I have significantly expanded my cooking repertoire in the past 6-7 years and a lot of that can be attributed to my ever-growing confidence with spices. You can turn tomatoes, onions and garlic into a Mexican base with the help of cumin, coriander and chiles. Making sure that you have all the Indian spices on hand to convert those same three ingredients into a chana masala on a whim can prove challenging though. No fun being halfway through a recipe only to realize that the amchoor powder that you REALLY, REALLY need is not there. I speak from experience.
Enter teased trick, which isn’t as much of a trick as it is a bit of planning. Once you have all your spices lined up, make extra portions of your spice mix! Throw them in quarter pint jars and stash them with your spices (labeled, of course) so that your mid-week, pantry-granted chana masala can be a reality… on an almost-whim. 😉
P.S. Spice mixes (with an attached recipe) make a great housewarming and/or new parent gift, especially if you throw in the required legumes and a jar of homemade tomatoes. Pantry meal kits!