Like most cooking enthusiasts, I’ve accumulated quite a collection of kitchen tools. I do not have space to stock more and the funny part is that I end up not using most of the stuff. So, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what someone who is new to cooking should buy as a ‘must have.’ Or if you are just an avid shopper like me, and you don’t have one of these, you know what to shop for next.

Here are my top 6 essential kitchen tools. These are things I use on a regular basis while cooking at home.

1. Knife Sharpener
You probably have several knives at home, just like me.  I am sure you have often been frustrated while chopping onions or tomatoes at how blunt the knife you are using has become. A knife sharpener is such a useful tool. Just a few strokes on it and your knives will become sharp as new and allow you to chop and slice much faster.

2. Mortar and Pestle
Yes, I know this sounds a bit ancient but it is ever so easy to use. Especially when its just 2-3 people at home and you have to pound ginger, garlic or dry spices in small quantities, a mortar and pestle comes in so handy. You get so many types in the market. Stone or marble ones are the best. Bamboo or wooden ones are fine too. Just don’t make the mistake of buying a cheap ceramic one as they break easily.

3. Microplane Grater/Zester
Most of us do typically have graters at home but did you know that there are several different types of graters. A microplane grater is quite an asset when you want to finely grate ginger, lemon rind or cheese. I use this almost every single day.

4. Measuring Cups and Spoons
Most cooking requires measurement and I think everyone should own a basic set of measuring cups and spoons. You will be surprised at the difference it can make to the taste of a recipe if you get the measures right! Don’t go looking for fancy pieces, these are purely functional.

5. Pressure Cooker
Gone are the days when a pressure cooker was found sitting only in Indian kitchens. As it turns out, in these days when most people are in a constant battle with time, this is a must have. A dish that would take hours of simmering on the hob can be ready in just 30 minutes with the help of a pressure cooker. From tenderizing meat and vegetables to cooking lentils, soups, and broths, this tool will change your life forever.

6. Disposable Aluminium Baking Trays
Totally utilitarian. Use them and throw them. They are cheap and you don’t have to worry about cleaning. Some of them come with lids and I use them to store my cakes. I bake in them and then just put the lid on once the cake has cooled. You get them in all shapes and sizes. I always keep a few handy in my kitchen.

If you’re reading this in London, all these tools are easily available at Robert Dyas or John Lewis. You could also shop for them online at Amazon UK.