I love having a well stocked pantry. Being able to take a meal in whatever direction I could want, or prepare pretty well any recipe I come across without having to do too much shopping makes me happy. While we still had the house, this wasn’t too much of a problem, but now that we are living and travelling in our little campervan, as you can imagine, it’s more of a challenge. The spice cabinet was the first thing to get reduced. Gone are the shelves full of herbs and spices, rubs and marinades. We have two small bins filled with little baggies of our most frequently used herbs and spices. At last count, there are still almost a hundred of them!
What’s in there?? All of the basics, in whole and ground form, but also a lot of hard to find ingredients. We love Indian and Ethiopian food, so we keep a mix of spices that are common to those cultures. Things like asafoetida, fenugreek (leaves and seeds), berbere, dried mango, and kashmiri chilies. Every time we find a new dried chili, it ends up in the box, too!
We have a few different salts available as well. Kosher salt for typical day to day use, a couple of finishing salts (like Maldon), smoked salt, as well as the ever-stinky Kala Namak (Indian sulfurous salt).
To make the best use of them, we keep a small spice grinder and our mortar and pestle handy.
What are your favourite herbs and spices? Anything you would have a hard time living without? Let us know in the comments.
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