Herbs and Spices: How to Identify, Select and Store them?

Herbs and Spices are the most important part in Indian cooking. No food can be imagined without herbs and spices. Herbs are fresh small plants and spices are derived from the dried leaves, plants and flowers. We are going to show how to identify herbs and species and how to select and store them. This is very important matter for Indian cuisine. First let us talk you about the difference between herbs and species.

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What is Herbs?

Herbs grow in small plants. It has a soft stems rather than woody stems. That stems and plant leafs are used in adding flavor to food. For example coriander, thyme, basil leaves. Generally fresh leaves are used to dress up salads, soups and veg sabzi.

What is Spices?

Drying leaves are called spices. Spices are generally used to add a flavor in food. Spices add distinguish aroma to the food. It is usually derived from flower, plants, leaves or stems. Spices are also use in some religious ceremonies, in perfumes and as a herbal medicine too.

Key difference between Herbs and Spices

Herbs and Spices are most used in cooking and in medicine. It adds an extra flavor to food. But there is a difference between two. Let us talk about the difference.


Herb is a green and fresh leaves used to pour direct into gravy and meal. Both fresh and dried herbs are available to make the culinary food. Here are the examples of super herbs.

Bay Leaf

Bay leaf is used after completely drying. It has awesome flavor when sauté in oil. Bay leaf is a flavorful dried leaf which is used to make the delicious food. Bay leaf dried powder is used to make a “garam masala”. It is always used in making the aromatic pulav.

Basil Leaves

Fresh Basil leaves are rich in flavor. This is also known as the best antioxidant. IT helps in improving metabolism. Basil leaves are most used to make a pesto sauce. This is also used to deck the meal like soups and salads.


Rosemary has a pungent flavor. It adds in soups and thick curries. Rosemary has white, pink, purple or blue flowers. Rosemary gives an extra kick to mouth when used to add in filling. Rosemary leaves are also used in medicinal remedies.


 let us talk about the Spices. Spices add a strong aroma in food. Spices are generally dried stems or leaves. Spices have a distinct and individual taste used in daily basis to make the awesome meal. For its strong smell and aroma it is also used for treating various types of disease. Let us introduce you some of the interesting spices over here.


Saffron is a delighting spice. It is expensive and rich with beautiful flavor. Saffron dried leaves are used to make the delicious milk pudding and desserts. Saffron gives a light yellowish color when mixed in food.

Crushed Chilies

Crushed chili is a vital ingredient in food. Chilies are dried and then formed in powder. This is used to make the spicy food. There are several types of chilies available to add the extra spice to food. Like like kumathi mirch, kashmiri mirch and deggi mirch.

Black Pepper

Black pepper is a round shaped spice which uses both in the form of powder and as a whole. This fascinating spice has a specific flavor that attracts the foodies. This is used in making soups, Salads and thick gravies. It improves the digestion and that’s why it known as the best herbal remedy.

There is not much difference between herbs and spices.

  • Herbs are green leaves while Spices are dried. In some dishes both herbs and spices used to enhance the taste of food.
  • Like bay leaf is a herb and black pepper is spice. Both are used to make panchphoran masala or garam masala. It creates magical taste when herbs and spices mixed in some meals.
  • Coriander seeds, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom all are mixed. Make the powder to get the interesting meal.
  • Both herbs and spices are staple ingredients in cooking. Some has a rich and sharp taste and some has a mild and delighting taste.

Commonly Used Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are regularly used in cooking. You might know about different herbs and spices. Here we are going to mention the popular herbs and species. Add a unique taste to gravy but also aids in making healthy body.


Thyme is used in daily basis in food to make the delicious food. But it doesn’t finish with that. Thyme contains the chemical called thymol. Thymol chemical is known as the best herb to fight against the cancer cells. It is also used in disease like arthritis, diarrhea, and other health problems.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin Pie Spice added in garam masala powder. And mixed with any herb improves the health condition. It has a powerful pungent taste. And has strong antimicrobial properties which aids in bacterial infections and other diseases.


Curry is usually made with the mixture of caraway, chili pepper, cumin, fenugreek, cardamom, mustard seeds and turmeric. It is not delivers the unique taste to Indian dishes but also helps in boosting the immunity.

Some tips to know while cooking with this two

Here are the interesting tips and tricks to know while using the herbs and spices in cooking.

  • Keep the measuring spoons ready. And it is our kind advice to make the spices and herbs available when you are going to cook a food.
  • The second stage comes you need to check the expiry date of herbs and spices. Herbs must be fresh. Check the manufacturing and expiring dates of spices. Expired or bad smell of spices can ruin the food taste.

Trick for using Whole Spices

  • If you want to use the whole spices in cooking you, there is a good trick. Keep bay leaf, black pepper and other whole spices in the muslin cloth. Now dip it in the food while cooking, thus you get the proper aroma of spice without mixing it in food.
  • Some spices and herbs like oregano and black pepper, cumin powder, chili flakes. it doesn’t need any type of cooking. You can sprinkle it dress up the meal after it is cooked.
  • In the longer cooking time, add a spices and herbs after cooking food. Otherwise it will ruin the spice taste.
  • Don’t overcook the herbs and spices. Use it after cooking or when cooking is completely done.
  • Ground thyme, ground oregano, ground cinnamon powder, ground cardamom powder. All can be sprinkled over the dishes after completing the food making process.

So here are the important tips for how to use herbs and spices in a different way. Search for the best Indian spices online here. Every spice and herb has its distinguish flavor to attract the food lovers.


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