Dagad Phool And More: 6 Unique Indian Spices You Must Know About
Image Credit: Dagad Phool

India has a rich culinary heritage that dates back thousands of years and spices have played a central role in taking Indian cuisine to such a spot. Using spices is deeply ingrained in the culture and each region of India has its own distinct cuisine and spice blends. Many Indian spices are known for their potential medicinal properties. Spices like turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom have been used in traditional Ayurvedic and Unani medicine for centuries.

Celebrated for their aromatic qualities and flavours, Indian spices have not only played a culinary role in India but also hold cultural significance. They have been used in religious rituals, traditional ceremonies, and festivals. Spices are deeply intertwined with Indian culture and history. You know the best part? Indian spices are versatile and can be used in a wide range of dishes, from curries to snacks, sweets, and beverages. But apart from very basic and common spices, here are six unique Indian spices that you should know about too.

Dagad Phool 

Also known as stone flower, Dagad phool is a lichen with a unique, earthy, and musky flavor. It is primarily used in Maharashtrian cuisine, particularly in spice blends like Goda masala and in dishes like biryani to impart a distinct aroma and flavor. Have you ever tried this spice before?

Jawakhar Namak

Jawakhar namak or suhaga is a spice variety well-known for its gastrointestinal, detoxifying, as well as skincare benefits. It can also be beneficial for digestion as well as respiratory comfort. Thus, it is used in herbal teas, topical applications, and many more commodities.

Kali Haldi

Kali Haldi, also known as Black Turmeric, is a rare and lesser-known variety of turmeric. Kali haldi, due to its dark, almost blackish color is distinct from the more common yellow turmeric. It is highly valued for its unique properties and potential health benefits. This rare spice is traditionally used in Ayurvedic and traditional Indian medicine for its potential therapeutic properties. 


Jakhiya, also known as "wild mustard seeds," is a traditional spice commonly used in Indian and Nepali cuisine, particularly in the regions of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in India, as well as in parts of Nepal. It has a distinct and pungent flavor with a slight bitterness. It is believed to aid in digestion and has been used to treat minor stomach ailments.


Nagkesar is a spice derived from the dried flower buds of the Nagkesar tree and is valued for its aromatic and medicinal properties. Nagkesar is highly prized for its strong and pleasant fragrance. It has a sweet, floral aroma with spicy and woody undertones. This spice has anti-inflammatory, digestive, and antioxidant qualities. 

Marathi Moggu

Marathi Moggu is a unique and lesser-known spice primarily used in the regions of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The spice is derived from the dried flower buds of the kapok and has a distinctive appearance and flavor. This spice has a mild, woody, and slightly sweet flavor with hints of cinnamon and a faint citrusy note.