0 thoughts on “Stocking your Pantry for Indian Cooking 101 – Part 2

  1. Hello Anuja & Hetal,
    Please tell me what spices make up the term (Five Spices)
    Thanks for the wonderful receipes that you both show us how to cook from scratch adding a pinch of spice in our lives.

    1. Hi Lionel,

      Five spice is generally not used in Indian cooking, but you do find it in Chinese cuisine. It is a combination of fennel, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. Having said that, most of the ingredients in five spice are used in Indian cooking (though maybe not all at once). Indian cooking uses a lot of Garam Masala, also a combination of different spices. Here is our recipe for it:

  2. What is a good website to order good quality spices. from? I live in a smaller town, and I’m having a hard time finding a lot of the spices.

  3. Hi Hetal and anuja,
    I love your website.It is really helpfull for me bc I am new in US.I have question regarding storing. where I can get contaniners to store beans and spices.In indian food we need many spices and other beans and dals etc. let me know as soon as you can.

    1. Hi Pinky,

      Many stores such as Walmart, The Container Store, Ikea, even Dollar Stores carry plastic containers with tight fitting lids in varying sizes. You can find them in round jar shapes or square ones. They work well to store daals, rice, etc. I sometimes reuse glass bottles from pasta sauce, instant coffee, etc to store bulk spices. For day to day use, I use a “masala box” from India (many Indian stores will carry them also) that has small containers inside that hold all of my spices or you can buy small glass spice jars also from Walmart, Ikea, etc.

  4. Hi Michele,

    Thanks for the feedback! Pre-ground (minced) ginger & garlic do not stay fresh for too long in the fridge – few days at most. After that, the color changes and it gets a funny smell. Try this trick: grind your ginger and garlic in bulk (you can grind together or separately). Then, take a measuring spoon (tsp or Tbsp) and measure out portions onto a baking sheet or pan. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours. Then, place the frozen portions into a freezer safe zipper bag and return to the freezer. Your ginger and garlic will be ready (pre-portioned) when you need it. You can have 2 different bags – one for tsp and one for Tbsp. The benefit of grinding separately is that some recipes call for one or the other, not both. Btw, you can do this with green chilies too!

    Regarding the chapati, here are a couple of questions: Are you using warm water to knead? Do you let your dough rest for 15 – 20 minutes before rolling? Are you using oil in the dough? Are you keeping the cooked chapati in a covered container as soon as they come off the stove? Are you pressing the chapati gently while trying to puff?

    Let us know if any of these things could be the problem.

  5. I love SHow me the Curry – I have learned so much from both of you. Thanks! I am working on pre-grinding (chopping) garlic and ginger – My question is how long does it last after I do this? Can I get it in the fridge or should I freeze the bulk of it. I use it 3 times a week and I just cook for two.
    Also I have been practicing making chapatis and roti’s – The dough appears to be good once I make it, but after I cook them they are a little on the tough side or hard. What am I doing wrong?

    I appreciate any help/suggestions you can give…Thanks

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