Space is pretty tight as you can see! However, I know exactly where everything is and try to keep things as tidy as possible.
Here are some of the basic food stuffs that I always have to hand:
Tomatoes, coconut milk, chickpeas, butter beans, barlotti beans, tuna and sardines, sweetcorn, green lentils, pineapple slices, water chestnuts.
Rice (basmati or brown), dried pasta, arborio rice, couscous, dried noodles, red lentils, selection of nuts: hazlenuts, pine nuts, unsalted peanuts etc.
Sunflower, vegetable, pumpkin seed, groundnut, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil.
HERBS & SPICES
Oregano – An essential flavour in Italian cuisine.
Paprika & smoked paprika.
Chilli – Flakes, powder, mild or hot.
Cinnamon – Warming and comforting. Great for bakes and sauces – both sweet and savoury.
Cumin – Robust and earthy, and integral to Indian and Mexican cooking.
Coriander – Lemony and fragrant.
Curry powder – A classic blend for basic sauces and curries.
Chinese five-spice – Great for marinades and noodle dishes.
Cayenne chilli pepper
Sea salt & black peppercorns
AMCHOOR POWDER (Mango Powder) – Aamchur, Amchur
Amchoor is commonly used for flavouring curries, chutneys, soups and marinades. It’s a souring agent like tamarind and has tenderising qualities like lime juice. Aamchoor can be used instead of tamarind to prepare sweet-sour dal or sambhar. It imparts a good flavour to kebabs and barbecued items. It’s also used to add flavour to dishes like Dum Aloo (a potato preparation) and Biryani (rice cooked with masalas and vegetables).
It combats acidity and improves digestion. It is a fair source of vitamins A and E, which help to strengthen the heart and acquire a glowing skin.
CHANA DALL (Split Yellow Gram)
Chana dal is baby chickpeas that has been split and polished. It looks and tastes like small kernels of sweet corn, and is one of the most popular ingredients in Indian cuisine.
Chana dal is delicious, nutritious and easily digested. Apart from being used in soups, salads, curries, dal preparations, savory, sweet and rice dishes, these legumes are also roasted and powdered into chickpea flour (besan), another ingredient that is widely used in almost every province of India.
MOONG WHOLE BEANS
The mung bean (Vigna radiata), alternatively known as the moong bean, green gram, is a plant species in the legume family. Native to South America, the mung bean is mainly cultivated today in India, China, and Southeast Asia. It is used as an ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes.
MOTH WHOLE (Moth Beans) – pronounced as “moat” beans and not as Moth.
The moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia) is a drought resistant legume, commonly grown in arid and semi-arid regions of India. It’s also commonly called mat bean, matki, Turkish gram or dew bean.
Originating from northern Italy, Polenta is more of a dish, rather than an ingredient. It refers to a porridge or mush made from coarsely ground cornmeal.
For those on a gluten-free diet, polenta is a winner, as it’s made from ground cornmeal; whereas couscous is made from durum wheat. Couscous has a little more protein, iron and vitamin B3, and about twice as much fibre, but polenta has beta-carotene and slightly fewer calories.
My store cupboard also includes:
Baking Powder and Bicarbonate of Soda
Sugar – caster, demerara, icing, granulated.
Flour – self-raising, plain, chickpea, gluten-free.
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