Indian Cooking Terms

Aam  Mango
Achar Pickle
Adrak Ginger
Ajwain Carom
Aloo Potato
Amchur Mango powder
Atta Whole wheat flour
Badam Almond
Baingan Eggplant / Bringal / Aubergine
Bandh Gobi Cabbage
Basmati Type of fragrant long grain rice
Besan Chickpea flour
Bhaji Dry vegetable dish
Bhajia Something which is dipped in besan (chickpea flour) and deep fried
Bharta Mashed
Bhindi Okra, ladyfinger
Bhuna Dry roasted
Biryani Rice dish baked with meat or vegetables
Boondi Used in yogurt to make a variation of raitas
Burfi Indian sweet
Chana Type of legume, can be white, black or green in color
Chapati Whole wheat griddle cooked Indian bread, resembling a tortilla
Chawal Rice
Chilgoze  Pine nuts
Chutney Condiment to many different Indian snacks and dishes, many different varieties can be made
Daal Pulses or legumes which have been split into two
Dahi Yogurt
Dalchini Cinnamon


Degi Mirch

Dhaniya Coriander
Dhaniya pattaD Coriander leaves
Doroo Celery
Dosa South Indian pancake made primarily from rice and urad flour
Elaichi Cardamom
Gajar Carrot
Garam masala Combination of ground spices
Ghee Clarified butter


Gobi or Phoolgobi

Gosht Lamb or Goat
Gulab jamun An Indian dessert
Gur Jaggery
Haldi Turmeric
Halwa Indian Dessert
Hing Asofoetida
Idli Steamed patties, usually made from ground rice & urad daal
Imli Tamarind – used as a souring agent
Jaifal Nutmeg
Jalebi An Indian dessert
Javatri Mace
Javitri Mace, similar flavor to nutmeg
Jeera Cumin
Jinga Prawns / shrimp
Kabuli chana White Chickpeas
Kaddu kash To grate
Kadhi Yogurt soup
Kadi patta Curry leaves
Kaju Cashew nuts
Kala jeera Black cumin seeds
Kala namak Black salt


Kali Mirch

Black pepper, whole or powdered
Kalongi Onion seeds / Nigella
Karela Bitter gourd
Kathal Jack fruit
Keema Minced meat
Kesar Saffron
Khaskhas White poppy seeds
Kheer Thick, creamy dessert
Kishmish Raisins
Kofta Deep-fried meat or vegetable balls cooked in curry
Kokum A souring agent similar to tamarind
Korma A very rich meat or vegetable dish cooked with lots of cream, nuts & saffron
Khoya Reduced milk
Kulcha Leavened bread
Kulfi Indian ice cream


Lal Mirch

Red chili, whole or powdered
Lasan Garlic
Lassi Cold yogurt drink – can be sweet or salty
Lavang or Laung Cloves
Lilva Pigeon peas, the fresh whole version of toor daal
Macchi or Macchli Fish
Makhani A dish cooked in butter or ghee
Makki Corn
Malai Cream
Mamra Puffed rice
Masala General word for spices
Masoor Lentil
Mattar Green peas
Methi Fenugreek
Mirch or Mirchi Chili
Mithai Sweetmeat
Mooli Long white radish
Moong Type of legume, can be whole or split  
Mulligatawny A type of soup
Murgh Chicken
Murungukai Drumstick
Naan Leavened bread traditionally baked in a tandoor, can be made in an oven 
Namak Salt
Namkeen Salty
Nariyal Coconut
Nimboo Lime
Pakoras Something which is dipped in besan (chickpea flour) and deep fried
Palak Spinach
Panch poran A combination of five seeds (mustard, cumin, fenugreek, onion & fennel) used whole or as a powder
Paneer Non-melting type of cheese
Papad Thin, round baked or fried wafer — accompaniment to an Indian meal
Paratha A griddle fried bread
Pista Pistachio nut
Podina Mint
Poha Flattened rice
Pullao Rice dish cooked with meat or vegetables
Puri Deep fried unleavened bread
Pyaz Onion
Rai Mustard seeds
Raita Beaten yogurt with various vegetables [ e.g. cucumber, tomatoes, onions] or boondi
Rajma Kidney beans
Rasgulla Indian dessert made with paneer in a light sugar syrup
Rasmalai Indian dessert made with paneer in a thick cream sauce
Roti Unleavened bread
Ruh gulab Rosewater
Saag Greens such as spinach or mustard leaves
Sambar South Indian vegetable soup made with toor daal
Samosa Deep fried triangles stuffed with meat or vegetables, served as appetizers
Sarson ka saag Mustard leaves
Saunf Fennel seeds
Seeng Drumstick. A bean-like variety of marrow which looks exactly like a drumstick.
Soont Dry ginger
Subzi Vegetables
Tarka Garnish, usually heated oil with spices such as mustard seeds and cumin seeds
Tej patta Bay leaf
Til Sesame seeds
Toor Type of legume (also known as Arhar), one of the most commonly used daals all over



Tukmeria Holy basil seeds, used in drinks such as falooda
Tulsi Holy basil
Urad A type of legume, primarily used to make Idli and Dosa
Vanaspati Hydrogenated vegetable oil

Very thin and edible silver or gold foil, used to decorate Indian sweets


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