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Indian Cooking Equipment | Everything you Need for Curry

Indian Cooking Equipment Everything you Need for Curry

So, you’ve decided that you want to learn how to make a delicious curry at home? But you aren’t sure about which Indian cooking equipment you will need? No problem, you are in the right place. In this article, I’m going to go through the equipment used in Indian cuisine. The good news is that you probably have most of it already! I’ll also address some common questions that I get asked all the time.

What do you need for Indian Cooking? | Getting Started with Indian Cooking Equipment

Ok, my fellow curry spies… Listen up!

I’ve got some good news for you. There is absolutely no reason why you won’t be able to make some really tasty curries at home. Before I worked in an Indian kitchen, I thought there’d be loads of specialist equipment and exotic cookware…

Here’s the secret.

There absolutely isn’t.

My site’s whole purpose is to help you make Indian food that tastes just like a takeaway at home. So, it makes sense that you shouldn’t need to invest in anything fancy or hard to find.

Without further ado, here is a shortlist of Indian cooking equipment for making absolutely any recipe I post: –

For the curry preparation

  • Plastic bowls in differing sizes
  • Weighing scales
  • Measuring Spoons
  • A chopping board
  • A couple of really sharp knives
  • A garlic crusher
  • A blender or food processor
  • A measuring jug

For the actual cooking of your curry

  • 3 x saucepans in differing sizes
  • A large frying pan
  • A spatula or fish slice.
  • A few wooden spoons
  • A ladle

Notice anything? Apart from the list being really short?

The good news is that the equipment used in Indian cuisine isn’t fancy… You’ve probably got it already!

Let’s have a quick dig down into each item on my list, and I’ll tell you briefly how it is used to make a curry…

Curry Preparation Equipment

Plastic bowls in differing sizes

I absolutely love having a selection of bowls to hand. You’ll be using this for lots of different things, including marinating, measuring out ingredients, and mixing up some amazing Indian spice blends.

And here’s a tip.

Go really cheap. Indian spices tend to be bright and vivid (just like my curries), but they can stain bowls over time.

Weighing Scales

Have you heard the saying?

“If you aren’t measuring, you are guessing.”

Weighing scales will allow you to get each recipe absolutely spot on. Once you get a bit of experience, you can eyeball your ingredients and ‘play jazz’, but you’ll want to weigh everything out for now.

Measuring Spoons

Paired with the above, this is another way of ensuring consistency. This is one of my Indian cooking equipment essentials!

Those Indian spices can be strong. And no, a tablespoon is not ‘the same’ as a dessert spoon! So if you don’t want to blow your head off with chili powder, it pays to be accurate with your measuring.

A Chopping Board

If you’ve seen my curry base gravy recipe {LINK}, you’ll know it is full of one thing…

Chopped onions.

You will probably want a separate ‘Indian chopping board’, unless you want every other food you make to taste like freshly cut onions.

A Couple of Really Sharp Knives

sharp knife

One of my kitchen jobs (when I wasn’t washing pots and pans) was to peel piles and piles of onions. It was hard work but was made much easier by having a really sharp knife.

A sharp knife is also handy for cutting meat and vegetables.

One thing I love to throw into my curry is handfuls of freshly chopped coriander. Pick a great knife and a sturdy chopping board, and you’ll find this so much easier.

A Garlic Crusher

A large proportion of Indian recipes feature garlic or ginger…

Or both!

A garlic crusher makes light work of those pesky cloves. When you crush garlic, it releases all of those aromatic oils. I prefer it to slicing garlic for sure.

A Blender or Food Processor

Ok, so this isn’t essential Indian cooking equipment, but I find it saves me loads of time and hassle when I want to make a paste or spice marinade. I also use mine for blitzing meats for use in things like kebabs or making keema too.

A Measuring Jug

Many curry recipes use various amounts of liquid, and you won’t want to get it wrong. A good measuring jug is essential. I find a cheap plastic one is the best, then I don’t get too upset when the inside starts to get stained orange.

Yes, I do cook that much curry that my kitchen equipment starts to discolour.

Indian Cooking Equipment Used to Cook Curry

3 x Saucepans in Differing Sizes

saucepans of different sizes

I use saucepans for lots of things when I’m cooking curry. Here are some examples…

I use a large saucepan when I am preparing base gravy.

I use the small saucepan to keep an individual portion of base gravy hot when cooking a curry.

While making a curry, I will use the medium pan to get the rice cooked to perfection. 

