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My Must Have Top 7/10 Spices

One thing I am constantly being asked by people is what spices do you need? This is a great question if you are new to Indian spices and if you want to reduce waste and use the right spices as often as you can. Now this isn’t set in stone, but generally in most Indian homes you will have at least 5 of these 7 spices.

  1. Turmeric powder - Nearly all Indian dishes with have this vibrant, colourful and aromantic spice. You can also use fresh turmeric root, but this is not always easy to find and not ideal for creating a even flavour base.
  2. Chilli powder - I go for plain , but you can try hot or even extra hot if you choose. The chilli plant is first dried in the sun and then crushed into this beautiful red hot spice. used for heat and flavour and also colour. getting this balanced right is crucial to a perfect curry.
  3. Ground coriander - A typical southern Indian spice, and one of my favourites. Made from the coriander seeds, this spice is packed with vitamins and minerals, and gives a citrus and nutty tone to your curry. It also helps to thicken the sauce.
  4. Cumin seeds - I absolutely love this spice, and I buy it whole, so that it will keep its freshness longer, ready for me to grind it in a pestle and mortar if needed. Used in many ways, fried, lightly toasted or crushed, you won’t want to be without this spice.
  5. Black Mustard seeds - These tiny little seeds pack a big punch when it comes to flavour, and work perfectly with the cumin seeds. I particularly love this combination with vegetarian dishes. Best used when added to oil for a few seconds, but be careful they will spit quite vigorously!
  6. Paprika - The milder relation to the chilli plant, this sweet yet flavour full spice is made of red peppers. A natural vibrant red colour that will give your tikka’s or rogan josh’s that beautiful red tone, without any artificial colourings.
  7. Garam Masala - Meaning ‘hot spices’ it is a unique mix of several spices (depending on the brand you buy) Every garam masala will have its individual taste but generally you will have ingredients like cumin cardamom, bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves. Simply find one you like.

So there you have it, you quick guide to my top 7 spices. I do also have a few others I use frequently, like cardamom, cinnamon and black peppercorns, and I have teamed with the wonderful Spicekitchen who have put my top 10 spices together for you in a beautiful Indian spice tin. You can chose from a regular tin or a gift tin wrapped in a handmade sari case. Every wrap is different so it makes a unique gift for any spice fan.