Basic grocery items that you absolutely SHOULD have in your pantry.
What crazy two weeks we have had. The covid-19 (corona) virus is spreading like crazy and it has started to freak me out. Here in India, the situation is not as bad as the rest of the world (China/ Italy/ US/ UK) but it IS getting bad and we need to be prepared, we need to EAT!
We are all in this together & we WILL get through this. How are you dealing with this? Let me know in comments or shoot me an email and we can chat.
With the hon'ble PM announcing a lock down in the country for 21 days, it was essential to stock up on basic groceries WITHOUT BEING GREEDY, which we luckily did last week. My greatest tip? Carry a list with you. SO HELPFUL.
Here is a complete grocery list that I prepared with my mom, for pantry essentials - for both: regular Indian kitchen + fancy Indian kitchen. (This is the reality of how the kitchen actually works in my home)
All of my favourite recipes are listed in [brackets] + click here for the complete recipe index of this blog - super easy to navigate (see image below)
And click here for my 20 simple vegetarian recipes on the blog. Super simple recipes and there is something for everyone for all meals including lunch, breakfast & dinner.
REGULAR INDIAN KITCHEN
Basics/ Oils: ghee (clarified butter), oil, extra virgin olive oil, mustard oil
+ tea, coffee [no bake coffee cheesecake, coffee panna cotta, tiramisu]
Spices: salt, pepper, degi mirch, garam masala, haldi (turmeric), dhaniya powder (coriander)
Flours: whole wheat flour (aata), all purpose flour (maida), chickpea flour (besan)
+ semolina (sooji), rice flour
Grains: rice, brown rice, flattened rice (poha)
Daal (lentils): urad dhuli, urad sabut, arhar daal, rajma (kidney beans), chhole (chickpeas): both white & black (channa), massoor dhuli, kali massoor, moong sabut, mothh, moong chilka, urad chilka
Sugars: regular sugar, caster (breakfast) sugar, jaggery (gudd)
Dairy: milk, (+milk powder packs), yogurt (dahi) [for a delicious lemon garlic yogurt dip or my favourite caramelised onion dip], cheese slices (for a delicious corn toast), cheese cubes, mozzarella (for quick breakfast sandwiches), salted butter, cream (for a quick creamy pasta), paneer
[for all pasta recipes, click here]
Spreads: peanut butter (both crunchy and creamy), mix fruit marmalade, jam
Noodles: hakka noodles, maggi noodles, macaroni, vermicelli
For the freezer: frozen paranthas, malabar paranthas, corn, peas, mix snacks like corn nuggets, veg nuggets, potato tots, ice cream
Nuts/ Seeds: cashews, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, sabutdana / tapioca seeds [for sabutdana khichdhi, sabudtana vada or sabutdana kheer], pumpkin seeds
Cookies: oat cookies, regular biscuits (= lots of jim jam)
Sauces: soy sauce, ketchup, chilli garlic sauce
Favourite INDIAN recipes:
FANCY INDIAN KITCHEN
Spices: oregano, taco seasoning, dried parsley, chilli flakes, garlic powder, onion powder
Flours: corn flour, corn meal
Oils: sesame oil
Dairy: cheddar, parmesan, goat cheese, mascarpone, ricotta, whipping cream, blue cheese, sour cream, cream cheese
Sauces/ spreads: biscoff, salsa, nutella, hoisin sauce, sriracha, oyster sauce, chilli garlic sauce, sweet onion sauce
Noodles: rice noodles, udon noodle, all pastas [all pasta recipes]
Canned: chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, canned beans
For the fridge: lots of coconut milk, eggs [quick cinnamon french toast]
Frozen: gnocchi, mixed berries, puff pastry, filo pastry, spring roll sheets, wonton wrappers gyoza wrappers, samosa sheets
Baking essentials: yeast, brown sugar, caster sugar, unsalted butter, baking powder, baking soda, chocolate chips, chocolate (I used morde): both milk and dark, vanilla essence
Others? maple syrup, vegetable stock cubes
Tips for stocking up groceries in your Indian kitchen:
- carry the list. print this or make your own list, customise it & print it out or write the groceries on a piece of paper & carry it with you. this always helps and makes this so much easier.
- have a meal plan ready. at least for a week, have a tentative plan ready. here is my recipe index which can help you & here is a list of my 20 favourite vegetarian recipes made with basic pantry ingredients.
- go through your fridge. i wish i listened to my mom and this always always ALWAYS happens: things that you over-buy are actually already lying in the fridge and waiting to be expired. use them first and then go out shopping.
- maintain basic corona/ lockdown protocol: be brave and go to the store, but respect basic lockdown regulations. step out ONLY when necessary and try to order groceries online first, before you step out of the house.
- dont be greedy. this is a difficult time for not just us, also for our neighbours, relatives, friends and in general, everyone around us. believe the government when they say that there is enough for everyone, so don't over buy. we will get through this.
Something amazing I read a few seconds ago: