The Spices Which Make Indian Food So Special

November 7, 2018

Indian cuisine has always been famous for its wide range of spices. In fact, there’s little doubt this is one of the many reasons curry has always been so popular.

You just can’t beat the sharp, zingy taste of a madras, or the smooth, tangy flavours of a creamy korma. Whether you like to order the spiciest thing on the menu or usually opt for something a little milder, Indian food is always packed with distinctive flavours.

The famous spice blends are exactly what makes Indian and Pakistani curry unlike anything else on the planet, offering a huge palette of unmistakeable tastes, smells and textures. But what are the most popular spices used in Indian food?


You can spot the bright, vivid yellow of turmeric from a mile away. This particular spice can be used either dried or fresh, but it always boasts a distinctive flavour and pungent smell, and it’s likely a key ingredient to many of your favourite curries. If you aren’t sure, then just keep an eye out for the bright shades of yellow!


This brown spice adds a strong bit of spice to Indian curry, while it also provides all kinds of health benefits. Believed to ease indigestion and help fight off the common cold, cumin is a popular spice which is usually strongest when freshly ground, however some places will simply use the seeds. Offering an aromatic, smoky fragrance and a slightly bitter taste, cumin has always played a big role in Indian cooking.


Indian cuisine utilises coriander as both a spice and a garnish, so you could end up eating some as part of your main and then again for dessert! Golden-brown in colour and adding a beautifully fruity flavour to any curry, coriander is a key ingredient in garam masala.

Of course, there are many other fantastic spices used in Indian cooking, such as cardamom, mustard seeds and cinnamon. If you want to try the lot of them, then head over the best Indian restaurant London has to offer, because Royal Nawaab offer some of the tastiest spice blends you’ll find in the capital!