Kitchen Essentials ~ Measuring Cups & Spoons

Tablespoon & Teaspoon used for my daily Indian cooking

Keeping in mind some of my dear readers predicament with regard to measurement of ingredients, on their request, I am doing this post on measuring cups and spoons that I use in my daily cooking and baking. The picture you see above of stainless spoons are the tablespoon and teaspoon that I constantly use for my Indian cooking. I should mention here that often my style of cooking is based on ‘andaz’ (eyeball) measurements and I could go wrong while mentioning the quantity of spices used in a particular recipe. You will have to use your own judgment while working on the recipe. 🙂

Measuring Cups & Spoons

The red measuring cups and spoons you see above are standard American measurement from IKEA. I use the cups for both Indian cooking and baking while I use the spoons only for baking which requires precise measurement. They are convenient to store requiring less storage space and have the measurements embossed on the handles.

American Measurements:

1 cup – 240 ml
1/2 cup – 120 ml
1/3 cup – 80 ml
1/4 cup – 60 ml

1 tbsp – 15 ml
1 tsp – 5 ml

Are you like me where you eyeball the amount of spices/ingredients that go into your cooking? Or do you follow the exact measurements as mentioned in the recipe? Do you also use the tablespoon and teaspoon that I use in my cooking? Do let me know in the comments.

  • జ్యోతి


    శైలజగారు, ఈ చెంచాలు, కొలతలు నాకు పడవండి. ముందున్న కూరలు చూసి చేత్తో అలా వేసేయడమే. నాన్ వెజ్ కి మాత్రం కారంపొడి కొలతగా ఒక స్పూను కారం డబ్బాలో వేసుకున్నా. మీరు చెప్పిన ప్రొసీజర్ మాత్రమే ఫాలో అవుతాను.కొలతలు మాత్రం నా స్వంతంగా చేత్తో అందాజ్ గా వేస్తాను. ఇదే ఈజీగా ఉంటుంది..

  • AshaLatha R K Prasad

    Hey Sailu….

    I am really thankful to you for your helpful post….. It indeed helps many, who are amateurs… I was sometime before…. But really a heartfelt thank you just for you…..


  • Maninas

    I didn’t use to but nowadays I do eyeball quantities. Possibly because I’m more familiar with how they look now!
    I do try to follow the recipe, but also take into account my ingredients. E.g. if I know my cloves are a little old (blush), I’ll add an extra one. Or if I think I’d like, say, more turmeric or cumin in something, I’ll just add it.

    You know what, your tablespoon looks more like what we would call a dessertspoon here in the UK. Our tablespoons are bigger (2 dsp, I think). I think I had been making your recipes with wrong measurements then…
    Or maybe I’m misjudging the sizes now. Is that tbsp 15 ml then?

    • Sailu

      Your right, Maninas, the stainless tablespoon in the first picture is more of a dessertspoon. And its 15 ml.

  • lohitha

    even my measurements are andaz always, but these days when i see a new recipe in your site or some other website i am trying to use the exact measurements given, but i can’t. The table spoons we use here are much bigger than your tablespoon, so if u say one tablespoon, may be i need to add some 3/4 tablespoon.

  • microwave reviews

    When i started i always measured everything exactly, but the more i cook the more i just eyeball. I have the occasional accident (e.g. salt overload) but for the most part I’ve got it down.

  • Jennifer

    A useful post.
    For me, it depends. If I am familiar with the recipe, I eyeball it. If it is new, I go by the measurements. However, like Maninas, I also try to adjust based on freshness of ingredient or other factors.

    But, regarding measurements, I read somewhere that proportion is best. No matter what gadgets we use to measure, so long they are consistent, we get the same proportions as the recipe requires. Like when making idli, some use (like me) 1 cup urad dhal to three cups rice. I actually use an ‘Indian tumbler’ as the ‘1 cup’ but some may use the American measuring ‘1 cup’ as the measure. With American cup vs Indian tumbler the amount will be more, but proportion will be the same, which is the important factor.

