Past few months of Lockdown have been really helpful in setting up the pantry in a more efficient and organized manner than ever. With a small list of shopping every 15 days, we are still able to come up with different recipes every day. Everybody has tried their hands on bringing out their inner chefs, but to be able to convert popular recipes into tasty vegan dishes, with simple ingredient swaps is all it takes! So, sharing my discovery of the vegan pantry essentials for an efficient vegan kitchen.
In order to make sure that your vegan diet is healthy and varied, it is a good idea to keep some basic vegan essentials in the pantry. By stocking up some of these in your fridge and cupboards, you can simplify the process of vegan cooking and be ready to make healthy meals in an instant. For example, I have a habit of cooking small portions on a need basis and enjoying fresh dishes as and when I feel hungry. This habit really helps save a lot of time and extra efforts, plus the satisfaction of having healthy fresh bites! I think the following ingredients are a good place to start:
Beans & Legumes: One of the primary sources of plant-based protein, beans & legumes come in many different forms and colors. Beans that are common and easily available in India (or in the region where I have stayed) are black-eyed beans (chawli), kidney beans (rajma), Turkish/Dew Gram Beans (matki or moth), black gram beans/split black gram and split black gram beans (urad/ urad dal), green gram beans (moong), soya beans, etc. Some legumes are often base of vegan dishes and can include lentils, peas, chickpeas, and peanuts (which are commonly mistaken as nuts).
Chickpeas, especially are good to have in stock as they are the key ingredients to many popular vegan dishes like Punjabi Chhole Masala, Chana Masala, Hummus, etc. See below for a quick and healthy hummus recipe. I absolutely love the combination of some fresh salad with heaps of hummus and lemon on it! You might have checked my earlier recipe of hummus in which I had used okara too.
Easy Hummus Recipe
- 400 gm Chickpeas
- 3 clove Garlic
- 1 tbsp Tahini
- 1 Lemon
- ½ tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 pinch Salt
- Add the drained chickpeas into a blender or food processor.
- Squeeze in the juice of the lemon and add the oil, tahini, garlic, cumin pwder and salt.
- Blitz the ingredients until a smooth consistency has formed.
- Taste the hummus and add more lemon and seasoning as desired.
- Serve with batons of raw celery, carrots or cucumber, or with warm wholegrain pittas and flatbreads.
Lentils, which are actually the wholesome version of dal, are as much versatile. For example, when a baby is ready to eat solid foods, we usually feed them khichadi which is made with rice and a combination of lentils cooked very soft. Then there are breakfast items like sprouts, which can be consumed as salads, stir fries and can be refigerated for a week easily. Lentils are widely used for south Indian dishes like Idli, Vada, Sambar, Rasam. North Indians make Chillas (savory pancakes), like this Moong Chilla or Protein Dosa which are my personal favorites and super healthy!
Do you generally stock up all different varieties of these beans and legumes or you have your own set of favorites? Let me know. 🙂