If you're looking to add Indian flavors to your cooking or want to learn more about Indian spices, be sure to check out our list of the most popular Indian spices. You'll find everything you need to know about these spices, as well as their uses and health benefits. So why wait? Get started today!
This article will cover everything you need to know about Indian spices and their various uses so you can start experimenting. From curries to masalas, there are endless possibilities when it comes to using these fragrant spices in your Indian cooking.
Not only do they add aroma and depth to your dishes, but they also have health benefits that can improve your overall well-being. Learn more about the different spices used in the Indian subcontinent and how they can benefit your health.
Indian spices are the dried seeds, roots, fruits, and flowers of plants native to India.
Indian cuisine is famous for its complex use of these ground spices in both savory and sweet dishes. There are many different types of Indian spices that can be purchased at a grocery store or online.
Indian food is a rich and diverse cuisine with its own unique flavors and spice mixes. That's why it has become so popular around the world. If you're looking to make your cooking more interesting, here are some of the most commonly used Indian spices that you'll love using in your dishes!
These are all common spices used in Indian cuisine. They can be used individually or in combination to create different flavors.
- 1. Turmeric (Haldi)
- 2. Cumin (Jeera)
- 3. Caraway (Shahi Jeera)
- 4. Fennel (Saunf)
- 5. Coriander (Cilantro/Dhaniya powder)
- 6. Garam Masala
- 7. Ginger (Adarak)
- 8. Garlic (Lahasun)
- 9. Fenugreek (Methi)
- 10. Mustard Seeds (Rai)
- 11. Asafetida or Asafoetida (Hing)
- 12. Green Cardamom (Choti Elaichi)
- 13. Black Cardamom (Badi elaichi)
- 14. Cloves (Lavang)
- 15. Nutmeg (Jaiphal)
- 16. Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)
- 17. Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
- 18. Cinnamon Sticks (Dalachini)
- 19. Star Anise (Chakra Phul)
- 20. Chili Powder (Lal Mirch)
- 21. Mango Powder (Amchoor)
- 22. Carom (Ajwain)
- 23. Mace (Javitri)
- 24. Curry Leaves (Kadhipatta)
- 25. Saffron (Kesar)
- People Also Ask [FAQs]
- Wrap Up: List Of Indian Spices
1. Turmeric (Haldi)
- Turmeric is a spice that is derived from the plant Curcuma longa.
- It has a warm, bitter taste and is often used in cooking.
- It has been used in India for centuries as a spice and medicinal herb. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Curcumin is what gives turmeric its characteristic yellow color.
- It can be used in either fresh or dried form.
2. Cumin (Jeera)
- Cumin is a spice that originated in the Middle East and India.
- Cumin is often used to add a warm, earthy aroma to dishes like soups, stews, and curries. It can also be used as an herb for seasoning roasted vegetables or meats.
- Cumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties which may help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. Additionally, cumin is a good source of iron and can help to boost energy levels.
3. Caraway (Shahi Jeera)
- Caraway is a spice that is often used as a dry roasted spice.
- It has a strong, peppery bite and a slightly bitter taste. It is also used to add flavor to bread and other baked goods.
- Shahi Jeera is deeper in color and has a significantly sweeter flavor than regular Jeera.
- It can be ground into a powder or added whole to dishes.
- The most common component in Biryani is caraway seeds, also known as Shahi Jeera.
4. Fennel (Saunf)
- Fennel is a herb that is related to carrots and parsley.
- It has a licorice-like flavor and is used in many Indian dishes to add aroma to dishes. Fennel can be cooked by itself or added to other dishes.
- Fennel is a good source of fiber and vitamins C and A. It also contains antioxidants that can help protect the body from diseases.
5. Coriander (Cilantro/Dhaniya powder)
- One of the most common spices in the Indian kitchen is coriander powder made from grinding the coriander seeds.
- Fresh coriander looks similar to parsley and is used to add freshness to dishes as well as to thicken sauces.
- Coriander powder is also a digestive aid and can help relieve nausea and vomiting.
6. Garam Masala
- Garam Masala is a spice mix that is used extensively in Indian cooking.
- The spice mixes in Garam Masala can vary, but it generally includes black pepper, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.
- Garam Masala is used to add essence and aroma to dishes. It can also be used to make a dish spicier.
- Garam Masala is available in Indian markets and some specialty stores. Garam Masala can also be made at home.
7. Ginger (Adarak)
- Ginger is a spice that is used in Indian cooking.
- It has a strong zest and is used to add heat to dishes. Ginger can also be used to add seasoning to sauces and marinades.
