Here's Your Guide To Indian Pantry Essentials So That You Can Follow Any Cooking Tutorial On Youtube

Written by Rudra Priya

“Anyone can cook,” believed Chef Gusteau, in the famous animated film Ratatouille. And why not? You just need enough passion for exploring new and exotic tastes and the curiosity to know how someone makes it, this alone will drive you to the kitchen. And our cuisine is as exotic as it can get from idly, vada, sambhar to dhoklas, to chole bhature to rasgullas and momos. We have it all.

You also need the right ingredients to put together a delicious meal.

To that end, I’ve made a grocery list that includes all your must-haves, a guide to the Indian pantry essentials so you can follow any cooking tutorial on YouTube based on your skill level:

1. Beginner

2. Ideal

3. Ninja


If you’re a college student, or a bachelor or someone who rarely cooks and if you’re looking to up your cooking game then these are the essentials you need to stock up on, to begin your journey.

1. Basics:

Fine salt

White granulated sugar


2. Flour:

All-purpose flour

Wheat flour

3. Breakfast needs:

Rice noodles (Idiyappam or nool puttu)

Coconut milk

Idly/ Dosa batter (best to refrigerate it)

4. Semolina (Upma/ Sooji) needs:

Vermicelli, Sambha Rava, Rava

5. Rice:

Raw, boiled, and Idli rice

Basmati rice

Popped rice, puffed rice and beaten rice (Poha)

6. Basic Dal and Lentils:

Split gram, moong dal, black gram, black split gram, Chana dal

Tamarind pulp

7. Nuts and dried Fruits:

Raw almonds, cashews, Peanuts, etc

Raisins, Dates, Fig

8. Basic spices:

Turmeric powder (even a small packet of this will last a long time, so go for that; add only a pinch, to act as a colourant and it can be used in every dish.)

Cumin powder (LEVEL: Ideal—Buy it in seed form and make your own powder, just a little bit at a time. Make sure you roast it mildly, without oil, on a non-stick pan. Don’t overdo it, roast till it releases a little bit of aroma then it’s ready to be grounded)

Sambhar powder

Rasam Powder

Fenugreek powder (it can also be used in its seed form, but it’s very strong and should be sparingly used; it has a lot of health benefits so don’t skip this, if you have an upset tummy, you can swallow a handful in its seed form with yogurt. It fixes it up in minutes)

9. Whole spices:

Mustard (small black ones)


Dried red chilli

10. Beverages:

Coffee (Instant/ freshly ground)

Tea leaves of any choice


If you’re a newly-wed, or cooking for a small family unit, you may want to branch out from everyday meals to gravies, variety rice, and Indian breads. Building on top of what we’ve already seen, you’ll need,

11. Peas and beans:

Chickpeas (white and black)

Rajma (red kidney beans)

Black-eyed beans

12. Whole spices:

For biryani, (kurma or) vegetable stew



Cardamom pods (green)

Bay leaves

13. Blended spices:

Garam masala

Chaat masala

Amchur powder

Coriander powder

Red chilli powder

Asafoetida powder (very potent and versatile)

14. Oil:

Depending on the dish or region, these changes but the following can be used to cook any or all dishes

Refined oil

Sunflower oil

There are several varieties like Olive, mustard, sesame oil, etc. You can switch it up once every month if you like.

15. Vinegar:

There are a lot of varieties in this, but the most used one is the White Vinegar for making pickles. You can also try wine vinegars to add flavour to your meat dishes.

16. Soup:

Add corn starch (for thickness)

Or Rice flour

17. Herbs:

Cilantro (for garnish)

Basil/curry leaves

Mint leaves (for chutney, variety rice and cocktail needs)


A whiz in the kitchen goes the extra mile to make the ordinary, extraordinary. It’s because they are always packing more in their arsenal. Ironically, they also tend to be resourceful and use various blends of spices, herbs, flour, anything in their pantry to even out the flavours; they experiment with everything, in every combination possible.

18. Frying needs:

Besan/ Gram flour (+ Rice flour)

Bread crumbs

Oil of your choice

19. Spices:

Black cardamom pods (added for its medicinal properties; it’s used in making garam masala)

Star anise (added in biryani)

Kasthuri Methi


Chilli flakes (seasoning)

Onion powder

Ginger and garlic paste (best to make it on your own than rely on store-bought which doesn’t pack the same punch)

Tamarind paste

20. For Sweets and Desserts:


Rock candy



Although there are hundreds of varieties of everything, this list includes the most-used pantry items. If I’ve missed any, feel free to add it in the comment section.


Recent Posts

See All
Find Us On
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

If you were ever looking for a community that would understand your need to pursue what you truly love, and not settle for the mediocre, you will fit right in here. HustlePost is built for you, by people who are exactly like you.

©2020 by HustlePost | | Top Career Blog In India