The story of Indian spices dates 7000 years into the past. It is a chequered history of lands, discovered or destroyed, kingdoms built or brought down, wars won or lost, treaties signed or flouted, favours sought or offered. Today Indian spices hold the same spell. Spices may be either bark, buds, flowers, fruits, leaves, rhizomes, roots, seeds, stigmas and styles or the entire plant tops. Indian food incorporates a blend of spices for reasons ranging from taste, aroma, colour, texture to medicinal and digestive properties. Some of the prominent spices used in Indian cuisine are:

Coriander seeds and coriander powder

Seeds of the coriander (cilantro) plant are widely used in Indian cuisine and on roasting or frying gives the characteristic curry flavour. Coriander seeds are known to have diuretic properties.

Coriander seeds and coriander powder

This is a root and the powder made from the dried root is what gives the bright yellow colour to the curries. It possesses healing, antiseptic and anti cancer properties. The prime ingredient in turmeric- curcumin is being researched as a cancer fighting drug.


Used as seeds or in powder form in Indian cuisine to flavour a wide range of dishes. It is either roasted or fried briefly to bring out its flavour. Cumin is considered a digestive and is also used in appetizers and aperitif drinks.

Black Pepper

Grown mainly in south India was a prized spice since 2nd century A.D and was exported to Europe in exchange for gold. It is used in Indian cuisine for its flavour and preservative qualities. Black pepper is also known to be beneficial in treating colds and respiratory infections.

Mustard Seeds

In Indian cuisine the seeds, oil and leaves of the mustard plant are used. The seeds are used widely in cuisines from the south and east, the oil is used predominantly in the east and the leaves are used in north India as a vegetable.

Fenugreek Seeds

Used whole or powdered for their characteristic flavour.

Fennel seeds

These possess a distinct aniseed type of flavour. Used either as a powder or in pastes for the bases of curries.


Used whole or powdered for its flavour and aroma in meats and desserts. Cinnamon is also an important spice in the spice mix called “garam masala”.

Bay leaf

Used in curries and rice dishes for its flavour and aroma.

Large Black Cardamom

Used in curries and rice dishes for its flavour and aroma.

Green Cardamom

One of the most important flavours in Indian cuisine. It is used whole or powdered in sweet and savoury dishes.


Used for its flavour and aroma in sweet and savoury dishes.


The outer kernel of nutmeg is also used to flavour meat and poultry dishes. It is used more in north India especially in mughlai cuisine.

Star anise

Brought to India by traders from China hundreds of years ago and was incorporated mostly into south Indian cuisine of the Chettinad region.


Derived from a plant resin and used mainly as an anti flatulent in dishes with beans and lentils..


It is the stigma of a flower of the crocus family. It has a delicate fragrance and is used in mughlai cuisine and desserts.

Screwpine Flower Essence

It has a strong sweet aroma and is used to flavour biryanis, kebabs and kormas.

Rose Petals

Used dried and powdered or in liquid extract form for its fragrance in mughlai cuisine. It is known to have anti-inflammatory and astringent properties.

At Curry Twist it is our endeavour to use the freshest possible ingredients and spices.