As people tune into world cuisine, the desire to create certain dishes from different cuisine increases. Not everyone wants to shell out big bucks every time they crave something exotic, and with most grocery chains offering international brands and spices, they do not have to! The simplest way to quench your thirst for amazing food is to cook it yourself. If you are looking to make Indian food, the following are some of the must-have spices for Indian cooking that you must load up in your pantry.

Essential spices for Indian Cooking


Turmeric has lately been lauded for all the health benefits it offers and you will find many chefs on the Food Network talking about how a pinch of this spice adds layers of flavor to any dish. With a strong earthy flavor, this spice is one of the most essential ones in Indian cooking. Turmeric is a part of almost every Indian dish and therefore, if you are stocking up your kitchen with Indian spices for cooking, then the first place to start is with this spice.

Red Chilli Powder

Indian food is known for its spicy kick and that kick comes from red chilli powder. Do not confuse this with cayenne pepper (though it may look similar) – red chilli powder is much hotter than cayenne! However, if you cannot handle the heat, you can easily use cayenne as a milder substitute. The flavors may not be the same, but the substitute will not ruin the integrity of your dish – it will only make it more palatable for people who are not accustomed to the heat.

Cumin Seeds

Have you ever wondered where the smoky flavor in Indian cuisine comes from? Cumin seeds, when fried in hot oil or ghee, provide this flavor to the Indian food. Cumin seeds are easy to find, especially because they are a staple in Mexican cuisine and have been available in most American grocery stores since eons. If you cannot find cumin seeds, you can use cumin powder.


Many people love the taste of coriander. Others think it tastes like soap. For this reason, you can choose whether you want to add coriander to your dishes. It definitely packs a punch and adds great flavor to any dish. However, if you hate the way it tastes, you can live without it.

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves, or Kadi Patta, must not be ignored when looking for spices required for Indian cooking. They had a sweet-spicy flavor when you toast them in hot oil and are a staple in many different Indian dishes. You can choose to remove them from your cooking pot once the meal is prepared to avoid biting into them accidentally.

InstaGoLocal offers a wide range of international spices such as turmeric, garam masala, bay leaves, cumin seeds, chilli powder, cloves, cinnamon, and so on. You can buy all the necessary spices for Indian cooking on our website and impress your friends with your culinary skills the next time you host a dinner party!


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