Friday, 27 April 2012

Pantry Organisation

I'm going to list some things that it in my experience are vital to have at home.. having a large family and extended family, I feel if I can get along good with these things.. and smaller families will do very good with them inshaAllah :) Feel free to add your own experiences to the list... So, here goes:

- 5 kg flour = plain maida, all purpose flour
- 5 kg wheat flour = ata
- 2 kg semolina = soojhi
- 2 kg chickpea flour = besan
- 5 kg white rice = basmati chawal
- 5 kg sugar

Adjust the quantities accordning to your own family's requirements.. Store these items in a cool place

- 3 kg dried chickpeas = kabuli/safaid channay
- 1 kg red kidney beans = rajma

Boil them and freeze them in portions.

- At least 2 litres oil, 1 kg ghee and 1 block of butter spare in the fridge. At least 2 litres Packet milk = milk pack, tetra pack. 1 small packet dry milk powder.

- Almonds, coconut slivers, raisins. Cut, cleaned in separate boxes in the fridge

- At least 1 kilo minced meat = qeema at all times in the freezer
- At least 1 whole chicken, cleaned and washed, in the freezer

These quantities are important for those unexpected guests who arrive at any time. If you use these, make sure to stock up as soon as possible. I keep these thing in a different part of the freezer and our normal use meat in a different part. So I use the normal one and as soon as it is done, I buy the 'storing' amount, use the stored and store the fresh packet. That way the stored meat/chicken is fresh and always present.

Keep a few bags/portions of tomato paste, ginger garlic paste, green chutney in the freezer. Check recipes in my Basics folder.

Apart from that, keep your stock of potatoes and onions complete. These items do spoil quicker than all the others given above but since they are normal household items, they can be used at home at all times.

Needless to say that your spices should all be stored in a cool place. Do not keep little packets of spices rolled up in tins and shoppers. For one, you'll never know what you have. For another, it will spoil quicker.

I keep half in glass bottles and half in the freezer well packed. They dont spoil and dont get insects in them, Alhamdolillah. And I always have stock. So once I take out the freezer ones, I know that new spices are to be bought.

Baking soda and baking powder. After opening, baking powder keeps for six to 12 months, baking soda for two years.

Also, keep some simple small biscuit packs at home. Even if you have nothing else ready on the quick, you can always open a pack of biscuits for tea. Keep them well hidden from little hands :)

Keep a jar of jam in the fridge. If you are careful and never put a wet or used spoon in it, I have personally experienced the opened jar to stay good for as long as 1 year.

So - Thats what comes to mind right now. Will update as and when I get around to it :)

Make it habit to do this at the beginning of every month. Or, when you do your months major shopping. If you dont, then make it a habbit to buy essentials once a month in the beginning. That makes it easier to distribute over the month and you have an eye on what is being used.
Lastly, write things down. Make shopping lists. Make expenses lists. So you know how much money you spent on what. More details on that in the next note inshaAllah.