Spices are the routes that lead to a treasurous plate of Indian food. An Indian plate is a festival of flavors and spices put together with care and love. Indian food is not spicy, it’s full of spices which provide us with the age old relishing taste.

Spices are not just condiments, they are the ingredients that are the charm and aroma of Indian food. The spices are used as whole and grounded and even the dried seeds, leaves and barks are used in cooking. 

Spices in India are a traditional age old occupant which later on traveled the world spreading its nuances. The Indian spice trade has flourished so much over the centuries, that India exports upto 70% of the spice requirements of the world. 

Indian spices consist of a high amount of properties which are essential for good health. They are also world famous appetizers and digestive sources to maintain good health. These spices contain antioxidant properties and preservatives, hence are commonly used for making several types of chutneys, pickles and jams. Our chefs at Veda use freshly ground spices in house to present you with your favorite food. 

Today, our Chefs decided to let you in on a secret – the spices that are a must-have in your kitchen if you want to make the best Indian food. Here are the 5 key spices that our Chefs swear by:

Green Cardamom

Hindi name: Choti Elaichi (Chhoh·tee Ee·lai·chee)

Elaichi as it is called in India has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and it is often used as a mouth freshener as it fights common mouth bacteria and helps treat bad breath.

The use of Elaichi is multi purpose but the most common is the use of its exquisite flavor in Masala Chai. The rich flavor is used in curries, vegetables, rice and in desserts. Your favorite Saffron Kheer has cardamom as one of its main ingredients adding to its flavor. 


Hindi Name: Dhaniya (Dha·nia)

Cilantro is a popular leafy garnish used in Indian dishes. It has antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, and is known to help lower blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels.

It can be used as it is freshly chopped, or as dried seeds that are known for its fresh and soothing flavor. You will find Cilantro and its flavor in the crispy small plate of Samosa and even the delicious grilled Mirch Murg Tikka.


Hindi Name: Haldi (Hal·dee)

Turmeric is commonly known as the colorant additive of Indian curries. The spice contains antioxidants and can also help boost the functioning of the brain.

Did you know that it has been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times in the form of pastes and more?  Haldi is found in most of the Indian curries giving it the beautiful yellow color.


Hindi Name: Jeera (Jee·ruh)

For centuries, light gravy flavored with cumin or a glass of zeera water has been used in Indian households as a fool-proof remedy for digestive issues. It is rich in iron and fights cold and common infections. A light cumin and ginger soup is a go to household remedy for cold in every other home in India. Cumin is the flavorful component of many dishes like Jeera rice, Pindi Chana Masala and Gobhi Mutter. 

Blended Ground Spices

Hindi Name: Garam Masala (Guh·ruhm Muh·saa·lah)

Garam Masala is a spice blend widely used in Indian Cuisine, from curries and lentil dishes to soups. Whole spices of Cinnamon, Mace, Peppercorns, Cilantro Seeds, Cumin Seeds, and Cardamon Pods are toasted in a pan to release their aromatic flavors, then ground to a powder. 

It is usually added towards the end of cooking or sprinkled as a garnish just before serving. It can also be used while tempering dals and khichdis, added to marinades, or sprinkled over papads. This spice is used widely in one way or another in most of the dishes.

And if you find yourself in a mood to relax and let your dishes relax too, we’d be happy to make you your Indian Cuisine favorites, served hot and fresh either at your table, or delivered directly to your doorstep. Book your reservation at Veda to try some of the best Indian Cuisine in Center City, Philadelphia, or add them to your cart and deliver them straight to your home.

At Veda, we know that with great food and great company and the right table, unforgettable moments are created. This is why, rooted in the same rich cultural and culinary journey that inspired Veda, our founders decided to bring a bite of India to the wonderful community of Moorestown, New Jersey through Naan – Indian Bistro.

Indian culture is all about bringing people and communities together, and its warm hospitality. Indian food by nature is shareable and a culmination of years of rich history and cultural intermingling, which is what we have bought together at Naan. Located at Moorestown Mall, Naan brings contemporary Indian Cuisine with a BYOB service to the neighborhood of South Jersey along with warm hospitality and bold Indian flavors. 

Featuring favorites from Veda as well as some new recipes, Naan’s menu is a labor of love, designed specifically for those who love Indian food or are trying it for the first time. Diners looking to have an upscale experience while enjoying great Indian food and making new memories can book a table at Naan through the website.