Indian cuisine is rich and diverse and several pantry staples are commonly used in Indian households to prepare various dishes. Here are some of the most common Indian pantry staples, you probably already have at home.
Rice is a staple food in many regions of India, commonly used as a base for dishes.
Various types of lentils, such as red lentils (masoor dal), yellow lentils (toor/arhar dal), split chickpeas (chana dal) and others, are an essential source of protein, especially for vegetarian Indians and are used to make numerous curries and soups.
Indian cuisine is known for its vibrant and aromatic spices. Some essential spices include cumin seeds, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and mustard seeds.
Ghee (clarified butter) is commonly used in traditional Indian cooking. However, vegetable oils like mustard oil, sunflower oil and others are also used.
Onions, Garlic, and Ginger:
These aromatic vegetables form the base for many Indian dishes and provide a depth of flavour to the preparations.
Tomatoes are used to add a tangy flavour to various curries and sauces.
Fresh Green Chilies:
Green chillies are used to add heat and spice to the dishes.
Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil:
Commonly used in South Indian cuisine, coconut milk and oil add a distinct flavour to the dishes.
Yoghurt is used to make raita (a yoghurt-based side dish) and is sometimes added to curries for a creamy texture.
Wheat flour is used to make chapatis (Indian flatbreads), while chickpea flour (besan) is used in various snacks and dishes.
Mustard and Fenugreek Seeds:
These seeds are used for tempering and add unique flavours to the dishes.
Jaggery and Tamarind:
Jaggery is used as a sweetener and tamarind adds a sour taste to many dishes and chutneys.
Tea and Spices for Chai:
Indian households commonly have black tea leaves and a mix of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger to make traditional Indian chai.
Cumin and Coriander Seeds:
These seeds are commonly ground and used as a base in various spice blends and masalas.
Dry Fruits and Nuts:
Almonds, cashews, raisins and other nuts are used to add richness and flavour to various dishes.
These are just some of the many pantry staples you might find in an Indian kitchen. The specific ingredients can vary depending on the region and individual preferences, but these items are widely used nationwide.