The only difference in the equipment used in Indian cuisine in a restaurant is that it tends to be much bigger (but that’s because they are serving hundreds of customers each evening).

A Large Frying Pan

Now, elsewhere (not naming any names), you’ll get supposed curry ‘authorities’ claiming that you need a fancy ‘Indian pan… Like a Kadai to make curry. What I’m going to say is this.

Use a normal large frying pan.

This is where you will make 99% of your curries, so it does pay to have a good one.

And you’ll only need one! I actually steer clear of thinner ‘nonstick’ varieties of pans. Anything with a reasonably heavy bottom will do the trick. I like a heavy bottomed frying pan for Indian cooking because I can get it really hot, great for making sure that meat stays tender.

 A Spatula or Fish Slice

Ever tried to turn flat foods over with a wooden spoon?


I use a spatula all the time. When I’m making fresh naan [Link}, whipping up a batch of chapatis, or trying to fish out a wayward poppadom, a spatula is really useful.

A Few Wooden Spoons

A few? Why?

Listen, here’s a golden rule of mine…

Never eat curry in a white shirt… Do you know why?

It stains everything.

Wood is a little bit porous (it soaks up liquid). This includes soaking up the deliciously fragrant spiced curry sauce. Over time you’ll end up with your spoon becoming discoloured. I have a special ‘curry spoon’ which has taken on the colour of my madras over time.

A Ladle

ladle for curry

I use a ladle for a few things. First, it is great at portioning out curry base into bags to be frozen for later use. (yes, you can freeze curry sauce). It is also really good for transferring base gravy into your curry during the cooking process.

If you aren’t sure how to use base gravy, check out this article.

So, that’s my list. Have you already got everything you need to make curry? I suspect you have, and if not, these items can be picked up pretty much anywhere.


I’ve been in the kitchen, and I’ve seen how they make it. Whenever I’m talking curry, people ask the same questions. Here are some things that I am commonly asked about Indian cooking equipment…

What Pans do Indian Restaurants Use?

Obviously, Indian restaurants can make hundreds of curries a night. So they’ll need to use several pans. This could get expensive. Most Indian restaurants tend to use pretty cheap all metal frying pans. Check this video, and you’ll see exactly what they use…

Can I make Curry in Cast Iron?

Yes, you can! Cast iron is great for cooking curry (but not so great for washing up, let me tell you).

Cast iron holds heat well and maintains an even temperature. This is great for frying and caramelizing… Which makes for a super tasty curry.

Can I make curry in a Frying Pan?

Have you even read my article?

A frying pan is the best way to make a curry. No slow cookers or dutch ovens here, thanks. We do it like the professionals!

Can I make curry in a Wok?

Yes indeed! A wok is pretty similar to a frying pan. The only downside is that the liquid tends to sit over a smaller area, meaning your curry boils instead of fries. But if you don’t have a frying pan, a wok can make for a great alternative.

What is a Kadai Pan?

A Kadai pan is a traditional pan used to cook curry on the Indian subcontinent. It is curved with high sides. They are made of many different materials, including copper, iron, and steel.  A Kadai differs from a wok in that it has a flat bottom. You’ll also hear it referred to as a Karahi… Which is where this curry gets its name from. 


If you’ve got all of the above already, you actually have all the Indian cooking equipment you’ll need! Believe me, there is nothing fancy in your local curry restaurant kitchen. So, you’ve got the gear, is it time to cook a curry? Why not head on over to my recipe blog and see if there’s something you fancy?

Enjoy Making Curry Yourself?

Hey folks, thanks for reading this article. I hope you found it useful, and that you learned something new allowing you to make your curry extra special. Here are a few things that can really elevate your curry game to the next level. 

These are affiliate links, so if you use them I receive a small commission, but this won’t cost you any extra. In all honesty, I use very similar items myself, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to my friends.

A Complete Curry Kit: – Literally, everything you’ll need to make curry all in one place. Cookware, storage, utensils, even the spices! This is my dedicated guide to getting you up and running all for the price of few takeaways.

Curry pans: – You need one, and one only. A frying pan exactly like this is really easy to use, and is exactly the type that authentic Indian chefs use to make the type of curry that you’ll have in your local takeaway. You can see my full reviews of several pans right here…

Spice Storage: – Being organised is half the battle in making great curry. Spices can be notoriously hard to keep tidy. That’s why I tend to use a spice rack like this. You can arrange your spices by size, heat, or any way you choose. I’ve got a detailed review of several Indian spice racks in this guide.

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