List of Indian spices

Indian spices

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, while others were imported from similar climates and have since been cultivated locally for centuries.

Spices are used in different forms: whole, chopped, ground, roasted, sautéed, fried, and as 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 and 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 Hindi Notes
Cardamom pods - Green BNC.jpg
Green Cardamom इलायची (elachi) Intensely Aromatic- Digestive, Anti inflammatory, Anti oxidant properties

Main Producers: Idukki in Kerala

Alkanet Root रातीं जोट rātīṃ (rātīn) joṭ
AniseSeeds.jpg Fennel seed[2] सौंफ/सुव्वा/शोप saunf/suvvā/śop
Ferula assa-foetida - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-061.jpg Asafoetida हींग hiṃg (hing) Intensely aromatic - related to Truffle and Garlic
Chilly ap.JPG Red Chilli लाल मिर्च lāl mirch
BlackCardamom.jpg Black cardamom काली इलायची kāli ilāyachī Very earthy and darkly aromatic. Often used in North Indian curries.
White pepper whole.JPG White Pepper सफ़ेद मिर्च saphed mirch
Black Pepper Grains.jpg Black Pepper काली मिर्च kālī mirch Largest producer is the southern Indian state of Kerala.
Black pepper.jpg Peppercorns काली मिर्च kālī mirch
Black Cumin.jpg Black Cumin शाही जीरा śāhī jīrā 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 कचरा/कब्र/करेर kacharā/kabr/karer
Green-Yellow-Red-Pepper-2009.jpg Capsicum शिमला मिर्च śimalā mirch
Celery seed.jpg Celery / Radhuni Seed अज्मुद/अज्मोदा ajmud/ajmodā
Charoli.JPG Charoli चिरोंजी chiroṃjī (chironjī) a type of nut particularly used in making desserts
Indian bay leaf - tejpatta - indisches Lorbeerblatt.jpg Indian Bay Leaf, Bay Leaf तेज पत्ता tej pattā 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 नाग केशर nāg keśar
Canelle Cinnamomum burmannii Luc Viatour crop1.jpg Cinnamon दालचीनी dālachīnī Grown commercially in Kerala in southern India. Two types, cassia (common) and royal.
Citric acid glass bottle.jpg Citric Acid निंबू फूल niṃbū phūl
ClovesDried.jpg Cloves लवंग/लौंग lavaṃg (lavang) / lauṃg (laung) Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are largest producers in India.
Coriander Powder धनिया पाउडर / पिसा धनिया dhaniyā pāuḍar / pisā dhaniyā
Coriander.png Coriander Seed धनिया dhaniyā
Piper cubeba - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-244.jpg Cubeb कबाब चीनी kabāb chīnī Tastes of Clove + Persistent Mild Numbing + Bitterness
Cumin Seed ground into balls ज़ीरा गोली zīrā (jīrā) golī
Sa cumin.jpg Cumin Seed ज़ीरा zīrā (jīrā) See Kali Jeera.
Murraya koenigii leaves - curry leaves.jpg Curry Tree or Sweet Neem Leaf करीपत्ता / कढ़ीपत्ता karīpattā/kaḍhīpattā Cannot retain flavour when dried. Only use fresh.
Fennel seed.jpg Fennel Seed सौंफ / संचल sauṃph (saunph)/saṃchal (sanchal)
Qasuri Methi.JPG Fenugreek Leaf कसूरी मेथी kasūrī methī
Fenugreek Leaf मेथी पत्ता methī pattā
Fenugreek-methi-seeds.jpg Fenugreek Seed मेथी दाना methī dānā
Four Seeds तरबूज खरबूज ककडी पैंठे के बीज tarabūj kharabūj kakaḍī pauṃṭhe ke bīj Seeds of Water melon, 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 गरम मसाला garam masālā Blend of 8+ spices. Each family has their own secret recipe.
Garcinia indica - fruits, seeds, pulp and rinds.jpg Garcinia indica कोकम kokam
GarlicBasket.jpg Garlic लहसुन lahasun
Ingwer 2 fcm.jpg Ginger अदरक adarak
Ginger powder.JPG Dried Ginger सोंठ soṃṭh (sonṭh) mostly powdered
Cardamone.jpg Green cardamom छोटी इलाइची chhoṭī ilāichī Malabar variety is native to Kerala.
Indian Bedellium Tree गुगल/गु्ग्गल gugal/guggal Very earthy aromatic mostly used in religious
Phyllanthus officinalis.jpg Indian Gooseberry आँवला āṃvalā
Heap of Jakhya on a White Surface.jpg Jakhya जख्या Tasteless and odorless when uncooked; Earthly and crunchy when crackled in oil.
Kalpasi पत्थर के फूल patthar ke phūl Also known as black stone flower
Liquiritiae radix suessholzwurzel.jpg Licorice Powder जेठीमध jeṭhīmadh
Piper longum.jpg Long Pepper पिप्पलि pippali
Mango Extract कामिकी kāmikī
Sour Dried Mango Powder आमचूर / अमचुर āmachūr/amachur
Mentha gracilis and rotundifolia MN 2007.JPG Mint पुदीना 'pudīnā
Mustard.png Mustard Seed सरसों sarasoṃ
BrownMustardSeed.JPG Brown mustard Seed राई rāī
Nigella Sativa Seed.jpg Nigella Seed कलोंजी kaloṃjī (kalomjī)
Muscade.jpg Nutmeg जैफल / जायफल jaiphal/jāyaphal Whole nuts last forever. Powder, only a month.
Mace 1.JPG Mace जावित्री jāvitrī Mace is outer covering to nutmeg nut. Similar aroma.
Starr 080117-1577 Ocimum tenuiflorum.jpg Holy Basil तुलसी tulasī
Panch-phoron.jpg Panch Phoron पञ्च फोरन pañch phoran 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 अनारदाना anārdānā Dried not fresh. Is ground in Middle East.
Poppy seeds.jpg Poppy Seed खस-खस khas-khas very popular in West Bengal known Posto, with no of Bengali cuisine, most popular Allu Posto
Fresh Hemp Cannabis भांग Bhang
Saffron Pulp केसर मिरी मिरी kesar mirī mirī Actually, safflower concentrate
Iran saffron threads.jpg Saffron केसर / जाफरान kesar/jāpharān World's most expensive spice. Flavouring for rice.
Sa white sesame seeds.jpg Sesame Seed तिल til
Illicium verum 2006-10-17.jpg Star Anise चक्र फूल / बदल फुल chakra phūl/badal phul Exotic, Chinese-influenced flavours
Tamarind2.jpg Tamarind इमली imalī Provides tartness in South Indian curries
Carom.jpg Carom/thymol seed अज़वाइन azvāin
Turmericroot.jpg Turmeric हल्दी haldī Source of yellow color in many curries.
Basil-Basilico-Ocimum basilicum-albahaca.jpg Fresh basil तुलसी tulasī
A scene of Coriander leaves.JPG Fresh Coriander हरा धनिया harā dhaniyā Fresh green leaves. AKA Cilantro.
green chilli Green Chili Pepper हरी मिर्च harī mirch
Gum Tragacanth कटीरा गोंद kaṭīrā goṃd (gond) A thickener and coating for desserts
Harra (Terminalia chebula) hanging fruit at 23 Mile, Duars, WB W IMG 5902.jpg Inknut Terminalia chebula हरद harad
വറ്റൽമുളക്.jpg Dried Red Chili Pepper लाल मिर्च lāl mirch

See also[edit]


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

External links[edit]