List of 50+ Indian Spices: How to Use, Cook & More

Trying to keep all those Indian spices and masalas straight? We've put together this quick reference guide for how to use Indian spices, recipe ideas & more! These Indian spices are organized by category. See something you love that's missing? Send us a note and we'll be sure to add it!

Freshly Ground Indian Masalas (Blends)

1. Yellow Mustard Seeds, Organic

Hindi Name: Sarson/Rai

How to Use: Tempering

Uses: We love a pinch of this mixed into green smoothies, scrambled eggs, curries, salad dressings and plenty more!

2. Whole Mace Blades

Hindi Name: Javitri

How to Use: Stir-fry till aroma comes out.

Uses: The often forgotten "skin" of the nutmeg, whole mace blades are similar in taste to nutmeg, but slightly more subtle.

3. Whole Coriander Seeds, Organic

Hindi Name: Dhaniya

How to Use: Stir-fry, Dry roast or Direct use depending on the recipes.

Uses: These Moroccan whole organic coriander seeds have lemony, sweet flavors and grows wild in Egypt, England and Sudan. Seeds are typically toasted before being ground and added to meat rubs, curries, breads and baked goods.

4. Sweet Paprika Hungarian

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: Considered the national spice of Hungary, this sweet paprika is ubiquitous in Hungarian cuisine- from paprikash to cabbage rolls.

5. Star Anise, Organic

Hindi Name: Chakra Phool/Badiyan

How to Use: Direct use, Dry roast or Stir-fry

Uses: We love adding freshly ground star anise to baked goods, soups and stews- it pairs equally well with red meats and duck as it does with grilled fruit, apple pies or muffins.

6. Smoked Paprika, Spanish Pimentón Picante

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: The best way to get maximum flavor from these smoked paprika peppers is to heat in oil before using. We love this in deviled eggs, potato salad, roasted potatoes and meat braises.

7. Saffron Threads

Hindi Name: Kesar/Keshar

How to Use: Dissolve in water or warm milk.

Uses: Famous for its vibrantly golden hue & most classically used in rice dishes, saffron threads are the most expensive spice in the world and also among the most flavorful and prized.

8. Organic Turmeric Powder

Hindi Name: Haldi Powder

How to Use: Direct use

Uses: Organic turmeric powder adds a complex, rich, woody flavor to Indian curries, vegetables, lentil stews, rice, onions and tomatoes. We love adding this to smoothies, sauces and baked goods as well.

9. Organic Sumac Spice Berries, Freshly Ground

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: We love including this freshly ground organic sumac spice in zingy lemon dressing, hummus, fattoush or on chicken, fish or any dish needing a citrus burst.

10. Organic Nutmeg, Whole

Hindi Name: Jaifal

How to Use: Direct use or Stir-fry

Uses: Whole nutmegs in the US are a classic baking spice but can be freshly grated into cream sauces, custard, eggnogs, whipped cream, roasted vegetable dishes, stewed greens or infused into tea or coffee.

11. Organic Fennel Seeds

Hindi Name: Saunf

How to Use: Stir-fry or Dry roast

Uses: These whole organic fennel seeds have an anise, licorice and grassy flavor with spicy sweet notes and come from India. Fennel is considered good for digestion and fennel tea is popular across the world.

12. Organic Cinnamon, Vietnamese "Saigon"

Hindi Name: Dalchini

How to Use: Stir-fry or Dry roast

Uses: Vietnamese cinnamon is globally renowned for its high oil content and strong, spicy flavor. Most known in the US as a perfect complement to baked goods like apple pie, cakes, muffins and cinnamon rolls, we also love this cinnamon paired with chiles, infused in our morning coffee or added to roasted pumpkin and squash soup.

13. Nigella Seeds

Hindi Name: Kalaunji

How to Use: Direct use

Uses: Nigella seeds, also known as onion seeds, charnushka and black cumin, has a nutty, slightly sweet profile with pepper, thyme, onion and licorice flavors.

14. Mahlab Spice

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: These pits add an ultra luxurious almond, nutty, slightly vanilla flavor with a slightly bitter after taste. We love to add this Mahlab spice powder to baked goods like pastries, breads, rice pudding, honey and cheese desserts and is frequently found throughout Greece, Turkey and Egypt.

15. Kaffir Lime Powder

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: The deep green, zesty leaf of the kaffir lime ground into a fine powder is one of our favorite secret weapons for elevating a dish from good to great.

