Ingredients Frequently Used in Indian Food

Most Indian cuisines begin with a hot pan into which cooking oil or butter is put, followed by the spices, a variety of veggies, and meat needed for a particular dish. A few similar ingredients are used throughout the subcontinent, despite the fact that the components used in Indian cuisine vary from place to region.


Most meals begin by putting oil in a hot pan. Many Indian households cook with ghee, which is clarified butter that can handle more excellent heat than regular butter. Some Indian families also use vegetable oil. Mustard oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil are a few additional frequently used oils.


Most Indian meals are based on vegetables, and almost all begin with onions, tomatoes, garlic, and ginger. Potatoes, cauliflower, spinach, mustard greens, okra, peas, carrots, green beans, and other vegetables are also frequently included.

If you’re one of the folks who can’t handle the plant, you’ll need to request that the restaurant leave the fresh cilantro out of any Indian dishes you order. Fresh coriander is the common name for cilantro in India.


While the types of grains used in Indian cuisine vary significantly by area, some common ones are chickpeas and lentils, often known as split peas and available in red, black, green, and yellow variations.

Many Indian recipes are served with rice or bread and are gravy-based. In India, basmati rice, a long-grain variant, is frequently consumed. Depending on the region, bread can be produced with various flours, including rice flour, chickpea flour, and wheat flour.

Tastes of Indian Cuisine

When visiting India, you can anticipate being fascinated by the variety of spices and flavor characteristics in a single meal. Some foods may combine spicy, acidic, sour, and sweet flavors to create a stunning and intricate feast.

Their utilization of fresh ingredients, first and foremost, distinguishes Indian flavors. Most Indian cuisines rely on gravy, often produced from a combination of fresh vegetables that have been reduced to a sauce.

Essential spices from India

There are very few recipes in India that don’t contain at least a few spices or herbs because spice is a way of life. Even mangos are consumed in salt and red chile, while yogurt is frequently served as raita with chili powder, cilantro, and vegetables.

The most popular Indian spices and their Hindi names and flavor profiles are listed here. If you take a cooking class while visiting India, many herbs will be used in your cooking lesson.


Korma is one of the best Indian meals to come out of northern India.
Another excellent Indian cuisine that comes from India north is korma.

A thick, mild curry sauce made with cream, coconut milk, yogurt, and occasionally almonds is slowly simmered with braised meat (perhaps chicken or beef) and vegetables.

Coriander, saffron, ginger, cardamom, and black peppercorn are used to season it delicately.


The extensive use of spices in Indian food has a long history and is justified. If you want to read the entire post we wrote about it, click here. But weather and soil are the key elements that significantly influenced the addition of spices to the food. In India, you can travel from one region to another and discover that every area’s soil and climate are ideal for growing some spice crop. And if you look closely, you will notice that the local cuisine of that region makes extensive use of those particular spices.

True, these spices can seem frightening, especially to someone unfamiliar with the food. But if we can comprehend something, it becomes more approachable and straightforward. The same applies to these spices.

We want to discuss a few spices at a time and how you may utilize them in your cooking in this piece (and a series that will come after). This article should also assist you in gradually filling your spice cabinet with some necessary Indian spices that will simplify the process of preparing Indian meals at home.


Describe Jeera. Cumin seeds, one of the most popular spices in Indian cuisine, are derived from a plant in the parsley family. Cumin seeds are one of the world’s most widely produced and consumed foods, especially in India. This is very understandable given the widespread use of spice in Indian curries, salads, spice mixes, rice dishes, and more in whole and powdered, toasted, and other forms.

Due to its widespread availability, you may get cumin seeds in your neighborhood food store. Ideally, purchase in small quantities and store in airtight containers at room temperature in your spice cupboard, especially if you do not use it frequently.


Describe Kali Sarso. Mustard is a native crop of North Africa and a small portion of Asia. Its seeds mostly come in two varieties: black (or occasionally brown mustard), which has a strong, pungent flavor, and yellow mustard, which has a mildly spicy flavor with yellow peel. Although all mustard seeds are helpful in Indian cooking, black mustard seeds are more frequently utilized.


Given that India is a foodie nation, there is a meal scheduled for every hour of the day, and food is readily available everywhere. Indian restaurants frequently serve famous Indian street cuisine as appetizers.

Bhaji: Also known as pakoras, bhaji are spicy chickpea batter dollops that are deep-fried and served with chutney, another hot condiment. In onion bhaji, thinly sliced onions are combined with chickpea batter and deep-fried until they are perfectly crispy. Imagine it as our take on onion rings! Potato, paneer, and cauliflower are additional common bhajis.

Samosa: Samosa is another well-known Indian street snack. Samosas are made of dough wrapped around a little spicily flavorful potato or meat filling and deep-fried till crispy and flaky.

Vada Pav: A pav is merely a dinner bun, while vadas are deep-fried fritters or flattened potato patties. Vada pav, where the cake or patty is sandwiched between two dinner roll pieces, is a hotter vegetarian version of sliders. Toppings like onions, green chilies, garlic chutney, and mint and cilantro chutney are frequently added to the sliders.

Indian foods

India primarily consumes flatbreads as bread. What they are called depends on how they are prepared or if they are made using flour.

One of the most well-known Indian flatbreads is naan. Wheat flour dough is created for naan by letting it rise with yeast or mixing yogurt into the dough. The flatbreads made from the dough are then baked in a tandoor, an Indian oven.

