Glossaries

Ingredients Dishes Measures Methods
Achaar Another word for achar.  
Achaari Another word for achari.  
Achar Achar (or achaar) means pickle. Indian pickling is done in oil, rather than vinegar. Lots of different vegetables and fruits are pickled, the most widely known being mango pickle and lime pickle. Mixed pickle is usually a combination of cauliflower, raddish and carrot.  
Achari Recipes with achari (or achaari) in their names, such as achari chicken, are dishes cooked in pickle spices.  
Aloo Aloo (or alu) means potato. A dish with aloo (or alu) in its name means that one of the ingredients is potato. The most common dishes are saag aloo (spinach and potato) and aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower).  
Aloo Bonda Potato balls, made with mashed potato and spices, that are dipped in a flour and water batter before being deep fried. Usually eaten as a snack with chutney.  
Aloo Bread Pakora Bread that is stuffed with potato and then coated with a flour and spice batter and fried.  
Aloo Chaat A snack, eaten in North India and Pakistan, made from fried potatoes and spices.  
Aloo Chat Alternative spelling of aloo chaat.  
Aloo Jeera A snack made with potatoes, jeera (cumin) and spices.  
Aloo Matar Curry Alternative spelling of aloo mattar.  
Aloo Mattar Curry A curry made with potato and peas.  
Aloo Paratha Paratha (unleavened flatbread) stuffed with potato.  
Aloo Poha Dish with the main ingredients of aloo (potato) and poha (flattened rice).  
Aloo Roti Roti (unleavened flatbread) stuffed with potato.  
Aloo Tikki Fried pattie usually made with potato, onion and spices.  
Alu Another word for aloo.  
Alu Paratha Alternative spelling of aloo paratha.  
Andhra Dishes with Andhra in their names, such as Andhra lamb curry, are dishes that originated in the Indian state of Andhra (Andhra Pradesh is the modern state that has replaced the old Andhra state).  
Appam Appam is a pancake, made with fermented rice and coconut milk, that is very popular in South India.  
Avial An avial curry is a curry made with vegetables and coconut. The avial curry originated in South India and is very popular in Kerala.  
Aviyal Another word for Avial.  
Badami Lamb Popular lamb dish especially liked at Eid ul Fitr (the end of Ramadan). Badami lamb is made with yogurt and coconut milk as well as chillies and various spices.  
Badshahi Roti A badshahi roti is a roti that is made from 4 different types of flour and contains cauliflower and spinach (among other ingredients).  
Baingan Bharta Baingan bharta is a vegetarian curry with the main ingredient of charred aubergines (eggplant, baigan, baingan or brinjal).  
Balti Balti is the name of the style of cooking, as well as the utensil that is used to cook the food. The balti originated in Baltistan, which is an area of north-eastern Pakistan. The balti phenonenom reached the UK in the 1970s when an emigrant from Baltistan arrived in Birmingham and opened up a Balti house. Today there are a large number of balti houses in the Sparkbrook, Balsall Heath, and Moseley areas of South Birmingham and the area is commonly known as the Balti Triangle. The Balti pan, also known as a karahi, is made out of cast-iron and is like a round-bottomed wok with steep sides and two handles. A karahi can be a small pan that holds a single curry up to a very large commercial pan. Balti food is freshly cooked in the balti pan and is usually more aromatic than spicy.  
Barfi Barfi is sweet (candy) confectionary that is made from a base of condensed milk and sugar. There are lots of types of barfi that have different ingredients such as flour, fruit or nuts. Typically, the sugar is dissolved in the milk and then the mixture is boiled when the other ingredients are added. The barfi mixture thickens as it is cooked until it is placed into a shallow dish or tray where the barfi sets. The cold barfi is cut into pieces and then eaten. Barfi is a very popular sweet (candy) that is eaten at special occasions and festivals (such as Diwali and Holi).  
Basanthi A milk-based dessert containing sugar and nuts.  
Basanti Another word for basanthi.  
Bebinca Bebinca is a sweet (dessert) that is made from layers of ingredients. The typical ingredients are coconut milk, sugar and egg whites. Bebinca originally came from Goa.  