    • Sailu

      You are absolutely right on the proportions, Jennifer. In most Indian homes, its the tumbler made of stainless steel that is used in place of the American measurement cups.

  • swetha

    Thanks Sailu. This is really helpful for beginners like me.

  • Sudha

    i think i should start measuring, why, bcoz i never measure in my cooking.

  • Vikas

    It is 100 % eyeball for me. Sometime it ends in a disaster, but very rarely. Most times I add the ingredients that appeal to me and reduce the ones that I try to go less on like salt.

    I also like to experiment while cooking depending on how the thing is shaping up. Hence, exact measurements are not for me.

    I have a huge assortment of spoon sizes in my kitchen and I don’t let them confuse me :).

  • Priya

    I like to eyeball the measurement for the indian recipes but if dealing with baking then i use the exact measurements.

    Sailu, your food and recipes always rockzzzzz! I’m really impressed by the way you put everything on the table.

    Thank you for all your efforts

  • Ã…sa

    That is so funny! I’m a swed and of course familiar with IKEA, but, we don’t have the “standard American measurement”. We have Metric Units like dl, ml, tbsp and tsp in the plastic measuring cups. The measureing cups which, by the way, was invented by a swed named Carl Edvard Johansson for over hundred years ago.

    Personally I often eyeball spices and tablespoon full ingredients. When baking and trying new recipes, I’m more careful and thorough with measuring and weighing everything.

    • Sailu

      Asa, Thanks for sharing the info on Carl Edvard. God Bless him.

  • Neetha

    Thank you Sailugaru. Need of the hour for me. I have one doubt. Your chicken masala balls- which measures have you used. I tried it once. But i felt the dhaniya was a bit too much. My tablespoon is almost double yours. I guess i went wrong there.

    • Sailu

      Follow the recipe according to the picture of ingredients in the Chicken Masala Balls recipe and you will not go wrong, Neetha garu. I’m not sure what measures were used back then. Use the tbsp and tsp in the image above.

  • shirley

    hey sailu
    i religiously follow all the measurements, ur measurements r perfect .. gotta thank u for all ur recipes, ur specification of d cookin time seriously rocks.

  • sridevi

    hi sailuji,

    first of all i would like to congratulate u for this wonderful blog. this is my first comment. i tried couple of ur dishes they came out very good. but i failed in baking cake. sailu garu can u suggest me baking trays or moulds…etc which r useful for baking purpose. since one month only i started using oven so please suggest useful utensils for baking purpose. while i cook on the gas stove i follow eyeball measurement but for oven recipes i follow correct measurements.

  • Sandhya


    I am confused..Do u use American cup measurement for baking and those stainless steel spoon pair for regular cooking?? am i right or is it the other way round? Bcoz when i tried ur banana bread recipe it turned out to be too moist..i was confused abt this measurements esp while baking. Pls clear my doubt. thanks in advance

    • Sailu

      I use American cup measurement for my baking. The spoons above are a tablespoon and teaspoon respectively which I use for regular cooking. The red measuring spoons you see above are used for baking.

  • yelloecanary

    Hi, I have been cooking indian dinners for about 3 weeks now. I discovered Youtubes indian recipes demonstrated mostly by indian home cooks. After a while I noticed two things; 1)when the spices were laid out in bowls in specific amounts for the recipe, if the cook said for example 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds, It looked more like a tablespoon. Almost without exception, every spice looked like at least twice as much as the amount given. 2) when the cook was scooping out spices from one of their spice containers many times they would be using a tablespoon but saying “1/2 teaspoon” (but it looked like a full tsp worth at least). I am not complaining about these awesome home cooks who can do this eyeballing. I do it too when I am measuring say a tsp of salt. My question to anyone reading this is, is there a way to make sure I am getting the right amount in the dish I am making? Is there a book somewhere that gives the actual amounts (actual tsp and tblsp simple stupid style) traditionally used in Indian dishes? Or a website?