- It is available fresh or dried and can be ground into a powder or added whole to dishes.
8. Garlic (Lahasun)
- Garlic is a herb that has been used for centuries, both as food and medicine.
- Garlic tastes like a cross between onions and leeks.
- Garlic can be used in many different types of food preparation, such as Indian cuisine or Italian dishes. Garlic can also be found in some sauces, soups, and desserts.
9. Fenugreek (Methi)
- Fenugreek is an annual plant that is a member of the Fabaceae family. The plant has leaves that are triangular in shape and grow in pairs.
- The taste of fenugreek seeds, known for its unique bitter edge, enhances a variety of Indian dishes, from hearty South Indian curries like Kerala fish curry to fragrant Indian dal.
- While it's a native of the Mediterranean, its use has spread far and wide, with people also enjoying it steeped as a tea.
- If you're in the middle of cooking and realize you're out of this key ingredient, don't worry. There are other options that can fill in nicely without compromising your dish's flavor. For those moments, a handy guide to a fenugreek substitute can be a kitchen lifesaver.
10. Mustard Seeds (Rai)
- Mustard seeds are small, round, and black in color. They have a pungent and spicy taste and are used as a spice in Indian cooking.
- Mustard seeds are very versatile and can be used in curries, dal tadka, sabzi, or chutney. They can also be used to temper food.
- Mustard seeds are a good source of magnesium, selenium, and phosphorus. They also contain high levels of fiber.
- The use of mustard seeds dates back to ancient times. Mustard seeds were used in Roman cooking and were thought to have medicinal properties.
11. Asafetida or Asafoetida (Hing)
- Asafetida, also known as hing is a spice that is made from the sap of the Asafetida plant. The sap is then dried and turned into a powder.
- Asafoetida has a strong smell, but it also has a very unique taste.
- Asafetida is often used in Indian restaurants, and it can be used in a variety of dishes. Asafetida can be used to add zest to soups, stews, and curries. It can also be used to make a variety of Indian sauces.
12. Green Cardamom (Choti Elaichi)
- Green Cardamom is a highly aromatic spice that is often used in ethnic cooking.
- It has a pungent, slightly sweet taste and can be used both whole or ground.
- The spice is especially popular in curries and masalas, but can also be added to baked goods, desserts, and tea.
13. Black Cardamom (Badi elaichi)
- Black Cardamom is also known as greater cardamom, and Brihad ela in Sanskrit is one of the most important spices in Indian cuisine.
- Black cardamom seeds are larger than green cardamom and have a smoky aroma that adds depth to dishes like Biryani or Curry.
- It can be used in many different ways - you can ground it into a powder and added to foods, or use whole spices to flavor rice or meat dishes.
- It is an essential ingredient in garam masala and is also used in Ayurvedic medicine.
14. Cloves (Lavang)
- Cloves are the dried flower buds of a tree in the myrtle family.
- It has a sweet, pungent taste and is used to add flavor to dishes.
- Cloves are often used in chicken dishes, masala chai, a spiced tea made with milk and spices.
- Cloves are used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat digestive disorders, as well as aromatherapy, pain relief, and circulation improvement.
- Cloves are grown in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Madagascar. They are harvested from October to December.
15. Nutmeg (Jaiphal)
- Nutmeg is a spice that is made from the seed of an evergreen tree. The nutmeg tree is native to the Banda Islands of Indonesia.
- Fresh Nutmeg is used in both sweet and savory dishes and tastes like a mixture of pepper and cinnamon.
- Nutmeg is used in North Indian cooking to add aroma to curries, meat, and vegetable dishes. It is also used in European cuisine to flavor soups, sauces, and desserts. Nutmeg is an ingredient in some alcoholic beverages, such as eggnog.
- Nutmeg is a source of essential oils that are used in the perfume industry and is also used in traditional medicine.
16. Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)
- Black pepper is a spice that has been used for centuries as an ingredient in cooking.
- Black Pepper is commonly found in dishes from all over the world, from Western Europe to Asia and Africa.
- Black Pepper is such an important part of cooking because it provides essence, but also adds heat to any dish with its pungent taste.
- Black pepper can be used in both sweet and savory dishes and is a versatile spice that can be used in many different ways.
- When cooking with black pepper, it is important to use it sparingly, as too much can make a dish overly spicy.
17. Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
- Bay Leaves or Tej Patta is a fragrant herb that has a slightly bitter taste and is used to add flavor to dishes.
- Bay Leaves are typically added early in the cooking process so that their flavor can be released. You should use about 1-2 Bay Leaves per dish. When cooking with Bay Leaves, it is important to remove them before serving the dish.
