Emergency Pantry Essentials List for Bengali and Indian Food

Emergency Pantry Essentials List for Bengali and Indian Food – Disasters often come with a little or no warning. It’s challenging to prepare for emergencies. We all are aware and scared of the disaster of coronavirus and COVID-19 quarantines. There is an increasing fear of a possible shortage in the food supply.

The other day, on our social media platforms, we shared five ideas about how we can deal with this situation. I hope if you have read that post and you are doing mindful shopping while you are preparing for the lockdown if at all it required! All we can do is to pray, we pray not to face this situation. But, If it happens sooner or later, it’s going to affect all of us. So it is time when we need to be prepared and at the same time, we need to practice more compassion.

We all are aware of self-isolation and we should avoid all kind of social gathering for the safety of our health. But, here is a big BUT, this is not the time to be selfish. It is time to keep our empathy and humanity alive! It is our responsibility not only to take care of our family but also to think about our community, neighbours! Here I am sharing a few ideas that I follow a regular basis and I am going to follow during this time as well.

Things I included in my pantry staples list for emergencies for everyday Bengali and Indian meals! 

There are many opinions about pantry staples during emergencies. Let me explain to you what I consider essentials in my pantry during the emergencies and foods that I consider to keep on hand for some simple, basic Bengali and Indian meals. Here is the Emergency Pantry Essentials List for Bengali and Indian food.

Download the PDF version here.

How long one can freeze meat or other protein?

  • For Australian guidelines, click here.
  • For Indian guidelines, click here.
  • For USA guidelines, click here.

Panic is contagious too! before stockpiling check your pantry, storage! 

I understand when we sense that the situation can go out of our control, we try to take back control. In times of uncertainty, people enter a panic zone and most of the time it is a trap that makes them irrational.  Due to stress, people stopped thinking and start looking at what other people are doing!

This time, without realising many of us stepped into the trap of panic shopping. If you are reading this post, I would urge you, instead of reacting, please respond to the situation! 

Instead of buying anything and everything you see on the super market’s shelves do some prep work to eat homecooked fresh meals! Leave the canned food for those who really can’t effort time or energy to cook from scratch, or didn’t get a chance to do meal prep before they leave for work!

Try to Cook meals from your pantry as much as possible!

 Take a deep breath,  make a cup of coffee or tea, relax! if you are able o read this post that means you are preparing yourself for the predicted emergency, but still you are in a secure position! yeah, I am happy for you and I am glad we share the same thought that ” do prepare, don’t panic”! Grab a pen and paper, or use your mobile if you are someone who is tech-savvy. Now, check what you already have in your pantry and make a list.

Pantry inventory system

Though most of the time I cook Bengali, Indian, South -Asian dishes, still there are different types of noodles, pasta, herb blends I often stock in my pantry. I regularly follow my pantry inventory system so I know my pantry is well stocked. But my only challenge is that sometimes I buy something that on sale or  I think let me try this one and I buy that particular ingredient, then I completely forget about that thing. This is the perfect time to use my pantry stock before running to supermarket or grocery shops. A well stock pantry is a lifesaver!

Dried lentils, beans are the great source of low-budget,  protein-enriched meal from your pantry!

One of the best pantry staples is dried lentils, no matter which variety you prefer.  Dried lentils ticks all the categories that we consider during emergency meals:

  • They take less place to stock or store.
  • Budget-friendly: cheaper than canned beans so they are budget-friendly too.  
  • Don’t depend on Season:  The best part is for storing them you don’t need to depend on any season.
  • Long shelf life: You can store them in a cool, dry place up to 2-3 years. 
  • Don’t require much active prep time: It doesn’t take much effort to soak them overnight. 
  • Don’t Require much cook time: Next day boil and let them cool. It doesn’t require much active time either. Portion them and store them in the refrigerator, either in the glass containers or metal containers. 
  • Cooked lentils store well in the fridge: You can store boiled lentil in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer, you can save them more than a month.
  • Preservative-free: This way not only you can enjoy, freshly home-cooked meals but also you can help people those who need to depend on pre-cooked meals.

Some Easy Healthy Meal ideas with lentils and Rice:

Ask any Indian and Bengali about their staple food you will be told Rice and Lentils. Some basic spices, rice and lentils this combination can create hundred various types of nutritious meals. You can use lentils, rice for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and snack too. Various Khichuri, Appam, Idli, Dosa, Cheela, Tehari, Khichda,  these are the name few. 

Here are some quick and practical recipes that you can make with lentils and rice. 

Lentils and Beans recipes:

  1. Moong Dal quinoa chilla
Moong Dal quinoa chilla

2. Green Moong Dal Dosa – Pesarattu

Green Moong Dal Dosa – Pesarattu

3. Indian spiced green lentils poached egg

Indian spiced green lentils poached egg

4. Bengali Cholar Dal

Bengali Cholar Dal

5. Bengali Egg Tadka Daal

Bengali Egg Tadka Daal

6. Ghugni


7. Sobji Diye Bhaja Mung Dal

Sobji Diye Bhaja Mung Dal

8. Rajma Kabab

Rajma Kebab

Rice recipes: 

Sobji diye Khichuri

Sobji diye Khichuri

2. Bengali Fried Rice

Bengali Fried Rice

3. Vegetable pulao

Vegetable Pulao

4.Haser dimer bhuna khichuri

Haser dimer bhuna khichuri

5 Chicken Junglee Pulao

Junglee Chicken pulao

Hope you find this post helpful and you can share this post with others. I will keep posting more ideas here and on our social media platforms. Be safe and be healthy!

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