The 5 essential spices you’ll need for delicious Indian dishes

The 5 essential spices you’ll need for delicious Indian dishes

Indian food is famous for being packed with tantalizing aromas, vibrant colours, and of course, those spicy, sweet tangy flavours. However, for the home cook this can sometimes be daunting. When you look at the majority of Indian food recipes, it’s easy to be put off by the long list of spices and ingredients. Although, whilst this can be off-putting at first, spices can be kept and used for long periods of time. There is also a huge leeway when it comes to Indian food, so if you don’t have that particular spice to hand, use another that you do have. Although, there are a few spices that we do recommend for your spice shelf if you are ever stuck on what to use, these are:


Many curries call for this strong spice; you can find it as both seeds or toasted to the ground. Its flavour is often described as “warm and earthy” as well as “slightly bitter”. Similarly, to the majority of Indian spices, it plays well with others.


This plants seeds and leaves feature in Indian cuisine as a spice and as a garnish. Coriander is a key element in garam masala due to its “nutty” and “fruity” flavour. It is also known for settling upset stomachs and a healthy digestion.


Fresh ginger has a peppery, delicious flavour to its recipes. Although try not to leave this spice in a warm environment because it can spoil pretty quickly. Instead, wrap a chunk of peeled ginger root tightly and keep it in the freezer. You can grate the amount you need as and when you need it.


This spice gives many well known Indian dishes their character and colour. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being mouth-wateringly delicious.

Chilli pepper

Chile peppers are used to rack up the heat in curries; you can adjust the amount according to your personal taste. Cayenne pepper is the easiest chili to source. You can find it in supermarkets. We recommend you try this delicious spice in either the West Indian Curried Redfish Roti or Curried Lentils and Vegetables with Basmati rice dish. We guarantee if you pick any of these dishes for your dinner this evening, you will be super impressed with the chilli aromas and taste.

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