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8 Indian Spices You Can Use in Everyday Cooking

8 Indian Spices You Can Use in Everyday Cooking


1. Cardamom

As a fragrant, flavorful spice; cardamom is used in Indian meat, vegetables, chai, and sweet dishes throughout the country’s diverse cuisine. Try adding cardamom seeds or ground cardamom to your favorite rice or bread pudding recipe for a fragrant change from the ordinary.


2. Chilies

Chilies are used in a variety of curries in Indian cooking to add flavor and heat to vegetarian and meat dishes. Add chilies with extra cumin to a classic chili recipe or spice up your vegetable stew with heat.

istock/Sebastiaan de Stigter

3. Cilantro/Coriander

Used in curries and rice dishes, cilantro is a versatile ingredient that adds an earthy, fragrant punch to dishes. Add cilantro to fresh salsa or use it in marinades for beef, poultry, or fish.


4. Cinnamon

Often used to flavor chai and desserts, cinnamon is a pungent ingredient that can transform any dish into something savory and fragrant. Try adding cinnamon to your chocolate cake recipe or add a few dashes on your favorite chocolate sundae for an unexpected treat.


5. Cloves

With a rich, fragrant flavor, cloves are a wonderful addition to meat, vegetable, and rice dishes. Stud lamb with cloves and roast for a savory dish packed with flavor.


6. Curry leaves

Used as a seasoning in Indian cooking, curry leaves add unparalleled freshness to any dish. Try adding curry leaves to your favorite spice rub or add them to biscuit dough for a savory addition to your meal.


7. Tamarind

Popular throughout India, tamarind is used in meats, pastes, and chutneys. Tamarind is a natural meat tenderizer, so add it to your favorite meat marinade for a tart twist of flavor. Add tamarind concentrate to your favorite citrus mixed drink for a unique taste.


8. Turmeric

Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is popularly used in Indian curries and chutney. The pungent flavor and bright yellow-orange color makes it a powerful addition to any meal. Try adding turmeric to poultry and vegetable dishes for flavor and fragrance.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest