If there is one memory that stays close to my heart when I think of my paati’s home (maternal grandmom’s house) is that the aroma of her kitchen. Freshly prepared Ghee, the different varieties of pickles that she stocks in ceramic jars carefully covered with white dhoti cloth (oorugai jaadi), that smell of tadka from homegrown curry leaves, the filter kaapi she makes from first decotion and the list goes on..She lived in that house for close to 55 years and she fondly refers to her place as MeenakshiAmma Chathiram in Tamizh.(‘Chathiram’ means resting place)Whoever in our family visits Trichy, they will not miss my paati’s filter kaapi and the instant rava upma she prepares for unexpected guests. She was very possesive about her kitchen & pooja room. Only after taking bath she starts cooking the day to day meals. It’s really unfortunate that we don’t have pictures of that beautiful kitchen but those memories will stay in my heart forever.
My mom’s life was completely different from my paati’s. Since my father worked in a transferrable job we kept changing houses & cities once in every 3-4 years. Even if its a rental house my mum used to consider it as her own and will keep it clean & tidy. No matter what the size of that kitchen (or that house) she will arrange everything so neatly and will insist us to not complain or whine about materialistic needs unnecessarily.
These two women made a huge impact in my life. When I got married I never had that dream of owning a big house or a fancy modular kitchen etc etc.I was clueless to be frank 😉 but at the sametime I was genuinely happy when we first moved to a small one BHK house. Me & my dearest S love shopping for all these fancy containers,spoons,plates from T.Nagar. We had setup our first kitchen successfully in 2009..
We hardly stayed in our new apartment because the husband got this onsite opportunity and we moved to London in 2014 🙂
So it was like starting a new life altogether. But again its a temporary one due to nature of his job & other things. Hence my kitchen doesn’t have expensive containers or jars. I make do with simple plastic containers & other cheap stuff
In this post I will just show how I have packed / arranged my basic ingredients. In the next post will show my kitchen utensils and other gadgets I use often in kitchen.
I use these 4 big boxes that I had purchased from wilko to store my grains, pasta and other stuff. I usually separate them into categories as shown in picture and keep them. For sealing the half-used packets I use those kitchen storage clips and will clip them.
I usually get 5kg pack of Rice & Whole Wheat flour. This box is easier to lift and I can transfer the required quantity of flour or rice to different vessel quickly. This box is from Wilko too. It is called “Cereal container”
In lower rack I have kept all this stuff. (Tea,Pulses,Oil,Pickles,Idli Rice). Apart from this I do have Sago,Manna health mix and other less used stuff in small containers.
I generally clean and re-use Onken Yogurt plastic buckets, coffee powder bottles,pickle bottles to store dry ingredients.
2.Everyday Cooking :
1st Row :
Anjarai Petti : This has Mustard Seeds,Jeera,Urad dal,Turmeric,Red Chillies
2nd Row :
3rd Row :
This top most compartment has the stuff that I use once or twice in a week. It has whole spices like clove,bayleaf,cinnamon in one box, then nuts & seeds in different boxes. Bread Crumbs, Kasuri Methi leaves, Honey, Saffron, Cardamom are all placed in this top shelf
3. Baking & other essentials :
Adhimathuram, Nilavembu,Chitharathai,Panangalkandu – All these are stored in one container
Appalam, vadam, mormilagai and other deep frying stuff are stored together in a container
There is one big shelf with 3 compartments on the left side of our kitchen
1st Row (from top) :
This has Sambar Powder, Plain flour, remaining Lentil packets, and other ingredients like Soya Meal maker,fried grams,coriander seeds which I seldom use. The two violet tupperware boxes I brought it from chennai 🙂
Middle Row :
3rd Row :
This has ginger,garlic & other root veggies. Along with Ghee,Sesame seeds,Jaggery etc. Also i usually keep my husband’s lunch box,coffee mugs here. During morning rush hours I don’t like to search for spoon & other containers. So as soon as I wash it i ll place it here.
My Tips :
1. Check expiry dates and clear off stuff every now and then
2. Clean the plastic containers once in two months and dry them in sunlight
3. Places newspapers in shelves to avoid greasing
4. Store oil in glass bottles. It is easier to clean
5. There will be so many ingredients which we don’t use often. Combine those packs and store in one big container. (Jaggery, brown sugar, mealmaker, sesame seeds etc)
6. Ingredients like bayleaf, cinnamon, saunf and other whole spices has to be sored in airtight containers.
7. Use rubber bands to close half used packets. Like maida, rice flour etc. Or get hold of storage clips
8. Always use dry spoons to take masala powders from jars
I hope you liked this post and got a fair idea of my kitchen 🙂 It may not be the best looking pantry but I can assure the dishes prepared here have that extra ingredients “Love & Passion” and here is where all the magic happens (if i may say so)
Would love to hear your feedback!! Let me know if you have any suggestions or comments.