April 11, 2019

Top 28 Indian Spices List With Pictures and Their Use

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A comprehensive and a pin-up list of top 28 Indian spices with their Indian names, pictures and cooking tips on when to use the spices during cooking.

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Essential Indian spices in a spice box

Top 28 Indian Spices List With Pictures and Their Use

The multitude of spices used for cooking Indian food may be overwhelming and confusing for those new to cooking Indian food at home.

Thankfully you do not need all of them to know how to make an authentic Indian curry.

If you are unsure about what spices you need or should start with to cook Indian food then this list of 5 essential spices is all you need.

For the food enthusiasts who are curious to know about spices, this handy list of the most frequently used top 28 Indian Spices with their names in Hindi and why is it used during cooking may prove to be helpful as a quick reference guide.

Spices Used In Indian Cooking

If you have had the opportunity to step into an Indian kitchen, you may feel like being transported to a tiny spice world looking at the display of spices in the cupboard.

Just the mere sight of them sends question signals, ‘do you actually use them all?’.

And the answer to that is a merry, jolly, spicy ‘YES’, and that too without requiring a spice list for a guide.

Spices are at the very heart of Indian cooking and in any Indian household. That’s what gives most dishes that delectable flavour and depth of taste.

The Common Indian Spice List That Solves Your Spice Confusion

Over the years of teaching Indian cooking, the one common query I get asked most often is about buying and using spices. I present the attendees with this list of Indian spices which has proved to be helpful.

Spices come in many different forms. Each form has a different purpose of use and renders different taste to the dish.

The purpose of this post is not to confuse you further with the forms and use, you can read my Stepwise beginners guide to using spices for cooking Indian food to help you understand better.

For many, cooking with spices can be rather confusing and overwhelming. This either makes them buy a lot and not know what to do with them or not buy at all and play it safe.

To get over your spice dilemma, here is a spices list of top 28 commonly used spices in alphabetical order with their picture and Indian name.

Consider this as a bucket list to help you begin with your spice collection.

There are hundreds of spices, but for starters, I am listing the most popularly used spices for cooking Indian food.

You do not need all of them but do go through the spices list for future buys, if you are not sure of a particular spice listed in a recipe.

You can also use the commonly used spices for adding additional flavour to your pies, stews, broths, soups, marinades and many more.

This post on the best spice combinations will give you ideas on how to reuse your spices and pair it with other ingredients to make different meals.

Take a print out of this list and pin it on your fridge for a quick go-to spices list.

Guide on Where to Buy Spices From?

It could not be easier to buy spice these days. You do not really require a trip to an ethnic Indian store.

Most of the common or popularly used spices can be bought from your regular supermarket.

Due to the numerous health benefits of spices, your nearest health food store may also be keeping a stock of them. 

If like me you happen to be a convenient shopping seeker then online shopping is perhaps your best bet.

My recommended online spice store, if you live in Europe, is Gewursland.

They have a brilliant range of spices, superfoods, herbs and teas on offer. Best of all they deliver across many European countries at very minimal delivery costs. 

For UK citizens or those wanting to get all their groceries delivered straight to your door, you can shop at The British Corner Shop.

Not only will you find a range of spices at the British corner store, but for those who miss British brands, can get their crave fulfilled. They also deliver worldwide at minimal charges.

For US citizens, there are many online spice stores to choose from.

My recommended store is Raw Spice Bar.

I absolutely love their fresh spices and packaging.

If you happen to be a foodie and like to experiment with flavours, then Raw spice bar has the option of sending you global meal kits and spice blends with recipes for you to cook and try at home.

Now isn’t that a world of spices at your doorstep?

I have also provided a direct link on the images to buy the spices in the spices list below for your convenience.

Top 28 Most Popular Indian Spices List with Pictures and Their Use

 

 

Spices List

English Name

Spices List

Indian Name in Hindi

(for Shopping purpose)

Purpose for Use 

1

Asafoetida

Indian spice list Asafoedita-image- hing-image buy Indian spices online Spiceitupp

HingFlavouring agent for the dish.
2

Bay Leaf

Indian spice list Bayleaf- tejpatta- image buy Indian spices online Spiceitupp

Tej PattaAromatic ingredient for rice and other Indian dishes. Also used as part of spice blend.
3

Black or Brown Cardamom

 

Black Cardamoom pods buy online list of indian spices

Moti Elaichi/Badi Elaichi/Kali ElaichiAromatic and flavouring agent for many Indian dishes. Also used as part of spice blend for gravies, rice and dessert dishes.
4

Black Pepper

BLACK-PEPPER- sabut-kaali-mirch- image buy indian-spices-online spiceitupp

 

Kali MirchImportant taste and flavouring agent in the majority of Indian dishes especially south Indian preparation and to make spice blends.
5

Cardamom (green)

Grun Kardamom green cardamom pods indian spice buy spices online switzerland

 

