Curry & Comfort Pantry


 Sri Lankan and Indian Spices....

 If you are interested in the "Curry" side of the blog then it's good to get familiar with the common spices used in Sri Lankan and Indian cooking.  These ingredients are all available at your Indian Grocers.


Common Spices are:
  • Chili powder or Cayenne Powder -is used to provide the heat for many spicy dishes
  • Turmeric- has a bright yellow color and a  pungent, warm, earthy aroma and taste
  • Cumin Seeds & Cumin Powder- has a distinctive aromatic odor and a slightly bitter, but warm taste.
  • Coriander Seeds and Coriander Powder- tastes sweet and tangy, with a slightly citrus flavor.
  • Cloves- has strong, sweet aroma and hot, pungent taste
  • Cardamom Pods -Cardamom has a sweet, lemony, eucalyptus flavor. 
  • Fennel Seeds- has a sweet and aniseed flavor.
  • Cinnamon Bark/Sticks is a sweet-tasting spice, with a warm, woody aroma.
  • Curry Leaves- used as an aromatic and flavoring for most curries
  • Fenugreek Seeds- has a warm, yellowish-brown color with a strong curry-like
  • Gram Masala- meaning “hot spices” - is a mixture of ground spices (recipes vary) (cloves, cardamom, cumin, peppercorns and cinnamon, bay leaves). 
  • Curry Powder-  Curry powder is mostly a blend of aromatics that are roasted and ground to season your food. All curry powders vary. There are as many curry powders as there are cooks. Some people make their own. I used a brand of Sri Lankan curry that I like. You may buy a ready made powder from your local Indian grocers. Unfortunately, curry powder is a variable I will not be able to guarantee on the taste of your final dish. I suggest you try a variety and find a curry powder you really like.




Chinese and Thai Spices and Sauces:   

 
Soy Sauce
Hoisin Sauce
Oyster Sauce
Chinese Cooking Wine or Sherry
Rice Vinegar
Teriyaki Sauce
Sesame Oil
Fish Sauce
Sriracha Sauce
Chili Sambal 
Cornstarch 
Coconut Milk
Bamboo Shoots
Baby Sweet Corn
Canned Mushrooms
Water Chestnuts
Rice noodles
Rice

Ingredients I need in my pantry, fridge or freezer:
Onions (red, white or yellow)
Fresh Garlic
Fresh Ginger
Curry Leaves
Pandan Leaves
Lemongrass

You can make your own garlic ginger paste and this is a wonderful way to always have this combination ready for stir fries and curries. I like to use a
equal amount of each with some canola oil. See recipe below.

Ginger-Garlic Paste





Canned or dried beans: (black beans, chickpeas)
Lentils: Masoor Lentils
Brown Basmati Rice
Whole Wheat pasta (any shape and style)
Whole Wheat bread
Canola Oil
Seasoning Salt, Kosher Salt and/or Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Frozen peas, green beans, spinach, corn and bell peppers
chicken stock (either powdered bullion or prepared in a box or can) 
Dried Spices: Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Granulated Garlic, Onion Powder
Brown Sugar
Honey
Maple Syrup
 

 Baking Needs:

These are some of the basic baking ingredients to have in stock:
  • Flour:  such as All-purpose, Self-rising, Whole Wheat, or Pastry flour: You will need flour for your basic baking needs such as biscuits, pancakes, cakes, breads, muffins, etc..
  • Baking powder and baking soda: These are leavening agents that help with the texture and volume of the baked good.
  • Sugar:  such as granulated sugar, confectioners/powdered sugar, brown sugar (light and dark) or baking Splenda- most baked goods and desserts need some kind of sugar to add sweetness so have a variety of sugar that you like to use on hand.
  • Spices:  Ground Cinnamon, Ground Cardamom, Ground Ginger, Nutmeg, Ground Cloves used to flavor and enhance your baked goods.
  • Extracts:  such as Vanilla Extract or Almond Extract etc…. These are used to flavor desserts and baked dishes.
  • Butter and Oils:  You will require butter or vegetable oils in your baked goods.
  •  Chocolate, Nuts and dried Fruit:  These are ingredients that jazz up your baked goods.  You can keep the nuts and chocolate in the freezer to increase the shelf life and always have them on hand.