Saturday, September 22, 2007

Memories of another kitchen

Indian Spice Box

Today I an sharing with you a small write-up I did for a weekly by the name of "Intelligent Pune". It was a fun experience for me and thought all of you would like to read it too. For all my bloggo-buddies from Pune you can buy this weekly at a newspaper agents. To see the actual page online visit www.intelligentpune.com . The article is called " I miss my Desi-Tadka" Its not possible to read the article online though so here it is for you.

All people living abroad get home-sick sometime in life but have you ever heard of the term gadget- sick? Well now you have . I get gadget-sick quite often since I came to the UK. I miss all those simple but traditional gadgets that are such must-haves in any Indian kitchen. They assist you in the most cumbersome tasks and make life so much easier.

I was particularly gadget sick today and the contraption I desperately wanted was the coconut scraper (yeah that one with the curved blade which scrapes coconuts beautifully). Here in the UK although coconuts are quite easily available ,the problem is scraping out all the coconut without scraping and cutting yourself in the process. I managed to get through today by using the frozen grated coconut, but I kept seeing images of the lovely sharp scraper I have at home in India.
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It’s funny isn’t it , how the most ordinary items that one normally takes for granted become so precious when they are not available to you easily. I did not know that it was possible to miss non-living items so much. I mean I almost miss them more than I miss my friends back home. I hope none of them reads this

Items heading my list are:

A pestle and mortar( Khal Batta): I miss this even more when I see English chefs use it on their cooking shows on TV

Coconut Scraper: Today I would have given anything for this one as I needed tons of freshly grated coconut for the Modaks

Chakli Maker (Sorya): Come Diwali and I am asking everyone I meet if they have one of these to make beautifully shaped Chaklis.

Rice or Sheera Mould: This one I actually shamelessly borrow quite frequently from a friend. I am sure she is going to hide it one day and tell me that she’s lost it.

A Modak steamer: I am going to have to make a makeshift modak steamer tomorrow for Ganesh Chaturthi,

Idli mould and steamer: This one we do have but five friends share one steamer and mould. Can you beat that?

A powerful dry-grinder: These are practically non-existent here. You have to buy an expensive coffee bean grinder to grind your spices.

Last but not the least is my Anjali Fantastique chopper. This I have carried with me from India because I cannot live without one of these in my kitchen. But if this one breaks I cannot get a replacement unless I go to India which is not exactly just around the corner

Back home so many of these items would be just lying around in the kitchen cupboards without me giving a second thought to their existence. I mean I thought of capturing my Indian Spice Box (Masala Dabba ) on camera only when I came to UK . But I know I’ll cherish these small things now more than ever when I return to my Indian kitchen.

Do you also miss any of your traditional gadgets ?

11 comments:

TBC said...

I never owned any gadgets in India 'cos my mom did all the cooking & everything belonged to her. Before coming to the U.S. I " stole" a few of her things:-)
Some more things I wish I had here though, are a decent grinder & the Anjali chopper you were talking about.

Jayashree said...

So true.....it is only when you move out of a place that you sit back and think about all the good things that you took for granted.

Sreelu said...

Anupama, I am not sure this falls under gadgets but wrought iron flat griddle/pan for dosa's ,its so much more better then any non-stick pans I have ever used.

zobars said...

I miss bundi making jhali since I have most of the stuff now that I went to India twice.

Asha said...

I miss my grandmother's stone grinder fixed on the ground, it makes one thick Urad dal batter for Urad vadas.I can never get that thick with Sumeet!

lostfamilies said...

My Husband found a coconut scrapper from a asian store & he uses it all the time he freezes the coconut & uses it when he needs to yes he does a lot of the cooking especially the Asian ones me i do the English stuff he better at the curries ect than me

Shweta said...

That's a lovely post Anupama. I am a relatively new blogger on the block :) I have added a link to your blog from mine. Hope that is okay :)

Nabeela said...

Nice article! I miss the wet grinder from back home :(

Ketki Gadre said...

Hey Anupama...nice read...and I cant tell you how much I agree...! Sometimes I dream of going to a utensil store in India..and buying all goodies..!
I want to add my gadget to this list..! I miss the little 'kadla'...that is used for giving tadkas to either kadhi..or khamang kakdi..etc...!!

Linda said...

Hi Anupama... one might argue I can't miss what I have never owned... but I would like one of all you mentioned please... save the idli cooker. I do have a pretty good one of those :)

Lovely photo of the masala dabba, and a very nicely-written article :)

indira said...

hey anupama,

when i came to uk even i missed all the gadgets in your list .....
but most of them are available in tkmax.......
check in your nearst tk max stores ibouth a good pestle and motor make of stone just like the indian ones...if u permit me i will happy to shre their pictures here in your get blog
i have many gadgets that i bought here in uk....
where do u live in uk
nwayz our kitchen is no comparision to indian kitchen....but i tried hard to make mine look like indian kitchen
I AM HAPPY TO SAY MY KITCHEN ALMOST LOOKS LIKE A INDIAN KITCHEN
anwayz takecare
bbye