Buknu – Uttar Pradesh’s Secret Spice
Image Credit: Buknu is a blend of spices | Pexels

If you are not from Uttar Pradesh, here are very slim chances that you have heard about this magic masala called Buknu. Even in Uttar Pradesh, people living in and around the areas of Kanpur and Prayagraj are more aware about this spice. So, what is buknu? How to make it? Where did it originate from? What are its health benefits? Let us try to answer all of these questions below. 

Buknu most likely originated in the city of Kanpur. Although, there is no concrete proof of the same, the popularity of the spice in the area and people talking about eating it for as long as they can remember makes the claim very believable. Buknu means to grind in the local lingo. Hence, the spice got its name from the process that is used to prepare it. Several masalas, that are as good standalone, are grinded together to make this spice, that is often also used as a condiment. 

As a Bengali living in Jharkhand, I had never heard about Buknu. It was when I came to Delhi for my higher education that I got introduced to it through my roommate from Prayagraj. The food that our PG facility used to serve, like most other hostels, was tasteless. So, she brought this magical spice from her house that would amp up even the plainest lauki ki sabzi or the dreaded tinde ki sabzi. And not just the taste, there are several health benefits of Buknu. It helps in better digestion and often used as a kind of chooran. The condiment can be stored for more than half a year, so people make it in bulk and keep jars of Buknu in their kitchens. Let us see how this simple mixture of spices can be made at home.

Buknu powder | Instagram - @world_of_homiez


  • 2 tbsp amchur powder 
  • 6-7 green elaichi seeds 
  • ¼ tsp hing 
  • 1 tsp haldi powder 
  • 1 tsp jeera 
  • 1 tsp ajwain 
  • ¼ cup oil 
  • 1 tsp black salt 
  • Salt, as required 


  • Roast the elaichi, jeera, hing in oil. Make sure not to burn them. 
  • Dry roast all the other spices including ajwain. 
  • Mix both the roasted spices and blend them together. 
  • Add black salt and salt to the blended mixture. 
  • Your Buknu is ready to be eaten. 

Sprinkle a generous amount of Buknu on your sabzi, chaat, dal or even chapati and enjoy the spicy, tasty meal!