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Indian Spices and How to use them

Table of content

  • Guide to India Spices
  • Overview Of Flavoring Indian Food
  • Techniques to use Spices
  • Getting Started as a Spice Adventurer
  • How to Use Spices
  • List of Indian Spices
  • Conclusion

Guide to India Spices

A guide to Indian spices can help you understand more about the heart of Indian cuisine because spices and condiments are the lifeblood of every Indian meal. A collection of Indian spices as well as images and brief descriptions are provided in this introduction to Indian spices. It is intended to provide a summary of the various spices that can be used in Indian food.

Indian spices have a variety of uses, including adding heat, layering flavors to create depth, and even adding a little color to food. They also provide therapeutic or health advantages. You can get more knowledge about the spices from one of the best restaurants “Corriander Leaf”.

Overview Of Flavoring Indian Food

Indian cuisine relies heavily on spices, and they have a long and illustrious history of doing so. Almost all meals, whether they be simple or elaborate, will include a variety of spices. Contrary to common belief, spices are used to flavor food rather than necessarily make it hot. Every Indian spice has a really lovely, distinct flavor, and you may use multiple spices to create a dish’s own, delicious combination of flavors.

Essential Spices:

The spices you should keep in masala dabba, an Indian spice box, are the ones you need to start cooking. The bulk of fundamental Gujarati/North Indian cuisines may be prepared using them and a few more spice mixtures.


Several herbs are used rather frequently in Indian cuisine. For simplicity of use, those have been listed separately.

India spices blends:

The predominant spice mixture is garam masala. We’ve included it on this list even though it’s a blend and not a spice because it’s frequently used. In an emergency, a garam masala alternative can be used if you run out. If you enjoy cooking Indian food, Indian spice blends might make some of your dishes simpler to prepare.

Corriander Leaf will examine some of the popular Indian spices and seasonings used to give Indian food its distinctive and delectable flavors in this post. Below is a list of Indian spices with photos.

Salt, sugar, and lemon juice are standard ingredients used in all cuisines but are not listed because they contribute to the balance of many Indian meals.

Read more: Authentic types of Indian food

Techniques to use Spices

One of the best ways to give your cuisine a little flair is by using spices. You may transform your go-to meal into an exotic culinary experience by using the appropriate blend of spices. Spices have been mentioned on a few occasions, including in a reader query and an introduction blog article. We’ve also witnessed foods come to life with the perfect combination of spices. We wanted to elaborate on the subject as there appears to be some interest and demonstrate how to utilize spices to elevate any dish from a 5 to a good 10.

Getting Started as a Spice Adventurer

If you’re new to spices and want to try a variety without spending a lot of money or wasting any, the following tips from Corriander leaf will be useful.

1. Obtain whole spices and grind them as necessary

Without forcing you to make any more changes to your seasoning procedures, this alone will enhance the flavor and quality of your cuisine. Additionally, it will enable you to make some financial savings because whole herbs and spices are more affordable than their pre-ground counterparts. Spices are typically less priced in ethnic grocery aisles.

In contrast to a universal powder, which in my opinion isn’t all that exciting, when you are in charge of grinding, you may change the texture to best fit your needs. It’s fascinating to experiment with different grinding techniques because you don’t always have to use a spice mill and grind to a fine powder.

2. Let Go of Your Old Spices

You know those little spice containers that seem to be a common sight in kitchens? I’ll turn around so you can quietly throw them away. Prior to even arriving at the packing plant, where the tiny bottles were filled and displayed on the adorable little carousel, it is hard to tell how recently the spices were ground. After all of this, they waited an absurdly long time on a store shelf before you adopted them and gave them a loving home. Before you learn anything about spice usage and seasoning combinations, throw those old ones away.

3. Buy Spices in Small Amounts

The goods will be sent to you at its freshest thanks to this method of purchase because it is more likely to be in constant motion than boxed sets of ground spices. What goes in your pantry and how long it stays there are additional choices you have. It is advised against stocking up on too many spices because they do expire and time is the enemy of spices. Empty spice jars, which are often found in the bulk department, are a much better choice for storing spices in the pantry than flimsy plastic bags. Spices should be kept away from heat and light in airtight containers.

4. Toast Whole Spices Before Grinding Them

When spices are toasted, they might even develop a new level of flavor. Cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and most other “warm” spices benefit significantly from a good toasting before grinding or crushing, particularly if they will be used in a puree or soup where they won’t be roasted alongside the dish. It’s quite easy to do and substantially improves flavor. Spices should be cooked on a high heat in a dry (no oil) skillet.

When spices are toasted, they might even develop a new level of flavor. Cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and most other “warm” spices benefit significantly from a good toasting before grinding or crushing, particularly if they will be used in a puree or soup where they won’t be roasted alongside the dish. It’s quite easy to do and substantially improves flavor. Spices should be cooked over a high heat in a dry (no oil) skillet.

