Terrific, tasty, and maybe a little tempting? Are you trying to get your spice cupboard organized? Or just plain curious? There aren't many spices starting with T. However, among my list below, you'll find quite a few that are often used in curry! And there are a few that you won't find on any other list! How many have you tried? Check them out…
17 Spices Starting with T
Let's start with the most obvious. This golden yellow Indian spice is used in a great many curry powders. Turmeric is actually a member of the ginger family, and, just like ginger, we use the root to make the spice.
The turmeric root is dried and ground down into a fine yellow powder. In truth, it is a bit of a superfood, with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Oh, and before I forget…
It tastes great too.
Turmeric will add heaps of colour to your dishes. This spice beginning with T, has a slight citrus taste and is also ever so slightly earthy. It isn't anywhere near as strong as ginger.
You'll find turmeric used extensively in Indian cooking. It features predominantly in milder curries such as butter chicken and korma.
Oh, and whatever you do, don't spill it on the carpet
2. Thai Pepper
Thai pepper in Indian curry?
Yep, you bet.
And here's the thing. They really pack a punch!
They are absolutely perfect for making chilli paste. Or, if you want to add significant heat without spending ages chopping chillis, there are well worth checking out.
When looking at spices starting with T, you may think 'thai pepper' is a little bit of a cop-out…
However, there are actually 79 different varieties, so you probably have used them already if you have made any hot Indian dish!
3. Trinidad Pepper
Trinidad? That's in the Caribbean, right?
Believe it or not, you'll actually get some of the best Indian curries in the world in Trinidad! In the late 19th century, thousands of Indians migrated to Trinidad to escape poverty on the Indian subcontinent. So the use of Trinidad peppers in curry is 100% legit!
And you are going to need to be careful.
Trinidad peppers are not like their finger-like Indian counterparts.
You can consider them more akin to scotch bonnets than any of the mild, generic, red chilli peppers.
Trinidad peppers are among some of the hottest in the world!
Don't believe me?
Check this out: -
4. Tajin Seasoning
This one doesn't feature too heavily in Indian cuisine.
Because it is actually of Mexican origin.
We tend to use chilli powder in most Indian dishes; however, if you have some of this lying around, it is a great way to introduce some heat and variation into your Indian cooking.
Tajin pepper is actually a blend of hot chilli powders combined with some dried lime and a little salt.
It is extremely spicy and not for the faint-hearted!
5. Tajin Pepper
Don't be confused. This isn't actually a chilli pepper.
Actually, it is a variation on the name of the above tajin seasoning! So, no need to scour supermarket shelves looking for a chilli that doesn't exist. Tajin pepper and tajin seasoning are interchangeable and are the same thing!
6. Tasmanian Pepper
If you like spicy curry, then this is one that you definitely want to check out.
On the face of it, Tasmanian pepper looks exactly like black pepper…
But you need to watch it.
These bush peppercorns are actually around 10 times hotter than black pepper. They taste quite similar, but the spicy kick will have you reaching for a cool glass!
Tasmanian pepper, especially when lightly toasted and ground, is a great way to add heat without adding the red colour commonly gained by including chilli powder in your recipes.
7. Tamarind Concentrate
Tamarind concentrate and tamarind paste are essentially the same things.
Tamarind is derived from the fleshy pulp of the fruit of the Tamarind tree. This pulp is cooked down, mixed with a little sugar and then left to set.
Tamarind tastes quite bitter and tart, with a strong citrusy note.
Suppose you can't get hold of tamarind paste when the recipe calls for it. In that case, don't worry. A couple of spoonfuls of freshly squeezed lime juice will give a similar acidic bite to your Indian dishes.
If you didn't think that tarragon was used in curry, you'd be right…
Well, half right.
Tarragon has strong anise tones and a slightly smoky taste. It actually works as a great substitute for fennel. So if you've got an Indian recipe that calls for fennel seeds but find yourself lacking, a small handful of chopped tarragon could actually fit the bill quite well!
