Want to cook Indian food but don’t know where to start?? I will do some help with organising your spice pantry.
“A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavour, colour, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours.In the kitchen, spices are distinguished from herbs, which are leafy, green plant parts used for flavouring or as garnish.“ — Wikipedia
Many people have a spice rack that looks pretty neat and kinda decorates the kitchen. I use a spice rack for my other spice inventory. For easy daily use..I call it “take ‘n use”.. I use a spice container which gets filled every now and then. My container looks like the one below, its a container with smaller partitions inside with a transparent air tight lid:
The spices are used in various forms and obviously cooking is one of those forms, as these spices create delicious and distinctive flavours. These cooking methods with spicing were developed over centuries. The spices are the basics of Indian cooking.
Some important rules to follow:
- Always buy and stock up groceries as needed
- Store all groceries in cool dry and well ventilated place
What are the staples of an Indian pantry:
Rice, lentils, beans, spices and herbs and there are many other things but these are the basics
The above mentioned air tight spice container is kept near your cooking area so you can easily whip out the spices needed for the dishes. Those spice containers can be bought in any Indian spice grocers, or you can order them online. My spice container contains a variety of powders and seeds. I arrange them in a way that the powders are together and the seeds are separately together.. separately together?? what I meant was seeds together but separate from the powders.
What do I keep in my spice container.
Mustard seeds aka kadugu – small round black seeds
Cumin seeds aka Jeera
Chana dhal ( form of lentil)
Turmeric powder – tastes very bitter when raw but when added to cooking it tastes delicio 🙂 It enhances the flavour of the food and the colour is so bright makes the food look pretty and yellow
Coriander and Cumin powder – mixture of coriander leaves and cumin seeds grinded together to make a powder
Red Chilli powder enhances the colour and flavour of food..use with caution as too many spoonful of these can burn your tongue 😉
The leftover spices are kept in the spice rack. Thus, these containers can hold limited amount of spices for daily use and when empty..just refill.
The above seeds and powders can be found on the international isle of the store or any Indian grocery store. So the above is kept in the spice container. I have my black , white pepper in separate containers and salt in a different container.
You can keep roasted coriander seeds in the spice container as well, but I don’t use it in my daily cooking.
When you buy spices make sure they have not been sitting on the shelves for months on.
I have two spice containers. My second spice container has the following:
There are so many spices you can add to the above but these are found in my spice containers and I use them often. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further question in regards to spice managing. It’s pretty simple. Enjoy Indian cooking and don’t be shy to experiment with the spices.