Tamil traditional cooking tools
When we talk about country side cooking, we must mention the tools they use for cooking. In fact these are the traditional cooking tools which gives the authentic Tamil cusine taste.
Nowadays we use electronic equivalent for convenience in cooking. However if we have some time to cook and the tools in hand, then you are about to enjoy a great feast when cooked using these tools. Note: You will need to learn how to use them before trying them out.
Let us briefly look at the above Tamil traditional cooking tools list:
When you want to crush things to make it into a chutney, then we use ammi kallu. In present day, mixie is the equivalent for ammi kallu.
When you want to grind something, for example, the idly-dosai batter, we used Ural in those days. The present day equivalent is the grinder. Note that grinder we mention here is truly an Indian machinery or to be precie South Indian cooking tool.
Viragu means Wood for cooking fire. Aduppu means Stove in Tamil language. We used fire wood to cook and hence the taste of our traidional food takes in the aroma of the fire wood as well.
In Tamil language, Saani means Cow dung in English. We take the cow dung, make it into a flat circular form and dry it in sun. The result is called Saani thattai which can be used instead of fire wood.
Saani or Cow dung is also used for many other purpose for example to sanitize the place.
Man satti or just Satti means a vessel made out of mud. Its equivalent could be ceramic but less expensive one. Kuzhambu made using Satti is delicious. Nowdays Satti is coming back to our lives. There are speciality restaurants cooking and serving food in Satti. Spelling variations included chatti, chati, sati, satty, man chatti. More...
Paanai is also a vessel made of mud. This is like a bug pot, best example would be the pot used to depict Pooh bear and the honey pot. We pour water in the Paanai. Within few minutes water will be cool. Very good to drink water from Paanai during summer. We also use Paanai to store "More".
A special kind of Paanai is used as a musical instrument called "Gadam" or "Ghatam". It is percussion instrument used in the Carnatic music of South India. Most famous musician is Vinayakram, a Grammy award winning percussionist from Tamil Nadu.
Dosai kallu as the name denotes is for making Dosai. Kallu literally means stone. The stone on which Dosai is made. Dosai made in the traditional Dosai kallu gives the delicious Dosai. This kallu is traditionally made using caste iron. We also use this for making side dishes like Plantain fry, South Indian style scrambled Eggs (Egg Poriyal), Omelettes, etc...
Photo of Caste Iron Dosai Kallu:
Similar to Dosai kallu for making Dosai, this Aappa kallu is for making Aappam.
We have a dedicated page for this.
Vaanal is a curved pan used to make sautes and fries. This is usually are made in caste iron.
Photo of Vaanal (Taken while making Masala Vadai)
"Anjarai petti" in Tamil language translates literally to "Five Room Box" in English. "Anju" means "Five". "Arai" means "Room" and "Petti" means "Box. Basically a box that will have 5 compartments. We will keep some spices and lentils needed for tempering in this box.
There are no equivalent words in English for many of these tools. These are all truly native Tamil traditional tools for cooking delicious food.