Top 10 Indian Spices
In its basic form spices are fresh or dried seeds, and other substances used for flavouring or colouring food. But
what makes them so healthy? Well many spices have what’s known as antimicrobial properties, making them
perfect for helping to prevent meat from spoiling. Some spices even have medicinal uses too, for example garlic is
a good antibiotic. Aside from the obvious health benefits, spices also make Indian meals taste distinctive and
delicious too! Here is a list of our top 10 favourite spices used in Indian cooking, shown in alphabetical order:
A common but perhaps sometimes unheard-of spice, it is used to harmonise the mixture of flavours of many meals
in Indian cooking. Traditionally used for treating most digestive complaints.
One of several popular spices used in garam masala for curries, traditional Indian sweets, and in spiced tea,
cardamom has excellent health benefits. It is often used in South Asia to treat teeth and gum infections and
(also known as “red chilli pepper”)
Commonly used in Indian cooking, cayenne pepper is high in vitamin A, which helps to boost your body’s
metabolism. It plays a vital role in helping to maintain several body functions such as eyesight and skin health, and
is also known for its antioxidant properties.
Used in a variety of foods, beverages, and even as a food preservative, cinnamon also helps to control glucose
levels in diabetics by lowering blood-sugar spikes after meals.
In leaf form, coriander has a slightly citrus taste. Commonly used as a spice with garam masala and as a thickener
in curries, coriander contains antioxidants that help to prevent food from spoiling and in traditional medicine is
used to provide relief from insomnia and anxiety.
This particular spice is known for its distinctive flavour and aroma. Known in India as jeera, it is used mainly as a
flavouring agent to help enhance the taste of Indian dishes, and also as one of the key ingredients of curry powder.
Cumin is a source of fibre and iron.
Widely used not just in Indian cuisine but also in all sorts of meals generally, garlic is renown for its pungent
flavour that sweetens and mellows as it is cooked. Garlic is well known for its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antifungal properties.
A common spice used with lentil curries (dal) and other Indian dishes, ginger is well known for its medicinal
properties. Ginger has been traditionally used to help with upset stomachs, arthritis, and joint pains.
Known for its sharp taste and hot flavour, in Indian cooking mustard seeds are often fried in hot cooking oil and
then mixed with other spices, which are then added as a garnish to a dish. Mustard is well known for its medicinal
properties, such as alleviating digestive problems.
Exhibiting a slightly earthy, peppery flavour, turmeric is a significant spice used in most curry powders. Studies
have shown that it can provide pain relief, acting as an anti-inflammatory.