Every month we have a little ‘through the keyhole’ moment and get to have a nosy around one of our food blogger’s kitchen. This month we have the pleasure of a sneaky peak into Jagruti’s kitchen. Londoner Jagruti, is an enthusiastic foodie and cook and writes the food blog Jagruti’s Cooking Odyssey. Here she shares everyday enticing wholesome, healthy vegetarian and vegan, and also eggless baking recipes, which she has grown up with.
Over to Jagruti…
Most of the recipes I write about have been passed down to me by my mum and dad and hold wonderful childhood memories. For every bit of knowledge, tricks or trade in cooking, they are responsible for me being a true blue foodie and decent cook/baker, I owe it all to both of them. Along with traditional and passed down recipes, I love to try and create new recipes with new ingredients and flavours of cuisine around the world. My blog Jagruti’s Cooking Odyssey is a reference for my children’s future use and to bring back some sweet memories to them which are woven around the kitchen table.
For me the kitchen is always the hub of activity – excitement, discovery and creations. it’s where everyone gathers to talk, eat and share life while delicious meals are prepared. My love for Kitchen is unconditional, I truly believe that kitchen is the heart of the home. I grew up holding a dream of having a big kitchen, where I can be a ‘Kitchen Queen’ , and now I am lucky enough to have one. My love story is with the pots and pans, cutlery and crockery, the tantalizing aromas and flavours and everything there is the Art of Cooking .
Although I love everything and anything in my kitchen , the Indian Spice Box ‘ Masala Dabba ‘ tops the list. Masala Dabba – It is essential and functional in almost every Indian kitchen and you must proudly own it, if you are frequently cooking curries!! Once an Indian girl marries, Masala Dabba is a top priority list of ‘Kitchen Utensils’ and most likely she will receive one as Wedding gift.
Indian cooking requires numerous spices and blends, rather than keep on looking for them and opening each and every small jar or bottle while oil is already heating up in the pans, it is wise to use Masala Dabba, where you can find everyday spices in one place, how convenient and efficient is that !! In my masala Dabba I keep small amount of everyday ground spices such as red chilli , Turmeric , Garam Masala, Cumin and Coriander, whole mustard and cumin seeds and last but not least Asafoetida – Strong Yellow Powder.
One of the most important and beloved equipment in my kitchen is my dear old trusted ‘whistling pressure cooker’, (most likely the newly wedded bride maybe brings that along to her new home) which I have owned for the last twenty-five years and I know it’s language and process, almost every single day it whistles in my kitchen and that is the sign that it is heavily used. Not only do pressure cookers save time and energy but they provide you with healthy meals too. I’ve had an incredible amount of different uses from it. The pressure cooker works for all our Indian meals. I have countless times boiled daals and beans, prepared various kind of curries and rice. In all my travels to India, I’ve always returned with brand new pressure cookers of various sizes, along with a stock of rubber gaskets, safety valves and a couple of extra handles. For me it is important to keep these extra items handy, just in case the rubber gasket or safety valve decides to pack up after heavy use. I’ve always felt it is important to use the right size pressure cooker for the amount of cooking required.
I enjoy looking at my well organized pantry and into couple of kitchen cupboards where I store large quantity of grains, pulses and beans , spices and other ingredients which I buy every few months. I store them in clear big bottles with easy to read labels, so my husband and kids can find them easily too. A few empty plastic jars, were given to me by our local newsagent almost twenty-five years ago. Sadly he is no more, and whenever I take out those bottles to clean them I always ask almighty to Bless his soul.
Every few weeks, I check on stuff for their expiry dates and put them on the shopping list as it runs low.
I believe that a well organized kitchen with some simple rules, is the best approach to Indian Cuisine.
And, enjoy cooking!
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