Roti: Roti is a typical food in Indian households, despite naan’s popularity on restaurant menus. Indian roti is a simple bread often made with whole wheat flour. It is shaped into thin circles and baked on a Tava (Indian skillet) over the stove.

Flatbread that is stacked and fried in a skillet is called a paratha. They are created with wheat flour, and ghee or oil is spread between layers of dough while rolling them. However, numerous methods exist to prepare a paratha, particularly a loaded one. A dough ball is loaded with filling and moved into a flatbread to make stuffed paratha.

Best Indian Spices and Uses for Them

Indian spices come in more than 40 varieties. Many, like a stone flower and garcinia, are obscure and utilized only in particular places. This list of 24 strong spices, which spans several centuries of culinary traditions from across the vast subcontinent, is used in nearly all Indian cuisine.

Cooking beautifully requires the nearly supernatural act of combining traditional spices. Without a doubt, learning to cook Indian food will significantly increase your cooking skills. The top 24 herbs used in Indian cuisine are listed below. Understanding these spices is an excellent place to start when expanding your knowledge.

Haldi or turmeric

Turmeric is required in Indian cooking. A pulverized spice called turmeric has an underlying earthy flavor. This spice has the most stunning yellow color of all the ones used in Indian cuisine and offers significant health advantages. A teaspoon is typically all needed for a family of four to flavor and color a dish. Make sure to add at least a dash of black pepper to your words if they are being utilized for health reasons. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are excellent. However, they are lessened when black pepper’s piperine is absent.

jeera or cumin

Cumin seed is a common spice in Indian cuisine and curries with flavors reminiscent of dill or caraway. Typically, whole cumin seeds should be utilized and fried in oil at the start of a dish (the process called take).

Cumin seeds will soon turn brown at a higher heat, usually within 15 seconds. Be careful not to burn them; when you hear them popping, you know they’re done. Ground cumin powder is one of the main components of the garam masala spice blend and another whole spice used in India.

Emerald cardamom (Cchoti Ilayachi)

Cardamom Green cardamom has an unmistakable flavor. A cineole substance tastes a lot like eucalyptus (like many cough medicines). It tastes fantastic when fried in hot oil at the start of making Indian cuisine. Typically, an Indian recipe will call for two to six entire cardamom pods.

One of the essential spices on our list, coriander, is the seed of cilantro.

This seed, used in numerous recipes like Madras and Vindaloo, has a citrus-like aroma blended with some green, woody undertones. The most straightforward approach to using coriander seeds is grinding them into powder before adding them to a sauce.


The leaves of the same plant, cilantro, are a must-have flavorful garnish for practically any dish, but they pair exceptionally well with heartier meat dishes and dals that have a rich, robust flavor. Be mindful that some people may find cilantro to taste soapy while using it.

Masala Garam

Garam masala is the most well-known seasoning in India. In reality, it’s a blend of dried spices that includes tej patta, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cumin, and pepper. Many dishes, like Chana Masala, use it. While your onions are frying or while your sauce is simmering, add one to two teaspoons. It is occasionally used as a garnish.

Visit our post to learn how to prepare and utilize garam masala in Indian food. It’s essential to notice that garam masala has the widest variety of spices. It is unlike any other herb in that the ingredients used to manufacture it and, as a result, the taste varies significantly from place to region. No matter what food you consume in India, this spice, or this blend of spices, will probably be an ingredient. Some dishes feature mustard, others contain a lot of fennel, and others only a little.

The spicier Indian dishes that every spice enthusiast should try

Chicken Vindaloo

Pork Vindaloo is a specialty of Goa that carries Portuguese history in itself. Pork Vindaloo is one of the spiciest and hottest dishes you’ll ever have in Goa. It is traditionally made with hog flesh and heavily blended with vinegar, meat, pork fat, jaggery, spices, and Kashmiri chilies.

Curry, Phall

Phall Curry, which is also regarded as the spiciest curry in the world, is like eating fire for dinner. But why wouldn’t that be? The world’s hottest chili, the Bhut Jolokia, is blended into this spicy meal with tomatoes and fennel seeds. Every food enthusiast’s list of spicy Indian foods includes phall curry.

In Laal Maas

Laal Maas, a fiery mutton curry from Rajasthan, gets its intensely hot flavor from the smoky-flavored Rajasthani Mathania red chilies. The mutton in Laal Maas, which translates to “Red Meat,” is cooked with scorching Mathania chilies and potent raw spices. When visiting Rajasthan, every meat lover should at least once sample this dish, which is a favorite of Rajputana warriors.

Chettinad chicken

A traditional Tamilian dish called chicken Chettinad is renowned for its fire and flavor. This Chettinad specialty is a favorite among locals and will likely blow your taste senses away! Despite all the precautions we’ve just taken, folks still gorge themselves on this hot Indian food.

Chicken with Andhra chilies

The people of Andhra mean “chilli and chicken” when they say “chilli chicken.” Chilies are not only used to flavor the food but are also one of the main elements in this recipe. Just one bite of this will leave you dizzy from the flavor.

Chicken Saoji Curry

It is said that all varieties of chili powder and household spices are used to make this Nagpur specialty. Saoji Chicken Curry is a crazy mixture of every sauce known to humanity, which isn’t true because they have their unique Saoji masala. It would help if you had plenty of tissues or a napkin nearby when enjoying this spicy Indian dish, which is as hot as Nagpur’s summers.