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Setting up a Pakistani Kitchen

Pakistan has its own food culture where rice and roti are the basic food items and every curry is eaten with roti or rice. So the needs of a Pakistani kitchen are much different from European or American kitchens. Here we give a list of essential items needed to set up a simple Pakistani kitchen.


No Pakistani kitchen is complete if it did not have a tawa, usually a black-colored round metallic plate, which is used to make our staple food items like chapati and paratha. The kind of tawa you see in the picture is also used for frying things like kebabs and eggs in many households. Some Pakistani kitchens make roti on ulta tawa, which looks like an upside down black metallic bowl.


Tongs is called a chimta in local language. A tong is almost as important as important as a tawa in the Pakistani kitchen since it is used to flip roti and paratha when they are being cooked. Usually, made of metal, tongs are available in different sizes, with the larger ones usually reserved to make chapati while the smaller ones are used for frying items like parathas.


If you have a tawa and tongs but no rolling pin, you might as well say goodbye to your plan of making a chapati. Rolling pin, or bailan, is used to spread out the flour dough to give it the shape of round flat bread and is a Pakistani kitchen tool that you will need everyday.


Ginger and garlic pastes are among the most essential ingredients used in Pakistani cuisine and a majority of Pakistani women prefer making these at home. Apart from grinding masalas, blenders can also be used for making chutneys, liquefying fruits to make juices and smoothies and even make milk shakes.


Although women who are experts at cutting vegetables may still prefer to use their hands, using a cutting board makes the task much easier, especially when cutting chicken and meat. Moreover, a cutting board helps in chopping salad items with greater efficiency.


Although peelers are not exclusively used in local households, they are a must-have for your kitchen as they reduce the frustratingly long time consumed in peeling the skin off different vegetables with knives.


No matter how perfect you consider yourself to be at beating an egg and making an omelet, you can never create the perfect frothy egg mixture with a fork and, therefore, need a whisk. Whisks and beaters are also necessary for mixing cake and pudding batters.


Shears are extremely useful in chopping slices of green chilies for garnishing haleem, nihari or paye. They can also be used to cut meats like chicken and beef into thin strips. Moreover, it is always practical to keep a small pair of scissors exclusively for your kitchen as you will need it all the time when opening masala packets or even a bag of spaghetti.


Those households where rice is the main staple food can vouch for the importance of strainers. Strainers are also required to discard water used to boil items like vegetables and spaghetti. Additionally, they can be used to wash vegetables and meat. You can easily find metal or plastic strainers in the market. It is usually better to buy metal strainers since there is always a risk that plastic might melt if it comes in contact with boiling water. You will also need a small-sized strainer as it is essential for making tea.


Here is a list of basic utensils we will need in the kitchen.

Deep spoon, Ladle, round spoon, and other cooking spoons; they could be of metal or wood or other heat resistant spoons available in the market.

Five or six cooking pots from small to large.

Potato masher, Food mill, Apple corer, Apple peeler corer/slicer, Vegetable peeler

Mortar and pestle, Nutcracker, kitchen knives and grater, lemon squeezer, cutlery.


Cooking and eating at home also means dishes to wash after the meal. Liquid dish soap works for hand-washing dishes, several dish cloths, as well as nylon scrub pads, help clean up tough messes. Dish towels allow you to dry your hands or the dishes after washing.    

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