The Secret of the Indian Spices List


Set in the lush hills of Kerala, the area around Thekkady in the Western Ghats is a dream for any spice lover. The endless rolling green hills, tropical flowers, winding roads, and misty skies are picture perfect and make for a spectacular journey. Perfection doesn’t end here. As you breathe in the fresh mountain air, the beautiful and delicate aromas of the spices hit your senses and you know you have arrived at the spice plantations of India. Its sheer beauty is captivating and a wonderful opportunity to taste, pick and take home the freshest spices you can find plus impress all your family, friends and your taste buds with your new culinary delights.

There are numerous spices you can find in Thekkady including pepper, cinnamon, clove, vanilla, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, turmeric, and curry leaves. Here are our pick of the top 5 spices and some fun and important facts about each in our India Spices list:



Did you know that the origins of pepper come from Kerala and is the most abundantly found spice in the area?

In the Middle Ages pepper was so valuable it was worth more than gold by weight and individual peppercorns were accepted as legal currency

Black peppercorns contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, calcium, zinc, manganese, iron, and magnesium

Pepper makes you sneeze because it contains an alkaloid called piperine which acts as an irritant if it gets into the nose


It is one of the oldest known spices and is mentioned in the bible

The humid, tropical and evergreen conditions as found in Kerala are the best environment for the growth of cinnamon

Cinnamon is used in Ayurveda medicine to help treat diabetes, digestion, and circulation

Cinnamon is added to food the world over and is mostly used in the West in sweet dishes but it is used abundantly in India, the Middle, and Africa in savory dishes


An essential spice of Kerala and Keralan cuisine

Introduced to India in the 1800s by the East India Company

Clove oil can be used as a local anesthetic for toothache

It is a key ingredient of the famous India spice mix garam masala


Vanilla is a climbing orchid and the priciest spice after saffron

Vanilla is a native plant of Mexico and its name originates from the Spanish word vainilla meaning pod

It is the only orchid that bears fruit

When buying vanilla beans choose the plump pods with thinner skins that are soft, pliable and with a rich aroma


Cardamom is grown wild in Kerala and the Western Ghats are known as the cardamom hills

Being such an important spice in India it was known as the queen of spices

In the Middle East cardamom is a vital ingredient when preparing a drink of local coffee

In Ayurveda, medicine cardamom is used to assist digestion and cleansing of the body.

For a full spice tasting and to see how easily you can arrive at Thekkady and enjoy all its aromas just contact us.

Kerala is not just about tastes but also about dance, performance, and rituals 

About Peter Rhody

"Loving India is a passion of mine. I have enjoyed several long journeys to all corners of the sub-continent, completed my B.A and M.A in Asian studies, studied languages such as Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit, written on the Hari Krishna movement, lectured on Indian culture and history in university, advised others on their trips to India all the while preparing my next visit to India. There are so many places in India I love and want to always go back to but my favorite destination has to be the holy city of Varanasi. Here you can feel the living pulse and the beating heart of the center of religious India with its overwhelming spirituality and history and just for being a true microcosm of India itself "

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