- Bay Leaves should be stored in a cool, dry place. Bay Leaves can be used for up to six months.
- Bay Leaves can be used to make a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and curries. Bay Leaves can also be used to flavor rice dishes.
18. Cinnamon Sticks (Dalachini)
- Cinnamon Sticks are the dried, curled bark of Cinnamon Trees. Cinnamon trees grow in Sri Lanka, China, and Indonesia.
- Cinnamon sticks are sold whole or ground into powder form.
- Cinnamon is used in desserts and chutneys to add zing and spice.
- Cinnamon sticks also have medicinal properties as they can help with digestive issues.
19. Star Anise (Chakra Phul)
- Star anise is a spice that has a licorice-like zest.
- It is used in Indian cooking, and it is typically used in dishes with chicken or beef.
- Star anise can also be added to tea. You should use about one star anise for every two cups of water when making tea.
20. Chili Powder (Lal Mirch)
- Chili powder is a ground spice made from dried chili peppers and other spices. It is used to add heat and flavor to dishes.
- It has spicy, peppery hotness. It can be added to dishes for heat or flavor.
- This spice can be used in a variety of dishes. It is often used to add heat and flavor to chili, soups, stews, and sauces. It can also be used to spice up tacos, enchiladas, and burritos.
- If you don't have chili powder, you can substitute an equal amount of paprika or cayenne pepper. These substitutes will not provide the same flavor as chili spice, but they will add heat to your dish.
21. Mango Powder (Amchoor)
- Mango powder is made from the dehydrated and pulverized flesh of the Mango fruit.
- It has a sweet, earthy flavor profile and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
- Mango powder can be used as a seasoning in curries, marinades, dressings, and sauces. It can also be used to add essence and color to baked goods, ice cream, yogurt, and smoothies.
- Mango powder is a good source of Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and fiber.
- It can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
22. Carom (Ajwain)
- Carom seeds, or ajwain in Hindi, are small, round and dark seeds that have a pungent, peppery taste and a strong aroma.
- It comes from the fruit of the ajwain plant, which is native to India and Pakistan. The seeds are typically harvested from wild plants, but they can also be cultivated.
- Carom seeds have been used extensively in Indian cooking, where they are either ground and added to dishes as a spice, or used whole to flavor curries and other dishes, and they are becoming increasingly popular in other cuisines as well.
- Carom seeds are used in traditional medicine for a variety of health reasons.
23. Mace (Javitri)
- Mace is a spice made from the dried aril of the nutmeg seed.
- Mace has a warm, nutty flavor and a slightly sweet aroma. It is used to add flavor to savory dishes, as well as baked goods and desserts.
- Mace can be substituted for nutmeg in most recipes.
24. Curry Leaves (Kadhipatta)
- Curry leaves (Murraya Koenigii) are a leafy green herb that is popular in South Indian cuisine.
- Curry leaves have a pungent, peppery taste and are often used in curries, chutneys, and other dishes.
- It can be added to the food while cooking or used as a garnish.
- Curry leaves are high in fiber and nutrients, and they have a variety of health benefits.
- It can be found fresh, frozen, or dried at most Indian grocery stores.
25. Saffron (Kesar)
- Saffron is a spice that is obtained from the Crocus sativus flower.
- Saffron has a bitter taste and is used to add milder flavor to dishes. It can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
- It is also used as a coloring agent. Some substitutes for saffron are turmeric, safflower, and annatto.
- Saffron is an expensive spice due to the fact that it takes approximately 75,000 flowers to produce one pound of spice.
- Saffron is used in Iranian, Indian, Moroccan, and Spanish cuisine.
People Also Ask [FAQs]
Ground turmeric and red chili powder are common spice mixes combo. Cumin seeds, coriander, and cardamom are some other Indian spices that mix well together. In Indian curries, these spice blends are frequently used.
There are seven Indian spices that are commonly used in Indian food. These spices are cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, pepper, cloves, and cardamom.
If you’re looking for Indian spices, there are a few places you can buy them. Indian grocery stores typically sell a wide variety of spices, or you can purchase them online.
⭐ Featured Articles
Wrap Up: List Of Indian Spices
- Indian cuisine is known for its flavorful and aromatic spices.
- These spices add flavor and depth to dishes and can be used in both savory and sweet recipes.
- In this article, we have provided a list of some of the most popular Indian spices along with their uses and health benefits.
- If you are interested in adding Indian flavors to your cooking or are simply curious about these spices, we hope that this list will be a helpful guide.