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Indian Food Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J L M N
O P Q R S T U V W X
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    Arhar Dal
    In Indian cooking this means Split Red Gram
    Adrak
    In Indian cooking this means Ginger
    Ajwain
    In Indian cooking this means Carom Seeds / Thyme
    Amchoor
    In Indian cooking this means Dried Mango Powder
    Anaar Dana
    In Indian cooking this means Pomegranate Seeds (Dried)
    Angoor
    In Indian cooking this means Grapes
    Atta
    In Indian cooking this means Wheat Flour

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    Baghar
    (Tempering) Spices and herbs are added one at a time to hot oil and this tempering is either done as the first step in the cooking process, before adding the vegetables for example, or as the last, pouring the tempered oil over dal. The oil extracts and retains all the sharp flavours of the rai, kadipatta, jeera, hing, etc and coats the entire dish being prepared. Also known as tadka or chonk.
    Balchao
    (Pickling) A Goan specialty where vegetables like aborigines or seafood like prawns are “pickled” in sugar, vinegar and spices for a day or two before eating.
    Bhunao
    (Saute/stir-fry) Small quantities of water, yogurt, and stock are introduced to the pan if and when the ingredients start to stick. Usually onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chillies are fried in oil, but to make sure that this doesn’t stick, burn or cook unevenly, a small amount of water is added, repeatedly. After the oil separates from the mixture, the main ingredient (meat or vegetable) is added and cooked.
    Bhunna
    In India, roasting of meat is done in tandoors, or mud ovens. As the meat cooks, its fat, and marinade dribs onto the charcoal, sending up sizzling steam that permeates the whole joint. This smoky flavour is greatly prized.
    Bukhara
    Dum Pukht cuisine in India is over 200 years old. When Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah was building the Bara Imambara during the famine of 1784 to provide work for his starving people, huge quantities of food was cooked in large vessels, degs, in massive double-walled ovens called bukharis. He tasted the food one night and loved it so much that bukhari cooking was incorporated into the royal court.
    Badam
    In Indian cooking this means Almond
    Besan
    In Indian cooking this means Gram Flour
    Bhutta
    In Indian cooking this means Corn Cobs
    Black Cumin Seeds
    In Indian cooking this means Caraway Seeds
    Besan
    In Indian cooking this means Gram Flour

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    Chana
    In Indian cooking this means Bengal Gram & Chickpeas (brown)
    Chawli
    In Indian cooking this means Black Eyed Beans
    Cholia
    In Indian cooking this means Chickpeas (green)
    Chane Ka Atta
    In Indian cooking this means Gram Flour
    Chawal
    In Indian cooking this means Rice
    Chana Dal
    In Indian cooking this means Split Bengal Gram
    Chikoo
    In Indian cooking this means Sapota
    Chhuara
    In Indian cooking this means Dates (Dried)
    Chiwda
    In Indian cooking this means Flaked, Beaten rice

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    Dhuanaar
    (Smoking) Glowing charcoal is placed in a small katori, or bowl, cooked meats are placed around this. Dry spices and ghee are poured on top of the coals and a lid is quickly placed over the meat. This smoking adds a delicate flavour to the prepared meats. In Rajasthan, for example, matha or buttermilk is served after ghee is poured over hot coals and placed under a lid along with an earthenware pot of buttermilk for a minute or so.
    Do-Piaza
    Mullah Do-Piaza, all children in India are told, was the legendary cook at Akbar’s court. One of the navratnas , it is said he could conjour up culinary delights using only two onions. For example mutton cooked in that particular style is called Ghosht do piaza.
    Dum
    (Steaming) In the olden days, the utensil was sealed with atta (dough) to capture the moisture within the food as it cooked slowly over a charcoal fire. Some coal was placed on the lid to ensure even cooking. The food continued to cook in its own steam, retaining all its flavour and aroma. Dum means, “to steam” or “mature” a dish.
    Dalia
    In Indian cooking this means Broken Wheat
    Dahi
    In Indian cooking this means Curd
    Dalchini
    In Indian cooking this means Cinnamon
    Dhania Patta
    In Indian cooking this means Coriander Leaves
    Dhania Powder
    In Indian cooking this means Coriander Powder

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    Elaichi (Chhoti)
    In Indian cooking this means Green Cardamom

    Elaichi (Moti)
    In Indian cooking this means Brown Cardamom

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    Gehun
    In Indian cooking this means Wheat

    Gehun Ka Atta
    In Indian cooking this means Wheat Flour
    Ghee
    In Indian cooking this means Clarified Butter