Besan Ladoo Sweet dish made from besan flour, ghee and sugar.  
Bhaji One meaning for bhaji is a type of pakora (which is a deep fried dish) with the most well-known bhaji being the onion bhaji. Another meaning is "a curry sauce" with dishes such as bhindi bhaji (okra in a curry sauce) and brinjal bhaji (aubergine in a curry sauce).  
Bhakari Another word for bhakri.  
Bhakarwadi Snack made from flour covered with a mixture of coconut and spices, rolled into a tube, cut into bite-sized slices and then deep fried.  
Bhakri A type of unleavened bread, mostly made from wheat flour, that is popular in central and western India.  
Bhatoora Another word for bhatura.  
Bhatura Deep-fried puffed-up bread, similar to poori except that the bread is leavened.  
Bhature Bhatura eaten with chickpea curry.  
Bhel Puri Bhel Puri (or Bhelpuri) is the most common street chaat in Mumbai (Bombay). The snack is made from puffed rice, onion, potato, papadi, mango and chutney.  
Bhindi Bhaji Okra in a curry sauce.  
Bhoona A bhoona dish is dry in that all of the liquid and juices have been reduced from the cooked curry. The word "bhoona" means "to brown" and most bhoona dishes are brown because of the reducing of the liquids tends to make the spices cling to the main ingredient (meat or vegetables). Typically, a bhoona is cooked in hot oil which releases the essential oils and fragrances from the spices and then the rest of the curry ingredients are added and cooked.  
Bhuna Another word for bhoona.  
Biryani A biryani is a spicy Indian dish that has layers of rice and another main ingredient (either meat or vegetables). The biryani dish arrived in India when the Moghuls invaded the north of India, way back in the 15th century. A biryani is typically made in an enclosed container so that the rice cooks while absorbing all of the liquid.  
Bobotie A South African curry baked in the oven that uses spiced minced (ground) meat and has an egg and milk topping.  
Bombay Duck This is a fish dish made from the bummalow fish. The fish is washed, boned and dried in the sun. The fish is fried or grilled and served as a crisp and pungent side dish.  
Bonda South Indian deep-fried snack that is usually savoury but can be sweet.  
Bread Pakora Bread that is coated with a flour and spice batter and then fried.  
Brinjal Bhaji Aubergine in a curry sauce.  
Burfi Another word for barfi.  
Cachoombar Another word for kachumber.  
Chaat Chaat is a word for a snack. If can be vegetarian, or have meat, and usually contains a wrapping for the food, such as roti, pakora, idli, dosa or a flour-based dough. The combinations of ingredients is huge. The most common type of chaat is street food where all types of delicious snacks are sold.  
Cham Cham A Bengali sweet (candy) that has a coating of coconut.  
Chana A dal made from chickpeas.  
Chapati A flat and circular unleavened bread made from whole wheat flour (called chapatti or atta flour) and water. Chapati bread is typically used for scooping up food and is usually cooked on a dry griddle called a tava.  
Chilli Paneer Chilli paneer is a very popular dish that has paneer, onions, capsicums (bell peppers), chillies and spices. This dish originated in China and is often eaten as a starter dish.  
Chole Spicy chickpeas and potatoes often eaten with bhatura (or bhatoora), puri (or poori) or roti.  
Chole Bhature Spicy chickpeas eaten with bhatura (or bhatoora).  
Chutney Chutney is eaten either to spice up a bland dish or just to accompany a spicy dish. Chutney is usually made from fruit or vegetables that are cooked with spices before being bottled for later use. Probably the most famous is mango chutney, which is a sweet chutney, but there are lots of different chutney styles to enjoy.  
Coronation Chicken A cold chicken dish that contains mayonnaise and curry powder, served on as part of a salad. The dish was invented by the British in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Food rationing following World War II was still in effect at the time which explains the seemingly strange mixture of ingredients. The British acquired a taste for the dish and coronation chicken sandwiches are often sold in cafes and lunch bars in town and city centres.  
Curd Yoghurt.  
