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


How Many Spices Are Used In Indian Cooking?

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

An average Indian dish will include anything from 2 – 15 types of spices depending on the complexity of the recipe.

Thankfully you  do not need to have them all.

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

For the food enthusiasts curious to know about spices, this handy list of the most frequently used top 28 Indian spices will serve as a helpful quick reference guide.

The list describes each spice name in Hindi, the purpose of using them and when to use them during cooking.

You can read more about tips on cooking uses, benefits, spice substitutes of each spice by clicking on the orange texts. 

If you wish to get hands on practice on using spices for cooking and go above and beyond following recipes then join me in one of my  an interactive online Indian cooking class.

Spices are at the very heart of Indian cooking and in any Indian household. They are the essence to the delectable Indian flavour and depth of taste.

How Will A Spice List Help Solve Your Spice Confusion?

Over the years of teaching Indian cooking, a common query I get asked most often is about how to use spices and where to buy spices from.

I present the attendees with this list of Indian spices or as they say in Hindi ‘Masala List’ 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.

This post is to simplify the different types of spices, their use and put them on one page for you.

For more tips on cooking with spices you can read the stepwise beginners guide to using spices correctly for making flavourful meals.

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.

Remember spices do go bad if unused. These tips will help you revive old spices. 

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.

These spices form the starting point to make many popular easy Indian dishes such as these.

Use this list for reference when you are not sure of a particular spice listed in a recipe or for your future buys.

Make the spices go beyond Indian food and add them to your stews, broths, soups and pies.

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.

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



Indian spice list Asafoedita-image- hing-image buy Indian spices online SpiceituppHingFlavouring agent for the dish.
Bay LeafIndian 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.
Black or Brown CardamomBlack Cardamoom pods buy online list of indian spicesMoti Elaichi/Badi Elaichi/Kali ElaichiAromatic and flavouring agent for many Indian dishes such as curries and rice.
Black PepperBLACK-PEPPER- sabut-kaali-mirch- image buy indian-spices-online spiceitupp  Kali MirchTaste and flavouring agent especially south Indian preparation and to make spice blends.
Cardamom (green)Grun Kardamom green cardamom pods indian spice buy spices online switzerlandElaichi/Choti ElaichiTaste and flavour enhancer for curries, pulaos, Biryanis and sweet dishes.
Carom SeedsIndian spice list Ajwain-seeds-carom-seeds-Indian spice buy-spices-online-switzerlandAjwainFlavouring and taste enhancing ingredient for different dishes. Especially used for fried savoury dishes and breads.
Cassia/Cinnamon Sticks cinnamon-cassia-sticks-dalchini buy indian spice online spiceituppDalchiniTaste and flavouring ingredient. Imparts sweet aroma .Used in different spice blends.
Cloves Bud LaungEnhances flavours and taste. Popular ingredient used in numerous Indian spice blends.
Coriander Seedswhole-coriander- seeds-image-indian-spice buy indian spice online spiceituppSabut DhaniyaBase ingredient for different type of tadkas (tempering). Enhances taste and flavour. Used in spice blends.
Coriander Powdercoriander - powder-ground-coriander-image buy indian spice online spiceitupp Indian spice list Dhania powderTaste and flavour enhancer for various dishes. Used in most Indian dishes for the main base sauce.
Chaat MasalaIndian-chaat-masala-image- buy indian spice online spiceituppChaat MasalaTaste and flavour enhancer for various savoury street food style Indian dishes and snacks.
Cumin SeedsReusable Silicone Food Fresh Sealed/Ziplock BagsSabut JeeraBase ingredient for different type of tadkas (tempering). Enhances flavour. Used in in base sauce and spice blends
Cumin PowderGround- cumin-powder-image-jeera -powder-indian-spice buy indian spice online spiceituppJeera powderTaste and flavour enhancer for various dishes. Used in most Indian dishes for the main base sauce.
 Curry LeavesIndian- fresh-curry -leaves-image buy indian spice online spiceituppKadi PattaAromatic herb used for tadkas (tempering) to enhance flavour. Popular in Western and South Indian cuisine.
Dry Fenugreek LeavesDried Kasuri Methi-Fenugreek -Leave-Buy-onlineKasuri MethiDried herb used to enhance flavour and tatse. Used in Punjabi or North Indian cuisine.
Garam Masala Powder Garam-Masala-by-Gewuerzland-buy spices online SwitzerlandGaram MasalaVery popular Indian spice blend made with different spices. Used in most Indian dishes.
Fennel SeedsFennel- seeds-image buy indian spice online spiceituppSaunfAromatic and flavour enhancer for dishes. An important spice in many spice blends.
Fenugreek Seedsfenugreek- seeds -methi-image buy indian spice online spiceituppMethi DanaBase ingredient for different styles of Tadkas (tempering). Can be used in spice blends.
MaceMace Indian spices List buy mace onlineJavitriAromatic spice used as a taste and flavouring agent. Used for making special regional dishes such as biriyani, dum alu etc.
Mustard SeedsSarson/RaiBase ingredient for different styles of Tadkas (tempering) and to make mustard base sauce.
Nigella Seedsnigella -seeds-kalongi-image-indian-spices -buy indian spice online spiceituppKalaunjiBase ingredient for Tadkas (tempering). Flavour enhancer .Used snacks, breads and savoury dishes.
Nutmegnutmeg -whole-jaiphal-indian-spice buy indian spice online spiceituppJaifalIntense flavouring agent for speciality dishes. Commonly used in North Indian spice blends.
Poppy Seedswhite-poppy-seeds-khus-khus-indian-spice image buy indian spices online spiceituppKhas KhasUsed in regional blended masalas for its taste and flavour. Also used as paste to thicken sauces.
Red Chili Powderred -chilli-indian-chilli -powder-image buy indian spice online spiceituppLal MirchMost important spice to add heat to dishes. Large amounts also imparts a subtle red colour to the dish.
Saffron Strandssaffron-spice-image buy indian spice online spiceitupp Kesar/KesharColouring and flavouring agent to speciality savoury dishes and desserts. Imparts an aroma and taste.
Star Anisestar anise image buy indian spice online spiceituppChakra Phool/BadiyanAromatic and flavourful spice used in spice blends. Can be used in Pulaos and other special gravies.
TamarindTaramind Indian spice for cooking buy tamarind paste online  ImliA sour taste and flavour enhancer mainly for gravy based dishes and chutneys.
Turmeric Powderturmeric-powder-haldi-image-indian-yellow -spice buy indian spice online spiceituppHaldi PowderColour enhancer and Anti-Bacterial ingredient. 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.

Where to Buy Spices ?

It could not be easier to buy spice these days. You do not need to look for an ethnic store to buy ingredients anymore.

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 is most likely to keep stock of them as well. 

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

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

My recommended store is The Spice House. Click here to discover the world of flavors at TheSpiceHouse.com.

I absolutely love their fresh spices and packaging.

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 have their cravings fulfilled. They also deliver worldwide at minimal charges.

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.





Best Indian Spice list and their use for cooking

Thankful for Every Click to Share