essential ingredients for indian cooking

Essential Ingredients for Indian Cooking

Essential ingredients for Indian cooking are those that you need to stock up quite often. If you frequently cook Indian food, there are a few ingredients you will need more often than others. There aren’t too many different ingredients for making curry bases in Fiji Indian cooking. Therefore, this list will only give you the basic necessities for cooking Indian food on a regular basis.

Some ingredients may not be readily available in all supermarkets. Specialty Indian shops often stock all these items as they are staple ingredients in Indian cooking. Fresh items such as garlic and ginger are often very expensive but farmers markets or Fresh Food stores often sell them for cheaper.

Curry leaves are quite difficult to find at times. They will often be found in the “herbs” section of the supermarkets or farmers markets. But the most cost effective and simple method is growing it in your backyard. It grows so easily, without much help and often multiplies in a few years. It can be grown in pots too and you will always have a healthy supply. You can find the plants in any good plant store and even at markets.

Below are the essential ingredients for your pantry. If you are unable to find them in shops, try online shopping.

Fresh Ingredients:

  • Brown Onions
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes (Tinned if out of season)
  • Curry Leaves


  • Jeera (Cumin)
  • Sarso (Mustard)
  • Methi (Fenugreek)

Whole Spices:

  • Badia (Star Anise)
  • Dalchini (Cinnamon Quills/Bark)
  • Lawang (Cloves)


  • Hing (Asafoetida)
  • Jaifar (Nutmeg)
  • Cardamom Powder (Elaichi)
  • Chilli Powder
  • Haldi (Turmeric)
  • Masala


  • Dhania (Coriander) Seeds
  • Semolina (Suji)
  • Saunf (Fennel Seeds)
  • Ajwain (Carom Seeds)

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