Food and Drink

Top 10 Spices Imported from India

Thanks to the Internet and eCommerce, anyone can now access bulk Indian spices online. But such small things weren’t widely available centuries ago like it does today. Due to their scarcity, spices were considered luxuries. And it is one of the reasons that inspired Europeans to sail through vast oceans and explore the globe to find an efficient route to India.

India’s spice trading dates back to more than 3000 BCE. The country has been popular for its rich and prosperous culture, but it also has been famous for its flavorful spices. For centuries now, India has been at the forefront of producing and providing the world with various spices and herbs. But why is India so famous for its spices?

Why is India So Famous for its Spices?

India is a blessed country for having the most nutritious soil and favourable climate that aids in cultivating many spices. Moreover, as located in tropical regions of the globe, India receives hot and humid weather and proper season cycles. This makes the best condition for growing a variety of spices.

As no other country has such suitable weather other than India, the country became the sole cultivator for some exotic spices like black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. And continuing this legacy, India is still controlling the global spice market through various suppliers of wholesale spices and herbs.

What Spices are Imported from India?

As India is still one of the leading spice exporters, every country, along with South Africa, sources many spices. Here are the top 10 spices that we import from India.


Peppercorns were considered black gold in the western world. This was one of the many spices of India that Europeans were after and motivated to find the best route. 


Cloves are another popular spice that India has been trading for centuries. Cloves are widely grown in Kerala state India. Being the most aromatic spice, cloves go in many South African dishes.


Cardamom is grown across Asia, Guatemala, and Tanzania. Still, India tops as a major cultivator and exporter of black and green types of cardamoms.


Cinnamon is a bark of a cinnamon tree, Cinnamomic Verum, largely found in South Indian regions. Its usage dates to ancient Egypt, which was used as an embalming ingredient for mummies.


Although coriander is a subtropical plant, Indians have the correct climate to sustainably grow this Mediterranean spice. Coriander is imported as whole seed or powdered.


Ginger is commonly grown in India and China. This rhizome plant is used in traditional medicinal practices to cure various ailments. Besides this, it is also used as a flavoring agent in food.


The usage of turmeric dates back to nearly 4000 years in India. It was generally used as a spice and also has religious significance. Since India is the major cultivator of turmeric, it is also widely Imported into South Africa.


Mustard is a staple spice in Indian dishes. But its varieties also flavour many other country’s cuisines. Although mustard is widely grown in South Africa, its black variety is largely imported from India.


Nutmeg originated in Indonesia as its preferred climate is tropical. India, a major spice-growing country, farms nutmeg and sources to other European and African countries.


Fennel is originally a Mediterranean plant. It is grown in substantial amounts in India and exported to other countries.

Last thoughts

India is called a spice bowl of the world due to the major cultivation of various spices in the region. For centuries the country has been providing the world with the most flavorful and aromatic spices that flavour food. Almost every wholesale spice supplier in South Africa sources most of the spices from India as the quality and flavour are higher than those grown in other countries.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button