16. Ground Nutmeg, Organic

Hindi Name: Jaifal

How to Use: Direct use or Stir-fry

Uses: Nutmeg in the US is a classic baking spice but can be freshly grated into cream sauces, custard, eggnogs, whipped cream, roasted vegetable dishes, stewed greens or infused into tea or coffee.

17. Ground Ginger, Organic

Hindi Name: Adrak

How to Use: Stir-fry or Direct use

Uses: Ginger root has a sharply sweet, warm flavor that’s called for in both sweet and savory recipes around the world. We grind our ginger root weekly in small batches, for the ultimate fresh flavor and sweet, lemony aroma.

18. Ground Cumin, Organic Roasted

Hindi Name: Jeera

How to Use: Stir-fry or Dry Roast

Uses: We think cumin seeds are terribly underrated in the US. Cumin seeds are an essential ingredient to Indian cooking, often toasted whole in oil before grinding, for a nutty toasted flavor, and added to blends like garam masala and tandoori masala or added whole to black bean or carrot soups.

19. Ground Coriander, Organic Roasted

Hindi Name: Dhaniya

How to Use: Stir-fry, Dry roast or Direct use depending on the recipes.

Uses: Organic ground coriander seeds are roasted in house and freshly ground weekly. Ground coriander has lemony, sweet flavors and grows wild in Egypt, England and Sudan.

20. Green Cardamom Seeds, Organic

Hindi Name: Elaichi/Choti Elaichi

How to Use: Stir-fry or Dry roast

Uses: We love green cardamom's delicate, ginger like, sweet flavor in sweets and coffees and source these organic green cardamom seeds from a Guatemalan cooperative.

21. Granulated Garlic, Organic

Hindi Name: Lahsun

How to Use: Stir-fry or Direct use

Uses: This granulated garlic is more biting & stronger than its fresh counterpart (1/4 tsp. = 1 clove fresh garlic) and is perfect for slow cooked dishes like stews, curries, blackened dishes and rubs.

22. Grains of Paradise

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: We love using this stand along spice as a dry rub for steaks, barbeque chicken or kebabs or whisked into marinades for fish and vegetables.

23. Fenugreek Seeds, Organic

Hindi Name: Methi Dana

How to Use: Tempering or Stir-fry

Uses: Fenugreek seeds are prevalent in Middle Eastern cooking- particularly Turkish & Egyptian cuisine- and have a sweet, nutty flavor. Toast these whole fenugreek organic seeds in oil or dry and freshly ground for us in soup, curries, breads or tea.

24. Curry Leaves Organic, Indian

Hindi Name: Kadi Patta

How to Use: Tempering or Stir-fry

Uses: Curry leaves originate from Southwest Asia and are used to add flavor to curries & soups in both Indian and Asian cooking. These organic curry leaves add an awesome citrusy pop to stir fries, veggies and lentil dishes as well.

25. Cubeb Pepper

Hindi Name: Kabab Chini

How to Use: Direct use

Uses: Cubeb has a lovely aromatic floral quality, no real pepper heat, and a camphor finish. With notes similar to allspice, this pepper works well in vegetable or meat dishes, in cocktails or even in baked goods and other desserts.

26. Cloves, Organic

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: High quality cloves have high concentrations of oil. Typically used in baking spices in the US, cloves are popular in North Africa in rice and meat dishes and pair well in bbq sauces and roasted vegetables too.

27. Ceylon Cinnamon, Organic

Hindi Name: Dalchini

How to Use: Stir-fry or Dry roast

Uses: Ceylon's oil content is lower than cassia's, at 1-2%, resulting in a lighter, less spicy and more vanilla, floral flavors. We love using ceylon cinnamon on spiced fruit, hot cocoa, puddings and whipped cream.

28. Brown Mustard Seeds, Organic

Hindi Name: Sarson/Rai

How to Use: Tempering

Uses: The character of mustard seeds totally changes with heat exposure, becoming more deeply complex and pungent. We love adding these to curries, roasted meat and vegetables and stir fries, and they also feature in our panch phoran.

29. Black Mustard Seeds

Hindi Name: Sarson/Rai

How to Use: Tempering

Uses: Black mustard seeds are often tempered in hot oil in Indian cooking to bring out their flavor, before using in curries, lentil soups, roasted vegetables.

