List of Indian spices

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Indian spices include a variety of spices grown across the Indian subcontinent (a sub-region of South Asia). With different climates in different parts of the country, India produces a variety of spices, many of which are native to the subcontinent. Others were imported from similar climates and have since been cultivated locally for centuries. Pepper, turmeric, cardamom, and cumin are some example of Indian spices.

Spices at a Goa market

Spices are used in different forms: whole, chopped, ground, roasted, sautéed, fried, and as a topping. They blend food to extract the nutrients and bind them in a palatable form. Some spices are added at the end as a flavouring — those are typically heated in a pan with ghee or cooking oil before being added to a dish. Lighter spices are added last, and spices with strong flavour should be added first. "Curry" refers to any dish in Indian cuisine that contains several spices blended together, whether dry or with a gravy base. However, it also refers to Curry leaves, commonly used in South India.

Below is a list of spices and other flavouring substances commonly used in India.[1]

Image Standard English Notes
Alkanet Root
Amchoor Dried green and unripe mango powder
Ferula assa-foetida - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-061.jpg Asafoetida Intensely aromatic - flavor profile sometimes compared to that of truffles and garlic
BlackCardamom.jpg Black cardamom Very earthy and darkly aromatic. Often used in North Indian curries.
Black Pepper Grains.jpg Black pepper Pepper may be used whole or ground in Indian cuisines. The largest producer is the southern Indian state of Kerala.
Black Cumin.jpg Black cumin Sweet, floral and smokey cumin and anise-like flavour. Smaller in size than regular cumin. Often mistaken as Caraway seed. Though English translation is black cumin, the term black cumin is also used as English translation of Nigella sativa, kalonji
Illustration Capparis spinosa0.jpg Capers
Green-Yellow-Red-Pepper-2009.jpg Capsicum
Celery seed.jpg Celery / Radhuni seed
Charoli.JPG Charoli a type of nut particularly used in making desserts
Chilly ap.JPG Chili pepper powder
Indian bay leaf - tejpatta - indisches Lorbeerblatt.jpg Bay leaf, Indian bay leaf Both Indian bay leaf and bay leaf are similar and called as Tej Patta in Hindi. However, they are from two different species and have differences in taste
Cinnamon buds
Canelle Cinnamomum burmannii Luc Viatour crop1.jpg Cinnamon Grown commercially in Kerala in southern India. Two types, cassia (common) and royal.
Citric acid glass bottle.jpg Citric acid
ClovesDried.jpg Cloves Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka are largest producers in India.
Coriander Powder
Coriander.png Coriander Seed
Piper cubeba - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-244.jpg Cubeb Tastes of clove with added bitterness with a persistent mild numbing sensation
Sa cumin.jpg Cumin seed See Kali Jeera.
Cumin seed ground into balls
Murraya koenigii leaves - curry leaves.jpg Curry tree or sweet neem leaf Cannot retain flavour when dried. Only used fresh.
Fennel seed.jpg Fennel seed
Qasuri Methi.JPG Fenugreek leaf
Fenugreek-methi-seeds.jpg Fenugreek seed
Four seeds Seeds of watermelon, musk melon, cucumber and pumpkin
Assam-fruit-1-1.jpg Garcinia gummi-gutta Used in fish preparations of Kerala
Garam Masala new 2008-1.jpg Garam masala Blend of 8+ spices. Each family has their own secret recipe.
Garcinia indica - fruits, seeds, pulp and rinds.jpg Garcinia indica
GarlicBasket.jpg Garlic
Ingwer 2 fcm.jpg Ginger
Ginger powder.JPG Dried ginger mostly powdered
Cardamone.jpg Green cardamom Malabar variety is native to Kerala.
green chilli Green chili pepper
Indian bedellium tree Very earthy aromatic mostly used in religious
Phyllanthus officinalis.jpg Indian gooseberry
Harra (Terminalia chebula) hanging fruit at 23 Mile, Duars, WB W IMG 5902.jpg Inknut
Heap of Jakhya on a White Surface.jpg Jakhya Tasteless and odorless when uncooked; Earthly and crunchy when crackled in oil.
Kalpasi Also known as black stone flower
Liquiritiae radix suessholzwurzel.jpg Licorice powder
Piper longum.jpg Long pepper
Mango Extract
Mustard.png Mustard seed
BrownMustardSeed.JPG Brown mustard Seed
Nigella Sativa Seed.jpg Nigella seed
Muscade.jpg Nutmeg Whole nuts last forever. Powder, only a month.
Mace 1.JPG Mace Mace is outer covering to nutmeg nut. Similar aroma.
Panch-phoron.jpg Panch phoron This is a Bengali spice mix that combines fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and nigella seeds.
An opened pomegranate.JPG Pomegranate seed Dried and ground in the Middle East.
Poppy seeds.jpg Poppy seed Very popular in West Bengal known posto, with no of Bengali cuisine, most popular Allu Posto
Saffron pulp Actually, safflower concentrate
Iran saffron threads.jpg Saffron World's most expensive spice. Used for rice flavouring.
Sa white sesame seeds.jpg Sesame seed
Illicium verum 2006-10-17.jpg Star aniseh Exotic, Chinese-influenced flavours
Tamarind2.jpg Tamarind Provides tartness in South Indian curries
Carom.jpg Thymol/carom seed
Turmericroot.jpg Turmeric Source of yellow color in many curries.
Gum Tragacanth A thickener and coating for desserts
White pepper whole.JPG White pepper

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ About Indian spices, "[1]", Indian spices

External linksEdit

  • "Glossary Pakistani & Indian Spices (Masala)". Direct Advert Media LLC. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  • Gantzer, Hugh; Gantzer, Colleen (2014). SpiceStory. Spices Board of India. ISBN 9789383098385.
  • Raghavan, Susheela (2006). Handbook of Spices, Seasonings, and Flavorings (2nd ed.). Hoboken: CRC Press. ISBN 9781420004366.