A well-stocked pantry is always preferable to make your life and cooking easier especially in times of emergency.  If you want to enjoy cooking delicious food, you should always have a checklist of pantry essentials of common use.

Spices are the building block of the kitchen, no matter what and how you cook spices are the most essential element of your pantry. Besides the basic ingredients, spices are important in adding flavour to your food.

Here is a wide variety of what we count as spices. However, it is not possible to describe all of them but here is a precise list of spices essentials that one must have in the pantry.

01. Red Chilli Powder

Crushed red chilli

If you like your food a bit spicy, add some chilli flakes or whole dried chilis.

This spice is commonly used in every dish in Asian cuisine. This kind of spice is optional to be stocked in large quantities.

Once you buy a sufficient quantity of chilli flakes or powder, you can use it for a long time because a small amount of chilli is sufficient for any dish, so make sure to store it in your cupboard.

02. Black Peppercorns

Black peppercorns are the must-have spice in your kitchen cupboard. As we know many foods don’t need the strong flavour of red chilies.

So what is another option to add flavour? Yes of course good quality organic black peppercorns. You can buy it in powder form too.

Using black pepper can enhance the taste and aroma of the dish. This spice is also available in white and pink colours for advanced spicing levels.

03. Turmeric


Turmeric is an essential ingredient in pantry essentials because of its versatility. It is widely used in Asian and Thai cuisines.

In addition, it has a lot of health benefits. It is part of the ginger family; that’s why it has a bright, mild taste and strong aroma.

Good quality turmeric is a game changer in the home kitchen. One should add it to make rice, chicken, or some soups.

04. Bay Leaves

Bay Leaves

It might be possible that you never consider bay leaves as a must-have spice, but here you are mistaken. These are dried with a pleasant aroma.

If you take a bite of it, it does not taste good. It is not poisoned but they are unpleasant to eat.

But when you put it in any stock, stew, sauce , rice, or pickling veggies, it not only enhances the aroma but also tastes good.

So, it should be added to your spice essential list because of the aroma or smell they have.

Older bay leaves indeed don’t do much but fresh leaves give herbaceous aroma.

05. Cardamom


Cardamom is a pod spice. Its flavour is complex. It is used in both savoury and sweet dishes depending on the flavour requirements.

Along with the taste factor, cardamom is known for its health benefits as well. It is good to store it as a whole.

You can store it in seed form or even in powder form as well.

06. Cumin seeds

Cumin Seeds

When we talk about spices, it is impossible to ignore cumin seeds. These seeds are tiny in size but strong in taste.

Adding cumin seeds to any dish, like vegetables, meat, or broth, can bring out the flavours of the dish.

07. Coriander seeds

Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds come from cilantro leaves. In the spice world, there is no substitute for coriander seeds.

Whether you use it in powder form or as whole seeds, it works equally well

You can store this spice as a whole or in powder form as well coriander has a nice floral smell and citrus flavour. It is commonly used in Asian cuisine

08. Paprika


Paprika is a necessary ingredient. It brings beautiful colour and a pinch of sweetness to our meals.

You’ll find it in almost all dishes from barbeque sauce to egg dishes. We even love sprinkles on mac and cheese.

It is a ground spice from dried varieties of pepper. It ranges from hot to sweet in intensity.

Due to its antioxidant properties, it is useful in pain relief, healthy weight gain, UV protection as cancer preservation as well.

09. Mustard Seeds

mustard Seeds

It is a medicinal and healthy spice. It acts as an antioxidant and fights against diabetes, cancer, fungi and to kick up their taste, heat and nutrients.

Mix up these seeds with water and vinegar to make your homemade mustard.

In preparing vegetables especially cauliflower must add mustard seeds to enhance their taste.

10. Curry Powder

Curry Powder

Curry powder plays a key role in preparing curry. We also add curry powder to rice, vegetable dishes and even desserts. This must be added to the following dishes:

  • Curried Beef Stew
  • Pineapple shrimp fried rice
  • Chicken Curry Lasagna
  • Chicken Samosas

And in many other Thai and desi dishes.

Points to be Noted

These are just starting points; consider the types of cuisines you enjoy cooking and commonly used spices.
Choose Spices that can be used in multiple recipes to maximise utility and minimise clutter in your pantry.
Note their shelf life and preserve them for longer use with their freshness.
Determine the budget of all spices and only choose those essential spices that match your budget and dish.
Consider the space in your kitchen to preserve spices in bottles.
Ensure that pantry essentials get any special dietary needs.
Always choose high-quality spices to enhance the flavour of your dishes and maintain better results. to make the flavour incredible.