Please wait, the site is loading...

The secret to authentic Indian food is a homemade spice mix, says Anjum Anand. Read on for her ultimate guide to different spices...

 

Mustard seeds

When fried in hot oil, mustard seeds have a delicious nuttiness with just a hint of mustard heat. They come in white, yellow, black and brown varieties. Mustard oil is also very common in Indian cuisine.

Fennel seeds

 Fennel seeds have a slightly sweet, aniseed flavour. They magically bring both coolness and warmth to a curry.

Cinnamon 

We all know cinnamon from baking, but it adds a lovely fragrance to savoury food, too. You’ll often spot a stick of cinnamon in slow-cooked Indian dishes.

Cardamom 

Green cardamom has a uniquely fragrant, almost citrusy spice. It is much loved in Indian puddings and is part of the spice blend in many curries. Its cousin, black cardamom, is similar but even stronger. Both types of cardamom should be used sparingly, as they are very potent.

Black peppercorn

Black peppercorns are strong and spicy but also very aromatic. They add a delicious layer of fragrant flavour to curries.

Cumin

One of the most heavily used spices in Indian food, cumin adds an earthy warmth to everything and there isn’t an ingredient it disagrees with. You can use it ground or in seed form; once toasted, it adds a pleasant nuttiness to everything from curries to sala

Coriander 

Coriander brings a fresh, almost zingy bite to dishes. Available both as seeds and ground, it is gentle enough to pair with everything.

Nigella seeds

Nigella seeds (also known as black onion seeds) have a lovely flavour, like mild onion but with a little more bitterness. They’re excellent as part of a spice blend, or scattered over Indian breads.

Tumeric 

This is the spice that gives curries that vibrant golden-orange colour. It’s considered very healthy, due to its anti-inflammatory properties, but the taste can be rather earthy. A little goes
a long way, so don’t overdo it.

Cloves

A powerful spice that adds warmth and aroma. Cloves are best used with other strongly flavoured ingredients, so that they don’t overwhelm the dish.

Ready to cook? Don't miss our best-ever curry recipes.

 

About the author

Anjum Anand
Anjum is passionate about bold, home-cooked Indian food

We value your privacy

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our site and to allow us and third parties to customise the marketing content you see across websites and social media. For more information see our cookie policy.

Cookie Preference Centre

Learn more about what each cookie category does and choose your settings (toggle right to opt in or left to opt out). Cookie policy


Strictly Necessary

These technologies are needed to enable our websites and apps to run and to keep it secure.

Sainsbury's Magazine

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
PHPSESSID Until the browsing session ends
device_view 1 month
recentlyViewedRecipes 1 year
subscription-{popup-version-date}-PopupClosed 12 days

Vimeo

Enables Vimeo videos on the site

Cookie name Duration
_derived_epik 1 year

Constant Commerce

Enables shopping tools for recipe ingredients

Cookie name Duration
cc_a_h 10 years
cc_a_s Until the browsing session ends

DoubleClick

DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad-technology platform that enables us to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.

Cookie name Duration
DSID 10 days
IDE 1 year
RUL 11 months

Performance/Analytics

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Google

Google Analytics tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
__gads 13 months
_ga 28 months
_gat 1 minute
_gid 1 day
1P_JAR 1 month
ANID 10 days
CONSENT 18 years
NID 6 months
__Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
__Secure-3PSID 2 years
__Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year

Marketing/Targeting

These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.

Pinterest

Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

Cookie name Duration
_pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
_pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
_pin_unauth 1 year

Outbrain

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
adrl 5 weeks
apnxs 6 weeks
criteo 2 months
obuid 6 months

Twitter

Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.

Cookie name Duration
personalization_id 2 years
muc 2 years
ads_prefs 5 years
auth_token 5 years
dnt 5 years
guest_id 2 years
twid 5 years