Ok, guys, it’s time to stop messing around. If you want to make seriously authentic curry, you will need a serious curry cooking kit. No battered saucepans, cracked wooden spoons, and dried out old spices. We are talking about getting prepped and organized. Today I’m going to show you exactly what you need to make curry that is every bit as authentic as the Indian takeaway, all in one fully assembled package. My Complete curry making kit below will have everything you need to get started.
The List | A Complete Curry Cooking Kit to Make Any Curry
Pestle and Mortar
Measuring Spoon Set
8 - 10
Why Make Your Own Curry Cooking Kit?
Sure, you could just go ahead and try and search for ‘Indian cooking kits’… Come back here once you are tired of looking at generic pre-packaged boxes of spices.
You are looking for everything you need to make a proper curry, straight out of the box, kitchen equipment, the right tools, and the spices as well…
The best way to do that is to make your own complete curry cooking kit. There are plenty of good reasons to do this.
Such as: -
Your Curry Will Taste Better
Do you know why Indian takeaway curry tastes so good?
It’s because it is authentic.
How do you get that ‘authentic’ taste?
By using the same gear that the professionals do.
It stands to reason that if you use the same pans, same techniques, and the same spices as genuine Indian chefs, that your curry will taste similar, right?
The good news?
It doesn’t require anything particularly special or fancy. As you’ll see when I explain each item below, hardly any of it will cost you more than a few quid.
A Home Assembled Curry Cooking Kit is a Great Gift!
Looking for something special and also a bit different?
If you know someone who loves Indian curry, then a curry cooking kit is an amazing gift.
Think about it. They’ll love using it and can make their favourite food too! With everything they could ever need to make hundreds of curries literally all in one box, it really is a gift that will keep on giving.
You Can Choose What Suits You
If you do manage to find an all-in-one curry making kit, is it going to be exactly what you want?
I used to love receiving cookware as a gift.
There are only so many egg cups or chopping boards that you can comfortably fit in your cupboards.
Suppose you, or the person you are buying for, already has a decent chopping board or a pestle and mortar, then, with your own assembled Indian cooking kit. In that case, you can simply leave it out.
Homemade Curry Cooking Kits are Cheaper
I’ll be honest. A few suppliers out there will charge you double simply for convenience or rely on you not knowing what you are buying.
Well, that’s about to change.
Because you can see an itemized cost for each item, you’ll know how much it really costs. You’ll be amazed at how much cheaper it can be to assemble a curry cooking kit yourself.
Think about how much your usual takeaway costs. For the price of about 3-4 Indian meals, you’ll be able to create a kit that will allow you to cook hundreds of curries.
That sounds like a pretty hot deal to me…
Whether you are buying a curry cooking kit for yourself or someone else, receiving and using something hand-picked is far nicer than some generic ‘off the shelf’ assembly. Besides this, how much do you think the companies producing ‘complete curry cooking kits’ really care about making a decent curry?
You know what you like, and by choosing a curry cooking kit for yourself, you are firmly in the driving seat.
A DIY Curry Cooking Kits | What You Need and What it Does
Right folks, let’s get straight down to it. Let me show you all of the things you’ll ideally need to knock up an amazing curry any night of the week
A Single Decent Pan
What it’s for: When it comes to creating an authentic curry, the very first step you’ll need to take is to get a decent frying pan.
This browns, caramelizes and boils your curry all at once.
It is responsible (along with the spices, obviously) for getting that authentic taste.
Why You Need it: You might already have a frying pan (in fact, you probably do). But here’s the thing. A proper curry is cooked over high heat.
And let me tell you.
Burn the coating off someone's prize Tefal, or make the next day’s bacon sandwich taste like madras, and they are going to be a bit miffed.
If you use a metal spoon (which you should), more expensive pans also get badly scratched.
