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7 Important Spices that Complete Punjabi Cuisine

7 Important Spices that Complete Punjabi Cuisine

Posted by Suryamasale on 28th Mar 2024

Punjabi cuisine delights the senses with its vibrant flavours, crafted from a medley of aromatic spices. Cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, and mustard seeds form the heart of Punjabi masala. These spices infuse iconic dishes like chana masala, butter chicken, and saag paneer with irresistible fragrance and taste. Beyond indulgence, these condiments offer numerous health benefits. Dive into Punjabi culinary artistry, where every bite tells a tale of tradition and wellness.

Punjabi cuisine, steeped in centuries-old history and crossing state borders, is a culinary marvel shaped by intricate influences. At its heart lies a symphony of spices, the essence of its intoxicating allure. Cumin, dhania powder, turmeric, and garam masala stand as its pillars, employed in diverse forms—whole seeds, ground powders, and pastes. This rich tradition, evolving through time, weaves a tapestry of flavours, making Punjabi food not just a meal but a journey through a cultural heritage celebrated in every fragrant bite.

Know about the Culinary Spice of Punjabi Cuisine:

In the vibrant tapestry of Punjabi cuisine, spices like cumin weave their aromatic magic in chana masala and rajma. The coriander seasoning whole and ground in dishes like chicken tikka and aloo gobi lends its unique flavour. Turmeric, with its golden hue, paints biryani and tandoori chicken, adding both colour and taste. Garam masala, a fusion of spices, imparts richness to classics like butter chicken and paneer tikka, filling each bite with warmth and complexity. These spices aren't just ingredients; they're the soul of Punjabi culinary artistry, elevating every dish into a flavorful masterpiece.

Know about Punjab’s Flavourful Seasoning of Various Spices:

Garam masala, the cornerstone of Punjabi cuisine, weaves its aromatic tale through every dish, defining the essence of Punjab's culinary heritage. Its significance stretches beyond flavour; it's interwoven into the cultural fabric of Punjab, echoing through generations. In Punjabi cooking, this spice blend is not just an ingredient but a tradition, an aromatic legacy. The infusion of cumin and cardamom imparts an exotic charm, while cinnamon and coriander seeds bring a comforting warmth. It's not merely an aromatic spice; it's a sensory journey, capturing the soul of Punjab's gastronomic delights, making every meal a fragrant celebration of tradition and taste.

  1. Coriander: Coriander, locally referred to as 'dhania' in Northern India, found its way into Punjabi kitchens courtesy of Arab influences. In Punjab, this versatile herb serves a dual purpose—the aromatic leaves act as a garnish, while the seeds and powder play vital roles in cooking. Ground dhania powder adds depth and thickness to sauces in numerous traditional Punjabi dishes, infusing each bite with a delightful blend of earthy aroma and rich flavour. Beyond its culinary significance, coriander seasoning mirrors the fusion of cultures, enriching Punjab's gastronomic landscape with its subtle yet impactful presence.
  2. Green Cardamom: Green cardamom, sweeter than its black variant, stands as one of the world's priciest spices. A staple in Punjabi kitchens, it flavours masala chai. In contrast, black cardamom boasts a robust, woody essence, differentiating it from its milder green counterpart. These cardamoms add distinct notes to Punjabi cuisine, enriching it with their unique flavours.
  3. Black Cardamom: Unlike many Indian regional cuisines, black cardamom is a unique spice seldom found elsewhere. Its robust aroma sets it apart from its smaller green counterpart. Integral to Punjabi cuisine, these bold-flavoured black cardamoms exude a distinctive, intensely fragrant, resinous scent, elevating dishes with unparalleled essence.
  4. Cumin: “Jeera,” or cumin in Punjabi, was introduced by Arab traders and swiftly embraced in Punjabi cuisine. Punjab offers both white and black jeera in whole seeds or powder. Their unique aroma, reminiscent of fragrant earthiness, enriches dishes, becoming an essential element of Punjab's culinary legacy.
  5. Cinnamon: In the artistry of Punjabi cuisine, whole cinnamon sticks are often sizzled to perfection during tempering, imparting a warm, sweet, and soothing essence. Beyond tempering, cinnamon's versatility shines; its earthy undertones enhance savoury notes, complementing dishes like meats, dal, masala chai, and various Punjabi sweets. This aromatic spice weaves its magic in the famed Punjabi garam masala, solidifying its status as a culinary cornerstone and adding depth and richness to Punjab's diverse and delightful gastronomic offerings.
  6. Garam Masala: Garam masala holds a pivotal role in Punjab's culinary artistry, not just for its flavorful blend but also for its warming properties aiding digestion. Crafted from a medley of dry-roasted whole spices—cumin, coriander, green and black cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, bay leaf, black peppercorns, nutmeg, mace, and fennel seeds—it weaves a tapestry of aromatic richness, defining the heart of Punjabi cooking and enhancing every dish it touches.
  7. Fennel: Fennel seeds, or saunf, always stand as a cornerstone in Punjabi cooking, infusing traditional dishes with a sweet, anise aroma. Beyond flavour, they serve as both post-meal breath fresheners and aids for digestion, widely embraced in Punjabi households for their aromatic charm and digestive benefits.

These seven culinary spices are the heart and soul of Punjabi cuisine and foods. Every recipe originating from Punjab has a touch of these seven spices. You cannot imagine Punjabi cuisine without the magical touch of garam masala, coriander seasoning, a pinch of cinnamon, and buds of green or black cardamom.


In Punjabi cuisine, the seven spices—cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, cardamom, cinnamon, and fennel seeds—paint a flavorful masterpiece. These seven spices are a testament to centuries of culinary evolution and add depth, aroma, and complexity to Punjab's rich gastronomic heritage.

From the earthy allure of cumin to the sweet fragrances of cardamom and fennel seeds, these spices embody the essence of Punjab's culinary soul. They transform mere ingredients into cultural treasures, elevating every dish with their unique charm. Through these spices, Punjabi cuisine becomes not just a meal but a sensory journey, inviting all to savour the legacy of tradition and taste.

Buy our coriander powder online. Our brand ‘Surya Masale’ produces 7000 tons of spices every year. We are known for our unadulterated and premium quality spices. You can place bulk orders from our official website, ‘Surya Masale’. You can also buy as per your needs and requirements. We facilitate fast delivery of orders.

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