Kitchen cabinets are museums of emotion. On a day you feel overly enthusiastic, equipped with nothing but foolish earnestness, you load your shopping cart with ingredients whose usage you know nothing about. I’ve had many such episodes and some managed to push me to try cooking something different.
Today’s post is an ode to those kitchen cabinets that house packets of powders, tubs of pastes, bottles of sweet and sour liquids, dried roots or some such stuff. These days though, we are being resourceful and cooking ingeniously (or are we?) with unique culinary ideas pouring in from everyone who owns a ladle.
While I intend to show you what I have stocked in my cabinets, I’ll start with one shelf. Here’s an illustration so you can see for yourself:
1- Japanese chilli crackers: Bought some months back from an Asian specialty foods store (from where I also got a marshmallow fragrance face wash from Biore- I won’t be surprised if there’s one with a Kit Kat fragrance, also, I would totally want it!) and I’m now thinking I should try using them to cook in some way.
2- Zaatar: I’ve been making shakshuka a lot these days because it doesn’t require much, is a simple dish and a sprinkling of zaatar in the end makes it taste so much better.
3- Popcorn kernels: I love popcorn and have a large jar of kernels stored in another cabinet. This tiny one though is a back-up for when we have a shortage of popcorn situation.
4- Tiny cakes with strawberry filling: I don’t know if you’ve tried this box of tiny cakes from Lu- it comes in two flavours: strawberry and chocolate. I like the chocolate ones more, they’re scrumdiddlyumptious and great as a snack with tea. You must try. This reminds me I’ve to get some more.
5- Tinned Kidney beans: Almost everyone has a tin of beans in their cabinet right now. Human beans love kidney beans.
6- Canned chick peas: I thought of a bunch of things before buying this: Hummus, chhole bhature, murg chhole, etc.
7- Tuna flakes in oil: Tuna flakes are exceptionally versatile and make a great meal served in an omelette or as a sandwich with corn. I like to make a dish with tinned tuna flakes:
Pour 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add a chopped onion to it. Let it fry for about 3 minutes and add 2 green chilies (slit lengthwise), 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp black pepper powder and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. Add a tbsp of oil more (if needed for the masala to fry, if your masala seems too dry and sticks to the pan) and allow to fry for 15 seconds. Add the tuna flakes to the pan and give it a good mix. Let it cook for about 1-2 minutes and enjoy. Add salt according to taste (no salt needed if your tuna comes in brine). Serve with bread of your choice.
What’s in your kitchen cabinet?