The power house of any home is the kitchen, but often times it’s neglected until there is an urgent need for it. It is always so easy to go into the kitchen and open up the pantry, then whip up something to eat and not until the next meal do you realize that a few important things are lacking in your pantry and then you start to make a run to the market or grocery store late at night just to make sure the kids have something for breakfast tomorrow morning, or you end up eating a sandwich when what you really wanted was a delicious soup for dinner.
All of these can be avoided if you take your pantry essentials seriously and always make sure that they don’t get exhausted before being replaced. So today am going to be sharing with you a few major pantry must haves that will make your home cooking easy without a fuss. As a mum and wife, am constantly thinking of breakfast, lunch and dinner, and with these thoughts come which ingredients do I need and which do I have at home, often times just seeing what you have at home reduces the stress of going to the market on days when am super busy or not in the mood to go to the market and start to bargain prices.
Having a well stocked pantry is a must have for every home, whether you be a working mum ,full house wife or even a single lady, it makes cooking easier and also helps to check excess spending, because you will feel motivated to cook and try out recipes if the main ingredients are in your kitchen.
So let’s get to it already, what you must have in a Nigerian kitchen to make cooking easy.
1) Rice- this is a major food in Nigerian homes, from jollof rice to coconut and whit rice, there are so many recipes with rice that a Nigerian home can’t do without, it’s a staple and also a help in time of need, you know those days when you are tired and can’t really figure out what to prepare? Yes we all have those days and rice always come to the rescue, with tomatoes, fish and seasoning the Nigerian concoction rice saves the day, and let’s not forget that it’s always a hit with the kids.
2) Vegetable oil- Before you make that egg Sauce for breakfast, or that stew for potatoes you will need vegetable oil, it’s a must have for every Nigerian home, once you see that you can just almost make a sauce, this oil makes the base for most of our sauces and food and so it makes it to the list of kitchen must have.
3) Palm oil- no Nigerian soup is complete without it, as much as new recipes are coming out every day that are oil less for the fitfam guys, the use of palm oil in our local soups, stews and food cannot be erased, just imagine your eforiro (Yoruba vegetable soup) without palm oil ah it won’t taste the same, or is it the local palm oil stew chai that stew been saving lives since forever. So I guess you get the point and this is why it’s a must have
4) Beans- when you wake up on a Saturday morning and you crave pap and warm akara (bean cakes) or even moi moi (bean pudding) and then you step into your kitchen and just pull out that container of beans, sock it and blend with your choice of peppers and tomatoes, make your akara, then relax in front of your TV and enjoy yourself, without stepping out of your house, now that is comfort and a day started out right. Beans can be prepared in so many ways and can serve as breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s the main base for most meals and having it means you already have 70% of your planned meal ready.
5) Condiments- crayfish, seasoning, thyme, curry, ground pepper, garlic, ginger, these are very important condiments that every kitchen should have, there are so many spices and herbs that you can have in your kitchen but with the above listed ones cooking is made easy, you can just grill your chicken or fish with most of the list spices and dinner is ready.
6) Garri (cassava flakes) yes this made it to the list too, apart from being made into swallow for soups, this food stuff can save you during hard times when you have nothing to eat or no clue what to prepare, just take some garri in a bowl, add milk, sugar, groundnut or coconut with some ice cold water and girl your belly is full with some delicious yumminess so yes it’s a must have in a Nigerian home.
7) Yams and potatoes- having these two or at least one of them in your kitchen means that food is ready, you could make pottage, yams and egg Sauce, yam or potatoes chips (kids love it) the list goes on, you can be at peace knowing that your kids lunch box won’t be empty for the week with these in your kitchen.
8) Tomatoes and pepper purée- blend your tomatoe, pepper and onions together and keep frozen for easy stews, pottages, soups, sauces and more. It will always come in handy for you every time you need to make yummy home cooked meals for your family.
There are so much more that your kitchen require to function at optimum, but these are the most important that would help you out in time of need, you will appreciate the gift of having these at home on days when you are too busy to stop at the market and you come home and still be able to prepare a decent meal for your family. As homemakers, things that lessen the stress of everyday homemaking are always a plus. Let me hear your feedback on this topic and if it has helped you plan your kitchen better in the comments section.