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17 July 2020 | 5 min read

The 12 Pantry Staples That Everyone Needs In Their Kitchen

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Whether you are self-isolating in your home or finally taking the plunge to learn basic cooking for your survival, stocking up on these kitchen essentials is the first step. It doesn’t matter whether you are learning the basic dal-chawal recipe or making something as complicated as a Chicken Biryani, 12 pantry staples will keep you afloat during sleepless nights and early mornings alike. And this goes regardless of a lockdown. Start taking notes because after this you might want to take a trip to your nearest supermarket aisle. 

Flour and Rice 

The primary staple of every Indian kitchen is aata – chawal, how else will you make a condiment to all your spicy curries? If you are someone who likes to get the cooking done quickly, make sure you stock up on rice. Of course, flour is also one of the kitchen essentials because once in a while you would want to eat those lip-smacking aloo ke parathe among many other dishes. 

Spices 

Goes without saying that your pantry staple should be chock full of spices. From turmeric, chilli powder, cardamom, fenugreek seeds to the hero of every dish – salt, make sure you stock up on all the essential spices. And some more like Chicken powder, curry leaves and others if you are planning to cook something super spicy and delicious. 

Lentils {Dal}

You cannot make the basic khichdi, the wholesome saviour of every person without lentils. And there are plenty to choose from to make a recipe of your choice. Make sure you stock up on the ones that you would gladly have with your rice. 

Chickpea Flour {Besan}

From making those scrumptious pakoras to chilla for breakfast or even laddoos, there is a whole range of dishes you can make from besan. And you can play around with it as per your convenience and cooking skills. 

Ghee 

One tablespoon of ghee a day keeps the doctor away is what Indian moms adhere to when it comes to keeping their children healthy. And it is a proven fact that non-processed and pure ghee is extremely good for your body. Want that glowing skin? Make ghee a stable part of your kitchen essential! 

Jaggery (Gur)

A personal favourite and a healthy replacement to your processed sugar, jaggery is sweet without those extra calories. It has plenty of health benefits and a taste that no amount of fat-free sweeteners could impart to your smoothies, shakes and other concoctions. It keeps you warm from the inside during winters that is why it is popular among North Indians. 

Coconut 

Whether you have a whole coconut at home, it’s water or just coconut milk, make sure you stock up with this kitchen essential. It is perfect for your health and imparts that extra character and taste to your flavourful curries, be it chicken or just a vegetable for dinner. Try it! 

Yoghurt

Ahh, another type of kitchen essentials that can be eaten with almost everything, from daal-chawal, khichdi to your biryani and pulao, yoghurt is something that you need in every kitchen pantry. Plus, it is right for your gut and can be had without any sugar or salt. Just plain old yoghurt is perfect for those mid-day snacks. 

Sesame Oil 

Also known as sarso ka tel and the staple of every Indian household. Before refined oil came in the picture, it was sesame oil which made cooking possible every day. And it is still a preferred choice as it keeps your heart healthy when used in moderation. Moreover, you can use this oil for your hair, body, and it will give amazing results. 

Fruits And Vegetables 

You cannot go without having vegetables or for that matter, seasonal fruits. Whether it is mango season or strawberries, make sure your pantry is always packed with fresh fruits and vegetables. Oh, and don’t forget those fresh, fragrant and flavourful coriander leaves whenever you go to the market.

Canned Fish Or Seafood

Canned fish and seafood is an excellent life-saver as it can boost a salad or upgrade your usual pasta dish. Flake fish into a soup, mix with mayo to make a seafood salad, the possibilities are nearly endless. That’s not all – canned fish can last for quite some time, so you can always have a few can be stored so that you can use them for a last-minute lunch or dinner that will end up being way better than it would’ve been otherwise.

Pasta And Noodles 

Noodles are a staple kitchen essential and part of almost every type of diet. While you can cook up rice noodles for an Asian-inspired dish in under 10 minutes, throw pastina (the star-shaped kind!) into a broth or soup, or fry them with some vegetables. Noodles are easy, filling, and oh-so-versatile. You need them—stock up.

If you don’t feel like stepping out {COVID 19 or not}, you can always purchase your kitchen essentials from bigbasket. They deliver everything fresh and on time. Plus, if you sign up for a digibank by DBS debit card, you could easily earn a cashback of up to INR 4800 per annum. They are running amazing offers on their app right now. Check it out! 

by Sagar Shah
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