10 Traditional Olden Days Must Have Indian Kitchen Equipment

We all love a balanced Indian meal, don't we? The aroma of sizzling tarkaa on top of various dals, the soft whistle of pressure cooker or the jingle of bangles while making delicious rotis, there is a lot going on in an Indian kitchen every day. Although contemporary modern tools have replaced traditional olden days Indian kitchen equipment, some ancient home appliances never cease to fade away.

We decided to take a sneak peek into the modern households which are still going strong with these  traditional kitchen accessories. Moreover, along with these essential Indian spices these traditional Indian kitchen tools will surely make your task of crafting an authentic Indian meal easier

1.    Mortar-Pestle–(Hamam- dasta/khal batta/khandni-dasto):

Used to pound dry condiments or spices to intensify their aroma, Hamam/mortar is a bowl shaped vessel. The mortar was earlier made of stone and the pestle with stone or wood. From wet grinding dals for vada to pounding dried red chilies, one could manage many a kitchen chores with it. However, dainty successors have replaced the giant versions. Additionally, nowadays they are used for pounding garlic-ginger, green chilies, black pepper corns, or cardamoms etc. Nowadays, they are made of brass, marble, granite, stainless steel or even wood.

2.    Sil Batta:

Erstwhile wet grinder of Indian households, used for making wet pastes or masalas and chutneys. A flat stone slab, known as Sil is chiselled to make it rough to aid grinding. Batta is a chiselled cylindrical stone with which the grinding is done. Herbs are placed on sil and grinded with the help of batta which is held in hands and pushed with to and fro movements to pace grinding process. Some people swear by the earthiness it brings to chutneys and masalas for making curries.

3.    Churner (Mathni/ghotni/phirni):

The old school muddler of Indian homes, originally made of wood, with a long handle and a circular base with gaps wide enough for air to circulate for that fuzzy frothy lassi Additionally, use it for churning butter milk, muddling lentils/soups to thicken. It comes in various sizes for varied uses. One can find a sparkling stainless steel version nowadays with a reverse push action.

Image Source: www.dsource.in

 4.    Kal chatti / stone pot:

One of the old Kerala kitchen utensils, Kal means stone and chatti means a pot to cook in. A pot is carved out of a type of metamorphic rock commonly known as the soap stone. However, season it with hot rice water for a few days before using it for regular cooking. This is done to avoid the pot from cracking on fire. Kal chatti adds an additional flavour to sambar, aviyal, fish curries etc. 

Image Source: www.ykantiques.com

5.    Coconut scraper:

More common in South Indian households, a coconut scraper is definitely an appliance of utility, which is a must have in all kitchens. This uniquely designed contraption grates the insides of a coconut with ease without struggling to shell it out. For instance, it has a circular blade which does the scraping process. One can choose from the mechanical or the manual option depending on the requirement.

Image Source: www.ykantiques.com

 6.    Handi:

Is a narrow-mouthed and a thick-broad base utensil. It is one of the oldest cooking utensil known to Indian kitchens. The erstwhile handis were made of earthenware, but today the design is adapted by leading cookware companies. Moreover, they are available in steel, cast iron, non-stick, copper, brass etc. to keep the uniqueness and the earthiness alive. This scientifically designed utensil helps retain the aroma of spices and the natural flavour of vegetables. 

Image Source: www.indiamart.com

7.    Coffee grinder and filter:

Another common but traditional equipment is the coffee grinder. Till date many families grind their own coffee beans weekly or daily to enjoy a rich brew. Table top grinders, mechanical or manual, come with a box at the bottom to store the ground beans. Although, today in many houses these are replaced by pre-pack ground coffee at large, but the coffee filters deny to take a back seat.
In fact, almost every house down south has the morning ritual to filter coffee for consumption through the day. Percolators are available mostly in steel and has two containers. the top container is perforated where the coffee powder is put before pouring boiling water and the filtered decoction is collected in the container below.

8.    Lagan:

Is an Indian utensil common in Muslim households. Besides, commonly used in Hyderabad region, it is a shallow thick-walled and concaved-bottom utensil. Commonly used for cooking big cuts of meats, biryanis, pulao etc. Effective in slow cooking when heat is applied from both ends. One can usually find them in aluminum and copper.

Image source: www.copperfront.com

9.    Colander:

Giant cousin of our very own strainer, a colander is a deep perforated utensil usually made of steel but one can also find fancy colourful ceramic and powder coated version as well. A colander is used to strain the liquids from the dish- like strain cooked rice from its fluids or strain boiled pasta. Additionally, use it for straining large quantities of vegetables, or wash fruits, vegetables and greens.

Image Source - Flickr Creative Commons

10.    Rumali Tawa/Dom:

As the name suggests Rumali Tawa or dom is a specially designed griddle for making authentic rumali roti (rumali roti is a thin large handkerchief size and name so because of the folding technique of the roti/ flat bread). The tawa is dome-shaped like an inverted Indian wok, without any handle and the roti is baked on the convex side. The tawa or the griddle is ideally made of iron/caste iron.

Image source: www.ingrid.zcubes.com

To sum up, these traditional olden days Indian kitchen equipment must have found a place in your homes at some point. We would love to hear what’s missing or what you consider a MUST HAVE. Till then, happy cooking with these 


  1. I have almost all including the Lagan... Waiting to add coconut scraper..:) great picks

  2. Oh my god WHAT IS IT: Churner (Mathni/ghotni/phirni?! I am scared!

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  12. Doing the job in an old way is always enjoyable. thanks for sharing this amazing article :)
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  16. We still use that coconut scraper in our house

  17. This article was very helpful for me as I learned about different kitchen equipment of which some were very unique and new to me. So thanks for writing this helpful article .

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