Indian spices are used in india in different ways. It can be used as a whole or powdered or roasted or as apaste added with curry in alone or in mixes(masala)or end of cooking or in the beginning.
All spices have different aroma and taste.
The mix of spices is called garam masala.garam masala means hot with aromatic flavour used in pulavs and other dishes. Iam giving you simple description of few spices which I know about them, about cumin and corrainder seeds every body knows as it is used in every Indian cooking and mostly available in every shop.
Black cumin seeds (kala jeera)
It is like cumin seeds but thinner than ordinary cumin seeds.it is used in pulavs,biryani and other curries. It has a different flavour from ordinary cumin seeds.
It has sweet flavour and used for both in sweets and in curries also. It is used for mouth freshner also .it is used in tea making we call it illaichi ki chai(cardamom tea).
Black cardamom or brown cardamom
It is bigger in size than green cardamom and it is different from green cardamom used in biryani,pulavs and curries etc. it has intense affect and smoky flavour too. It is called as Nepal cardamom also.
It has a woody aroma,obtained from cinnamon tree.it is powdered and used in sweats and pastries also and curries.
It has strong sweat flavour but pungent smell.it is used in curries and other dishes.
Cassia buds (Naag kesher) and dagad phool
Dagad phool will be in black and ash colour. Its texture will be like any scrap of wood or like burnt paper. It is used in Maharashtrian cuisine (Malvani masala and Goda masala).
Cassia buds (Naag kesher) are the unopened flowers of the cassia(cinnmon) tree that are picked just before blooming and dried in the sun. Cassia buds look like small cloves. Its flavour is also different.
Mace and nutmeg
Mace and nutmeg are 2 different spices come from a single fruit of nut meg tree. The outer skin is mace and the seed is nutmeg, both are dried and are used as spices.
Mace aromatic and strong in taste whereas nutmeg is the same but mace has finer aroma. Nutmeg if used more can become bitter, it is used in soups and in many dry masalas. Mace is also used in gravies and other cooking recipes.
This is the dried form of methi leaves, and is used in most of the recipes for flavouring. It has a sweat and pleasant odour, which makes it very popular in Indian dishes.