An amamma is, as I learnt after marriage, the female gender of an Achayan. So I guess I am supposed to be one :) Having gone through the cupboards of senior amammas (like my mom & mom-in law), I am listing the following must-haves in the pantry of a modern day amamma to muster up a spread of Keralite food any day. Here goes...
Rice (red unpolished parboiled is most authentic & most nutritious)
Cans of coconut milk or Maggi Coconut powder
Dried Lentils- Tuvar Dal, Urad Dal, Green Moong Dal, Yellow Moong Dal,Chana Dal
Ari Poddi (Rice powder, Red , brown or White avl in stores)
Maida or All purpose Flour (unbleached)
Kadala Maav or Chick pea flour
Aval or Poha
Tamarind(paste or whole)
Shallots (same as Chommna uuli) - a must for authentic Kerala taste
Kismis or raisins (Golden or Black)
Red chilli powder(2 kinds-very red but not spicy, like paprika, and other is not so red but very spicy)
Peppercorn seeds + powder
fenugreek seeds + powder
Dry Red Chilli
Sambar masala mix
Rasam masala mix
Prepared Masala mixes like Eastern Egg Masala, Eastern Meat MasalaGaram Masala
Frozen shredded Coconut
Basic Veggies-tomatoes,string/french Beans, carrot, cauliflower, cabbage.
Other optional but useful veggies- Raw Banana, okra, Bottle Gourd, yam, pumpkin, eggplant, frozen drumsticks.