The Indian Pantry

Anyone who has cooked Indian food will know the sheer number of ingredients and spices that go in making a single dish! Due to the nature of Indian cooking; a spacious kitchen and storage space or pantry was essential for me when we were house hunting. Luckily, we totally hit the jackpot with this home on that count. With lots of counterspace for all our appliances and a pantry under the stairs for all our supplies- we’re eating so many more home cooked meals! So, here I am with a blog on a perfectly organised Indian Pantry 

My first step was to organise all the different lentils and flours that we use on an everyday basis. Being vegetarian, lentils are a high source of protein for us and I make it a point to make a lentil soup or curry every 2-3 days. I bought Ikea  containers for all the lentils and different rice (puffed rice, basmatic rice, jasmine rice, quinoa etc). These are plastic -but not the cheap quality, air tight,  clear- so they are perfect to display all those colourful lentils and best of all- totally reasonably priced!

I’ve labelled them on the sides, but you could stick labels to the front as well.

I, then was on the lookout for flour containers. I was obsessing over the Martha Stewart tin collection, unfortunately at $25 a piece, it was pretty pricey! That is, until Thanksgiving Sales (!!) where they were half price from Macy’s and I grabbed 5 of them for the pantry. While $11.99 is still pretty expensive for a container, I cannot emphasise just how beautiful these look in the pantry and they are the perfect size to fit an entire bag of flour. I just figured I would spend a little on these beauties and then cheap out on other containers 🙂


My next step was to find a practical and pretty way to organise all the different spices that I use. Many Indian spices come in larger bags and I just needed to get rid of those pesky plastic bags. Previously, I’d just remove as much as I needed in my spice box and then leave the leftovers in their original bags in a basket. But with the luxury of a pantry, I bought air tight mason jars from Walmart (on sale) and emptied the contents of the spices in the jars. They look so much neater and so organised! I then added personalised kraft stickers from Evermine to all the jars just for that extra prettiness!

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Spice Jars

After organising the main contents of the pantry- flour, spices, lentils, rice, canned tins and pasta; I used leftover shelf space to organise the smaller foods and packets into baskets from Target and  the Dollar Tree. Instead of buying larger baskets and dumping all foods in that, I  found it helpful to categorise my foods and then add each to the appropriate (smaller) baskets. For example, Dry fruits in one basket, then ready-to-eat food packets (totally useful for days when you’re just too lazy to cook!) in another basket and so on…I haven’t added label tags to each basket but I’m sure will get there eventually. Until then, I have captioned the image to let you all know how I categorised the baskets!

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Right to Left: Misc, Ready-To-Eat (Rasoi Magic), Ready Batters (Handwa, Dhokla etc), Candy/Chocolate, Tea Sachets and Dry Fruit basket.  Baskets from Target 

Same way, I used the Dollar Tree baskets as fruit baskets- some people prefer to mix all their fruits together but I find that fruits stay fresh for longer when not mixed with other fruits and this is especially true in the case of bananas! Finally, after organising all the containers and baskets, I placed them on the shelves in the most practical and space saving way. The images below show the final look of the pantry from both sides.

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Right side shelves – Canned foods, lentils and fruit baskets with breakfast foods. I.e: Pancake batter, coffee packets etc
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Left side shelves- Spice Jars, Flour & Rice, Pasta and Noodles, Drinks

While organising the pantry may seem a lot of work, all it really takes is picking the right containers to store food and the rest will just follow. Picking the right containers can drastically help in saving space even when you have a small kitchen and less cabinet room! Ultimately, finding what works best for you and testing different ideas is key to keeping your kitchen organised.

Complete this look: (All prices are current retail prices)

Lentil & Rice Containers $3.99 each – Ikea 

Flour Containers $11.99 each- Macy’s

Spice Jars (Pack of 12) $7.68- Walmart 

Personalised Spice Jar Stickers (40 labels) $17.98 – Evermine 

Black and White Tray Baskets  $3.99 each- Target 

Fruit Baskets $1.00- Dollar Tree

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Mansi says:

    OMG absolutely love this!! This has given me major inspiration to re-vamp my own pantry.


    1. remakingivy says:

      Weekend Project!


  2. Charmi says:

    Love the whole setup and how organized & clean it looks. Love the flour containers! Great ideas!


    1. remakingivy says:

      So glad you liked! Can’t wait for you to have your own pantry 😉


  3. Anuradha Iyer says:

    Wow amazing work with your pantry, i have been obsessed to organise my pantry but not getting satisfied. Even though i love ur flour containers what do you do with the leftover bag of rice and flour as i assume you must be buying 5 to 10 pounds bag like most of us.


    1. remakingivy says:

      Hi Anuradha, thank you for your comment. I am glad you liked the post. For me its just me and my husband so I usually don’t get large bags but I have helped my mother organize her pantry- either by storing the rice and flour boxes in a large storage container at the bottom shelf or inside a cabinet, space permitting. I know some families who have stored it in their garage too. I hope you have been able to figure a system that has worked for you 🙂


  4. Deepa says:

    Thank you. No one really talks from an INDIAN pantry perspective. I love your ideas!


    1. remakingivy says:

      Thank you! I am so glad you found it useful 🙂


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