Sunday, April 26, 2009

My kitchen knives

- By Deepa Krishnan
When I first set up my kitchen, I bought a set of five steel knives from an upscale lifestyle store. There was a lovely chunky wooden holder (you know, the light coloured wood that you see in Scandinavian furniture?). The knives sat snugly in it. The darn thing caught my fancy.
I brought the knives and the holder home, and set it up on the kitchen counter. When the sun streamed through the window, the knife handles gleamed satisfactorily. Ah, Deepa, I told myself - you have quite the modern kitchen!
Five years have gone by now - and guess what - the knives are still sitting in the holder. We don't use them at all! Instead, my maids prefer these - the 10 rupee handmade knives from Zaveri Bazaar.

These knives are made by hand. A blade is inserted into a wooden holder, and bound with thin wire. The blade is then sharpened on a grinding stone. The nicer, bigger ones cost twenty rupees.
It's not just my maids who love these knives - I do too. They are excellent for slicing vegetables; and even the trickiest tomato is no trouble at all. I think it's because the blade is really thin and flexible. T-chak! T-chick! In minutes the carrots and beans are all neatly sliced!
My food-writer friend Rushina is a big fan of these knives too. I remember a couple of years ago, I was walking in Bhuleshwar with her and she said, "Deepa, you know, these are really great for vegetable carving." That's when I bought these for the first time, and now I'm hooked.
The knives are incredibly sharp when you buy them. But they lose the sharpness in a couple of months, because they're really thin knives and I don't think the metal is high quality. When we've used them for a couple of months, we take them back to the knife guy, and have him sharpen them again.

In spite of the need for sharpening, they're really lovely to use, and we've switched over completely to these. Next time you're in Zaveri Bazaar, or at your local market, buy yourself one of these. Oh, and if you need to see how sharp the knife is, ask them to demonstrate that neat paper-slicing thing they do! It's fun to watch!


bellybytes said...

interesting indeed! Will definitely try this sometime.

Shobna said...

You know something? Knives are not to be washed but wiped. It turns out the habit of washing knives is what causes them to lose their sharpness quickly. Sounds easy enough, so I tried it. Went back to washing after a bit of tendli and raw banana cutting, though.

Chandu @ IBA said...

The best are the knives made from hacksaw blades. you see the bhelpuri walas use them. I use them when my hacksaws wear down.

mumbai hotels said...

Excellent post..keep rocking...try to add your experiences with mumbai hotels and tourist shopping places also so that views will get benifit out of this...

Anonymous said...

Miss your old style of writing and you dont write that often. What's up

Rumela said...

A knife can be your best friend during food preparation, or it can cause serious injury - depending on your skill and what you know about knife safety. There are some basic safety tips and hints about using a knife properly. thank you for shearing your post.

Suresh G said...

Thanks for sharing ..Nice one
modern kitchens in mumbai

Praveen G said...

Thanks for sharing. Looking forward for more like this. Also don't forget to see this modern kitchens in mumbai

nisha said...

hi deepa I'm from chennai.
can I get the name of the shop?

Deepa Krishnan said...

Nisha - these knives are available in all markets in Mumbai. In Zaveri Bazaar there are street stalls, it is just one short stretch of road, so you can't miss it.

Sonal arora Taneja said...

Hi i m simmi from hoshiarpur punjab, can i get these knives online on internet..pls inform me if possible

Sonal arora Taneja said...

Hi i m simmi from hoshiarpur punjab..i need to buy these knives online..pls inform me if its possible to buy on internet or on COD basis..