When a part of plant apart from its leaves, flower or stem is used for preserving, adding flavor or coloring the food, it is called a spice.

There are innumerable such options available to us. They not only add to the taste of the delicacy being used in but are often also responsible for the addition of some nutritional value and aroma to the food.

Sometimes we consume a food item just for its aroma and the whole credit, in this case, can be given to the spices being used in the dish. Some spices also find their use in medical and cosmetic purposes.

It is tough to gauge the exact number of spices known and being used on the planet today. But we have tried our best to enlist and characterize as many spices as we can to help you make your favorite delicacy with the exact taste that you wish.

The Various Types Of Spices Known to us are:


• Asafoetida


These are highly aromatic crystals which are also used for filtration.


• Anise

It is a grayish green seed belonging to the parsley family. It has a bold licorice flavor to it.


• Annatto Seed

Majorly used in cheese and butter for their coloring ability.


• Allspice

This spice has its natives in the Caribbean. Its taste and aroma are a blend of those from clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Thus, it is called allspice.


• Arrowroot Powder

It is usually used to make a base for various sauces and creams.


• Black Pepper

Black pepper originated in India. For its best flavor, it needs to be toasted before you blend it in the dish.


• Cassia Bark

It can be called a lighter alternative to cinnamon, which has a similar flavor but the taste is not as bold as cinnamon.


• Caraway


This has a unique spicy taste and a beautiful aroma to it.


• Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is first dried and then grounded to get this hot spice.


• Cardamom

Cardamoms are known to add their aromatic sweetness to all the dishes they are added to.


• Capers

These are tangy tasting buds which are often pickled and used.


• Cinnamon

It is the bark of laurel trees. This is a highly aromatic bark and can be bought ground or whole. Its flavor is a mix of spicy and sweet.


• Cloves

Cloves are usually seen in East Africa. They have a rich aroma to them and can be used in adding flavor to any delicacy.


• Coriander

The seeds of the coriander plant are often used for their sweet yet spicy flavor. It is available either ground or whole.


• Cumin


Cumin is majorly found in the middle east and is accompanied by a not so mild dusky and strong flavor and a similar aroma.


• Frankincense

A sweet tasting gum which is used in making


• Fennel

The seeds are used as a spice due to their mildly sweet flavor with a crisp to it.


• Fenugreek Seed

These seed are yellow and have characteristic earthy fragrance and have also found their place in traditional medicines.


• Gum

A popular spice of Kerala used in the preparation of fishes.


• Garlic

It belongs to the family of onions and has a bold and strong taste. It is also available fresh, dried or powdered.


• Ginger

Ginger is a root of the plant and is often sold fresh, dried or ground.


• Indian Bedellium Tree


It is a religiously valued flavorful spice which is highly aromatic.


• Inknut

It has a spicy medicinal flavor.


• Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapenos are first dried and then ground to receive this tangy hot spice.


• Jakya

Toasting these seeds gets their earthy crunchy flavor; otherwise, they are bland and odorless.


• Juniper Berries

Have you ever had flavored gin? Well, the flavor might just be from these berries.


• Licorice

Licorice is a root which has a mild savory flavor to it. The unique flavor cannot be described in a word.


• Mace

The nutmeg has a dark red covering called the mace. Both the covering and the meg have a delicate flavor to it.


• Mustard


Mustard can be bought in two forms, i.e., seeds or powdered. They have a smoked nutty flavor to them.


• Nigella Seed

Its aroma is very much like oregano and has a peppery flavor to it.


• Nutmeg

It can be bought ground or whole and is used in baking. The whole off it adds a fresher flavor than the grounded powder.


• Pepper Corns

The black, green and pink pepper come from berries called the peppercorns. These also have medicinal qualities.


• Pomegranate Seeds (Dried)

Pomegranate is first dried then ground to get this spice, which has the sweet tartness of the pomegranate to it.


• Pine Nuts

These nuts are received from Pine trees and are white. They add a mild resinous flavor.


• Poppy Seeds

It is very popular in India by the name of Khus Khus. Have a unique earthy flavor.


• Red Chili


Red chilies are ground after being dried to get this hot and spicey powder.


• Sesame Seed

These seeds have a nutty flavor to them with a hint of sweetness.


• Sichuan

Also popular as Chinese Pepper, It is known for its bold and robust taste.


• Saffron

It is very popular in India for religious purposes, otherwise used to add aroma and color to the food. It is one of the most expensive spices.


• Shallot

It is a part of the family of onions and is brown. Its taste is a mix of the taste of onion and that of garlic.


• Sour Dried Mango Powder

Mangoes are dried and ground to receive this sour and tart tasting spice.


• Star Anise

Similar in taste and flavor to anise, star anise resembles the shape of a star.


• Sumac


Sumac has a sour flavor & was included in the preparation of sour drinks in earlier times.


• Tamarind

The fruit of the tamarind tree. It has a tangy and tart like sour flavor and taste.


• Thymol Seed

These seeds are stout and shorter than anise and have an earthy-spicey taste.


• Turmeric

Turmeric is popular for its color & medicinal properties. It should be used in limited quantities only.


• Vanilla

It is a flavoring agent which originated in the Atlantic coast.


• Wasabi

Known for its unique taste & heat, it’s often used as a garnishing for beef, fish & avocado.


• Zest

This refers to the thin peel of citrus fruit. It is tangy to taste an adds the same tart flavor.



Though already the list seems pretty long and never-ending, yet the list might as well be longer, and we will be glad if you could help us add the local spices available in your region which we might have missed.

These spices not only add to the aroma and the deliciousness of the dishes but also help us indigestion at times. Each of these further have their benefits and effects on our overall health. They look like just powders but change the whole taste & aroma of the delicacy.

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