Types of Spices: Ultimate List of Spices with Pictures and Names

You may transform a plain dish into one packed with flavor and scents by using a variety of spices in your cooking. In a variety of cuisines from around the globe, you may utilize a wide range of spices. There are practically endless different aromatic spices. Cumin, nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon are some fragrant spices that offer food a wonderful fragrance and flavor. Garlic, chili, ginger, and mustard seeds can all be used to spice up a dish for a bit of heat or kick.

However, distinguishing cumin from coriander seeds may be difficult for you. You could be searching for a curry spice recipe. You might want to check you have a comprehensive list of Indian and Caribbean spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, chili pepper, and garlic. Spices have been used in cooking by humans since the beginning of time. Cinnamon and black pepper are thought to be the earliest spices used in cooking.

Merchants carried local spices with them when they traveled to distant lands, then returned with new and unusual spices. Some of the most commonly traded spices in the world include nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cumin, and pepper. The most common spices used in various forms of international food will be discussed in this article. You’ll also learn how to prepare mouthwatering, aromatic, and delicious dishes and desserts using a variety of spices.

What’s the difference between herbs and spices?

It’s crucial to understand the distinction between herbs and spices before we examine the list of spices. It’s possible to be misled since spices might be classified as herbs on occasion. Coriander, garlic, ginger, fennel, and turmeric are some of the scented spices on the list. These identical components, on the other hand, might be included in an aromatic herb list. As a result, what is the distinction?

Spices are plants that are used to flavor food, and they include seeds, bark, roots, and fruit. Herbs, on the other hand, are plants that are used in cooking and include leaves, flowers, and stems. Dry ingredients are more common, while fresh or dried herbs are more common.

List of Spices

The part of the plant from which the spice originates, its flavor type, or the spice blend may be used to classify spices. Cajun spice, curry spice, jerk spice, and garam masala are just a few examples of spice combinations using numerous spices. The following is a list of spices and their flavors:

  • Hot spices Pepper, cayenne pepper, hot paprika, chili, and fennel are some of the ingredients.
  • Sweet spices Allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, saffron, and coriander are examples of spices.
  • Common spices Cinnamon, black pepper, garlic, and ginger are all possibilities.
  • Exotic spices Saffron, fenugreek, sumac, and turmeric are among the spices used.
  • Popular spices Black pepper, paprika, garlic, and chili are examples of spices that you may already have in your kitchen.

Types of Spices With their Picture and Name

Now let’s take a closer look at some of the most valuable spices around and how to employ them in cooking.


Turmeric is a yellow aromatic root spice with the scientific name Curcuma longa. It is often used in Indian cuisine. This is a ginger-like spice that is frequently used in Indian cuisine. Turmeric is also known as the “golden spice” because of its hue. It may be used to enhance the color of curries, rice, and stews.

The flavor of turmeric is earthy and woody. In Ayurvedic golden turmeric milk, this Asian spice is also popular to use.


Cinnamon is one of the most well-known and fragrant spices, and it is found in the photograph. The spice has a brown color and comes from the bark of a tree. Sweet pastries, savory meals, and coffee are all sprinkled with cinnamon spice powder. In numerous cuisines across the globe, cinnamon is used.

True cinnamon is referred to as the term “Ceylon cinnamon,” and it is the finest variety. Although it is less expensive, cassia cinnamon gives the same flavor.


Garlic (Allium sativum) is a spice used in almost every cuisine throughout the globe. You’ll find it in both fresh and garlic powder form. This piquant spice adds complexity to a dish as well as flavor and seasoning. In cooking, you might crush or chop fresh garlic cloves to use it. In addition, you may mix your own spice blend by using garlic powder. The antibacterial properties of fresh garlic are well-known.


The flowering plant Zingiber officinale is sometimes known as ginger. Ginger is a spice produced from the root of the ginger plant, much like turmeric. This pungent, pale-yellow substance has a strong peppery flavor with distinct zesty overtones and is somewhat sweet.

To spice up a dish, curry, or dessert, you can use ginger in a variety of ways. It may be chopped, juiced, grated, or used as a powdered ingredient. You can also make a warm ginger beverage quickly. In Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and other Asian cuisines, ginger is a common ingredient.


Pepper refers to several spices with a hot flavor that adds heat to a dish. It comes in a range of colors. Peppercorns (Piper nigrum) are used in any sort of savory dish and may be pink, black, white, or green. Peppers can also mean hot peppers from the Capsicum genus.

