Black pepper is native to the Malabar Coast of India and is one of the earliest spices known. Widely used as a spice around the world, pepper also has a limited usage in medicine as a carminative (to relieve flatulence) and as a stimulant of gastric secretions.
Clove, Syzygium aromaticum, is a monoecious evergreen tree in the family Myrtaceae grown for its aromatic flowers. The many branches of the tree are semi-erect with smooth oval shaped leaves. The branches end with a 3–4 flowers near the tip with one terminal flower and the others opening below it. The leaves, flowers and bark all have a distinct smell.
Turmeric is the traditional yellow colored root belonging to the family of ginger. Commonly used as herb and spice worldwide, its properties make it smell poignant and strong in flavor which is a little bitter, hot and earthy in taste. It is consumed fresh as well in dried form, which is termed as spice.
Fenugreek, Trigonella foenum-graecum, is an herbaceous annual plant in the family Fabaceae grown for its leaves and seeds which are used as a herb or spice. The fenugreek plant may have a single stem or may be branched at the stem base. The plant has an erect growth habit and a strong, sweet aroma.
Mustard seeds are the small round seeds of various mustard plants. The seeds are usually about 1 to 2 millimetres (0.039 to 0.079 in) in diameter and may be colored from yellowish white to black. They are an important spice in many regional foods and may come from one of three different plants: black mustard (Brassica nigra), brown Indian mustard (B. juncea), or white/yellow mustard (B. hirta/Sinapis alba).
Carom seeds are the seeds of the ajwain herb, or Trachyspermum ammi. They're common in Indian cuisine. They look similar to cumin seeds, but their taste and aroma are closer to that of thyme. They're often sold as whole seeds but can also be ground into a powder and used as a cooking spice.
Cardamom, also spelled cardamon, spice consisting of whole or ground dried fruits, or seeds, of Elettaria cardamomum, a herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). The seeds have a warm, slightly pungent, and highly aromatic flavour somewhat reminiscent of camphor. They are a popular seasoning in South Asian dishes, particularly curries, and in Scandinavian pastries.
Black cardamom is, in most books, described as an inferior substitute to green cardamom, but this is simply untrue. In India, black cardamom has its special field of application, and although green and black cardamoms are frequently interchangeable, the black variety is felt superior for spicy and rustic dishes, while green cardamom is much preferred by the Imperial (Mughal) cuisine with its subtle blend of sweet fragrances.
Nutmeg, Myristica fragrans, is a tropical evergreen tree in the family Myristicaceae grown for its seeds which are used as spices. The nutmeg tree has natural conical shape with a grey-brown trunk and dark green glossy leaves. The branches of the tree spread in whorls and the leaves are oval or lanceolate in shape. Leaves are arranged alternately on the branches and are 5–15 cm (2–6 in) in length, smooth and lighter in color on the under side.
Ginger, Zingiber officinale, is an erect, herbaceous perennial plant in the family Zingiberaceae grown for its edible rhizome (underground stem) which is widely used as a spice. The rhizome is brown, with a corky outer layer and pale-yellow scented center. The above ground shoot is erect and reed-like with linear leaves that are arranged alternately on the stem.
Garlic, Allium sativum, is a an herbaceous, annual, bulbous plant in the family Amaryllidaceae grown for its pungent, edible bulb of the same name. The garlic plant can either have a short, woody central stem or a softer pseudostem made up of overlapping leaf sheaths. Hardneck varieties produce a false flower stock which is termed a 'scape' and produce larger garlic cloves but in smaller numbers. The bulb can be up to 7 cm (2.8 in) in diameter and is made up of 1–15 cloves.