Charda Suuraj

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Appliances in the Pakistani Kitchen

Today’s article is an elaboration from our previous post about the Pakistani Kitchen, it talks about Appliances in the Pakistani Kitchen. In this post I will elaborate on all sorts of Kitchen Appliances/Electronic Equipment, and which machines are really essential for a Pakistani Kitchen. (Technically, we could do everything by hand, but really who has the time for that?!). I will be dividing the machines into four categories: Essential, Helpful and Inessential; according to their degree of use and importance in the modern Pakistani Kitchen. I will however NOT be talking about different brands/quality of machines, that’s a separate topic. #notsponsored

First of all come: the Essentials, the things that really save your behind when it comes to the hard grind of cooking.

Essential Appliances in the Pakistani Kitchen

Essential #1: The Blender/Food Processor/Grinder.

I recommend buying a high quality three in one Food processor with blender and grinder. Try to avoid ones that have too many bells and whistles, just a simple but sturdy one will be perfect. Food processors can be used for everything from grinding meat for kebabs to grating carrots for halwa. They are extremely versatile and have a number of uses. A blender is needed for a LOT of things such as chutneys, soups, curries etc. They are the absolute # 1 mechanical tool for the Pakistani Kitchen. Similarly grinders are used to grind spices, which Pakistani cuisine uses a lot of. If you don’t have such a machine, your work load increases by an enormous amount and the quality of your soups and stews similarly declines. BTW it is a heck of a lot of work to grind chutney by hand.

Essential #2: The Microwave

The microwave makes your life waaay easier, especially as we Pakistanis tend to eat a lot rice. Rice warmed in a frying pan always ends up broken, and just not appetizing, also I just don’t feel like cracking out the bain-marie every time I wanna eat a plate of rice.  Investing in a high quality Microwave is a good choice as it heats food through easily and you can make some great and easy cakes in it too!

Essential #3: The Pressure Cooker

I’m gonna keep this short and sweet: it reduces cook time to less than an eighth of the original for both daals and meat, it’s a life saver. Buy one.

That’s it for the essential ones folks! (I know much fewer than you thought.)

Helpful Appliances in the Pakistani Kitchen

Helpful #1: Stand Mixer

Yeah, this thing may not save your life, but it will certainly save your arm muscles and your time. Pakistani cooking involves a LOT of kneading. Basically; our staple food is roti, which is eaten with almost every meal, and the best roti is made with high quality whole wheat flour kneaded with water and salt for a long while. So make your life easier by buying this machine to do this job for you. As a bonus, stand mixers are a great help in making a number of western and foreign dishes.

Helpful #2: Stick Blender

This type of blender is not essential because it necessary for only a few specific dishes and you can do the rest of the stuff using a standard blender. The stick blender is great for making dishes such as saagh and haleem, where a normal blender will not suffice because the blending needs to happen only partially and within the pot.

Helpful #3: Oven

An oven is not an essential machine in a Pakistani Kitchen, because we don’t have a ton of everyday foods we bake in ovens, however if you wanna get fancy with your food; i.e. make your own shawarma, pita bread, charga, naans, etc. you definitely need one. Plus sometimes a simple dish is made much tastier and easier using an oven, for example if you use our Aloo Gobi recipe and throw the ingredients in a covered pot in the oven for 30 minutes at a medium heat you will get an unbelievably mouthwatering veggie dish, this upgrades that recipe significantly.

Helpful #4: Mandolins/Slicers

Vegetable prep is just a thing we must do every single time we cook, save yourself a lot of effort and buy a high quality multifunction mandolin. You won’t necessarily use it every day, but it is a heck of a time saver when you need to prep tons of veggies, plus they come out identical so you can impress the guests.

Inessential Appliances in the Pakistani Kitchen

Inessential #1: Toaster

Technically loaf bread is not a traditional Pakistani food, however it now commonly consumed by everyone in the country, so it is helpful to have a toaster to if you like eating bread. Otherwise it’s not really used for any other food in a Pakistani Kitchen.

Inessential #2: Electric Grill

A grill is not necessary because most Pakistani barbecue is made over live coals, and the rest using a tawa (a flat top pan). It just is kind of pointless to buy an electric one, if you’re gonna invest your money spend it on a good coal burning grill instead.

Inessential #3: Crock Pot/Slow Cooker

Anything you can do in this thing you can do just as well on the stove or in the oven so it is really just a waste of money.

Inessential #4: Rice Cooker

I know, I know that many foreigners believe that all Asians are massive fans of rice cookers, but the fact is that the type of rice we usually cook in Pakistan is not the type that would be all that easy to cook in a rice cooker. We don’t just add aromatics; we make gravies and stews and then add rice to them. Using a rice cooker will just increase the workload for us, because we have to first make the stew, then transfer it to the rice cooker and cook the rice in it, whereas we usually just use a single pot.

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