Daag Daag is a curry base that is used to speed up making a curry. The onions, spices and tomatoes are cooked and then stored for later use. When needed, the daag is heated and then the main ingredients are added, along with water, and the curry is then cooked. The cooking time of a curry is greatly reduced when using a daag because the daag is cooked before it is needed.  
Daal Another word for dal.  
Dahi Bhalla Dal dumplings covered in yoghurt and spices, often eaten as street food.  
Dahl Another word for dal.  
Dal Dal (also daal, dahl and dhal) is spicy soup (or stew) made out of any pulse legume. The most common pulses are mung beans, garden peas, chickpeas and lentils.  
Dam Aloo See Dum Aloo.  
Dhal Another word for dal.  
Dhansak A dhansak is a curry that is a blend of Persian and Gujarati cuisine that is traditionally a mix of spices, lentils and meat, although vegetables are sometimes substituted for the meat to suit vegetarian palates. More often than not, a dhansak used to contain goat meat but is more likely to have chicken or lamb in it nowadays. The lentils give the curry a rich and nutty flavour. A dhansak combines sweet and sour tastes where sugar or jaggery (gur) gives the sweetness and tamarind gives the sourness. Dhansak is often served with brown rice.  
Dhokla Gujarati dish made from fermented rice, chickpeas and spices.  
Dopiaza A dopiaza is a curry that has a lot of onions. There are more onions in a dopiaza than any other type of curry. The dish often has diced onions cooked in the sauce as well as being garnished with fried onions. The dish is usually made from meat (chicken or lamb) but can be vegetarian. This is a medium hot curry.  
Dosa Dosa is a popular and nutritious food that is often eaten for breakfast or as a snack in the Indian subcontinent. Dosa is made from a mixture of rice, dal and water that is mixed and allowed to ferment before it is ground into a batter. Other ingredients, such as spices, potatoes, chillies and nuts can be added and the final dosa mixture is fried like a pancake and eaten hot, accompanied by Rasam, Sambar or coconut chutney.  
Dosa Masala A dosa masala is a dosa with a filling which often contains potatoes as well as spices. Different vegetables can be used instead of potatoes.  
Dosai Another name for dosa.  
Dum Aloo Kashmiri dish of small potatoes that are deep fried and then slowly cooked in spices.  
Firni A creamy rice pudding (a type of kheer) that is mainly eaten in North India and Pakistan.  
Gobi Cauliflower - a common cauliflower dish is aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower).  
Golgappa Another word for pani puri.  
Gosht Curry made from lamb.  
Gulab Jamun One of the most popular desserts that is made from deep-fried milk and flour balls that are soaked in a sugar syrup. This dessert is widely eaten at festivals, such as Diwali, as well as special family occasions such as weddings and birthdays.  
Halva Sweet (dessert) dish usually made from semolina, sugar and other ingredients.  
Halwa Another word for halva.  
Hari Another word for Hariyali.  
Harissa Harissa is a spicy chilli paste that is widely used in north African dishes. There are lots of different recipes for harissa but most use hot chillies, spices, oil and tomatoes. You can make your own harissa paste or buy it in jars from your local supermarket.  
Hariyali Hariyali (hari) means green and hariyali recipes typically use fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, fresh mint leaves and fresh green chillies to get the green colour.  
Idli Idli is a small, round, savoury cake made from black lentils and rice, usually eaten as breakfast or a snack.  
Jal Jeera Cold drink made with ice water and ground cumin.  
Jalebi Popular sweet that is made by making a flour batter into a pretzel-like shape that is deep fried and then covered in a sweet syrup  
Jalfrezi Jalfrezi is a stir-fry dish that often contains marinated meat or poultry. The meat is fried with green peppers, onions and chillies.  
Jalibi An alternative word for jalebi.  
Jaljeera Another word for jal jeera.  
Jilawii An alternative word for jalebi.  
Jungle Curry Jungle curries are Thai curries that are made with ingredients that are found in a jungle. As such, the most common ingredients are ginger (or galangal), onion, lemongrass, Thai curry paste, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice and coconut milk. Carrots, potatoes and bell peppers (capsicums) are often used vegetables. Pork and chicken are the most popular meats.  