30. Asafoetida Powder

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: Asafoetida has a uniquely pungent raw smell and flavor that mellows into a deeply full bodied flavor when cooked, and is probably most comparable to washed cheese rinds. We love adding asafoetida to dahls, vegetarian curries, and loads of other South Indian dishes.

31. Allspice Berries, Whole Organic

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: These organic allspice berries reflect their name, with flavors of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and black peppercorns. Its complex sweetness makes allspice berries versatile in both sweet and savory dishes- from Jamaican jerk rubs and stews, to spice cakes, cookies and grilled fruits.

Whole (& Freshly Ground) Indian Spices

32. Asafoetida Powder

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: We love adding asafoetida to dahls, vegetarian curries, and loads of other South Indian dishes.

33. Black Cardamom Pods, Organic, Co-Op North India

Hindi Name: Moti Elaichi/Badi Eliachi/Kali Elaichi

How to Use: Stir-fry or Dry roast

Uses: Helps to blend flavors together and pairs beautifully with lime and chiles in hearty slow cooked beef and lamb curries. Try using to add flavor to rice or lentils or collard greens and, in Nordic countries, is added to baked bread and other lightly infused sweet dishes.

34. Black Mustard Seeds

Hindi Name: Sarson/Rai

How to Use: Tempering

Uses: Are often tempered in hot oil in Indian cooking to bring out their flavor, before using in curries, lentil soups, roasted vegetables. We love including these in our spice blends as well.

35. Black Salt, Kala Namak

Hindi Name: Kala Namak/Saindhav Namak

How to Use: Direct use

Uses: In India, this finishing salt is sprinkled on top of street food snacks, salads, mango & fruits, curries and chunteys. on salads, fruits, curries, chutneys and buttermilk for added flavor. This is also a vegan favorite love a natural egg flavor substitute.

36. Brown Mustard Seeds, Organic

Hindi Name: Sarson/Rai

How to Use: Tempering

Uses: We love adding these to curries, roasted meat and vegetables and stir fries, and they also feature in our panch phoran.

37. Cardamom Summer, Freshly Ground

Hindi Name: Elaichi/Choti Elaichi

How to Use: Stir-fry or Dry roast

Uses: We use this triple spice blend to create homemade strawberry ice cream that tastes like summer.

38. Chaat Masala, Freshly Ground

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: This is the go to spice blend for most Indian snacks, street foods, roasted and fried food and salads. Punctuate any vegetarian dish (especially chickpeas—which are bursting with protein and fiber) or use as a topping on eggs, salads, curries, or fresh fruits.

39. Chai Masala Spices, Freshly Ground

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: Steep into your favorite black tea for frothy chai lattes or bake into cookies, cakes or muffins.

40. Cumin Seeds, Whole Organic

Hindi Name: Jeera

How to Use: Stir-fry or Dry Roast

Uses: These seeds are an essential ingredient to Indian cooking, often toasted whole in oil before grinding, for a nutty toasted flavor, and added to blends like garam masala and tandoori masala or added whole to black bean or carrot soups. In Mexico, nearly all stews and bean recipes include it as well.

41. Curry Leaves Organic, Indian

Hindi Name: Kadi Patta

How to Use: Tempering or Stir-fry

Uses: These organic curry leaves add an awesome citrusy pop to stir fries, veggies and lentil dishes as well.

42. Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi)

Hindi Name: Kasuri Methi

How to Use: Direct use, when the vegetable curry is almost cooked.

Uses: Try mashing the leaves and sprinkling them over curries and dry vegetable dishes just before serving for an unforgettable flavor. But when combined with aromatics and spices, fenugreek contributes a complex sweetness and a subtle bitterness to saucy dishes. Its maple syrup flavor transforms into something more akin to dark caramel, and it makes a palette of more well-known spices feel complete. There's no substitute for it, but it's easy to use and increasingly easy to find. When dried, the leaves retain most of their flavor and make excellent last-minute additions to sauces, curries, and soup.

43. Fenugreek Seeds, Organic

Hindi Name: Methi Dana

How to Use: Tempering or Stir-fry

Uses: Toast these whole fenugreek organic seeds in oil or dry and freshly ground for us in soup, curries, breads or tea.

