedding gift again, have been married for just about a year :)), my 36 pcs. dinner set (my parents brought among other things,when they visited me for the first time) al, I am comparitively a pauper here in Hong Kong, and all because some airline would not allow me more than 20 kgs or so. My kitchen paraphernalia is quite limited here. (sigh!)

It was all about absolute was a far fetched idea. Now I have travelled to places several times...but never as a wife,( who has to think about cooking for her dear hubby) I picked up items/utensils that I thought would be needed.

This article is all about them...and more.

My wonderful pressure cooker. I like this one specially as it helps me cook large quantities quickly. I am all about feeding people well...and my idea of "well" is forcing food in the mouth every time they open their mouth to I am working on that. :D

These are a some of the things that I brought with us here, and that I use extensively..(a few are still there lying uselessly in my kitchen drawer). As I said earlier, I packed stuff (utensils) that I thought would be needed...

My belan (rolling pin), light and wooden (just like I prefer). Used it to make all the flat Indian breads and also to grind dry roasted spices at times i.e. till we bought our food processor here. It served as my pestle too. Necessity is the mother of invention!

The tongs (chimti) save my poor fingers...I still can't use bare fingers to flip rotis/chapatis, like my mom-in-law does.

The dal-ghotni --this was my mom's idea and it served its purpose. I also used it to mash the veggies in my pav-bhaji's bhaji. Again innovation is my middle

My favourite sadsi (tongs), that I had specially requested my dad to get for me from Kolkata. Unlike regular tongs, its grip is strong and firm, so no question of slipping pots from my hands. It can hold utensils that are ten times its own weight. Its a must for me.

My good sense had forewarned me that I may not get a mixer/grinder immediately here, so I needed something to make tomato and onion pulps for my curries. Hence, my grater, which I have used religiously to grate onions,tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, ginger, lemon orange and cheese. Its recent use was to shredd carrots for my famous Gajar ka Halwa (will post that soon). The small bowl is just the right size for setting enough home made curd for the two of us. The larger bowl is for kneading dough...couldn't bring my brass paraath. (sob sob)

This is the chalni (seive) that I brought with me, not for seiving stuff...but for Karwa Chauth, just in case. Sneaked it in ...and yes I used it too. Read all about my Karwa Chauth episode here.

After much debate, we finally agreed to bring this tiffin box along. This is my husband's lunch box, something he had stopped carrying ever since he left school. This was one of the first few items that I had shopped for (ofcourse with my hubby) just after our wedding. My darling husband, has stayed in hostels and then with friends in shared bungalows when he was working (hopping around the no dabba scene here...that is till I show up! lol....

Well this is all that I had brought with us here.

Now there are a few nick-nacks that I picked from HK. Wouldn't want to ignore them, as they help me the same way as the above, if not more.

This is the micro-wave rice cooker that a dear colleauge graciously gifted me with. It has been in use for the past 7 months and still looks as good as new (I maintain it about humility)

This is the steamer plate that I bought from a near by market, to make dim sums. And I made it the day I bought this..couldn't wait. I love dim sums...especially shrimp dim sum (as you would have known from this). I was initially looking for a bamboo one, but couldn't control my urge to have dim sums for long. I cannot have it at restos/eateries here, 'cause they mix it with minced pork, which I personally don't like.

These are the tit-bits I bought as and when my eyes caught them in whatever store.
Cookie cutters are my favourites, have made poha pakodas using them too. (will post it I promise). I have used them extensively for various dishes, including but not limited to cookies.

Then there is the little decorative butter knife I bought while trekking...(yeah roll your eyes).

I also bought this tong kind of instrument that helps to pick bowls from a fitted casserole. I'll try to explain, the groove on this kitchen ware fits snugly on the rim of the bowl, which is placed inside another bowl, whose diameter is just a cm. more than the smaller bowl it contains. It then helps to pull out that smaller bowl. Something you can't use your fingers for, if the bowls are hot.

Lastly , there is the barbeque tong and fish scale scrapper, which are the latest additions.

No matter how much I wanted to, I couldn't buy fish from the local farmers' market here as they don't really clean out all the scales...I cannot cook with the scales still on the fish and had nothing to clean the scales myself..well now I do. :-)

This microwave egg poacher was bought just day before yesterday and I have baked Bishops' Bread using the round lid already (after sealing the two holes with cookie sheets), and ofcourse breakfast today was poached eggs in MW.

The chinese wok is my kadai here. Multipurpose with all the deep frying, steaming, mixing, shallow frying, tempering it does for me. I love the glass lid that allows me to see the alchemy of the flavours its cooking.

Last but not the least, my chopping board that has doubled up as my chauka for rolling out parathas and puris, apart from all the chopping it does.

My dangerous looking helpful knives. I tend to use the serrated knife more often as its sharper. I will remember it always. This happened in the first few weeks of our stay here, I was cutting brinjals, when the knife slipped from my hand and fell point-side down on my right foot to etch a little spring of blood. I didn't faint, but I was stuck to bed for weeks with my leg raised on pillows, as I had to stop the blood from going down and oozing out of the cut in my foot. It was painful and horrible as I don't like staying in bed doing nothing..infact I get very irritable. Glad its over, my foot has healed (without the need of dreadful stitches which leave a scar). It was a half inch wide slash, but it sealed itself together with all the care my hubby took of it. I was out of the kitchen, lived on take-outs and ready-to-eats for a few weeks. Urgh!

I tell my story so that all my friends out there can learn and take caution..the kitchen can be unforgiving if we are careless!

Having said that I still love my kitchen and enjoy each moment that I am in there. I am happy when I am in the kitchen close to my kitchen-aids.Its Kitchen therapy for me!!


  1. Dear this is just wonderful. I feel you have absolutely renouced the world and taken to blogging. I just cant keep pace with you in viewing your blog. Between two visits to your blog there are more than three posts here. Wow. Keep it up

  2. Wow awesome collection. Gr8 entry to the event.

  3. I m laughing my guts out dear....nope I haven't renounced anything or anyone Sudeshna...jus happen to have time :)

    Thanks Lubna. glad u liked it !

  4. Wow! Navita, I thought I had nothing special in my kitchen but you just made me realize there are many gadgets I could sent to Dibs!

    I like the local lingo you used for the items. I always thought of tongs as 'pakkad'. Sadsi is new to me. In Tamil we call it 'idukki'. I too cannot do without my rolling pin:)

    Good post and great collection!

  5. wow! Nice post!! The tiffin box brought back few memories :-) and am definitely looking forward to your poha pakora recipe.

  6. Hey Harini, its new to me too..'idukki'...I love new words...there is so much more still to be explored..I am just overwhelmed, all the time :)

    Yes VnV...will post them soon..hopefully! ;-p


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