The solution is to go for a cheap pan, really hard-wearing and is dedicated to making curry
What to look for: You aren’t going to need anything fancy, expensive or coated. The best pan for curry? A simple steel or aluminium frying pan. They will be: -
- Practically indestructible
- Great over high temperatures
- Able to transfer heat quickly
- Great for caramelizing sauce
- Really easy to wash (you can even use a brillo pad)
To see a range of these, I’ve got a great page on the best pans for curry right here.
A Cooking Spoon
What it’s for: A good spoon for curry is a great tool and is used for more than just stirring. What do I use mine for? Well, measuring, chopping in the pan, scraping bits off the bottom and more.
Why You Need it: A wooden spoon is ok… I guess. But you’ll go through loads of them if you are making curry regularly.
For a start, wood soaks up liquid and spices. A spoon with a nice yellow tinge?
Wooden spoons don’t stand up to heat well either. Those cracks and chips are the ideal breeding ground for bacteria and don’t even get me started on how many ‘nice’ wooden spoons I’ve had that have now got a burn mark on the handle.
A dedicated curry spoon is the answer.
What to look for: All you’ll need is a stainless-steel cooking spoon. This is what you are looking for: -
- Something Easy to clean
- A non-coated handle
- Preferably stainless steel
- A fairly deep ‘bowl.’
A Chopping Board
What it’s for: You can use a chopping board for loads of things. Chopping meats for curry, slicing and dicing onions and chillis, even pulping garlic if you’ve got the time. It’s one of my curry kitchen essentials. And… You’ll only need one.
Why You Need it: Curry involves lots of garlic, onions and chilli. All of these potent ingredients can leave a residue when chopped. If this happens, you’ve got two options: -
- Spend half your evening scrubbing it
- Get in trouble the next day because your partners breakfast mango tastes like last night’s dopiaza.
A dedicated board just for curry is the answer.
What to look for: Don’t go for glass or wood. The first will blunt your knives in no time, the second soaks up juices and again is really unhygienic.
Get a simple and cheap plastic chopping board to use for your curry. Something like this is ideal.
A Decent Knife
What it’s for: Your knife is another essential in a curry cooking kit. With it, you can chop all of your meats, peel and chop onions, shred herbs, slice chilli, peel potatoes, and loads more
Why You Need it: This is one of those essentials that I have never scrimped on in my own curry cooking kit. A good knife is a chef's best friend.
Don’t go thinking you need a full knife set.
Far from it.
A single chef's knife, in the right hands, will do 95% of what you need in the kitchen. Pick the right one, and you’ll be able to do all of the above and more.
What to look for:
- Easy to sharpen
- 20cm blade
- Single piece if possible
- Non-serrated edge
Pestle and Mortar
What it’s for: You’ll use a pestle and mortar to grind herbs, make pastes and purees and combine different ingredients. There’s a real joy to be had from grinding your own spice mixes.
Why You Need it: You can use a blender if you prefer, but I find that a pestle and mortar is just as easy. Besides this, they are much easier to clean… Oh, and it looks amazing sitting on the counter!
What to look for: There’s a huge range out there, but here are the kind of things I’d be looking at: -
- A nice wide bowl
- Made of ceramic material like marble or stone
- Single piece pestle (avoid those with a wooden handle)
What it’s for: A masala Dabba is a fancy name for a few spice pots. It allows you to quickly and easily add spices to your pan when cooking a curry. Chefs in Indian restaurants have huge ones, but I understand that is not practical, so you might need to scale it down slightly.
Why You Need it: Have you got a cupboard full of spice pots of different spices? Ever added chilli powder instead of paprika? Can’t find the turmeric at the key moment?
Hey, we’ve all been there.
A Dabba for Indian spices lets you stay organized and cook quickly and efficiently. I’ll be totally honest. It also makes me feel like a pro in the kitchen too.