Indian spices

How to Use Spices

  • To give them more time to develop their flavors, most spices should be applied early in the cooking process.
  • Always keep in mind to cut back on the salt when cooking with spices like curry and cinnamon to prevent your meal from feeling too salty.
  • Long before making cold meals, add spices.
  • Chili, garlic, curry, or paprika shouldn’t be added to sizzling hot oil because doing so could lead them to turn bitter. To release their flavors without losing them, I lightly sauté them. Win-win.

List of Indian Spices

Indian cuisine is a rich and varied one, with its own special tastes and spice blends. That explains why it has amassed such a large following globally. Here are some of the most popular Indian spices that you’ll adore adding in your dishes if you want to spice up your cuisine!

1. Turmeric (Haldi)

  • The spice turmeric is made from the Curcuma longa plant.
  • It frequently appears in recipes and has a bitter, warm flavor.
  • It has been used as a spice and medicinal herb for ages in India. Curcumin, the primary active component of turmeric, is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
  • Turmeric’s distinctive yellow color is a result of the compound curcumin.
  • Both the fresh and dried forms of it can be used.

2. Cumin (Jeera)

  • Cumin is a spice that has Middle Eastern and Indian roots.
  • To give foods like soups, stews, and curries a warm, earthy scent, cumin is frequently employed. Additionally, it can be used as a herb to season roasted meats or vegetables.
  • It has been demonstrated that cumin possesses anti-inflammatory qualities, which may help lower the chance of developing chronic diseases including cancer and heart disease. Cumin is also a strong source of iron and can aid in increasing energy.

3. Fennel (Saunf)

  • A herb similar to parsley and carrots is fennel.
  • Its flavor is similar to licorice, and many Indian recipes use it to enhance their scent. Fennel can be prepared either on its own or in other dishes.
  • Fiber and vitamins C and A are abundant in fennel. Antioxidants found in it can aid in the body’s defense against disease.

4. Coriander (Cilantro/Dhania Powder)

  • Coriander powder, created by grinding the coriander seeds, is one of the most popular spices in Indian cuisine.
  • Fresh coriander, which has a parsley-like appearance, is used to thicken sauces and give food a fresh flavor.
  • Additionally a digestive aid, coriander powder can ease nausea and vomiting.

5. Garam Masala

  • Garam masala, a spice mixture, is often used in Indian cooking.
  • Garam Masala’s spice blends can vary, but they typically contain cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, cumin, and fennel seeds.
  • Garam Masala is used to flavor and aromatize food. It can also be used to increase the heat of a dish.
  • Indian markets and a few specialty shops sell garam masala. You can make garam masala at home as well.

6. Fenugreek (Methi)

  • An annual plant, fenugreek belongs to the Fabaceae family. The plant has triangular-shaped leaves that develop in pairs.
  • Additionally, fenugreek produces seeds that are used in food and medicine.
  • Fenugreek seeds are used frequently in South Indian curries despite their bitter flavor.
  • The Mediterranean region is the origin of fenugreek, which has long been used medicinally.
  • Indian cuisine, particularly curries and dals, frequently uses fenugreek seeds. Tea made from fenugreek can also be made using it.

7. Mustard Seeds (Rai)

  • Small, rounded, and black in color are mustard seeds. They are used as a spice in Indian cuisine and have a strong, spicy flavor.
  • Because of its many uses, mustard seeds can be added to curries, dals, sabzis, and chutneys. Additionally, they can be used to season cuisine.
  • Magnesium, selenium, and phosphorus are nutrients that are abundant in mustard seeds.
  • Mustard seeds have been used for centuries. Romans used mustard seeds in their food and believed them to have therapeutic benefits.

8. Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi)

  • One of the most vital spices in Indian cuisine is black cardamom, which is also referred to as larger cardamom and Brihad ela in Sanskrit.
  • Black cardamom seeds have a smokey flavor that gives dishes like Biryani or Curry depth and are bigger than green cardamom seeds.
  • It can be used in a variety of ways, either as whole spices to flavor rice or meat dishes or as a powder to be added to recipes.
  • Both Ayurvedic medicine and garam masala require it as a key component.

9. Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)

  • Black pepper is a spice that has been a staple in cooking for many years.
  • Dishes from all across the world, including Western Europe, Asia, and Africa, frequently contain black pepper.
  • Black pepper is a crucial ingredient in cooking because it not only adds flavor but also heat to any dish with its pungent flavor.

10. Chili Powder (Lal Mirch)

  • Using additional spices and dried chili peppers, chili powder is a ground spice. Foods are prepared with it to provide taste and heat.
  • It has a strong, peppery spice. It can be used to flavor or spice food.
  • Several meals can benefit from the usage of this spice. Chili, soups, stews, and sauces frequently use it to add heat and flavor. Additionally, it can be used to flavor burritos, enchiladas, and tacos.


Check out our more blogs by visiting Corriander Leaf page, if you want to learn more about Indian spices or add Indian flavors to your cooking. You may learn everything there is to know about these spices, including their applications and health advantages. Why then wait? Purchase yours now! There are a few places where you may get Indian spices if you’re seeking them. Spices can be bought online or commonly found in a wide selection of Indian grocery stores.

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