Kachori Kachori is a snack that is a round ball, with an outside made from flour a filling made with dal and spices, that is deep-fried.  
Kachumber A kachumber is a simple salad made from raw vegetables such as cucumber, tomatoes, onion and chillies. The raw vegetables are sliced and diced and sprinkled with a little salt and lemon juice.  
Kadai Paneer A curry that usually contains paneer cheese, tomato, onion and spices.  
Karahi A wok-like pan and also the curries made by using this pan.  
Kasundi Kasundi is a spicy Indian tomato relish.  
Kebab Pieces of meat grilled (broiled in the US) on a skewer.  
Kedgeree Breakfast of warmed up leftovers, usually fish. Kedgeree often contains rice, eggs and curry powder (or spices).  
Keema Minced lamb.  
Khaja A sweet usually made from flour, sugar and edible oils that is fried.  
Khaman Another word for khaman dhokla  
Khaman Dhokla Gujarati dish that is very similar to dhokla but slightly harder in texture.  
Khandvi Gujarati snack made from a flour, buttermilk and spices batter that is cooked, allowed to cool, rolled and then served garnished with coconut.  
Kheer A sweet dessert made from rice, milk and sugar that often contains cardamom and nuts of some kind.  
Kitchari Kitchari is a dish made from rice, mung beans (or other legumes) and spices. Kitchari is often referred to as being a soup but sometimes it is much thicker than a soup and more resembles a stew. Kitchari was originally an Ayurvedic dish.  
Kofta Spicy meatballs made from beef or lamb.  
Korma Korma is a dish made with yoghurt, cream, nuts and spices (as well as marinated meat). The dish is cooked slowly and has a mild heat.  
Kuchla A pickle-like side dish usually made from a grated fruit (for example, apple or mango) with a few added spices.  
Kulcha A Punjabi leavened flatbread that is usually stuffed with vegetables or meat.  
Kulfi A sweet ice cream with almond, mango or pistachio flavouring.  
Laddoo Sweets (candies) often made out of a combination of flour, sugar (or jaggery), coconut and ground nuts. The sweets (candies) are typically rolled into balls of about 2.5cm (1 inch) diameter. Laddoo are eaten at celebrations such as weddings and religious festivals.  
Laddu Another word for Laddoo.  
Ladoo Another word for laddoo.  
Lassi A yogurt-based drink that usually contains fruit that is blended into a smoothie.  
Lime Pickle A spicy hot pickle made from limes, chillies and spices.  
Madras A madras curry has a hot, spicy sauce which has lots of chilli powder. The sauce is usually red and has a tomato base. The main ingredient is usually chicken.  
Malpua Deep fried sweet pancake that is eaten as a dessert or a snack.  
Mango Chutney A chutney made from mangoes, sugar, vinegar and spices.  
Masala Chai Tea made with spices and herbs.  
Masala Dosa See Dosa Masala.  
Massaman Curry A Massaman curry originates from southern Thailand and is Muslim in origin. The curry is traditionally made with beef but can be made with other meats. The curry is made with a Massaman curry paste and the most common ingredients, apart from the meat, are coconut milk, potatoes, peanuts, fish sauce and tamarind sauce.  
Matar Paneer Another common spelling of mutter paneer.  
Mattar Paneer Another common spelling of mutter paneer.  
Matter Paneer Another common spelling of mutter paneer.  
Mint Chutney Chutney made with mint leaves.  
Moghlai A moghlai is usually a mild dish made from chicken cooked with garlic, ginger and other spices in a rich creamy yoghurt sauce.  
Murgh Chicken.  
Mutter Paneer A curry that contains paneer cheese, peas and spices.  
Mysore Bonda Fried dumplings that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Mysore bondas are very popular snacks in southern India.  
Naan Flat bread, made from wheat and yeast (or baking powder), that is cooked in a tandoor oven. Common naans are garlic, plain and keema (stuffed with minced lamb), and peshwari (stuffed with nuts and raisins).  
Nariyal A type of coconut chutney.  
Navratan Korma Navratan means "nine gems" and, in the korma curry context, refers to the number of vegetables in the curry.  
