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A No-Frills Knife Kit from the Chef of Babu Ji

The function-driven knives behind the innovative dishes of a bicoastal favorite.

Katie Newburn

At New York’s Babu Ji, Jessi Singh’s genre-bending menu, which features dishes like Unauthentic Butter Chicken and Colonel Tso’s Cauliflower, is as much a signature as the hours-long wait to try it. And while it’s perhaps seemingly disparate, the food is a distillation of Singh’s upbringing in Punjab, India, and a life spent city-hopping across the globe; the opening of Babu Ji San Francisco, in late 2016, meanwhile, only furthered Singh’s penchant for fusing high-quality, local ingredients with traditional Indian flavors. But for all the color in the Babu Ji brand, Singh himself gravitates toward simplicity. His no-frills knife kit is dish-driven, powered by tools that put function before flair.

Victorinox Flexible Boning Knife


“My go-to knife would have to be my flex boning knife. They may look small, but they are nice, sharp and very ideal for working with proteins like chicken. I need them to keep up with [Babu Ji’s] Unauthentic Butter Chicken demand!”

Buy Now: $21

Victorinox 4-Inch Oyster Knife (with Red Supergrip)


“We just opened up Babu Ji San Francisco, [and] we’re so excited about using local produce — especially the bounty of seafood up here in the Bay. We’ve got these great Grassy Bar of Morro Bay oysters on our menu that we serve with pickle butter. This knife is my key to getting those babies shucked and prepped.”

Buy Now: $14

Victorinox Serrated Bread Knife


“I’m a big fan of using my bread knife to slice up our naan pizzas…. I could probably use a chef’s knife or pizza roller to slice it up, but the serrated edge on the bread knife is great for clean quadrants.”

Buy Now: $28

Now Try: Chef Singh’s Tandoori Chicken Recipe


Indian food isn’t just a New Yorker’s take-out darling. Read the Story

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