Indian Spices : Magical Properties & Ways to Use Them



A- Z Blogging challenge and blogging the letter I. This will probably be my most colorful post ever since am blogging Indian Spices. My speciality since I spent half my life in India ‘The land of Color and Spice’. Indian cuisine is quite popular all over the globe and for those who attempt making it at home, you know you cannot make an authentic Indian dish without Indian spices. There are several, but am going to describe a few of the basic ones, explain their properties and some ways you can use them in your dishes. A lot of these have healing antioxidant properties.


Properties and common uses for Indian Spices:

Curicumin Aka Turmeric : My favorite or all Indian spices and probably the one I use the most. Turmeric has been getting a lot of attention proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. It is also a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent. Use liberally in chili,  curries and in soups. You can use it in egg salad, chicken salad and to flavor rice. I have a lemon, turmeric flavored rice and a lentil chili with spinach and curicumin which are infused with turmeric and taste delish!

Chili :  Can add spice to your meals and a zest to your dishes.  Chillies may also help in weight loss by speeding up the metabolism. After eating hot peppers you tend to perspire, this is a sign that your  metabolism is increasing and that food calories will be burnt more efficiently. It is also said to be an anticoagulant and  helps prevent the formation of blood clots which can cause heart attacks and strokes. This is hot stuff, so use sparingly in dishes where you want the ” hot” taste. I generally don’t use more than 1/2 to 1 tsp even in the spiciest Indian dishes. Chili is strong and  even a little bit goes a long way. Use in Curries, Chili, and in sweet & sour dishes.

Cumin : Another favorite of mine I use this spice a lot. If you have a coffee mill, you can grind your own cumin powder using fresh seeds. It’s so fresh and the aroma of freshly ground cumin is exotic. An excellent source of iron, cumin seeds have traditionally been noted to be of benefit to the digestive system. Cumin seeds may also have anti-carcinogenic properties.This effect may be due to cumin’s potent free radical scavenging abilities. It is also said to enhance the liver’s detoxification enzymes. Use to flavor anything where you may use pepper. Use in omelette, veggies, salads, soups, meat dishes, curries, chili, dips etc. It has a nutty peppery flavor which add a punch to any dish.

Coriander Powder:The seeds are excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zincand magnesium.  They have a high antioxidant score and unlike other dry spice seeds that lack  vitamin C, coriander seeds contain ample amount of this anti-oxidant vitamin. Use in pickling, chutneys, stews, curries, marinades , soups, chili, meat dishes similar to Cumin.

Garam Masala : Literal translation from Hindi to English is ” hot spices’ . It is a combination of spices and is generally used at the end of cooking to add a subtle spicy flavor and aroma to a dish. Since it is a combination of most of the above spices the properties would be the same. I make my own garam masala and it’s so much fresher and gives me the flexibility of adding my own special spices to it. I have shared my recipe, but you can add and omit spices to customize. Hope you like it !








For more posts in my A- Z blogging challenge click here ! Check back tomorrow. I am blogging the letter J and have a juicy post 😉 Talking about the benefits of juicing !!!!

About Sunithi Selvaraj, RD

Registered Dietitian with a sweet tooth and a passion for eating healthy ( quite a combo) Nutrition Geek, Healthy Nut.........


  1. Makes me want to cook some spicy Indian meal..:)
    Enjoyed reading about all the spices I use ona daily basis..thankx Sue!!

  2. Yay ! colorful alright !!! Have to go get me some spices right now I think. Indian stores , asian market? I have cumin. use it a bit, but need some chili & the yellow stuff. Like the gram masala recipe ! So fresh !!!

    • sunithi selvaraj says:

      Even Costco carries Indian spices these days, but their bottles are huge 🙂 The garam masala is fresh ! Thanks for visiting !

  3. Need to find some good I ndian recipes to make. U have a few I think, but put it under a tab so I can find it. Useful post! Thanks !!

    • sunithi selvaraj says:

      Thanks for the reminder ! I do need to put them under tabs to make and easy search. Will do that over the weekend if I have enough recipes that is ! I dont have too many, but by the time A- Z is over, will have built up my recipe portfolio a bit !

  4. Pretty post to look at! I do use Tumeric quite a bit and love it! I also make a lot of chili and freeze it, never thought of adding some of these, but I will;)

    • sunithi selvaraj says:

      Yeah! is pretty right ? Doubt I'll can do a more colorful one ! Turmeric tastes good with egg salad & chicken salad too. Just a pinch, so it wont overpower the taste. Thanks for visiting !

  5. Indian food is my favorite, my daughter and I have hit a local Indian buffet nearly every Saturday for lunch since she was born. Wish I lived closer, would love to try some of your homemade curry dishes!

    • sunithi selvaraj says:

      You should move closer, then I can trade my Ahem "Healthy" Indian food for your awesome photography skills and have beautiful splashy pis like yours on my blog 🙂 Thanks for visiting Beard !

  6. Indian spices are so colorful! I enjoyed learning all about the spices' magical properties:)
    Happy A-Zing!

  7. sharkbytes says:

    They sure are pretty. I don't like things real spicy, but I like many of these flavors in moderation. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month. My alphabet blog is

  8. I was looking at some of your blog posts on this site and I conceive this internet site is very informative! Retain posting.

  9. Morgan Rae says:

    Can you please blog about the spiritual uses my Umi told & taught me so much using ginger simmering brings out opens people up to talking openly

  10. HMMMN!!! I miss Indian Food!!!! Great blog you got Sunithi!

  11. very nice blog and informative. Thanks for sharing with us spices in india make our food so taste and spicy.

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