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Common Indian Spices Glossary

Common Indian Spices glossary Indian food is known for its spiciness. Every Indian kitchen is the hub for a blend of spices. Here is the glossary of those spices that are responsible for unfolding these heavenly aroma and taste of Indian food.


Cinnamon sticks are popular in India in the name of darchini (dalchini). This is actually the dried bark of a certain kind of tree. There are two different kinds of cinnamon, one that comes from Chin and the second one comes from Ceylon. Though both have nearly similar flavors but the Ceylon-born cinnamon has sweeter aroma and not easily found in the local markets.

Lavang, grambu

Lavang (laung) is the Indian name of Cloves that are actually flower buds that are dried; the fully grown buds that are not blossomed are plucked when they are green and after that dried in the sun until they turn into dark brown color and ready to be utilized in medicinal purpose and culinary. It is generally used in making spicy food in India and it is cooked in ghee or oil.


Coriander seeds are named as dhania in India, these seeds are crunchy and hollow and has nutty, earthy flavor. It is usually used after grounding into powder form. If the seeds are grinded after roasting it divulge different flavor. But in several south Indian dishes it is often used in raw form. Assorted Indian Spices


Cumin seeds are popularly known as jeera in India. This spice is extensively used in almost every Indian dishes especially in Bengali dishes. It is generally added to the dishes for its earthy aroma. Often it is added to the dish in raw form or sometimes it is added in ghee and oil to divulge the aroma.

Tej patta

Though it looks similar to the bay leaf but it is actually cinnamomum tamala, and falls under the cinnamonum tree group. It is used in Indian curries and rice to bring flavor, it is hugely used while cooking Bengali dishes like hotchpotch and polao. It is browned in oil or ghee to add aroma in the dish.

Mouri or Saunf

In India fennel seeds are vastly known as saunf, it is not only eaten after meal as mouth freshener but also used while cooking some curries. It looks similar to cumin seeds however if it is observed closely it is wider and greener than the cumin seeds. It is adorned by the Indians for its digestive qualities.

Sarson, rai, shorshe

Mustard seeds are generally known as sarson or rai in India and one of the must have spices in Indian kitchen. Though there are three different kinds of mustard seeds but Indians generally use the black one it has more pungent aroma and flavor. The yellow and white mustard seeds are also used in several Indian dishes.

If you would like to learn and get details on additional spices used in Indian cooking, explore the online indian groceries section at this site.
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