The Essential Spices

These are the basic spices that you should have in your store cupboard, and the ones used in many of the recipes shown.


This golden coloured yellow powder is used in all dishes across Asia, in Southeast India its added to rice, fish and shellfish. Turmeric contains curcumin a powerful anti-flammatory, and some studies have shown that curcumin inhibits the growth of breast, stomach and colon cancer cells. You should not use to much, I say if you taste it then you’ve used to much, its my winter flu remedy which I swear by.

Coriander seeds and powder

No dish is complete without some coriander. The whole plant is edible the leaves are just amazing for finishing a dish. In fact you can make your own coriander powder by gently warming the seeds and then grinding them in a spice gridder to a fine powder. Coriander powder is used in most of our dishes as well as for marinades.

Cumin Seeds

Cumin is one of the most important spices in India (known as jeera) it has a sour woody taste but when heated it acquires a sweet, nutty taste. Cumin seeds simulate the appetite and help with indigestion and fevers and the essential oils are used in perfumes.


Garam means (warm) and massala means (blend of spices) It is used to most dishes either on its own or with other spices. You can have different garam massala from different regions across India as many people make it slightly differently depending on there personal taste.

Tandoori Powder

Tandoori massala is a mixture of spices made for roasting in a Tandoor (traditional clay oven). The spices vary from region however are typically made with garam massala, chilli, garlic, ginger, pepper, powders and sometimes other spices. It is fantasic on chicken roasted in the oven or on the bbq (if you dont haver a tandoor).