Mild-tasting sweet bell peppers might give way to the fiery little peppers like Scotch bonnet and Jalapeño, which leave a “searing” sensation in your mouth. Paprika (or cayenne) powder is made from these sorts of peppers. Later in the list, you’ll discover more about these spices.


Saffron is utilized in very tiny doses to flavor diverse dishes. The stigmas of the saffron crocus are tiny thin orange threads that look like saffron spice. Among the sweet spices, this exotic orange spice is listed. It gives food a beautiful vibrant color and has a floral, slightly sweet flavor and aroma.

Saffron is used in Persian, Middle Eastern, and European cuisines as a cooking spice. Saffron is lovely because a little goes a long way despite its high cost.


Myristica is the scientific name for the spice we call nutmeg, and it is used in both sweet and savory dishes. Nutmeg is a tree nut or seed with a fragrant aroma and a warming sweet flavor, as the name implies. To add warm spicy tastes to sweet and salty dishes, the hard seed is ground into a powder.

In spice blends, nutmeg is common in Caribbean, Indonesian, Indian, and European cooking. It is often combined with cinnamon. Nutmeg pairs nicely with lamb, tomato dishes, and vegetable stews when used in the kitchen. It is a common ingredient in cold weather beverages like mulled wine because of its warming, comforting scent.


The nutmeg seed has a coating called mace. It has a flavor comparable to nutmeg but is less strong, and it is the scarlet layer surrounding the nutmeg seed. Mace turns yellow-brownish after it has been dried. Mace is often utilized in sweets to provide sweet lemon and nutmeg hints since its flavor is less powerful.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a red, hot, spicy powder that is produced by crushing dried cayenne peppers. It may also be found as flakes or ground powder. Any dish can be spiced up with cayenne pepper, which adds heat while preserving the acidity. Seafood, curries, casseroles, and hot sauces are all enhanced by Cayenne pepper.

Certain cayenne peppers may include a blend of various chilies. If you prefer the chili flavor without the heat, this is normally a hot, pungent spice. However, there are milder kinds available if you want them.


Paprika is ground from dried bell peppers, not hot chilies, and it can be sweet, hot, or smoked. To impart a sweet, yet somewhat earthy flavor to recipes, sweet paprika is used. Hot paprika, the key component of Hungarian goulash, is another type of paprika. Alternatively, if you want to add smokiness to a stew or barbecue sauce, you can use smoked paprika.

Chili Pepper

Chili pepper is an ideal spice and heat addition to Caribbean, Indian, or Mexican meals because it adds red hot flavor. A blend of spices used in Latin American cooking is also known as chili powder. Chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and oregano are just a few of the spices found in chili power.


Fennel seeds have a delicate licorice flavor and fragrance and are often utilized in Mediterranean recipes. Ground seeds are utilized in French, Italian, Spanish, and Middle Eastern recipes since it thrives in Mediterranean nations. Anise spice and fennel taste are similarly similar, and the two spices are commonly mixed up.

Ground fennel seeds are an essential spice in Chinese five-spice powder and Indian garam masala, and they are employed in exotic foods for that. The aromatic herbs list also includes fennel leaves.

Onion Powder

Ground onion powder is an ideal seasoning spice for practically any recipe, and onion powder (left) and onion flakes (right) are two different forms of onions. Homemade spice mixes, used in hamburgers, or in stews, soups, or marinades may be made with dehydrated onion powder. You may also sprinkle dried onion powder on pizzas, poultry, or use it as a meat rub. It’s an excellent substitute for salt.

Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds are a culinary spice with a sweet citrusy flavor that can be ground into a dried powder. In Mexican and Indian food, coriander spice is a key component. Fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves are often added to enhance the spice’s lemon flavors.

Dry roasting small brown round seeds with other spices to release the essential oils will increase their pungency and fragrance.


Cumin seeds (left) and cumin powder (right) are two different forms of the same spice, which is Latin name Cuminum cyminum. Cumin spice is combined with coriander and other fragrant spices in numerous Asian, African, Mexican, Tex-Mex, and Indian dishes.

Cumin seeds give a fiery, nutty taste with earthy undertones when used in cooking. They are either whole or ground. In ancient Greek, Moroccan, and Roman cuisine, cumin was widely used. Cuminum cyminum is still referred to as “Roman cumin” in several countries.

