I am caught in a web of cultures. This is not a scary thing. I welcome it with an open heart and a very big appetite. I have one foot in America and another in Europe. My heart is rooted in Puerto Rico while my passion is India. But where do I shop? In Italy.
Although I live in a northern Italian town where the cuisine lacks spice, I am never bored. I have learned to blend parsley, basil, sage and other traditional Italian herbs into a cuisine all my own. My Indian fiance is often asked what we eat at home. His answer? Everything.
Since I get asked for recipes quite often, I wanted to take a minute to examine my pantry. This way I can catalog a list of the spices and herbs I most commonly use to create everything from Punjabi dishes to falafel, pasta and empanadas.
For all those Spicy Rose followers, this is for you...
My Indian dhabba (spice box) has the following:
-red chili powder
My other Indian spices include:
-cinnamon (whole and ground)
-ginger (whole and ground)
-lavender (which I am babysitting for a friend)
My Puerto Rican spices include:
-powdered garlic (which I never use but, in this case, is required to make adobo)
-powdered onion (see explanation as above)
-black pepper (whole)
My Asian pantry staples:
-Thai fish sauce
-red curry paste
All purpose herbs/seasonings/aromatics I buy often:
-lemon grass (if I'm ever lucky to find)
-kaffir lime leaves (dried)
-curry leaves (dried)
Some stuff I just found while taking my last look around:
-pickled green chilies
-pickled red chilies
-black bean sauce
-pumpkin seeds (used in mole)
-apple cider vinegar
-white wine vinegar
-extra virgin olive oil
-assortment of specialty salts