Nawabi Nawabi cuisine originated in and around Lucknow. This area was ruled by a Nawab and, in English, the title of Nawab is roughly the same as viceroy. The Nawabs were very wealthy. Nawabi cuisine mainly consists of meat that is marinated in yogurt, or cream, before being cooked in spices.  
Nimbu Pani A lemonade drink.  
Onion Bhaji A popular type of pakora that is grated (shredded) onion that is rolled into a ball, covered in batter (often gram flour) and then deep fried.  
Paatra Another word for patra.  
Pachadi Pachadi is a term that is used to describe several dishes in different parts of South India. Whilst all pachadi dishes are accompaniments to main dishes, a pachadi is like a raita in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, like a chutney (or pickle) in Andhra Pradesh and like a vegetable side dish in the rest of South India.  
Pakoda Another common word for pakora.  
Pakora Traditionally, pakora are small pieces of raw vegetables that are coated with spicy gram flour and then deep fried although nowadays small pieces of chicken, meat and fish can also be similarly coated with gram flour and deep fried. The gram flour forms a crisp shell when deep fried and the pakora are either eaten as a snack or a side dish. Bhaji are similar to pakora except that the vegetable ingredient is grated (shredded) rather than cut up into small pieces.  
Palak Paneer A curry that contains paneer cheese and spinach, cooked in a tomato sauce.  
Paneer Tikka A dish of marinated paneer cheese pieces that are grilled (broiled) in a tandoor oven.  
Panha Drink made with a base of mangoes.  
Pani Puri Small deep-fried puri that is stuffed with a mixture of tamarind water and other ingredients such as potato, chickpeas, onions and spices.  
Panipuri A street snack that is basically a small, round, fried puri with a filling.  
Papad Another word for poppadom.  
Parantha See Paratha.  
Paratha A flat bread, similar to chapati, that is often stuffed with vegetables. An alternative spelling is parantha.  
Parotta A layered flatbread, similar to paratha.  
Pasanda A pasanda is made from thinly sliced lamb that is cooked in a very rich, but lightly spiced, sauce that is made from yoghurt and coconut milk. Ground almonds are often added. A very mild dish.  
Patea Another common word for patia.  
Pathia Another common word for patia.  
Patia A sweet and sour dish that is usually made with prawns, chicken or lamb. The sourness comes from vinegar.  
Patra Patra is a Gujarati dish that is made with a base flour and spice mixture that is made into a dough. The dough mixture is then put onto colocasia leaves and tightly rolled before being cut into slices and then fried before being garnished with grated coconut.  
Pav Bhaji A popular snack and street food that is a vegetarian curry served in a soft bread roll.  
Peda Peda is a sweet made with khoa/khoya (dried milk), sugar and other ingredients such as saffron, seeds and nuts.  
Phal This is a British dish that is basically a very hot vindaloo. Not for the faint hearted or people with delicate tastebuds.  
Phall An alternative word for phal.  
Phirni An alternative word for firni.  
Pilaf Rice Alternative for pulao rice.  
Pilau Rice Alternative for pulao rice.  
Podi Podi is a dish made with slices of potato (or capsicum) that are fried in a batter made from besan flour and chilli powder.  
Poha Spicy snack that is often eaten for breakfast. Especially popular in Mumbai (Bombay), poha is made from flattened rice, potato, onion, chillies and spices.  
Pongal South Indian name for kitchari.  
Poori Another word for puri.  
Poppadom A crispy cracker usually made with lentil flour. Poppadoms are often deep fried in restaurants but can also be grilled (broiled) or microwaved. They are eaten as appetisers, with or without achar (pickle).  
Pudina Chutney Another name for mint chutney.  
Pulao Rice Rice that has been fried brown and then cooked in a spicy broth.  
Pullao Rice Alternative for pulao rice.  
Puri A deep fried flat bread bread made from atta flour.  
Raan Raan is leg of lamb that is marinated in spicy yogurt before being cooked.  
Rasam Rasam is a soup from south India that contains tamarind juice, tomato, chillies, lentils and spices.  