Caraway Seed

Caraway seeds (Carum carvi) are also known as meridian fennel or Persian cumin, and they look a lot like cumin seeds. Caraway seeds and cumin seeds appear to be virtually identical when examined together. In desserts, cakes, and rye bread, whole caraway seeds are frequently used. Eastern European cuisines utilize this pungent, anise-like spice to garnish scones, flavor cheese, and flavor liqueurs.

Black Cumin

Black cumin (Nigella sativa) is not related to caraway seeds or brown cumin seeds, as the name implies. In Indian and Middle Eastern cooking, dry-roasted black seeds impart a pungent, bitter flavor to recipes. Black seed oil is made using this kind of black cumin spice. Black cumin (Bunium bulbocastanum) is another type of spice.

This spice has a smoky, earthy flavor and is related to cumin seed and caraway seeds. Check to see which kind of spice your recipe is referring to if it says to utilize black cumin seeds.

Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds (Brassica alba) are tiny seeds that may be black, brown, white, or yellow in color and add a spicy sharp taste to numerous meals. This is a spice with a long history. Mustard is made by mixing ground mustard seeds with vinegar, water, and other spices.

This is a common way to flavor and spice up meals. In Indian cuisine, they’re also popular. For pickling cucumbers (gherkins) and other vegetables, mustard seeds are frequently used whole.


Because of its extensive use and strong aromatic nature, cardamom (also known as cardamon) has earned the moniker “Queen of Spice” in India. This is one of the spices that can be used in both savory and dessert recipes. Black cardamom and green cardamom are the two most common varieties of spice.

To add depth to curries and other spicy dishes, black cardamom has a strong smoky flavor. Green cardamom is employed in sweets and curries, and it has a sweeter flavor.


Clove spice is the aroma of dried clove buds that may be used to season both sweet and salty foods. Clove is a popular spice in many cuisines because of its distinctive, intense flavor and sweet taste. Sweet desserts with apple, rhubarb, or pumpkin are especially good with the flavor of clove spice.

Clove is often used as a spice blend in savory dishes, especially ones with cumin and cinnamon. Onion, star anise, allspice, and peppercorns are other clove complements.

Celery Seeds

Celery seeds are used in a variety of recipes, both ground and whole. Celery salt is formed by mixing it with salt.


Fenugreek is a basic spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Toasted fenugreek seeds are included in many curry powder spices. The pebbles seem to be light yellow in color. When they are toasted, their oil glands release a pungent, yet sweet fragrance.


The name “allspice” implies that this is a spice blend, as does the term “allspice.” The unripe fruit of the tree known as Jamaica pepper or myrtle pepper is allspice (Pimenta dioica). The dried fruit has scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, which gives the spice its name.

In many Caribbean foods, allspice is used to make jerk chicken and is one of the primary spices. It’s also utilized in desserts and savory recipes in North American, European, and Arab cuisines due to its popularity.

Anise seed

Anise (Pimpinella anisum) has a fragrance and flavor comparable to fennel and licorice, and is utilized to enhance alcoholic beverages. Anise seeds are frequently used in Mediterranean cuisine to flavor alcoholic beverages. Ouzo is the Greek term for their drink, sambuca is the Italian term, and pastis and pernod are the French terms for anise drinks. Anise seeds are delicious and popular in other nations for producing thirst-quenching teas and sweets.

Star Anise

The aroma, flavor, and look of ground star anise are comparable to that of anise. This seed, on the other hand, is indigenous to China and belongs to a distinct family. This spice is used to flavor a variety of dishes in traditional Asian and Chinese cooking. It’s also an ingredient in Chinese five-spice powder. Star anise is becoming increasingly popular as a substitute for anise in Western countries because of its lower costs and aniseed-like fragrance.


Sumac (Rhus coriaria) is a ground-grown spice made from the sumac plant’s berries. It is red in color. In Africa, East Asia, and North America, this flowering shrub thrives. The aromatic spice has a tangy lemon flavor and is a rich reddish-purple color. Sumac spice adds zesty tartness to many Middle Eastern and Indian foods.

Poppy Seeds

Toping delicious bagels, muffins, pastries, and sponge cakes with poppy seeds is a common practice. These little black seeds aren’t just for show. When you bite into them, they have a nutty flavor.

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