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10 Essential Indian Spices Your Pantry Must Have

There are more than 40 spices used in Indian cuisine. Among these, some are occasional ingredients whereas some are mainstays in the kitchen shelves. There are some common spices staple in Indian dishes, and Indian households often choose to buy bulk herbs and spicesto meet the daily demand.

Indian dishes are famous for their delicious taste and distinguishing aroma, which is only possible with the various spices. If you are starting out with Indian cuisine, you must be familiar with these essential staple spices that go in every dish from savoury sambar to delicious dals and spicy porridges.

Here, know about top must-have Indian Spices


Turmeric is a prime spice in every savoury and spicy dish. Always used in a ground form, turmeric powder has a quite pungent earthy flavour and a bright yellow colour, which gives your dishes a nice golden colour. But when using this essential Indian spice, make sure the quality doesn’t increase more than a teaspoon, or otherwise, it may spoil the taste.

Red Chilli Powder

Originally, red chillies were not native to India. They got to the land through Portuguese traders. However, since they were first introduced, they got a permanent place in Indian kitchens. Red chilli powder is used to infuse brilliant red colour and spicy flavour to the food. There are a variety of red chillies found in India, differing in heat, so you may want to choose wisely which one to opt.


Indians normally use brown or black mustards for tempering – a process of releasing the flavours of spices by roasting them in oil or ghee. Mustards, when roasted, give food a nutty and earthy flavour to your food.


Cumin is another essential Indian spice that adds a warm, earthy flavour to the dishes. It is used in a variety of dishes both whole and powdered. Whole cumin seeds often go in tempering, with mustards and roasted and grounded cumin used later in the cooking process.


Coriander is a dried cilantro seed, often used in a powder form. Coriander powder offers its characteristic citrusy, earthy flavour to a variety of dishes from curries to dahls and almost every savour and spicy dish. Coriander has a pungent aroma, so it should be used judiciously to make sure it does not overpower other spices.

Black pepper

Black pepper is one of the most essential dried spices widely used in Indian dishes. And therefore, it is one of the frequently bought bulk whole spices that you will definitely find in an Indian kitchen. Black peppercorns, when added whole or powdered, add intense aroma, depth, and heat to foods.


Cardamom is a versatile spice that can go with any dish, whether sweet or spicy. It adds a delightful aroma to chai and desserts. Cardamom is a pod, containing seeds inside. It is more commonly used in a powdered form which is sprinkled on top of the dish when it’s ready.


Cinnamon or Cassia Whole is an essential Indian spice and often partnered with black peppercorn in a blended spice mix called garam masala. Like cardamom, cinnamon also has a sweet, pleasant aroma that perfectly goes with every dish. Cinnamon is often used in spicy meat dishes or refreshment drinks like tea or hot chocolate.

Bay Leaves

There is a variety of bay leaves available around the world, and Indian dishes use Indian bay leaves, which slightly differ in appearance and flavour from other variants like European laurel bay leaves. Bay leaves are more commonly used whole, roasted or fried in oil at the initial stages of the cooking process.

Garam Masala

Garam masala is a special spice blend powder, made of a combination of herbs and spices. You can easily find this powder from Indian supermarkets or blended spice distributors. This all-purpose spice powder is the easiest way to use almost all the essential spices together.

Buy bulk Indian spices online

Spices are the soul of Indian cuisine and you want to use quality ones to create that authentic flavour. At Kitchenhutt, we offer a vast variety of authentic Indian spices sourced directly from India. Our whole and powdered spices are revered by leading retailers, manufacturers, restaurants, and hospitality businesses across South Africa.

If you want to buy bulk herbs and spices, choose Kitchenhutt Spices as your spice partner. We are a prominent Indian spices wholesaler in Johannesburg, offering bulk delivery of spices pan South Africa. Get premium-quality spices and delight your taste buds with delectable Indian dishes. Contact us now.

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