Role Of Ladle In A Kitchen: Different Varieties To Own

Ladles, or kalchul as commonly known in many Indian households, are indispensable tools in any kitchen. Their versatility and functionality make them essential for various cooking techniques and dishes. From serving hot soups to stirring thick curries, ladles are designed to make cooking and serving easier and more efficient. Indian cuisine, with its diverse array of dishes and cooking styles, benefits greatly from having a variety of ladles tailored to specific needs. The right ladle can enhance the cooking process, ensuring dishes are prepared and served to perfection. 

Different Ladles to Have in an Indian Kitchen 

Soup Ladle 

A soup ladle is a deep-bowled spoon with a long handle, perfect for serving liquid-based dishes like soups, broths, and stews. In Indian cuisine, it is particularly useful for serving dal (lentil soup), rasam, and various curries with a liquid consistency. The deep bowl ensures that you can serve generous portions of liquid without spilling. A stainless steel or heat-resistant silicone soup ladle is a practical choice for its durability and ease of cleaning. 

Sauce Ladle 

Like a soup ladle but slightly smaller, a sauce ladle is ideal for serving thicker sauces and gravies. Indian dishes such as butter chicken, paneer makhani, and rich kofta curries often have thick, luscious gravies that require a specific ladle for serving. The smaller bowl of the sauce ladle allows for precise pouring, ensuring that the right amount of gravy is served with each portion. 

Skimmer Ladle  

A skimmer ladle, or jharna kalchul, is a flat, perforated spoon used for straining and skimming. It is particularly useful in Indian cooking for tasks such as removing foam from boiling pulses or skimming impurities from broths. It is also essential for frying, as it allows you to lift and drain deep-fried items like puris, pakoras, and bhajis from hot oil. A stainless-steel skimmer ladle with a sturdy handle is ideal for these tasks, as it can withstand high temperatures and frequent use. 

Ladle with a Flat Base  

A flat-based ladle, known as patta kalchul, is perfect for stirring and serving dishes with a thick consistency, such as sambhar, kadhi, and various Indian desserts like halwa and kheer. The flat base allows for even stirring and prevents food from sticking to the bottom of the pan. This type of ladle often has a slightly curved edge, making it easier to scrape the sides of the pot and ensure that all ingredients are well mixed. 

Rice Ladle  

A rice ladle is specifically designed for serving rice and other grain-based dishes like biryani and pulao. It typically has a broad, shallow bowl with a flat edge, making it easy to scoop and serve rice without breaking the grains. A wooden or plastic rice ladle is a good option, as it is gentle on non-stick cookware and does not conduct heat, ensuring comfortable handling even when serving hot rice. 

Tadka Ladle 

A tadka ladle, also known as a seasoning ladle, is a small, deep ladle used for preparing and pouring tadka or tempering. Tadka is a crucial step in many Indian recipes, involving the frying of spices in hot oil or ghee to release their flavours. The tadka ladle is designed to handle small quantities of oil and spices, and its long handle ensures safe and easy pouring of hot tadka into the main dish. Stainless steel tadka ladles are preferred for their heat resistance and durability.