Essential Spices for Cooking Indian Food

The irresistible Indian food is famous worldwide for its spicy and tangy flavors and tantalizing aromas. Due to popularity of Indian food many Indian cuisine restaurants have been opened in countries like Canada, USA, and Australia. The food is so tempting that your stomach will say no, but your heart and taste buds will ask more.

Do you know the reason behind the tempting flavors?

It is just the right quantity of different spices used in Indian food.

If you want to make a perfect Indian food then you need to identify and understand the spices used in them.

Following are some of the essential spices for cooking Indian food:

  1. Cardamom – Green and black are the two different cardamoms used in Indian dishes. But green is the most common one and is used in desserts. It is rich in flavor and has a refreshing taste. Whereas black cardamom is powerful and should be used with caution.


  1. Coriander – Having golden-yellow color it is one of the oldest known spices and has citrus notes. It is believed that it is suitable for digestion. Also, it is the key ingredient while preparing garam masala.


  1. Cumin – It is a strong spice and is often known as “warm and earthy” due to its flavor. To get the intense flavor, it is recommended to crush it into powder after dry-roasting. It is famous for adding a smoky note to Indian cuisine.


  1. Mustard Seeds – These are available in three different colors that are black, yellow and brown and are commonly used in North India. When cooked in oil, the seeds pop, and its peppery flavor gets released.


  1. Fenugreek – These are yellowish seeds which are used to add flavor and fragrance to the curry. Its leaves are also used as a spice after drying them. The leaves are commonly known as Kasuri methi in India. It is very strong in flavors and should be used with caution.


  1. Clove – One of the most strongest spices, clove is commonly used in India. Their oil is pressed out, and then they are dried for cooking. They must be used with caution. They have the power to add amazing spicy flavor to the food.


  1. Turmeric – Used in food for its peppery flavor and golden yellow color, turmeric is the common spice of all. It is used in every house in India. It has medicinal properties and is used to give yellow color to curries.


  1. Cinnamon – It is used to add a bit of sweetness to desserts and savory dishes. Cassia also known as cinnamon is cheaper than Ceylon cinnamon.

Cassia is rich is flavors while Ceylon is rich in antioxidants.


  1. Red Chilly Pepper – It is the red chili powder grounded from red chilies which spice up Indian dishes. From sprinkling on raita to marinating meat, it is used in almost every savory dish.


These are the nine essential spices for cooking Indian food. Use them and spice up your food with interesting flavors.