Tips for Organizing Spices for the Busy Cook
Cooking with passion comes with a disdain for cleaning and organizing the kitchen. It is not from a lack of desire but from a desire to prepare and eat a meal that organization can be thrown to the back burner. If you're simply an ordinary sloppy home cook, the spices you use the most are probably always in front of you, at a convenient distance from your burner.
There's a lot to be said for having a well-organized spice and seasoning cabinet. It saves time and effort to reach in and grab what you need when you're cooking. It also aids in the avoidance of spicy disasters, such as using paprika instead of cinnamon in breakfast.
On the other hand, there are herbs and spices that you've only used once and have been collecting dust on the shelf for years. When the appearance of multiple spices is similar, you may become confused and use the incorrect ingredient in your recipe.
The first step is to figure out where and how you'll keep your spices. If you have plenty of counter space, you may leave them out in the open. However, if you are short on space, a spice box will suffice.
Maintaining two spice boxes, one for powdered masalas and the other for whole spices, is ideal for Indian cooking and comes in handy for dishes like pulao and Punjabi curries. A traditional stainless steel spice box will come with seven little open containers and a small spoon, allowing you to easily use and measure spices. The following are the contents that you should always keep in your Masala Dabba.
These are the things you'll need on a daily basis when cooking, therefore keeping them together in a box is essential.
- Mustard Seeds
- Cumin Seeds
- Red Chili Powder
- Turmeric Powder
- Coriander Powder
- Garam Masala
When you are about to prepare the dish with extra spice like biryani or chicken mutton you will need these spice boxes where all types of special spices were stored, which we do not use regularly.
- Dried Red Chilies
- Green and Black Cardamom
- Black Peppercorns
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Mace and Nutmeg
This strategy works well, particularly if you consider performing different types of cooking separately, such as Biryani, mutton, butter chicken, and all indoor cooking. Spices for specific locations should be kept in separate storage units near the stove. If you set up your kitchen in specific cooking locations, organizing your spices in this manner can save you time.
Almost any standard Indian gravy or recipe calls for these dry masalas. Your contents, however, will vary depending on what you make on a daily basis. Assume you primarily prepare South Indian cuisine rather than North Indian. In such instances, udad and chana daal, which are commonly used in South Indian cuisine, might be substituted for the amchur and garam masala. To avoid lumping and ruining the masalas, keep this dry spice box near your stove in a cool, dry location.
The main purpose of a spice box like this is to provide you with a handy way to open different containers in which your masalas are stored in bulk. This way, you can have something close by that takes up very little space when compared to all those containers separately.
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