8 Essential Ingredients for Cooking Your Favorite Indian Food

Indian food is one of the most complicated to cook, yet among the sweetest and best meals, you can find around the globe. However, if you want to master Indian cuisine, you should start with its ingredients. There are hundreds if not thousands of Indian ingredients available in the market today, but just a few of them are capable of making you enjoy Indian food without complication when preparing the food. Most people love Indian food and they would like to prepare it at home instead of visiting Indian restaurants

Unfortunately, they do not know the right ingredients to use when preparing the food. In this article, we are going to talk about the essential ingredients for cooking your favorite Indian food.

Where Can You Find The Ingredients?

Before we get started, we need to talk about the avenues where you can find these ingredients. This is because even though you know what you need, it might be quite difficult to get it.

Fortunately, technological advancement has made everything easy. You can buy herbs and spices online from the comfort of your home and have them delivered to you. You can also specify the amounts you need and make sure that everything matches your requirements.

Most Essential Indian Food Ingredients


Lentils have been used as food ingredients for a very long time. They come with so much protein compared to other legumes apart from soybeans, as well as dietary fiber.

They are also delicious and versatile, one of the main reasons why they are featured on this list. You can use them when making one of the most delicious Indian meals, dahls as well as soups for their silkiness.


Cloves are used in many Indian dishes especially because of their hit with aromatics. If you ask any Indian to name their top five ingredients, they are likely going to feature cloves in that list.

They are also known for the sweetness and heady feeling that they add to Indian food.


This is one of the ingredients that most people do not know about. It is, however, very popular in countries such as India, Morocco, Egypt, Argentina, Bangladesh, Nepal, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

These ingredients come from a plant that produces seeds that are amber yellow. You will love it, especially because of its Indian flavor.


Chickpeas come from the same family as Fenugreek above. They are not only common in Indian foods, but also in different cultures across the globe. 

For instance, if you look at the tips to cook the perfect comfort food, you will realize that chickpeas are also used in the form of chickpea flour, especially when making pizzas.

They are rich in nutrients, iron, folate, dietary fiber, and proteins. You can use chickpeas with different vegetable meals when whole. When they break down after long cooking, they add an amazing creaminess to meals.

Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds are known to be more mellow compared to other fresh herbs. They are also popular for their ability to add a certain pungency in meals that stands out even when used among other ingredients.


Tamarind is known for its taste that feels like a combination of miso paste, soy sauce, and tomatoes. You can use it when making dahls and curries. It also provides sweetness similar to that of caramel in meals.


Saffron is one of the Indian ingredients that are very rare to find. This is because each one of them is obtained from flowers producing only three pieces of saffron.

However, using a single front of this ingredient, you can change white rice into sunflower yellow rice with an amazing smell.


Indian foods would never be considered Indian without chilies. They come in different types, for instance, we have the green ones that look a bit wild, the small ones, the red ones, and the big ones that are mild.

Depending on the Indian food you are preparing, you will use the right type of Indian chili that goes with that food. 


There you have it! If you are a fan of Indian food and you would like to make it at home instead of having to visit a restaurant every time, then make sure that you have all these ingredients. They will play a very important role in making your dish truly Indian.

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