How can we substitute Indian Spices in curries?

Indian Spices

Indian curries have fans all over the world. We all know that authentic Indian spices are the magic ingredients behind those mouth-watering Indian dishes. But what happens when your nearest grocery store run out of Indian spices? You might be in the middle of preparing something or you might not have enough time to order groceries online. If you are not ready to wait until the online grocery delivery arrives, you can try substitutes for Indian spices. Your pantry might have great substitutes for many Indian spices. Spices are used in curries to add flavor and depth to the dish. Different spices have different taste profiles, such as sweetness, heat, or smokiness, which can enhance the taste of the curry.

Here are some ways in which you can substitute Indian spices and ingredients in your curries.

Chilli Powder

Chilli Powder is present in most Indian curries. If you are not a fan of spicy flavor, you can either omit using chilli powder in your curries. Add paprika to your grocery shopping cart as a substitute for chilli powder. You can also replace chilli powder with green chillies or pepper. Though green chillies and pepper cannot give a bright red color to the curries, they can give a spicy flavor.


Cinnamon adds a woody and smokey flavor to the curries. If you do not have cinnamon in your pantry, you can create this woody flavor by adding nutmeg or mace to the curry.


Cloves also add a strong flavor to the curries. If cloves are not available for grocery home delivery, you can replace them with nutmeg or cinnamon powder.

Curry leaves

Curry leaves are a staple ingredient in South Indian cuisine and are known for their unique flavor and aroma. Bay leaves can be used as a substitute for curry leaves in dishes that are simmered for a long time, such as stews and curries. They have a similar aroma, but a more subtle flavor. Coriander leaves, also known as cilantro, can be used as a substitute for curry leaves in dishes that are not cooked for a long time, such as chutneys and salads.

Mustard paste

Mustard is used all over the world. You can buy it from both online shopping sites in UAE and your nearby grocery store. If you do not have mustard paste in your kitchen, you can use some horseradish with wasabi paste to substitute the mustard.

Many spices have medicinal properties, such as anti-inflammatory or antioxidant effects. Some of the most common spices that you can shop for at your nearby supermarket include cumin, coriander, turmeric, and ginger. Though we cannot substitute their health benefits, we can create their flavor with other ingredients.

Some of the spices are used as natural preservatives, they can help to keep the food fresh and prevent it from spoiling.

In many cultures, the use of spices is deeply rooted in tradition, and it is an important part of the cuisine. Spices are used to enhance the dish’s flavor and to create a specific cultural identity and a sense of belonging.



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