8 Essential Indian Spices You Can Easily Shop Online

Categories: Indian groceries online
Posted: September 14, 2022
Indian cuisine has a long tradition of using many spices. Full of various flavours and aromas – this cuisine has found much popularity around the world. The richness and diversity of Indian food comes from the wide range of spices it uses. Here are 8 essential Indian spices you should look out for when grocery shopping online.


Turmeric is arguably the most iconic among Indian spices. It is used in most Indian dishes. The spice holds a very special place in Indian cuisine and culture - a curry without turmeric is almost unimaginable. It is renowned for its vibrant yellow colour and medicinal properties. Turmeric is thought to help with various illnesses, including arthritis, digestive disorders, allergies, and others. In cooking, Turmeric is used for its earthy aroma and orangish yellow colour. Raw turmeric looks quite a bit like ginger. Usually, in cooking it is used in the form of a dried powder. You can find both types when shopping for Indian groceries online.

Red Chilli Powder

Indian food is generally thought of as a bit spicy. Most of this heat comes from the use of red chilli powder - made by drying and crushing red chilli peppers. The most popular type of this spice used in Indian cuisine is the Kashmiri variety. Kashmiri chilli powder is milder than the regular type. It also gives food a darker red colour. This type of chilli powder can add flavour while not making food too spicy. Most Indian grocery shops online usually carry both regular red chilli powder and Kashmiri chilli powder.


Saffron is the most premium of Indian spices. It is known in the Indian subcontinent for its use in biryani and saffron rice. It is also used in a wide variety of sweets. As a very expensive spice, it is usually used in very small amounts. Saffron is also used in premium renditions of classic Indian drinks like lassi. In its natural form, it is the crimson stigma of the purple saffron crocus flower. These are plucked by hand and dried before being sold. These dried stigmas are called saffron threads and are the end product. They add a beautiful golden hue to food and drinks. It also has a sweet hay-like aroma that makes it very desirable. Although a bit expensive than other spices, Saffron can be easily found when looking for Indian groceries online.


Cloves are an integral part of Indian cuisine. They are the dried aromatic flower buds of the clove tree. The spice is very pungent and slightly sweet in flavour and has a refreshing aroma. It is used in a large variety of Indian dishes including curries, rice dishes, and drinks. Because of their strong flavour, cloves are generally used sparingly. When shopping for Indian spices online, cloves can be found both whole and as a ground powder.

Cumin Seeds

Cumin seeds are an integral part of Indian cooking – also one of the most widely available Indian spices on online groceries. They are the dried seeds of a plant in the parsley family. In some ways, cumin seeds look similar to fennel and anise seeds. It is usually used in combination with a variety of other spices. Cumin adds smoky notes to dishes when used. It is used either roasted in oil, or as a ground powder. Roasting it leads to the best release of flavour. But you shouldn’t overdo it, and roast for about 30 seconds at most. Ground cumin is best added later in the cooking process. It is also a great digestive, and pairs well with yogurt-based dishes.


While cardamoms are very common in Indian cooking, there are technically two varieties. Green cardamoms are smaller pods and considered true cardamoms. They have a very intense aroma and flavour. The fragrance is very fresh, with eucalyptus-like notes. The flavour on the other hand is mildly sweet, but also pungent if directly bitten into. Green cardamoms are considered a very premium spice. They are used in both sweet and savoury dishes, adding both fragrance and flavour. Black cardamoms on the other hand are larger in size and are less expensive. They have a smoky, camphor-like flavour and aroma. These are typically used only in spicy and savoury dishes. Black cardamoms also come from a different plant than green ones. When shopping for Indian groceries online, both types of cardamom are available from many brands.


Coriander is one of the oldest Indian spices and one of the most common spices added to the cart when grocery shopping online. The spice has notes of citrus in its flavour and aroma. It is the powdered dried seeds of the cilantro plant. The seeds are tan coloured, round, and very hard. This is why they are usually grinded into powder for use. However, whole seeds are also used as the base for various spice mixes. To use whole coriander, the seeds need to be dry roasted. They should be roasted until there is a light golden-brown tinge.


Fenugreek is a very common spice in Indian households. The spice is a dried seed that looks a bit like tiny tan-coloured stones. Known as a healing spice, it is said to reduce flatulence and lower blood sugar. The seeds on their own are quite bitter. As such, the seeds are used sparingly in cooking. The spice is also used as a base for various mixes and in making Indian pickles. Fenugreek can be bought as ground powder and as seeds when buying Indian groceries online.