Elaichi/Choti ElaichiImportant taste and flavour enhancer for Pulaos, Biryanis and sweet dishes. Also used as an aromatic agent for certain dishes. Used for making special spice blends
6Carom Seeds
Indian spice list Ajwain-seeds-carom-seeds-Indian spice buy-spices-online-switzerland
AjwainFlavouring and taste enhancing ingredient for different dishes. Especially used for fried savoury dishes and breads.
7

Cassia/Cinnamon Sticks 

 

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DalchiniTaste and Flavouring ingredient. Imparts a sweet aroma to the dish. A basic spice used in different masalas and spice blends. Sticks can also be used in some rice and curry dishes.
8

Cloves Bud 

 

LaungImportant flavouring and taste enhancing ingredient for different dishes. Popular ingredient used in numerous Indian spice blends.
9

Coriander Seeds

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Sabut DhaniyaBase ingredient for different type of tadkas (tempering). Taste and Flavour enhancer for various dishes. Popular ingredient used in numerous Indian spice blends.
10

Coriander Powder

 

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Dhania powderTaste and flavour enhancer for various dishes. Used in most Indian dishes for the main base sauce.
11

Chat Masala

 

Indian-chaat-masala-image- buy indian spice online spiceitupp

Chat MasalaTaste and flavour enhancer for various savoury street food style Indian dishes and snacks.
12

Cumin Seeds

 

Reusable Silicone Food Fresh Sealed/Ziplock Bags

Sabut JeeraBase ingredient for different type of tadkas (tempering).Flavouring agent for many Indian dishes and rice preparations. Used in most Indian dishes for the main base sauce. Also used in numerous spice blends.
13

Cumin Powder

 

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Jeera powderTaste and flavour enhancer for various dishes. Used in most Indian dishes for the main base sauce.
14

Curry Leaves

Indian- fresh-curry -leaves-image buy indian spice online spiceitupp

 

Kadi PattaBase ingredient for different type of tadkas (tempering).An aromatic herb used to enhance flavour for mostly vegetarian dishes. Highly used in Western and South Indian cuisine.
15

Dry Fenugreek Leaves

 

Dried Kasuri Methi-Fenugreek -Leave-Buy-online

Kasuri MethiDried herb used to enhance flavour and tatse to the dish. Used commonly in Punjabi or North Indian cuisine.
16

Garam Masala Powder 

Garam-Masala-by-Gewuerzland-buy spices online Switzerland

 

Garam Masala POwderVery popular Indian spice blend made with many differen spices. Used in most Indian dishes.
17

Fennel Seeds

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SaunfAromatic and flavour enhancer for dishes. An important spice in many spice blends
18

Fenugreek Seeds

 

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Methi DanaBase ingredient for different styles of Tadkas (tempering). Can be used in spice blends.
19

Mace

Mace Indian spices List buy mace online

 

JavitriA very aromatic spice used as a taste and flavouring agent. Commonly used ingredient in most North Indian spice blends. Used for making special regional dishes such as biriyani, dum alu etc.
20

Mustard Seeds

 

Sarson/RaiBase ingredient for different styles of Tadkas (tempering). Also used to make mustard base sauce. Very commonly used in Eastern and Southern Indian dishes.
21

Nigella Seeds

 

nigella -seeds-kalongi-image-indian-spices -buy indian spice online spiceitupp

KalaunjiOne of the base ingredient for different styles of Tadkas (tempering). Flavour enhancer for many Indian dishes. Used in Indian snacks, breads and savoury dishes.
22

Nutmeg

 

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JaifalA very intense flavouring agent for speciality dishes. Commonly used ingredient in most of North Indian spice blends.
23

Poppy Seeds

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Khas KhasUsed in some regional blended masalas for its taste and flavour. Also used as paste to thicken sauces. Very commonly used in Eastern region of India.
24

Red Chili Powder

 

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Lal MirchMost important spice to add heat to dishes. Large amounts also imparts a subtle red colour to the dish.
25

Saffron Strands

 

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Kesar/KesharColouring and flavouring agent to speciality savoury dishes and desserts. Imparts an aroma to the dish.
26

Star Anise

 

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Chakra Phool/BadiyanAromatic and flavourful spice mostly used in various spice blends. Can be used in Pulaos and other special gravies. Imparts a delicate flavour to dish.
27

Tamarind

 

Taramind Indian spice for cooking buy tamarind paste online

 

ImliA sour taste and flavour enhancer mainly for gravy based dishes and chutneys.
28

Turmeric Powder

 

turmeric-powder-haldi-image-indian-yellow -spice buy indian spice online spiceitupp

Haldi PowderColour enhancer and Anti-Bacterial ingredient in different marinades. Used in many spice blends.
Do you have a favourite spice that you like to use, is it listed here? If not then let me know so that I can make the change.

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