Kitchen Ninja: Know your knives and chopping hacks from a chef

  • As told to Manali Shah, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 14, 2016 18:06 IST
Representative image of a chef holding a cleaver knife (Photo: Shutterstock)

A new workshop promises to sharpen your knife skills. Let’s start with the basics

Confused by the different types of knives out there? Refer to an expert’s handy guide to know which knife to use when.

* Utility rating as per versatility in a home kitchen

Tips and tricks

1) When you start learning to chop, always start with a paring knife, not with a chef’s knife. The chef’s knife is bigger and there are more chances of hurting yourself.

2) Chop delicate herbs only in one direction. If you chop them in both directions, it damages them.

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3) Upturn a bell pepper after removing the seeds and then chop it. This makes sure the skin does not create any hindrance while chopping.

4) To make peeling garlic easier, take garlic cloves and microwave them for six to seven seconds. Then, remove and crush them with the back of your knife. Now, the skin can be easily removed and you can chop them.

5) Onions that are small lend themselves to really fine chopping and give a better grip.

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6) A common mistake people make is using a knife to check whether potatoes are done. Never dip your knife in hot water, it damages the blade.

7) It’s advisable to buy plastic chopping boards. Never go for a wooden chopping board (wood particles may chip and enter the food.

Advanced skills: Keeping your knives sharp

1) Sharpening stones have two sides. Use the smooth side only for maintaining the sharpness of a good knife and the rough side for severely damaged knives.

2) First, soak the a sharpening stone in water. You will see bubbles come out. Once they stop, take it out.

3) Put a few drops of water on the stone. Keep four fingers on the blade of the knife, bend knife to 45 degrees and drag it from top to bottom.

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4) Repeat this procedure three to four times. It’s important to make sure you wet the stone before every use.

5) Flip the knife’s side and repeat the same procedure but in an opposite direction, that is, from bottom to top. If you move the knife in only one direction, you will damage it.

- By Chef Kaizad Khodayari, owner, Golden Spoon Cook Studio

Fact file

Blue Bulb organises knife skills workshops on demand.

Minimum participants: 2; Price: Rs 1,000 per person; Email:; Visit:;Call: 3227 0033

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