Food items and Utensils

Some of the common food items that students carry are:

  • Tea leaves
  • Haldi
  • Dhania powder
  • Red chilly powder
  • Instant masalas like garam masala, chana masala, pav bhaji masala, sambhar masala etc.
  • Mustard
  • Different dals in small quantity for initial use.
  • Asafoetida powder (Heeng)
  • Indian instant coffee + Indian tea (it takes time to get used to the American stuff)
  • Elaichi, clove, cinnamon, curry leaves; if you know where to use them 😉
  • Pickles, if you have enthu, but preferably get sealed bottles or packets with branded lables
  • Rice
  • Papad

Bring approx. 1-2 month supply of masalas.

Most Indian foodstuffs are available in Indian stores. Don’t come loaded with foodstuffs as you may have problem with customs. Now a days they open sealed packets and sometimes spill the contents on rest of the luggage. So get only the bare minimum. Try to get “instant” stuff, as people don’t have much time for cooking in the US.


Depends on whether you guys plan to cook alone or with your housemates, since most people don’t get time to cook daily, food is generally prepared for two days at a go – so keep this in mind when you buy vessels, etc. Don’t buy small sized kadhai or pressure cooker. You may share these things with other people whom you would be sharing your apartment with. Typical stuff you may want is:

  • Plates 4-5
  • Glasses 4-5
  • Cups and bowls 4-5s
  • Forks
  • Serving spoons 3-4
  • Kadhai medium size
  • Pressure cooker – 5 liters
  • Cooker containers and spares (rings and valves)
  • Non-stick frying pan with spatula
  • Tongs and knives
  • Cutting board for vegetables
  • 2-3 pateela’s that fit into each other and that preferably have handles
  • Spoons
  • Knife

Try to get ‘Microwave safe’ materials for plates, cups and bowls like glass, ceramic, certain plastics. Metals and bakelite for example can’t be used in a microwave.

If you want to buy utensils from US, at least get a Pressure Cooker and a Kadhai. You may not find these in the stores here.

August 27, 2013