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Keeping it Fresh: Simple Ways to Preserve Spices and Grains this Monsoon

If there’s one thing that makes our Indian cuisine stand apart from others, it is this: It’s ‘Spicy’!

Come the rains, and one might mysteriously find their food lacking that vital ‘kick’ it would ordinarily have. What’s worse, the grains you eat might be soggy, leading you to wonder if all that food in the kitchen might just have been ‘spoiled’.

There’s no reason the rains should play spoilsport at your lunch party! With this article, learn all about the Preservation of Spices, and even How to Preserve Food Grains at Home. If there’s one thing you should know, it’s that there’s no reason for ‘bugs’ and ‘moisture’ to get in the way of the delicious food you eat! Without further ado, here’s presenting a look at how we can preserve those delectable ‘spices’, and ensure our food stays ‘spicy’ this Monsoon Season.

Table of Contents:

  1. The Preservation of Spices: How to Preserve Spices this Monsoon Season
  2. Grain Preservation: How to Preserve Food Grains at Home

The Preservation of Spices: How to Preserve Spices this Monsoon Season

There are ways we can get that succulent biryani to retain its ‘Dum’, in more ways than one! Presenting cool tips for the preservation of spices this monsoon season.

  1. Airtight Containers
  2. Remember how you struggled to open those plastic containers in Grandma’s kitchen? They were difficult to open, simply because they were ‘airtight’!

    Note: You might want to store each individual spice in a different container.

  3. Keep them away from Moisture
  4. You want to keep your spice containers away from all possible sources of moisture. For instance, keeping them in a space close to the kitchen sink, is not the best idea.

    Tip: Besides moisture, ‘direct sunlight’, too, can wreak havoc on those spices. Ensure that you keep them away from the harsh rays of the sun, in a dark place.

  5. Wash your hands
  6. Remember that incessant hand-washing routine we indulged in during the pandemic? You’ll have to do it again, before you handle your spices this monsoon! The last thing you want is for them to get contaminated with all the germs and bacteria that flourish during this period.

  7. Dry Roast those Spices
  8. This one’s literally one of the best hacks, where it comes to keeping those spices dry in the monsoon. When we dry roast spices like cloves and cardamom, all the excess moisture they might have absorbed from the air is released.

    Bonus: Talking about ’flavour’, our already-aromatic spices have their flavour enhanced, through this simple process of dry roasting!

  9. Store them in accordance to their ‘type’
  10. Just like the ‘uniqueness’ of each spice, there are different ways to store them, too.

  11. You want to store all the ‘ground’ masalas in the fridge.
  12. In the case of ‘chillies’, microwave them before placing them in those airtight containers.
  13. Toss ‘bay leaves’ in containers of Cardamom and Pepper. This will work wonders where it comes to absorbing any excess moisture.

Grain Preservation: How to Preserve Food Grains at Home

It’s futile to merely work towards preserving ‘spices’, if we’re going to do nothing to preserve our ‘foodgrains’! After all, plenty of the cooking we do involves an amalgamation of spices and grains. Here’s a look at how we can best preserve those food grains that make for a staple part of our diets.

  1. Store them in the freezer
  2. The rains are a breeding ground for worms that might just find their way into your container of grains! Keep them in the freezer, as a deterrent to these unwanted intruders.

  3. Add some neem leaves
  4. As much as it might sound like superstition, this one’s a hack that works wonders. Simply toss in some neem leaves in that container of rice, to safeguard it from the bugs lurking round the corner.

    Cool Tip: Apart from neem leaves, you could also place some camphor tied in cloth in that container of grains.

  5. Different Strokes for Different Grains
  6. All spices are not created equal, and neither are grains! You might want to keep the following tips in mind, when storing these ‘different’ grains.

    For Dalia and Suji: Store them in the refrigerator, after you have dry roasted them.

    For Maida and Atta: Place some bay leaves in the jars that contain them.

  7. De-infect grains that have been already infected
  8. Prevention is better than cure, but sometimes we are left with no choice but the ‘cure’ itself. You will find, it’s never too late for Grain Preservation!

    To do: Add a teaspoon of mustard oil to the grains, and mix thoroughly. Then place them in sunlight and watch those insects vanish!

The last thing you want after sipping that wonderful ‘elaichi chai’ on a rainy day, is to reach for a spicy snack and find it has lost its flavour. Use the tips outlined in this article, to ensure that both your Spices and Grains are well-preserved. Oh, and that you don’t miss out on a wonderful culinary experience at home, this Monsoon Season!


  1. Himalayan Haat

  3. Times of India

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