Kitchen Basics

This is, by no means, meant to frighten you out out trying to cook Silk Route cuisine.  Quite the opposite, actually. It’s only meant to give you an idea of the necessities before getting started.  Most of the basics you’ll probably already have on hand so no need to worry.  Cooking is a fun learning experience for chefs of all levels so relax and enjoy.

Basic Must-Have Ingredients for Silk Route Cuisine 

  • Red and green chilies (fresh, dried, powdered)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Shallots
  • Lime (juice, zest, leaves, etc.)
  • Curry powder (good quality and mild is best as it can be intensified with dried chili powder as needed)
  • Cinnamon (sticks and powder)
  • Coriander (leaves, stems, roots, whole and powdered seeds)
  • Rice (long grain, white variety such as Indian Basmati or Thai Jasmine)
  • Soy sauce (a low sodium version is best)
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

Additional Must-Have Ingredients for Silk Route Cuisine

  • Lemon grass
  • Turmeric powder
  • Garam masala powder (or cinnamon, cloves, star anise and coriander seeds separately)
  • Fish sauce
  • Cumin (whole and powdered seeds)
  • Saffron
  • Coconut milk (fresh if you have the time, but a good quality canned cream/milk will work)
  • Tomatoes (whole and paste)
  • Mangoes (pulp and whole)
  • Brown sugar
  • Yellow onion

Nice-To-Have Ingredients for Silk Route Cuisine

  • Mustard seeds
  • Galangal
  • Pandan Leaves
  • Curry Leaves
  • Thai Basil
  • Flat rice noodles
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Cooking Cream
  • Dried shrimp
  • Oyster sauce
  • Green onions
  • Different types of cooking oils (canola, olive, sesame, peanut, chili)
  • Different types of lentils

These ingredients should be pantry and fridge staples and as most spices and sauces last a long time when stored properly, they are easy to have on hand and have versatile uses.  Other ingredients such as chilies and curry leaves freeze well.  Rice and noodles are staples for almost all types of cuisines.

These ingredients will work in tandem with other recipe-specific ingredients in order to create mouth-watering, flavourful, aromatic and vibrant foods that will be both pleasing to the palate and vision – the hallmarks of Silk Route cuisine!


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