Stuff I swear by: A guide to kitchen essentials
Editor’s Note: Nayantara Menon Bagla is a Bangalore-based Food Nutrition Coach and Chef. A former partner at The Circus Canteen of the Bangalore Creative Circus, she believes in a diet rooted in local produce and easy, nutritious recipes. You can see some of her recipes here and follow her on Instagram and Twitter/ X. Nayantara has been featured in the Goya Journal and the Economic Times—and has written for Whole Truth Foods. We asked her what every basic pantry needs—since essentials of any kind are the most confusing to shop for–given the many choices. Below are only five recommendations–but the kind that we all need the most when we’re setting up our first kitchen.
Over to Nayantara…
Victorinox Stainless Steel Kitchen Knife Set of 3: Victorinox knives are a best buy for someone just starting out. They last long and fit the budget for most people. The sheer variety and reliability of the brand is legendary. Swiss-made and available in 6 different colours—it’s a good bargain for your chopping, slicing and paring needs—for fruits, vegetables or meat.
The Beveled, Tipped, Straight Edge Knife is ideal for cutting fruits, and the bevelled tip helps you easily remove the seeds. The Round, Tipped, Serrated Edge Knife is for slicing bread and cutting thin slices of juicy/pulpy fruits and vegetables, sausages, salami, cheese, etc. The round tip is ideal for applying spreads. Thus, making this knife your go-to tool for sandwiches. And the Beveled, Tipped, Serrated Edge Knife chops your garnishes and cuts vegetables. (Price: Rs 1,413)
PS: The Victorinox five- and seven-knife set also come highly recommended if you plan to be more adventurous in the kitchen.
Organise that messy fridge!
Ikea PRUTA Polypropylene Plastic Food container, set of 17: Pruta boxes are a great buy for their price point, the number of different sizes and their stackability. The clear boxes that come in a variety of sizes are made by Swedish super-brand IKEA and are a set of 17! They are perfect for leftovers or that lunch dabba for work. (Price: 798)
And the big selling point for anyone who needs to store Indian food: they don’t stain or smell. FYI: These are sold in Canada as part of IKEA’s starter kit for university students.
Pretty fryin’ good!
Solimo Stainless Steel Non-Stick Frypan: For eggs to stir fries to crepes—the Chef picked this non-stick pan because it's durable. Stainless steel vessels can last you a lifetime if you take care of them! This pan is safe for gas cookers as well as induction and electric stovetops to make it bachelor-pad friendly. (Price: Rs 778)
PS: The inside has a 3-layered coating, and the outer layer has a high-temperature resistance (HTR) coating for added durability.
Time to chop, chop!
Borosil Chef Delite Electric Chopper: I love this because it really helps reduce your workload. Borosil is also a brand associated with quality and dependability. The 600 ml gadget chops, minces, dices, whisks, blends and cuts. The device also comes with a lid to store the processed food in the plastic chopping container. The silent motor makes sure your chopping/blending process is not noisy like most mixers. You can buy this in black or white colours. (Price: Rs 1,899)
Peeling it all away!
Victorinox Stainless Steel Peeler: No peeler lasts longer and has a firmer grip than this one from Victorinox. The ergonomic grip and precise double edge make it a valuable buy. It also comes in 12 more colours at this link. (Price: Rs 531)
PS: The serrated-edge is rust-free and will stay sharp for a long time. More importantly, it keeps your fingers safe at all times.
Note: We do NOT receive any revenue from the brands recommended.