Slow Cooker Mixed Vegetable Soup and Indian Cooking Pantry Essential Checklist

    What you will find in this post?

    1. Recipe for all in one shot slow cooker vegetarian soup recipe
    2. A checklist of Indian Cooking Pantry Essentials (download pdf here)


    Hello all,

    As promised, I am back with my list of “India Cooking Pantry Essentials”. I spend couple of hours to collect the list of grains, spices and condiments in my cabinets. The list might look really extensive but trust me, we use each of them atleast once or twice a week. I wanted to share this list before sending out the weekly menu charts. Please note that I will be sending the first one on 04Jan2014 (Friday). I created this list just to make sure we are all in the same page with regards to kitchen essentials so meal planning and cooking will be a breeze.

    I grew up in (almost!) a vegetarian household. Well, let me first clarify the word almost in the previous sentence.

    My mother is a vegetarian and she comes from a family that raised her with strong vegetarian beliefs. My dad is was a meat eater until 40 and he changed to vegetarian diet due health reasons. Hence growing up I relished both the extremes in a meal – the pulses, lentils, vegetables on one end and meat and seafood on the other end. You now can say without a doubt that I am a true foodie. Good food and great company makes me a happy girl!

    That explains the reason why I have included varieties of whole grains, lentils and pulses in the pantry list. At present, you will find either seafood or meat in my house on Sundays and Wednesdays while eggs will be eaten on most days. With kids and a full time job to manage,  I can imagine the stress we undergo on a daily basis. Everyday when I drive back home, I will keep thinking about the ingredients that I shopped that week and what meal can be cooked out of it for dinner that night. I will secretly pray that those vegetables didn’t rot because I wouldn’t have gotten around it for more than a week. With all those daily struggles and time management, we manage to cook an quick and easy dinner and serve our family. But the frowns and sad face at the table is so annoying to me. I am sure its the same story in every house.  That look from husband makes us go completely. insane. I hear you guys! Hence I came up with this idea to spend some quality time to create a menu plan. I am so glad that you all joined me. Anytime you see something not good or cool in the chart, please feel free to write to me. I will take the suggestions and make deletions or additions for future meals. This chart will also carry a shopping list so we don’t let any vegetable or fruit to rot. Lets prevent over shopping and stick to 6 varieties of vegetables and 6 varieties of fruits along with basic items like ginger, garlic, green chillies, onions and tomatoes for a week.

    I am really excited to start 2015 with this resolution – Stop Food Waste, Eat Homemade and Cook Smart.

    I created the checklist keeping in mind that most of us can use it while shopping. You can mark Yes or No in the list and add your comments like will buy this weekend or have little already left in the box. I stick mine to the fridge or pin to my board, so the notes will prompt me buy it when it is done.

    Spices and Aroma Indian Pantry Shopping List

    Click the image to download the pantry check list

    You can find the “Indian Cooking Pantry Essential” pdf file at the DROPBOX LINK here.

    Let me quickly share the recipe for our family’s favorite soup of the season: No-Oil Mixed Vegetable Soup. I cooked it in a slow cooker. I recently got one and it is one of the best investment I made for $15. During winters, my husband loves soup so I serve it with all the vegetables and lentils. On some days I change between barley, brown and white rice. It is a one pot wonder meal and it cooks all by itself. I don’t have to be around to switch it off or prevent any burning. On a week night right before I hit the bed, I dump all the vegetables, spices and lentils in the slow cooker and leave it at low powder and let it cook overnight. I wake up to a bowl of fresh, homemade soup. How wonderful is that!


    Amazon link to buy slow cooker:
    Hamilton Beach 33182A Slow Cooker, 8-Quart


    Please note that the same recipe can be made in a pressure cooker. Add all the ingredients except coconut milk in to a pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles. Remove and add coconut milk.

    Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup_2

    Slow Cooker Mixed Vegetable Soup

    Source: Self

    Makes : 6-8 servings


    • 4 cups mixed vegetables of choice ( I used carrots, beans, celery, zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli), chopped
    • 1 small red onions, finely chopped
    • 2 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
    • 1 green chilly, finely minced
    • 1 vegetable stock cube
    • 1/2 cup Mung dahl
    • 1/2 cup Red Split Peas (Masoor Dahl)
    • 6 cups water
    • 1 tablespoon garam masala
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • Salt and Pepper to taste

    To serve

    • Dollop of Sour Cream
    • Coriander Chutney (Optional – I had leftover)


    1. Dump all the ingredients except coconut milk into the slow cooker. Set to low heat and cook for 8 hours. Once done, add coconut milk and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
    2. Transfer to a clean bowl and serve with dollop of sour cream and coriander chutney (purely optional).


    1. The soup by itself is extremely delicious. You don’t have to add any chutney.
    2. This one pot Indian soup is ideal during gestational diabetes or in phase 1 of South Beach Diet.
    3. This can also be eaten diabetic and pre-diabetic individuals.


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    1. Cate Markey 6 years ago

      Love this blog and the essentials list. Thank you so much.

      Could you give those of us who don’t use the whistle pressure cooker a cooking equivalent? Most modern pressure cookers here in America no longer have removable weights, so they just come up to pressure an we cook for time prescribed. One search I did said cook 3 minutes for each whistle – this seems wrong (too short) – even based on my own 1 month experience cooking in a South Indian household. Any guidance you can give is much appreciated.

      Thanks so much Vijitha,
      Cate Markey

      • Hi Cate,
        You are welcome.

        I can email you an amazon link. I use prestige cooker. Yes about 3 minutes each whistles sounds wrong to me as well. Was it in my blog? Generally when we keep the heat at medium high flame, it takes 10-12 minutes for pressure to build up and whistles blows every 30 seconds. For some dishes 1 to 3 whistles are recommended.

      • Cate : I have the amazon link to the post for pressure cooker. Let me know if you can find it.

    2. It looks like you use a pressure cooker frequently. I received one for Christmas. Do you have a suggestion or source to learn how to use it. Love your blog.

      • Sure Sandy. Pls send me picture or amazon link of the pressure cooker you have. I can suggest after seeing it.

    3. Gaya3 K7 6 years ago

      Hey Viji,

      Can you please suggest a substitute for vegetable stock cube? OR Can I just omit it? I normally don’t have this in my pantry.

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