Rava Dosa A type of dosa made with semolina and flour.  
Rezala A spicy Bengali dish that usually contains meat (chicken or mutton) as well as lots of dairy ingredients such as yogurt, cream and milk.  
Rice Rice is an integral part of a curry meal. There are lots of different varieties of rice including short-grain, long-grain and basmati. Rice can be served plain or with added flavouring (such as in pilau rice). And rice can even be served with mixed up spicy vegetables, as in a biryani.  
Rogan Josh A heavily spiced dish traditionally made from lamb and red in colour. Medium hot.  
Rongi Curry made from black eyed kidney beans.  
Roti The word roti is a general word that is used to describe all unleavened breads, as well as being a bread type itself. Leavened breads, such as naan bread, rise because of the yeast or baking powder (or baking soda) that is mixed into the ingredients whereas unleavened breads do not rise. The unleavened breads that are in the general roti category include chapati, paratha and puri as well as roti itself. Roti is a thin, flat and round unleavened bread, about 15cm (6 inches) across and is often used to scoop up curries right from the plate.  
Saag Saag usually refers to spinach but it actually means any kind of green leaf.  
Saag Aloo A spicy dish of potato and green leaves (usually spinach).  
Saag Gosht A curry made from lamb and spinach with a rich sauce. Medium hot.  
Saag Paneer A curry that contains paneer cheese and green leaves (usually spinach), cooked in a tomato sauce.  
Sabji Another word for sabzi.  
Sabzi A general word for a vegetable curry.  
Sag Aloo Another name for saag aloo.  
Sagwala Medium hot curry made from meat (usually lamb) and chopped spinach.  
Sambal Sambal is a hot sauce with chilli being the main ingredient to give heat.  
Sambar Sambar is a south Indian dish that is basically a vegetable stew that contains tamarind.  
Samosa A triangular (or pyramid shaped) savoury snack made with pastry that is stuffed and deep fried. The stuffing is usually a mixture of potato, onion and peas but can be minced meat.  
Sarson Ka Saag Sarson ka saag (or Sarson da saag) is a popular spicy Punjabi dish made from mustard leaves (other green leaves are often added to the dish).  
Shami Kebab Small patty of spiced minced (marinated) meat (usually lamb) that is spiced and cooked in the tandoor. The fast cooking means that the outside is chargrilled but the inside is nice and moist.  
Suji Halwa Sweet dessert made from semolina that is fried and garnished with nuts.  
Tadka Dhal An alternative for tarka dhal.  
Tandoor A tandoor is a clay oven that is traditionally heated with charcoal. The thick clay walls and the high heat from the charcoal mean that the oven temperatures can get close to 500C.  
Tandoori Chicken A chicken dish made from chicken that has been marinated in a mixture of yoghurt, garam masala and other spices. It is usually cooked on skewers in a tandoor.  
Tarka Dhal A dhal made from lentils cooked with tomatoes and spices.  
Thepla A flat bread, made from whole wheat flour, which is very popular in Gujarati.  
Thoran A dry vegetarian curry made with chopped vegetables and coconut.  
Tikka Small pieces of meat, usually chicken or lamb, that have been marinated in a mixture of yoghurt, garam masala and other spices and cooked on skewers in a tandoor.  
Tikka Masala Tikka served in a masala sauce.  
Tindaloo A very hot curry that is even hotter than a vindaloo. The extra heat is the result of using more chillies or chilli powder.  
Upma Dish made from semolina usually eaten as breakfast or a snack.  
Uttapam A thick pancake made with rice flour, onions, tomatoes, chillies and spices.  
Vada Another word for vadai.  
Vadai A popular deep-fried street food from south India that is made from pulses, flour and potato.  
Vade Another word for vadai.  
Vindaloo A very hot dish that was traditionally made from pork but more commonly is made from chicked or lamb. It is a highly spiced dish with garlic and vinegar and often contains potato.  
Xacutti A very hot dish (like the vindaloo) where chillies, coconut and spices are dry roasted and then made into a paste that is then used for cooking the meat (which can be chicken or lamb). The dish can also be vegetarian.