Indian Spices That Deserve Much More Attention
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India is a land known for great cooking and we talk of great cooking, we cannot just forget to mention spices. The spices used in India are innumerable and offers unique flavours and aroma. These spices add unmatched colour to dishes. Even a pinch of these spices can transform a plain dish into a lip-smacking one. 

Even though we use so many spices in a plethora of dishes every day, there are still some spices that many of us don’t know about. These spices might not be used that much but are equally useful and thus, should be on your kitchen shelves. Let us take a look at a list of some spices that are lesser known but do receive a lot more attention and appreciation.  


Kalonji also known as nigella seeds are tiny black-coloured seeds which we see on the top of biscuits and naans. Many won’t know but Bengalis are well aware of this spice. Kalonji is an integral part of Bengali masala known as paanch phoran. These taste slightly bitter but are packed with ample health benefits. Kalonji is a spice used in several traditional dishes to boost flavour. Just like cumin, it is tempered in oil before putting it into the dish. 


Anaardana is dried pomegranate seeds, which you might have guessed from their name. This spice is best known for its tangy flavour and for enhancing the taste of certain dishes. Anaardana is also used as a thickening agent in some dishes and is also known for its preservation qualities. Believe me, this anaardana could do wonders for your chole masala. Try it yourself.


Having a similar appearance to ajwain, these are actually dried fruits of wild celery which is a flowering plant. This spice smells like parsley and tastes like celery. Just like kalonji, this spice is also used in Bengali dishes and is also a vital part of paanch phoran. But, people in other parts of the country hardly know about it.  


Ratanjot also known as alkanet root is a known herb grown mostly in Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. This spice adds an enchanting colour to many dishes. Want to know an interesting fact? Ratanjot is the reason behind the signature crimson of mouth-watering Rogan Josh.


Mostly used in Maharashtrian cuisine, Kalpasi is a type of lichen, also known as dadag phool and black stone flower. This spice has no taste of its own but adds a unique taste to the dish it is added into. What is this mystery? This spice is blended with other spices to form a masala. Like in Maharashtra, it is used in famous goda masala while in Lucknow, it is used in making famous potli masala. It is mostly cultivated in Tamil Nadu and grows well in the high-elevation area. 

Bhut Jolokia 

Bhut Jolokia has been declared the hottest chilli pepper in the world. Also known by the name raja mirchi, naga chilli or ghost chilli, bhut jolokia is often used in the savoury preparations in Northeast regions. If you want your food to be spicier like hell, get your hands on this chilli pepper.

Marathi Moggu 

Marathi Moggu is the least known spice among all. It is an unopened flower bud of the red silk cotton tree and is found mostly in the Chettinad region. Marathi moggu has an appearance similar to clove and is commonly used in Karnataka delights saagu and bisi bele baath. This spice is fried in oil for amazing flavour.


Another least known spice is jakhiya or cleome viscosa grown found in the Indian Himalayan region. They add a tempting aroma to any dish and are usually dried before being put to use. Extensively used in Garhwal cooking, it is used in almost every dish there. They have a sharp smell and add a unique flavour to the dishes they are put in.   

These are some lesser-known spices and we bet you didn’t know about most of them. Let us know if you use these spices and also tell us about any other lesser-known spice that you think deserves more attention!!