What to look for: It’s up to you what you go for. There are custom made masala Dabba tins out there, but here’s what I use. They are cheap, easy to clean and easy to seal, keeping my spices fresh. They are also easy to stack and store in the cupboard. Just label the top and sides with a sharpie.
What it’s for: A few small bowls are invaluable when you are cooking a curry. You can line them up full of different ingredients and add them in sequence when you are following a recipe.
Why You Need it: Ever watched a cooking show where they’ve got the ingredients all ready to go?
This is exactly what you’ll be able to do with 3 or 4 small bowls. Get your ingredients prepped and ready throw in when the time is right. It makes cooking curry super simple and allows you to stay organized.
What to look for: You aren’t going to need anything too pricey. I use bowls like these. Here’s what you want: -
- Super easy to clean
- Decent size
- Unbreakable (which does happen)
- Super hygienic
What they are for: These are the tools you’ll use to ensure that you’ve got the perfect ratio of spices in each recipe you are making.
Why you need them: Admit it. You’ve been using an actual teaspoon to measure out ingredients, haven’t you? And I bet you think a tablespoon is two teaspoons, right?
Don’t worry, I used to do it myself.
This is a surefire way to muck up a recipe, especially when the balance of spices in curry can drastically change its flavour.
Measuring spoons give you an unparalleled degree of consistency. Not only will it make your recipes taste better, but if you want to tweak and change a few elements, you’ve got an excellent baseline to work from.
What to look for: Don’t go too posh or high-end. Pick something cheap. Look for: -
- An easy to store spoon set
- Something that will be durable
- Spoons that are accurate in size and easy to handle.
What it’s for: A decent apron will protect your clothes from stray splashes… And if you are anything like me, you can never find a tea towel to dry your hands on… Bonus feature!
Why You Need it: Look, it’s like this. Curry stains. It is unavoidable. Better spend a little on an apron than loads on new t-shirts, right?
When frying strong-smelling foods like onions and garlic, they can create splashes and a mist that will infuse into the front of your clothes. Au de onion? No, thanks. A decent apron will stop this from happening.
What to look for: Any nice apron will do. Want something specific to cooking curry? Check this bad boy out. It will be ideal if you are making a complete curry cooking kit as a gift! Here are a few things you might want to look for in a decent curry apron: -
Cotton (it washes really well)
A uniform colour (Easier to tell when it needs a wash)
Essential Spices for Cooking Curry
What They are for: Having a good selection of spices is essential. You’ll use a blend of spices to add flavour to and characterize your curry.
Why You Need it: Spices are the literal building blocks of any curry. From Dopiaza to Dhansak and everything in between, you will need them to make a decent Indian.
Want the good news?
You won’t need as many as you think. For about the price of a single takeaway curry, you should find everything you need to make the most famous curries.
Let me show you what you’ll need to make 90% of peoples favourites…
What to look for: While there is a little variation, most curries don’t use that many different spices.
Yep, that’s right. Most curries, in fact, use similar spices, just in different quantities. As a result, you can make a load of curries with a series of ‘base’ spices. From there, it is easy to buy the odd jar now and again if you are trying something different.
Oh, and top tip.
Try to avoid pre-assembled ‘packs’ when you can. Most of the time, they taste nowhere near as good as the things you can make in seconds yourself, and they aren’t always authentic either.
Here’s a list of spices that you should buy in a fairly large quantity: -
- Cumin (either powder or seeds… Hey, you could use your new pestle and mortar!)
- Chilli powder
- Methi leaves
- Coriander powder
- Garam masala
- Tandoori powder
- Kashmiri chilli powder
- Black pepper
Yes, that is just about it! With the above, I guarantee you can make at least 20 different types of curry.
A Complete Curry Cooking Kit? | Final Thoughts
If you weren’t kitted out before, now you definitely will be. My complete curry cooking kit above is literally everything you need to make an authentic curry at home. Your next step is to decide which type of curry you will make and prepare your ingredients. What are you going to make? Let me know in the comments below!