Indian cuisines are known for their enormous array of spicy delicacies. Indian foods include a wide range of spices in every dish in order to obtain that appropriate rich flavor they are known for. Indian food lovers all across the globe would agree that its unique zest lies in the use of various kinds of herbs and spices for its unbeatable tantalizing flavors. These spices are popular in both the domestic and international market for their distinctive flavor and aroma. 

For centuries now, India has been known as the land of spices, and the spice trade is a major source of income for many Indians. These spices have medicinal usage and are also used as preservatives in perfumes and fragrances. India is one of the largest producers, consumer, and exporter of spices around the world as it produces 75 spices out of 109 spices listed by ISO. 

Indian cuisine uses both ground spice and whole spices in their dishes, while ground spices enhance the taste and the color of the food, whole spices are used for tempering.

Let's have a look at all the spices India has to offer:

• Asafoetida: Asafoetida AKA Hing or Heeng is a dark brown dried gum resin full of unique flavor and aroma. Because of its strong sulphate like taste, only a pinch is added in the hot boiling oil to enhance its flavor. It is an exact alternative for garlic or onion flavor to the dishes for Jain people. A strong Asafoetida aids digestion issues and relieves flatulence.

• Black Pepper: Black pepper is originally native to India, but now it is grown in nearly every tropical region. It is the most pungent and flavorful of all types of peppers. Only a pinch is added to the recipes and even that can fill your room with an amazing aroma. Black Pepper is also known for improving digestion.

• Black Salt Powder: Black Salt, also known as Kala Namak among Indians Dark brown or pinkish gray in color. It is mostly available in powdered form and has distinctive flavor and odor. Black salt is generally sprinkled on fresh fruits and is also used in pickles. It is considered an important ingredient in the North Indian Cooking.

• Chili Powder: It is considered as one of the most important ingredients in Indian recipes. It is used in chutneys, curries, vegetables, snacks, and legume dishes. Chili Powder is used to give wonderful warmth to the dish. It's hot and pungent aroma offers a punch of flavors in every bite. Various types of chili powders (Mirchi powder) are available in India like White Mirchi, Kashmiri Mirchi, Lal Mirchi, etc.

• Coriander Powder: It is used for its fresh, cooling, and soothing taste to the dish. It is quite aromatic and has a slightly sweet, lemony flavor. Roasted coriander powder is used in vegetable dishes and also in raitas.

• Cumin Seeds: Cumin seeds are used for tempering while Cumin powder is used in Northern dishes for raitas. Cumin powder has very similar qualities to oregano. It is one of the five spices in the Bengali panchporan (five spice) mixture. Cumin also has many medicinal properties that help in treating digestive disorders, morning sickness, insomnia, and flatulence. 

• Dry Mango Powder: Dry Mango Powder AKA Amchur Powder is sour in taste and is used as an alternative for lemon and lime. It contains essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, E, and C, it is also rich in minerals such as iron. Mango powder has anti-oxidant properties. 

• Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds have a strong but pleasant flavor. It is included in the Bengali panchporan. Fennel seeds are also known as Sounf helps in digesting food and is also used as a mouth-fresher in India.

• Fenugreek Seeds: Fenugreek Seeds are very common in Indian households. They are pale mustard in color and it has a slightly bitter taste but wonderful healthful properties. They are available whole or ground and are used to enhance the flavor of both in North and South Cooking.

• Garam Masala: Garam masala is basically a concoction of powdered spices like cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg, mace, etc. This mixture is found in almost all the Indian household but it may vary from household to household. While some add Garam masala at the beginning of cooking with oil some add at the end of cooking dishes in small quantities. 

• Ginger Powder: Ginger has wonderful aroma and taste that makes it a very important and popular spice in Indian cooking. Ginger powder can be used as an alternative for fresh ginger. It is widely used in vegetarian dishes. The flavor of ginger might be subtle, but it stands out from all the other ingredients in any dish. 

• Mustard Seeds: Different types of mustard seeds like black, brown & yellow are available in India. It has a sharp flavor, and when sautéed in the oil its flavor enhances even more. Whole mustard seeds are used for tempering while grounding mustard is used in curries.

• Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds are tiny, oil-rich seeds, which have golden-brown hue. It has a rich and delicate nutty flavor. It has many health-promoting properties like anti-cancer properties, anti-oxidants, an excellent source of copper, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, etc.

• Turmeric Powder: Turmeric is probably the most common spice used in almost all Indian dishes. It is used for both its orange color and adds flavor. Even though it has slightly bitter-taste, it balances all the other spices in the meal. Turmeric Powder, which is also known as Haldi powder is considered a sacred spice and used in many religious ceremonies. It is medicinal properties, and so it is highly regarded by Indians as a home remedy for treating liver and stomach related issues.

To buy Hand-picked, freshly-ground, and rich in flavor spices, visit Vasant Masala's online masala store. From brewing cup of morning tea to delectable dinner, Vasant masala has something to offer for all. Our authentic spices add flavor, texture, and zest to all your recipes and give it a real Indian cuisine taste.