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Indian Kitchen’s Fab Five!
Posted by Editorial Team, October 1, 2014



The long lost ‘chacha-ji’ who drops in on a rainy afternoon or the ‘bua-ji’ plus her three brats on a Sunday? Surprise visits can be fun or stressful depending on your state of readiness to welcome guests.

Worry not ladies, your ‘ghar-ka-khana’can look outstanding with these basics that can add that special touch to your meals.

We present 5 must-have ingredients that will help you ‘Be Prapared”:

1. Green Chutney:

Quick to prepare, the green chutney can be made with mint, coriander, and hot green chilies and lemon. It makes for a perfect side for almost any snack or meal.


1. Make a sandwich with bread slices smeared with pickle, green chutney and ketchup.

2. Make a chapati roll with leftover sabji and line it with fresh green chutney 

3. Use as a coating sauce for quick green tandoori chicken/paneer or mixed tawa vegetables, for tasty starters

Health benefits: Coriander helps in digestion and anemia, while mint leaves ensure good skin and oral hygiene.

2. Dal/Beans/ Pulses:

The ultimate Indian comfort foods, we all swear by the glorious dishes that can be cooked with this terrific trio. Store pre-cooked dals/ bean/ pulses in the fridge to conjure up some quick and wholesome dishes.


1. Toss up an attractive bean salad using available vegetables that complement the warmth of black/ kidney beans

2. A tasty dal soup can be an instant appetizer for the hungry guests

3. Lentils can be used to thicken and add warmth to a leftover chicken curry

4. Mash chickpeas to produce instant cutlets, while moong dal, soaked for 20 minutes, can parade as pakoras with onion and chillies

Health benefits: Dals, beans and pulses are sources of proteins that help control blood sugar levels and clear bowels.

3. Curd:

Curd, a staple in Indian homes, can be easily transformed into various lip-smacking avatars.


1. Curd shorba: The humble dahi-kadhi can be transformed into a low-cal curd shorba

2. Lemon curd dessert: A healthy dessert option that is easy to make

3. Dip : Add chopped veggies to whisked curd with some black salt

Health benefits: Curd is probiotic, helps digestion, builds immunity and helps lose weight.

4. Garam Masala & Ginger-Garlic Paste:

These are must haves for most Indian dishes. You can pre-grind and store your special whole ‘hot’ spices combo with cloves, black cardamom, pepper etc, while the ginger-garlic can be ground every week and stored in the refrigerator.


1. Marinate chicken or fish briefly in ginger-garlic paste and lemon before grilling or frying

2. Use paste for a basic sauce for pasta or spaghetti or fried rice

3. Spice up curries with garam masala; also add to mayonnaise for an interesting flavor, sprinkle over a coffee brew or on humble popcorn!

Health benefits: Garam masala aids digestion; ginger-garlic paste prevents inflammation and builds immunity.

5. Flours:

Every home has its favorite version of whole wheat rotis. But you could add a unique twist to the meal using these new flour mixes (homemade or bought) that are healthy and surprisingly tasty.

Insta Meal:

Make rotis, parathas(plain and stuffed), phulkas, masala pooris with the following mixes, and enjoy their health benefits too:

1. Ragi-wheat: Gluten free, controls weight and boosts calcium

2. Wheat-oats: Hi –fibre content aids digestion, is light on the stomach

3. Jowar- bajra: Helps in weight loss and diabetes.

4. Rice-oat: Provides starch and proteins

Store these fab five ingredients in your kitchen and go experiment with your usual ghar-ka-khana!