44. Green Cardamom Pods, Organic, Guatemala Co-Op

Hindi Name: Elaichi/Choti Elaichi

How to Use: Stir-fry or Dry roast

Uses: We love green cardamom's delicate, ginger like, sweet flavor in sweets and coffees and source these organic green cardamom seeds from a Guatemalan cooperative.

44. Green Cardamom Pods, Organic, Guatemala Co-Op

Hindi Name: Elaichi/Choti Elaichi

How to Use: Stir-fry or Dry roast

Uses: We love green cardamom's delicate, ginger like, sweet flavor in sweets and coffees and source these organic green cardamom seeds from a Guatemalan cooperative.

45. Green Cardamom Seeds, Organic, Guatemala Co-Op

Hindi Name: Elaichi/Choti Elaichi

How to Use: Stir-fry or Dry roast

Uses: We love green cardamom's delicate, ginger like, sweet flavor in sweets and coffees and source these organic green cardamom seeds from a Guatemalan cooperative.

46. Ground Cardamom, Organic

Hindi Name: Elaichi/Choti Elaichi

How to Use: Stir-fry or Dry roast

Uses: We love green cardamom's delicate, ginger like, sweet flavor in sweets and coffees and source these organic green cardamom seeds from a Guatemalan cooperative.

47. Ground Ginger Organic, Indonesia

Hindi Name: Adrak

How to Use: Stir-fry or Direct use

Uses: We love this organic ground ginger in both sweet and savory recipes- with plenty of recipe ideas on the blog.

48. Madras Curry Powder, Freshly Ground

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: We love this salt free curry powder in slow cooked lentils, dahls and vegetable curries or sprinkle onto curried potato salad or tuna salad for a kick.

49. Malaysian Curry Powder, Freshly Ground

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: We love this salt free curry powder in slow cooked stews, stir-fries and vegetable curries or sprinkle onto curried potato salad or tuna salad for a kick. Freshly ground in house weekly.

50. Nigella Seeds, Black Cumin, Indian

Hindi Name: Kalaunji

How to Use: Direct use

Uses: We love adding this seed to Indian flavored veggies, dals and stir fries, but it also pairs well with bread, herbs and fruits like tomatoes and watermelon.

51. Organic Fennel Seeds

Hindi Name: Saunf

How to Use: Stir-fry or Dry roast

Uses: In France and Italy, fennel is known as "the fish herb", where it is added to vinaigrettes, roasted fish, meatballs, pasta sauces and sausages. In India, fennel seeds are toasted in oil, for a less sweet and spicier flavor, and then ground or whole to breads, curries, dals and egg dishes. Once ground, fennel will quickly lose its flavor so we recommend grinding in small batches and adding to the end of the cooking process for best flavor.

52. Organic Turmeric Powder

Hindi Name: Haldi Powder

How to Use: Direct use

Uses: We love adding this to smoothies, sauces and baked goods as well- find plenty of recipes on the blog.

53. Panch Phoran

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: Typically added to oil or ghee over medium heat, toast these until they pop and add to anything from sauteed vegetables to a pot of lentils.

54. Tandoori Masala, Freshly Ground

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: Use into marinate chicken, meat, seafood or vegetables in a traditional yogurt spice mixture, then char over high heat for a juicy interior and crispy, spicy exterior.

55. Tellicherry Peppercorns

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: By definition, larger in size and have a beautifully complex, citrusy aroma. When it comes to the generic pre-ground stuff, this is our favorite black peppercorn, by far, every time.

56. Vadouvan, Freshly Ground

Hindi Name: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

How to Use: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

Uses: Use as a base for a curry but works really well as a "tempering" spice- add towards the end of cooking to bring balance and warmth. Particularly yummy in birianis and dahls!

57. Whole Coriander Seeds, Organic

Hindi Name: Dhaniya

How to Use: Stir-fry, Dry roast or Direct use depending on the recipes.

Uses: Seeds are typically toasted before being ground and added to meat rubs, curries, breads and baked goods.

58. Whole Mace Blades

Hindi Name: Javitri

How to Use: Stir-fry till aroma comes out.

Uses: The often forgotten "skin" of the nutmeg, whole mace blades are similar in taste to nutmeg, but slightly more subtle.

59. Yellow Mustard Seeds, Organic

Hindi Name: Sarson/Rai

How to Use: Tempering

Uses: We love a pinch of this mixed into green smoothies, scrambled eggs, curries, salad dressings and plenty more.

 

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