Indian Spices 1.1

Indian Spices


The history of Indian Spices dates back to the ancient Vedic Period, which we observe from the Vedas. Ancient texts and a plethora of other books of spices and recipes also give great details. In the Vedas, the names of the spices are written in their Sanskrit form, from which their Hindi names are derived. They are used in Ayurveda for treating wounds, septic and other surgical treatments.

Some of the most important of them being turmeric, commonly known as haldi, ginger, basil and many more. Since then spices have been the most important parts of our daily lives. After turmeric, the other known spices that date back to around 3000 BC and 2800 BC are Garlic and Onion respectively, they are native to Afghanistan, though they don’t find any mention in the Vedas some records show that they are known to Indians from around 2nd century BC.

Peppers are also used from a long time in India mostly in the southern parts and have been grown since 10000 to 7000 BC. Apart from them there are range of other Indian spices few of them are defined here :-

Indian Spices

Also known as Elettaria cardamomum, is native to India. It has three types: delicate Mysore, robust Mysore (the larger one), the Sri Lankan (aka inferior).


Derives from cumin plant Cuminum cyminum. It originated from the Mediterranean region, also known as kunchika and karavi.

Indian Spices_ 1.2

Is derived from the seeds of Trigonella foenum-graecum, is native to the European region and also called Methika in ancient India. Asafoetida, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Clove and Saffron are known to India since a long time, these spices are present in various works of Sushruta, Kautilya, and also in the Buddhist era.

Modern Times

Coming to modern history, the first trade deal of spices from India was with Egypt, which according to various texts, dates around 1700 BC. The import by Egypt was mostly for embalming the mummies. After that in the mid to late 1700s the first encounter of Indian traders with the British was for spices.

In those days the British traders and other European traders used to come to India mostly in search of spices. The Mughal Empire gave a great effect on the Indian Spices they brought a range of spices from Central Asia. The spices brought by the Mughals are widely used in restaurants where Mughlai cuisine is prepared, in the Northern and central parts of India.

The Mughals and the Central Asian people used the spices for marinating their food most importantly the meat dishes. In fact, the process of marination was brought to India by the Mughals, some experts also refer to the Europeans for this contribution.

Post Mughal Era and Present times

Spices play a vital role in preparing sauces, marinating, and most importantly preserving the food. It’s a fact that spices have been there from a long time in the Indian subcontinent. Some are native to India, others originated in different parts of the world. It’s also true that spices are the most important part of Indian culture and heritage. And if it’s a question where the spices are extensively and wholeheartedly used the answer is India. For more relevant data you can reach out to Delhi Deli Cafe.

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