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Pantry Essentials That Will Make Quick Weeknight Meals A Breeze

Have you ever tried to follow a recipe and wished your pantry was stocked with go-to ingredients that make meals faster and easier? With these simple essentials, prepare for weeknight meal prep to get a whole lot easier.

A variety of rice options

With rice in your pantry, you have the makings of a huge variety of meals. From curries and stir-frys to appetizers and even desserts, rice is a key ingredient. Try to stock your pantry with different types of rice for the most meal options: Jasmine rice (great for making coconut rice or Chinese fried rice), basmati rice (great for biryani and pulao) and Arborio rice for risotto.


Recipe mixes

Whether you’re BBQing, preparing a curry or just hankering for a simple snack, it helps to have a few recipe mixes and pre-packaged spice blends on hand. Quality recipe mixes (like National Daal Makhni Recipe Mix or National Daighi Danedar Haleem Recipe & Lentil Mix) significantly reduce the amount of time you need to spend in the kitchen without sacrificing flavour. The added benefit? They are also generally very affordable. Add some recipe mixes to your pantry today!


Ginger and garlic paste

When it comes to South Asian cooking, ginger and garlic are everything: Just about every Indian and Pakistani recipe starts with a hot pan and some onion, ginger, garlic and cooking oil. Ginger and garlic paste comes in handy when you either don’t have time to peel and grate ginger, you don’t want to deal with the hassle of smashing, peeling and dicing ginger or don’t want your fingers to smell like garlic for the next week. National Ginger & Garlic Paste is prepared with pure and fresh ginger and garlic, so it retains all of the flavour and natural health benefits.

Spicy sauces and sweet chutneys

Whether you want to add a little heat or a little sweet to your already outstanding dish, your secret weapon for taking everyday meals to the next level is enclosed in a glass bottle and could be waiting in your fridge. Spicy sauces, like chili garlic sauce or green chili sauce, can help make good foods great (and can even hide some rather regrettable cooking mishaps as well). On the other end of the flavour spectrum, a nice chutney, like National Sweet and Sour Plum Chutney, adds a touch of sweetness with a tangy kick to any dish, from french fries to fish.

Avocado oil

It’s always great to have a variety of oils on hand for every occasion — a little olive oil for salad dressings and sesame oil for stir fries — but if we were to choose just one type of oil to use every night of the week for any occasion for the rest of our lives it would have to be avocado oil. It’s healthy, it’s flavourless and it has the highest smoke point of any cooking oil, meaning you can use it for high-temperature grilling, frying, baking, roasting and sauteing without worrying about black smoke billowing out of your oven, pan or fryer. Make sure your pantry always has a big bottle of avocado oil (and a backup bottle in the waiting for the day you inevitably run out).

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