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multi-cultural cooking tools

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So, as I was searching for dips and other culinary finds (a good distraction from homework) I came across a Moroccan cooking tool. Some of you may be familiar with it, it is called a Tagine. It is a very funny looking pot that is used to slowly cook foods over a charcoal flame.

I was also reading about curries and tandooris and came across a Tandoor. It looks like a kiln used in ceramics.

What can you guys tell me about these cool looking tools and what are some neat cooking tools that you ave seen through your culinary travels?

Gummy-Bear
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post #2 of 10
A tandoor is a hot (maybe 450-500 degrees) clay oven in India. Some roti types (Indian bread) are slapped onto the tandoor's walls and that makes for very hot cooking. There is nothing quite like India's tandoor breads.
post #3 of 10
I own 4 tagine of various sizes. One of the very big ones I bought in Algeria or Morocco about 10 or so years ago, and carried back to the UK in my hand luggage. It weighed a ton and I was so careful with the bag, in order to get it home in one piece.

Two or three months later, I found the very same tagine (size, maker) on sale in the kitchware section of a large department store, for about the same cost as the authentic one I'd lugged back from holiday!

I forgot to say, that strange 'chimney' on the tagine's lid is not open to the air - it is used to allow the steam to congregate and then allow it to drop back into the stew/couscous or whatever you are cooking, keeping it deliciously moist!

Another strange tool is the Scottish spurtle, used to prepare porridge. In fact, there is a competition each year, called the Golden Spurtle Award. Here's the website and there's a photograph of a woman holding said award, which will show you the shape The Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship

I also use my granny's 'girdle' - what we call a griddle. It is a large circle of metal, with a handle which folds down, which was traditionally the way we made scones and potato scones. It still makes the best drop scones (what the English call Scotch pancakes) and it must be at least 120 years old, cos it was my Granny's mum's before her!
post #4 of 10
I made a spurtle in a woodworking class I took about 30 years ago. Mine looked a bit different, though, more like this:


As for multi-cultural cooking tools, a number of them have become standard in American kitchens: woks, chopsticks (I use them every day to stir pasta, season popcorn evenly and many more ways), etc. It was impossible to find an Aebleskiver pan in this country until relatively recently.

Ginger graters, fondue pots, molcahetes... you name it. Stores like Crate and Barrel, IKEA, even Target in the US carry a wide array of gadgets, tools and cooking vessels.
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post #5 of 10
Think a tandoor is more like 8-900 degrees F. Of all the cooking tools I have, I don't have a kadai, or karahi, or kahdai. I saw a friend roast whole spices in a kadai and he left the spices in the oil for like 20 minutes and they didn't burn! The bottom was like an inch thick. Well, maybe not an inch, but it was quite thick.
post #6 of 10
Molcajete not Molcahete.....I use one on a regular basis...
post #7 of 10
Oops... :blush: Thanks for the correction!

Mezz (who knows French but not Spanish)
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post #8 of 10
Non-traditional spurtle, then, Mezzaluna? As long as it works..... who cares what it looks like?!:D
post #9 of 10
Molcajete, mortar and pestle, whatever. Every culture and cuisine in the world has their version of this tool.
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post #10 of 10
[quote=kuan;218745]Think a tandoor is more like 8-900 degrees F.[quote]

Thx for the correction. I knew they were hot, but didn't realize they were that hot.
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