I've also used it in place of methi leaves, with fairly good results.
Give it a go!
Again, with thyme, you don't tend to see this feature in many curry dishes.
However, thyme is another plant in the mint family, and curries (and many Indian sauces) do feature mint quite extensively. It is also a great flavouring to add to lamb. Why not give it a go in a nice tandoori chop recipe if you are looking for a little variation?
Think you've never tried tulsi?
This spice, starting with T, is the Hindi name for holy basil. This pungent and aromatic herb features predominantly in Thai curries and cuisine.
You'll also find it used in Indian teas, where it is steeped and combined with lemon juice! While in Thailand, it is called holy basil, in India, people refer to it as 'the queen of herbs', and it is regarded as a sacred herb.
11. Tej Petta
Here is a spice beginning with T that you will have almost certainly tried, even if you aren't into Indian cooking!
Wait, what, how?
Tej Patta is, in fact, the Hindi name for bay leaves, and it features in plenty of Indian cuisines.
Often, spices like garam masala and spice rubs will feature bay as one of the common ingredients.
The dried leaf has a herby and pungent taste and is used in slow-cooked dishes to add real depth and a slight aromatic flavour.
I love to use a couple of tej petta leaves when I make staff curry. If you haven't yet tried it, you really will want to check this out…
12. Toor Daal
Is it a spice?
Mmm, debatable, but it starts with T and is used in Indian cuisine, so it is staying!
Toor daal is dried and split yellow peas. These are normally boiled and stewed until the starch breaks down to form a thick soupy style dish. We add other Indian spices to produce an Indian side dish that is out of this world!
If you want to make a delicious daal tadka, then mixing this in a 50:50 ratio with red lentils will produce a substantial and supremely tasty dish!
I guarantee that you have eaten 'til' before.
If you've ever had a burger, then, almost certainly…
Til is the Hindi name for sesame seeds, and you'll find it used in many Asian style dishes. Til is used to make sesame oil, sesame paste as a coating for various tandoori dishes, Indian style breads, and Asian style spices such as Za'atar.
14. Tara Gura
You've had the spices. How about something sweet?
Tara Gura is the Hindi name for jaggery, an unrefined block of palm sugar. This features heavily in plenty of sweet curries.
If you can't get hold of jaggery… Er, sorry, tara gura, don't worry too much, as there are plenty of substitutes for you to choose from, including: -
- Brown sugar
- White sugar
- Artificial sweetener (like, say, stevia)
Tirphal, along with Timur, timut, tephal and teppal (dang, I could have got another 4 spices starting with T there), are all names for Sichuan pepper.
Sichuan pepper tends to be used predominantly in Eastern cooking. These red and green peppercorns are roasted and have a slightly smoky and earthy taste, along with a little heat. They are warmer than traditional black pepper but not as hot as chilli, making them great for use in medium curries.
16. Tandoori Masala
OK so when talking about spices beginning with 'T', tandoori masala might be a little bit of a cheat.
Because although it is regarded as a spice in its own right, its actually made of an amalgamation of other different spices. This bright red spice comprises of the following ingredients: -
- Garlic powder
- Kashmiri chilli powder
- Black pepper
17. Tikka Powder
Yeah guys, I know...
It's another little cheat. But have you ever tried to think of a list of spices starting with the letter T?
Trust me, it is hard.
Tikka powder is what we combine with yoghurt to make a tasty tikka marinade. There is little to it. You'll find cumin, garlic and ginger along with a little turmeric and paprika.
That's pretty much it!
Want to see how delicious it is?
Why not give my reshmi kebab recipe a go? That contains many of the same ingredients!
Spices Starting with T | Final Thoughts…
It started off a little tricky, and you won't find them all commonly used in Indian cooking, but my list of 15 spices starting with T just about covers it. Many are the Hindi names for commonly used spices you might already own. Want to know which curry dishes you can use them in? Why not check out my curry cooking archives and find a dish you really love? Here is your ultimate guide to Indian spices.