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    Handi
    The cooking is done in a thick bottom pan so that the food does not stick or burn; the lid helps retain the aroma and flavour. Both bhunao and dum are aspects of Handi cooking.
    Hara Chana
    In Indian cooking this means Chickpeas (green)
    Hari Mirch
    In Indian cooking this means Green Chilly
    Hing
    In Indian cooking this means Asafetida

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    Imli
    In Indian cooking this means Tamarind

    J
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    Jaiphal
    In Indian cooking this means Nutmeg
    Javitri
    In Indian cooking this means Mace
    Jeera
    In Indian cooking this means Cumin Seed

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    Kadhai
    (Round bottomed pan) Usually the kadhai, in which the food is cooked, is placed directly on the table, where everyone eats out of it. Kadhai cooking is quick and no water is used in this style of cooking. The main ingredients cook in the natural juices released by the tomatoes and meat in the dish, which is constantly stirred until cooked.
    Kali  Dal
    In Indian cooking this means Black Gram Sabut
    Kabuli Chana
    In Indian cooking this means Chickpeas (white)
    Kulthi
    In Indian cooking this means Horse Gram
    Kaali Dal
    In Indian cooking this means Split Black Gram
    Kaju
    In Indian cooking this means Cashew Nut
    Kala Jeera
    In Indian cooking this means Caraway Seeds
    Kala Namak
    In Indian cooking this means Rock Salt
    Kali Mirch
    In Indian cooking this means Black Pepper
    Kari Patta
    In Indian cooking this means Curry Leaves
    Kheera
    In Indian cooking this means Cucumber
    Khoya
    In Indian cooking this means Dried Whole Milk/Thickened Milk
    Kishmish
    In Indian cooking this means Currants
    Kurmura
    In Indian cooking this means Puffed Rice

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    Lobhia
    In Indian cooking this means Black Eyed Beans
    Lahsun
    In Indian cooking this means Garlic
    Lasan
    In Indian cooking this means Garlic
    Laung
    In Indian cooking this means Clove

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    Moong
    In Indian cooking this means Green Gram
    Makai Ka Atta
    In Indian cooking this means Maize Flour
    Masoor
    In Indian cooking this means Red Lentil
    Maida
    In Indian cooking this means Refined Flour
    Moong Dal
    In Indian cooking this means Split Green Gram
    Masoor Dal
    In Indian cooking this means Split Red Lentil
    Mawa
    In Indian cooking this means Dried Whole Milk/Thickened Milk
    Maida
    In Indian cooking this means Fine Wheat Flour
    Malai
    In Indian cooking this means Cream
    Mattha (Chhaach)
    In Indian cooking this means Butter Milk
    Methi
    In Indian cooking this means Fenugreek Seeds
    Mirch
    In Indian cooking this means Chilly
    Moong Fali
    In Indian cooking this means Groundnut

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    Nimboo ka Sat
    In Indian cooking this means Citric Acid

    O
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    Poha
    In Indian cooking this means Flaked, Beaten rice
    Paneer
    In Indian cooking this means Cottage Cheese
    Patta Gobi
    In Indian cooking this means Cabbage
    Paav
    In Indian cooking this means Bun
    Pav
    In Indian cooking this means Bun
    Pao
    In Indian cooking this means Bun
    Phitkari
    In Indian cooking this means Alum
    Phool Gobi
    In Indian cooking this means Cauliflower
    Pudina
    In Indian cooking this means Mint

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    R
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    Rajma
    In Indian cooking this means Red Kidney Beans
    Rava
    In Indian cooking this means Semolina
    Raai
    In Indian cooking this means Mustard Seeds (Small)
    Raee
    In Indian cooking this means Mustard Seeds (Small)

    S
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    Suji
    In Indian cooking this means Semolina
    Sonth
    In Indian cooking this means Ginger
    Saboodana
    In Indian cooking this means Sago
    Sabudana
    In Indian cooking this means Sago
    Sarson
    In Indian cooking this means Mustard Seeds (Moti)
    Saunf
    In Indian cooking this means Aniseed
    Shimla Mirch
    In Indian cooking this means Capsicum

    T
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    Talna
    (Frying) In Indian cooking frying, when it is called for, is done in a wok or kadhai. The round bottom uses less oil and cooks the food evenly.
    Tawa
    A thicker version of the household griddle, it is used to cook food very fast, the outer rim is used to keep the food warm. Pau-Bhaji is a typical tawa dish and needs to be constantly stirred to avoid burning, and like kadhai cooking is eaten immediately.
    Tuvar Dal
    In Indian cooking this means Split Red Gram
    Tadka
    In Indian cooking this means Seasoning
    Tej Patta
    In Indian cooking this means Bay Leaf

    U
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    Urad Dal
    In Indian cooking this means Black Gram Sabut & Split Black Gram

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    X
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    Y
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    Z
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