How to Stock an Indian Pantry

Key items for Indian food at home.

8/2/2021 3:00:00 PM

Key items for Indian food at home.

An introduction to the key pantry items you'll need to dive deep into Indian cooking.

acharstamatar murghi(chicken stew)."When you pop them in hot oil, they turn black and take on a sweet nuttiness that makes them appealing," says Iyer."That's a key flavor in the South." Agrawal recommends keeping a pan lid handy while popping them in oil, so they don't go flying all over your kitchen.

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Methi (Fenugreek)fenugreek plantappear in Indian cooking:"Southerners use more of the seeds, and northerners use more of the leaves," says Iyer."The seeds are very hard, almost like little stones, and the leaves have a perfume quality. Both are bitter, the seeds more intensely so." Fenugreek leaves are typically used for stews, while the seeds are incorporated into achars, spice powders, and coconut-based dishes and chutneys. But sometimes you can find both forms in one dish, like in this

(stir-fried cheese and peppers). Agrawal warns that it should be dry-roasted carefully:"When done right, it will impart a nutty flavor, but when you over-fry it, it can get too bitter."Cardamom PodsNative to Sri Lanka and the southern Indian state of Kerala, cardamom is used in Indian cooking in both ground and whole-pod form."There's green cardamom and black cardamom," says Agrawal."Black pods are used more in savory preparations, like garam masala. Green pods can be used in both sweet and savory preparations." headtopics.com

, which has a complex minty, citrusy, herbaceous fragrance, is considered"true" cardamom, while black comes from a related plant and has a smokier aroma. The pods flavor all sorts of dishes, like Read more: Serious Eats »

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10 Healthy Indian-Inspired Recipes for Easy, Flavorful Weeknight MealsPut your spices to good use! Thank you for these, these spices often get neglected in my cabinet, time to bring them out! foodismedicine

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Green Chile & Cherry Tomato Pickle From Priya & Ritu Krishna Recipe on Food52“Making achar, or pickle, is a long-standing Indian tradition. At the start of summer, my great-aunt will combine oil, vegetables, and a bunch of spices in a few jars, then set them out to marinate into a bright, spicy concoction during the warm months.” Yesssss, I make this at least once a month. So good.

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