Common Indian spices and their Hindi and English names

The article gives the names of common Indian spices as they are commonly known in Hindi and their English names. Most Indians are quite familiar with Hindi names of the Indian spices. People sometimes face a problem to know the names of spices in English when they read them in Hindi in articles written for preparation of recipes or it can be vice-versa. As such, attempt is made here to give the names common spices in Hindi arranged alphabetically and their equivalents in English.

How important are the spices in Indian kitchens

• Use of spices is very common in Indian kitchens as against the kitchens of the west European countries. Of late, the Europeans also have started relishing the taste of the spicy Indian food. India is known as a country of spices. There is not a dish whether vegetarian of non-vegetarian in which one or the other spice is not used. It may be an ordinary juicy curry or a fried vegetable curry, there is no taste in it without the use of spices.

• The spices are used in salads, chutneys, pickles or any fried or baked snacks. This is the reason that an Indian finds it very difficult to relish the food when he or she visits some other countries where the food is served without using a lot of spices. Every culinary process in Indian kitchen cannot be thought of without the use of one or more spices.

• The Indian spices are not only good preservatives but also are very good for seasoning in addition to having many medicinal values giving health benefits. So these days, the taste is not only the criteria for which the Indian spices are used in kitchens, people prefer to use them in the curries for their medicinal values too. The spices not only add taste to the Indian curries but also give them the attractive colours. Our appetite increases at the very look of the colour of the cooked curries. The pleasant fragrance emanating from the cooking vessels due to the presence of spices in the curries being cooked makes even the passers by and neighbour feel a sense of envy at the household where these culinary processes are going on.

Common Hindi names of the Indian spices and their English equivalents

It so happens sometimes that when we are reading the preparation method of some recipe from a magazine, newspaper, book or while surfing on the internet, we find it difficult to easily know the Hindi or English names of spices if the author has not given the name of the spices in both the languages. So I have tried to give a comprehensive list of the common Indian spices below in both the languages. The names of spices are given alphabetically in Hindi and their equivalent English names are given against them:

  • Ajwain - Carom seeds or Thymol seeds

  • Amchoor - Dry Mango powder

  • Anardana - Pomegranate seeds

  • Curry paak or curry patta - Curry leaves

  • Dalchini - Cinnamon

  • Dhania - Coriander seeds

  • Elaichi - Cardamom

  • Gur - Jaggery

  • Haldi - Turmeric

  • Hari mirch – Green chilli

  • Heeng - Asafoetida

  • Imli - Tamarind

  • Jaiphal - Nutmeg

  • Javitri - Mace

  • Jeera - Cumin seeds

  • Kala Namak - Black Salt

  • Kali Mirch - Black Pepper

  • Kalonji - Nigella or onion seeds

  • Kasoori Methi - Dry Fenugreek Leaves

  • Kesar - Saffron

  • Khus Khus - Poppy seeds

  • Lal mirch – Red chilli

  • Laung - Cloves

  • Lehsoon – Garlic

  • Magaz - Dried Pumpkin / Water Melon seeds

  • Methi - Fenugreek seeds

  • Namak - Salt

  • Rai / Sarson - Mustard seeds

  • Saunf - Aniseed or Fennel seeds

  • Saunth - Dry Ginger

  • Shah Jeera - Black Cumin seeds or Caraway seeds

  • Shakkar / Chini - Sugar

  • Sirka - Vinegar

  • Tejpatta - Bay leaf

  • Til - Sesame seeds

  • Tulsi - Basil


Author: Sukhdev Singh09 Dec 2011 Member Level: Gold   Points : 0

Dear editor,
This article has been inadvertently posted twice due to internet connection problem. Kindly delete the duplicate one.

Author: Kranthi Kumar (K K)13 Dec 2011 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

Dear Sukhdev Singh,

Your article is really helpful for those who moved from their base location to any other location for their career or job.

I also moved from Hyderabad to Delhi recently and preapred a list from Telugu to Hindi, by the way, 3 months have already passed.

K K.

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: