Here I am sharing 30 (15 breakfast/snack + 15 Meal) pantry staple Indian recipes for self-isolation or home quarantine. Plus, I am sharing serving suggestions and substitutions whenever needed.
Also, sharing a shopping list (actually most Indian pantries are stocked with most of the ingredients listed there, but just take a look in case if you need to buy).
Many people are looking for pantry staple recipes right now, mostly due to current situation, or possible shortage in the food supply. Whether this situation gets to that level or not, it is good to have a list of such recipes. This kind of list is also helpful in times when you don’t have time to do grocery shopping for a week or so.
Please note, if you don’t have some ingredients, don't worry. Be creative. Sometimes you can skip that or substitute that ingredient.
What ingredients are required for Indian pantry recipes?
- Lentils, beans, rice, flour (chapati atta & other basic flours like besan, semolina, rice flour)
- Of course basic Indian spices (every Indian household has their masala Dabba).
- Salt, oil, ghee, sugar
- Fresh items that can be stored for longer (potatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, green chilies, lemon or lime)
- Frozen items (frozen mixed veggies, frozen peas, paneer, frozen coconut)
- You can easily skip the cilantro (coriander leaves) wherever a recipe calls for it. It is mainly used as garnishing, so you are not compromising a huge flavor.
Before we jump on the recipes, let me give you the list of basic recipes. It serves as a side to complete the meal.
Indian Pantry Recipes: Breakfast/Snacks:
4) Dal vada: A fried fritters are made from split green moong dal. Served with sliced onions. Trust me you won’t miss the fresh ingredients here.
5) Rava dosa: Another south Indian recipe that is made from semolina. A thin, crispy dosa tastes too good when served with coconut chutney. If you do not have fresh frozen coconut, you can make this with dried, desiccated coconut as well.
6) Medu vada: to make this you’ll need just urad dal and few seasoning ingredients. Again goes well with coconut chutney or onion sambar. To make onion sambar, I have used shallots, but you can simply use chopped or sliced regular onions.
7) Dal paratha - A paratha dough is made using the leftover dal (lentils). Makes the perfect breakfast when served with a pickle or just a cup of tea/coffee.
8) Besan cheela: Yet another easy and quick recipe. It is made from besan (chickpea flour). In the recipe I have used fresh veggies, you can skip and make the plain cheela. Or just use onions and green chilies. Also, you can skip the yogurt in the recipe if you don’t have on hand. Serve with ketchup.
9) Dhokla: A Gujarati delicacy where a batter is made from soaked rice and split urad dal. Then it is fermented and steamed at the time of serving. Serve with just a cup of tea/coffee or chutney/ketchup.
10) Idli (freezer-friendly) : Same as above made from urad dal and rice. But the proportions are different so both taste different. This can be served with coconut chutney or onion sambar. With the same batter you can make dosa, uttapam. So make big batch and freeze.
11) Khichu: This is easy to make a traditional Gujarati snack recipe. This is the QUICKEST snack that you have ever made. It is nothing but the cooked rice flour dough with few spices.
12) Sooji toast: Assuming you have stocked up on bread. Here you can skip the tomatoes and substitute the yogurt with water+lemon juice. It will be perfectly fine.
13) Aloo paratha: This makes such a filling meal/brunch. Usually served with yogurt. But it can be enjoyed with pickle or a simple cup of tea/coffee or on its own.
14) Mathri: This is a dry snack that you can make store in airtight container for weeks.
15) Khandvi: Another gujarati snack made from besan. Insteaf of yogurt, just use water and some lemon or line juice.
Pantry Staple Indian Lunch/dinner:
1) Dal dhokli (freezer-friendly): traditional Gujarati meal is so comforting, healthy and filling. Serve with plain steamed rice. You can make big batch and freeze for later.
3) Ven pongal: South Indian dish made from yellow moong dal and rice. Served with coconut chutney and sambar. You see, coconut chutney is used as a side dish for many different recipes. I would make a big batch and freeze in small portions.
4) Gujarati khichdi: cozy, comforting and healthy meal. Serve with a side of papad. Other variations of khichdi: vegetable khichdi (use frozen onion tomato masala+frozen veggies), moong dal khichdi, masala khichdi (use frozen masala), oats khichdi, etc.
5) Peas pulao: I think we all have a bag of frozen peas in our freezer. So this pulao recipe will be handy. Usually served with raita. But can be paired with simple dal fry or dal tadka. If you have frozen corn, go for sweet corn pulao. If you have frozen veggies, go for instant pot veg pulao.
7) Gujarati dal (freezer-friendly): Simple, comforting lentil soup, best served with rice. It can be served with roti or paratha. You can skip the tomatoes in the recipe.
8) Chawli curry (freezer-friendly): quick, healthy black-eyed peas curry. Best served with roti or paratha.
9) Potato curry: easy to make and simple Gujarati style gravy made with potatoes. Serve with paratha or rice.
11) Instant pot Matar paneer: have frozen paneer, peas and onion tomato masala? Make this yummy, festive dish and serve with paratha or naan.
12) Masala dosa: Very filling meal when served with onion sambar and coconut chutney.
14) Paneer paratha: Stuffed parathas served as a breakfast as well as lunch or dinner. Simple, easy and doesn’t require any fresh ingredients. You can skip the cilantro
I hope you give this Indian pantry staple recipes a try and enjoy! Have some fun in the kitchen to take your mind off things, and stay safe everyone!