When I started living alone in Delhi four years back, I had no idea about all the things that are required in the kitchen. There are basics you cannot do without and some lovely things that make cooking an absolute pleasure. Here's a list of some of the things I cannot function without (personally, I think these are important in every kitchen):
Food processor: I have an Inalsa food processor that comes with many different attachments. My most used attachments are the dough kneader and the blender. When you don't want chunks of onion to show, blend it in the processor! It comes with a liquid measuring cup too.
Convection microwave: Like every working couple, we live in an apartment with space constraints so I got a microwave that doubles up as an oven, so you can bake and reheat without investing in another bulky device!
Multipurpose grater: I recently got a nifty grater from Big Bazaar that has four different graters in it, including a microplane zester and it cost me only 190/-!
Measuring spoons and cups: I don't really measure anything when it comes to cooking. It is a bad habit but when baking, I use my measuring cups and spoons to get every detail right. Buy them, they're super cheap too.
Oven mitts: Just trust me on this.
Chopping board: Okay, so a chopping board. Hmm. To tell you the truth, I have never cut anything without a chopping board but I have see SO MANY people who have never used a chopping board in their life. Buy one, it makes cutting and chopping an easy task.
Quality knives: Never underestimate a good knife. Sure you can get something for Rs. 10 but buy one that costs Rs. 80 and you'll see the difference. I suggest a brand called Glare, they have the best knives in India. Delhi folks can get them at any kitchen supply store.
Baking pans: I wouldn't suggest stocking up on too many things (space problems!) but buy one set of all possible tins and pans you can think of. Get a pie dish, an 8" springform pan, a loaf tin, a baking tray, a cookie sheet, some cookie cutters and a muffin tray. For bulk purchases, visit Lal Kuan in Old Delhi.
Super cute pressure cooker: I begged my husband to get me a green apple pressure cooker this Diwali and I am in love with it. Its just so cute. It is reserved for crappy day cooking!
Pretty plates: Pretty plates and bowls can be very expensive so just buy 1-2 plates. You don't need to reserve them for guests, just make yourself happy!