Friday, 27 April 2012

Setting up your pantry

Lately I have been thinking about writing a couple of posts on how to set up your pantry.
As in:
  • What you need for your Italian Pantry.
  • What you need for your Asian pantry.
  • What you need in your Alcohol pantry...(ok maybe not)
What do you think?

Would that be useful for you?

Let me know in the comments section.

I remember when I first started cooking and one of the most frustrating things was feeling like I needed to buy EVERY single ingredient in the recipe as I didn't have it.

Once you have filled your pantry with the basics you will find less & less that you have to go out and buy missing things as you will already have them there!

The walk in pantry in my home is what made me fall in love with my house.  The original pantry from the 1920's.  i LOVE it!

What's not to love?
Complete with Marimekko aprons.
I really love cooking curries. 
If you read my article in Maeve magazine (accompanying my recipe for beef Rendang) it will make more sense.
This is one I made up the other day.
I had a hard day and needed some comfort food to end my day.  
Curry is probably my ultimate Comfort food.
There are literally hundreds of curries out there- it totally depends on how I feel as to what sort of curry I cook.
At first glance it may seem like a lot of work as the ingredient list is large but if you have these things in your cupboard there are actually VERY few steps to make a truly delicious meal.  This curry is like that- lots of ingredients at first glance but actually pretty easy!
A lot of people don't realise that there are a plethora of Indian curries out there that we don't know of beyond the Vindaloo & Butter chicken at your local.  
Do you love Curry as much as me?

  • 1 bunch fresh coriander (make sure you wash the bunch VERY well as you are using the entire thing ROOTS and all- the roots are packed with flavour)
  • 3 whole spring onions
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 1-3 fresh red chillies
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • S & P

  • 3 tablespoons almond meal
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • 2 tblspoons Rice bran oil (or other heat tolerant oil)
  • 1kg Chicken (I prefer ALWAYS to use chook with bones as you will get a superior flavour but any cut of your choice will do)

Blitz the spices in a spice grinder (or use pre-ground spices).

Add the bunch of coriander, garlic, ginger, spring onions, chillies, almond meal and spices. Blitz till a paste.

In a heavy pan add the oil and heat to medium.

Add the spice paste and cook for about 5 minutes or until you see the oil begin to separate.

Add the chicken and stir well to coat with spice paste.

Add the tin of tomatoes.

Stir through, bring to a simmer and turn heat to low.

Let simmer for at least an hour to allow flavours to develop.
Add cream just a few minutes before serving (this can be omitted if you wish).

Serve with Fluffy rice & top with toasted almond flakes, fresh coriander & a little extra chilli.

I have posted a First Aid Kit song before...but look at this great Video someone has made! 
I LOVE it!
It makes me want to dance too!
YAY for dancing in the kitchen.


  1. I love my pantry. Its exactly like yours..oh is yours ROFL....oh dear, is it home time yet?? LOVE

  2. Can't wait to make this curry...

    Making your Beef Rendang for friends in a week's time...they have been through so much recently with their little girl having treatment for cancer, so was on the look out for something comfy and yummy to eat! Then saw Maeve and was sold!!! Thanks!

    Have never really been into making curries...absolutely love them but yes, have been daunted by the ingredient list.

    And yes again....would totally love some posts on Asian and Italian pantries (particularly Asian). Maybe even "must have herbs" for the garden would be cool too! Have planted some Vietnamese mint following your wonton soup recipe (my goodness...that has to be one of the most beautiful herbs around)...

    And a final yes to alcohol pantry...though alcohol doesn't seem to need much storing in our household...gets drunk before it reaches the shelf!

    Thanks again GG!

  3. Skinnyflatwhite / Paula27 April 2012 at 18:25

    Yes I would love pantry posts!

  4. I would like it too, even though mine is pretty well stocked, I love hearing what others think are good things to have on hand.

  5. Yes please HELP me organise my pantry!!!!!

  6. Yes please!!! Will there be a feature that makes my husband replace/put on a list what he has used the last of? ;)

  7. This may surprise you but you and your pantry have always inspired me !!! Emma from Torquay

  8. Okay, I need to make that curry! Thanks for the recipe. And I am a huge fan of pantries. We're currently hunting for a new house, well new to us, but definitely an old house, and a pantry is high on my list of wants. If it doesn't have one, I'll be making one! I vote for as many pantry posts as you feel like writing!!! xo Gigi

  9. this would be such a huge help to my household and my unmotivated love of cooking!

  10. Not being funny of nothing, but I'm fairly certain I could find my way to Narnia through the back of your pantry. SO MUCH AWESOME.

  11. I would love to know more about what's in your pantry!! I'm a big curry lover and will be whipping up one of yours for dinner tonight! x

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