The Basic Indian Pantry

I have heard so many of my friends tell me that they are overwhelmed when they go to an Indian grocery store. They do not know where to start! So let’s start with a basic grocery list for the Indian store. Most of these  ingredients are used often for many of the recipes in my blog. But if you don’t cook with ‘Indian’ spices often, I would advise you to get the smallest pack available for each ingredient.

So here is the list:


Spices (usually available in small 7 ounce packets)

  • Black mustard seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Turmeric powder
  • Chili powder – available in various degrees of ‘hotness’ – mild, medium, hot, and extra hot. I use the medium hot chili powder.
  • Asafetida powder, also called hing, comes in small plastic containers.

Spice Mixes or Masala Powders

  • Dal Masala such as the MDH Arhar Dal masala
  • Chaat Masala such as the MDH chunky chat masala or Everest brand chaat masala
  • Paav Bhaji Masala such as Everest brand
  • Cumin seed powder (I like the roasted cumin seed powder )
  • Coriander seed powder (I like the roasted coriander seed powder)
  • Paneer Butter Masala such as the Rasoi Magic brand (good for when you want to make dinner in a pinch)

In the refrigerated section-

  • Tamarind date chutney such as the Deep brand chutney
  • Green chutney, such as Swad brand Bombay Sandwich spread

In the frozen section-

  • Naan
  • Malaysian paratha plain or scallion flavor

Dals- The small packs are usually about 2 pounds.

  • Masoor dal
  • Mung dal
  • Toovar dal





53 thoughts on “The Basic Indian Pantry

Add yours

  1. Sandhya, Great blog – very nicely done ! I am founder of Lexington, MA based founder of It is a marketplace for unqiue culinary talent providing services for various types of events. The marketplace has just taken off the ground. I was hoping we could find some time to chat – preferably in person over a cup of coffee. Please get in touch. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Monica, Thank you so much for getting in touch with me. I would like to know more about Eventhues and can call you. Please let me know a number where I can reach you.
      Thanks again,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: