Annapoorna Organic, KL

Image showing seven popular spices from around the world

Spices from Around the World–A Guide to Finding Authentic Ingredients

Updated on March 9, 2024

In today’s world, there are hundreds of spices available around the globe. Some are exotic, some are common, and others are rare.

But what makes a spice authentic? Is it the country where it was grown? Or is it the region? Or even the type of soil?

This guide will help you find the right ingredients for your recipes by exploring different regions around the world.

Spices From India

India produces some of the most exotic spices in the world, including Asafoetida (Hing), Cloves, Cardamoms, Ginger, Garlic, and many others.

The spice trade between India and Europe dates back to ancient times. In fact, the Romans were known to use Indian spices to flavor their food. Today, India remains a major supplier of spices to the global marketplace.

Indian spices are used in everything from curry powder to chutney to pickles to ketchup. They’re also used in medicine and perfumes.

Today, India exports over $10 billion worth of spices each year. And they’re still growing.

What makes Indian spices unique? Well, they’re not just spicy hot. They’re also fragrant, flavorful, and aromatic.

If you’re looking for a way to spice up your life, take a trip to India to experience the flavors of the land.

Spices From China

Chinese spices are some of the most exotic and delicious in the world. They’re used in everything from soups to desserts, and they add flavor and complexity to dishes.

But where do these spices come from? And how did they get here?

China is home to many types of spices, including galangal (also known as ginger root), golden needles, makrut lime powder, star anise, and sichuan pepper. These spices are native to Asia, and they’ve been cultivated there for thousands of years.

The earliest records of these spices date back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). But it wasn’t until the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) that these spices were exported to Europe.

Today, China is still the largest producer of spices in the world. In fact, China produces over half of the world’s supply of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, turmeric, saffron, and vanilla.

And because China is the largest consumer of spices in the world, it’s no surprise that Chinese cuisine is considered the most diverse and flavorful cuisine in the world.

In short, Chinese spices are some of the best in the world. And now you can find them at your local grocery store.

Spices From Japan

Japan is known for its spices, especially shichimi togarashi (a spice blend made from dried red chili peppers). In fact, there are over 100 different types of shichimi togarashis, each with a unique flavor profile.

The Japanese love to use these spicy blends in everything from rice balls to ramen noodles. But did you know that shichimi togarashi was originally created in China? And that the original recipe was lost during World War II?

But not only does Kagoshima produce some of the best shichimi togarasuihi, they’re also the largest producers of shichimi togaoshi in the entire country. They’ve been making this spice blend since 1871, when they started selling it at the local market. Today, Kagoshima produces over 40% of the total volume of shichimi togasashi sold throughout Japan.

And while shichimi togarasahi is still produced in Kagoshima, it’s now also being exported to other parts of the world. In fact, shichimi togarasi is now available in grocery stores across North America.

Spices From The Middle East

The Middle East is home to some of the most delicious foods in the world. In fact, many people consider Middle Eastern food to be the finest cuisine in the world.

But there’s no need to travel to the Middle East to enjoy these delicacies. All you need is a spice mix called Za’atar. This spice mix is made from seven different herbs and spices native to the Middle East.

Za’atar is used in many dishes throughout the Middle East, including hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel, tabbouleh salad, and kibbeh nayyeh (meatballs). And because this spice mix is so versatile, you can use it to season just about anything.

For example, za’atar is a popular spice blend in Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Turkey. It’s made from seven herbs and spices including thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper.

Spices From Africa

Spices from the African continent are some of the most exotic spices in the world. They’re used in everything from soups and stews to desserts and breads.

The spice trade was once dominated by Arab traders who brought these spices to Europe and Asia. Today, however, many of these spices are grown locally in countries like India, Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Africa.

These spices are often referred to as “African spices.” Some of them include:

  • Apple pie spices – cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and black pepper
  • Harissa – a hot chili paste made from chilies, garlic, olive oil, and salt
  • Aleppo pepper – a sweet and spicy red pepper powder
  • Baharat – a blend of ground nuts, seeds, and herbs
  • Berbere – a blend of roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, and spices
  • Dukkah – a mix of nuts, seeds, and spices
  • Ras el hanout – a Moroccan spice blend of dried fruits, nuts, and herbs


There are many different types of spices from around the world. Each type has its own unique flavor profile. You can use any of these spices in recipes, but they each have their own special qualities.

For example, cinnamon is great for baking because it adds sweetness and enhances the aroma of baked goods. Cloves add a warm, earthy taste to dishes. Turmeric gives food a yellow color and makes it taste bitter. And black pepper brings out the flavors of other ingredients.

You can find these spices at specialty stores, online retailers, and grocery stores. Modern Store sells many of these spices in Kuala Lumpur. 


What is the number 1 spice in the world?

Black pepper is considered the most widely traded spice in the world.

What are the top 5 spices in the world?

The top 5 most traded spices in the world are black pepper, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

What are rare spices in India?

Some rare spices in India include saffron, cardamom, mace, star anise, and asafetida.

What are the 7 essential spices?

The 7 essential spices in Indian cooking are cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, mustard, fennel, and nigella seeds.

Which 3 spices are native to India?

The three spices native to India are black pepper, cardamom, and cumin.

Which is the cheapest spice in the world?

Turmeric is considered to be one of the cheapest spices in the world.

What are the 20 spices name?

The top twenty most commonly used spices can vary depending on cultural and regional differences, but may include black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, coriander, cloves, bay leaf, fennel, and mustard. fennel, and many others.

Which is most used spices in the world?

The most used spice in the world is black pepper, which is traded globally and added to many cuisines.

What are the authentic KL flavors?

KL (Kuala Lumpur) is known for its diverse culinary scene, and some of its authentic flavors include nasi lemak, laksa, char kuey teow, and satay.

Which is the largest producer of spices in world?

India is the largest producer of spices in the world, accounting for about 75% of global production.

Which is the most popular spices in the world?

The most popular spices in the world vary depending on geography and cultural preferences, but some of the top contenders include black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, and cardamom.

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