The Teekha Factor: Spices That Make Your Food Hotter
Bonny Shah

Bonny Shah
14 July 2020

This article is authored by Bonny Shah. Bonny is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator.

Go beyond the red chilli powder and experiment with the flavour profiles of other spices in your pantry to make your food spicier.

We’re all guilty of turning to our bright red chilli powder for a kick of spice in our recipes. It has the strongest association with heat, when it comes to any spice. Perhaps, it’s time to explore other spices like jeera, black pepper, cloves and more that can also #SpiceUpYourHealth along with your culinary creations.

Let’s look at some of these spices that bring in great heat-based flavour profiles into the mix along with health benefits.

Garam Masala

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Garam Masala benefits every curry with its intense heat and complex flavours. As one of India’s most popular spice blends, there’s no questioning the power of the Garam Masala and the spicy zing it brings to every dish. Get the Tata Sampann Garam Masala with Natural Oils, which ensures the right ingredients are used to make every dish special. Garam Masala can also help boosts metabolism, digestion, fight bloating and improves immunity.

Black Pepper

Overall, the heat level of black pepper is mild but it does have a level of pungency and the ability to add a zing to your food. That spiciness comes from a chemical compound named piperine, which also gives black pepper health benefits like improving digestion, fighting diseases through its antioxidant properties, breaking down congestion in your chest and more.


Jeera, or cumin, is one of the most consumed spices across the country. The strong, earthy, slightly spicy flavour of cumin is available either freshly ground or as whole seeds. Jeera has several health benefits. It’s has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, fights bacteria and parasites, helps control blood sugar and aids in weight loss, amongst others. Jeera also aids in digestion, especially in diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome.

Cayenne Pepper


Typically found in the spice aisle of the grocery store as a finely ground powder, cayenne is a hot pepper that can add a punch of heat to any recipe. With a hot, fiery taste, cayenne belongs to the Capsicum Annuum family of plants and the health benefits of cayenne pepper are endless. It can help in increasing your metabolism and is packed with antioxidants. It may also help with pain, congestion and improve circulation.


Cloves provide one of the most powerful flavours of all the world’s spices. The taste is pungent, strong and sweet with a bitter, astringent flavour as well. Cloves also have a distinct and undeniable warmth; to some, the flavour is almost hot. Now let’s talk about the benefits of cloves. It is effective in treating gum diseases, is anti-inflammatory, relieves pain, aids digestion and helps control blood sugar levels. Use it in your food to add a wholesome flavour as you enjoy the health benefits of clove.

That’s the scoop on all the spices you can use to add a bit of zing to your dish. Remember, every spice comes with a unique set of flavours and using them to your advantage is in your hands. Keep spicing it up!


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