What herbs and spices and other things are essential? Just watching a really good cookery programme and being inspired to cook more and so have resolved to gradually stock up so that I can recreate recipes whilst they are fresh in my mind!
Dry stuff.... flour (different types), yeast, pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas), rice, pasta, barley, cous cous, sugar, rolled oats, dry breadcrumbs, sunflower and pumpkin seeds Condiments... vinegar, Lea & Perrins, soy sauce, mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, groundnut oil, salt, peppercorns, tabasco, honey. Herbs... this time of year I grow parsley, mint, thyme, chives in a tub in the garden and basil on the kitchen windowledge, but also have dried bayleaves and mixed french herbs. Fresh garlic, ginger and chilli peppers always around. Spices.... chilli powder, curry powder, cajun seasoning, saffron... plus I do a bit of indian cookery so I have cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek, turmeric, coriander, garam masala etc.
Flour- plain, SR and corn flour Chopped tomatoes, passata and tomato puree Garlic puree Sundried tomatoes Tinned Chickpeas, kidney beans, cannelini beans, baked beans Red lentils Rice, pasta (varities of), couscous Chorizo (not quite store cupboard but it keeps for ages in fridge) Stock cubes Peanut butter Condiments as per Cogito's list Spices I use all the time: oregano, cumin (dried and seeds), coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, chilli powder, tikka masala powder, chinese 5 spice, ras el hanout.
I would suggest filling your larder by finding a couple of recipes you want to try first and buying everything you need for them and build it up that way. Otherwise you might end up with a load of out of date, unopened things at the back of the cupboard.