« back to encyclopedia search results
Indian Menu terms
Achar: pickled vegetables.
Ambul thiyal: a Sri Lankan way of cooking fish with spices.
Avial: a mixed vegetable curry from the Kerala region of Southern India, flavoured with coconut and yoghurt.Badam: the Punjabi word for almonds.Badun: a Sri Lankan term for black. Also a form of dry, hot curry found in those parts.
Balti:a term developed in Britain"s West Midlands (Birmingham) for a style ofdish cooked - or more likely served - in a "karai" (a heavy metal wok).The term also covers the cooking utensil itself. In most British Indianrestaurants, the food would be cooked 'normally' and simplydisplayed/finished in the balti dish for effect.
Bater/batera/bateira: Baangladeshi words for quail.
Bengali:a style of cooking coming from the North-Eastern segment of the Indiansub-continent. After India was divided in 1947, West Bengal (includingCalcutta) became a state of India, while East Bengal became EastPakistan - this became independent from Pakistan in 1971 and is nowBangladesh. Fish curries are very popular in this area.
Bhaji:in Britain, these are snacks composed of deep-fried vegetables heldtogether by spiced chickpea flour. In India, the term might also referto stir-fried vegetables. In Northern India bhaji are often known aspakora.
Bhel poori: a snack often found on street stalls around Bombay.
Bhindi: okra; ladies" fingers.
Bhuna: a dry spicy curry, with a rich coconut sauce.
Biriani/biryani: a dish in which spiced meat or vegetables are cooked together with rice - in the style of an Indian risotto.
BombayMix: an Indian snack consisting of spiced, dried and crisp, noodleswith tropical fruit and nuts. Generally, it"s available in a mild ormore highly-spiced varieties.
Brinjal: aubergine; eggplant.
Ceylon, curry in the style of: cooked with coconut, lemon and chilli.
Chaat/chat: snack; often fruit salad.
Chana/Channa: whole chickpeas with the skin on.
Channa dahl: split chickpeas without the skin.
Chana masala: a dry chick pea curry.
Chapati/chapatti: an unleavened whole-wheat pancake-shaped bread, traditionally used as a scoop for eating food.
Chasnidarth: sweet and sour sauce.
Chewda:an Indian snack in the style of Bombay mix, but made from beaten rice,cashew nuts, dried coconut, raisins and chewda masala (mango powder,cumin seeds, pepper, cinnamon and red chili). It is generally sold ineither mild or hot varieties.
Chorichori: food marinated and cooked in tomatoes, onions, herbs and cream.
Dahi wada: cooked in a savoury yoghurt sauce.
Dahl/dal: a thin lentil purée, rather like thick soup. It is often served with garlic and spices when it is known as Tarka Dahl.
Daikon: another name for mooli.
Dhansak:a mild curry with a slightly sweet taste, originating from Parseetraditions, in the area around Bombay. Lentils are a prerequisite.
Dopiaza: a curry that has been cooked with onions as one of the main flavourings. "do" (two); "piaza" (onions).
Dosai/dosa: very thin pancakes, made with rice and lentil flour. They are generally served with a spicy vegetable filling
Dum:a traditional cooking technique, whereby a curry is simmered verygently in a casserole, which is often sealed with a flour and waterpaste.
Gajjar ka halwa: carrot pudding.
Garam masala: a blend of ground mixed spices. See Garam masala.
Ghee: clarified butter.
Godamba roti: a thin, flaky style of bread from Sri Lanka. Sometimes wrapped around egg or potato.
Gosht/ghosh: meat (usually mutton or lamb).
Gota: a brightly-coloured mixture of spices served at the end of a meal, as an aid to digestion.
Halwa: a fudge-like sweet.
Hoppers: Sri Lankan pancakes made from rice flour. See also String hoppers.
Iddi appam: another name for String hoppers.
Idli: a rice and lentil flour cake, traditional in Southern India.
Jalebi: a sweet, deep-fried doughnut served with syrup.
Jalfresi/jalfrezi/jalfarezi: - marinated meat - usually chicken - charcoal-grilled withtomatoes and capsicums or green chilis. Fairly hot.
Jamdani: a mild dry Bangladeshi dish containing yoghurt and tomatoes.
Javithri/jawatrie: a form of mace.
Jinga praj pati: butterflied and marinated prawns, fried in butter.
Josh - see Gosht
Kabab: an Indian minced-meat sausage, generally charcoal-grilled.
Kachori: an Indian flat bread, usually stuffed with dal, and deep-fried.
Karahi: a small iron, wok-like cooking dish. Curries, so named, are generally dry, sizzling, with onions and tomatoes.
Kaskmir, curry in the style of: a sweet-tasting curry, generally cooked with fruit - lychee being a favourite.
Keema: the Pujabi word for minced meat.
Kheer: milk rice pudding
Khurzi: a whole lamb or chicken stuffed with a spicy filling
Kulfi: ice cream - often pistachio or almond
Lassi: a drink from the Indian sub-continent made with yoghurt. Lassicomes in salt or sweet varieties, the latter sometimes flavoured withfruit, such as mango
Kachori: spiced dahl with coriander and peas wrapped in crispy pastry
Kalan: a thin curry from Southern India, flavoured with coconut and mangoes
Karai: a wok-like cooking dish, traditionally used over the centurieson the North-Western extremities of the Indian sub-continent. Probablyby nomadic tribes who used it for one-pot-cooking. In the British WestMidlands the karai has been re-invented as the "balti". Possibly moreas a display device that a cooking tool - except in the most authenticof restaurants.
Katori: small dishesmaking up a traditional thali (tray meal).rnKhadi:a sauce coming from Southern India made from buttermilk and coconut,and flavoured with cloves.
Kheema/keema: minced lamb ("kheema nan" is a nan stuffed with spiced minced lamb).
Kiri hodi: a Sri Lankan curry sauce, made with coconut milk, onions andturmeric. Also called pol kiri and sothy. Kiri is a Sri Lankan word forcoconut.
Kitchri: a mixture of fried pillao rice and chick peas - the forerunner of kedgeree.
Kofta: meatballs or vegetable dumplings.
Korma/koorma: a mild, rich curry, where the main ingredient is braised in yoghurt - almonds are sometimes added.
Kulmie darchini: cinnamon
Kush kush: a mild dish from the far north of the sub-continent, containing dried fruit and nuts.
Lamprais/lamprice: a Sri Lankan dish, where meat and meat are cookedtogether in a style similar to a biriani. The finished dish is oftenbaked in banana leaves.
Laychee: yellow cardamoms.
Long: whole cloves.
Madras, curry in the style of: a hot curry, with tomatoes, alamonds, lemon juice and chilis.
Makhani: a dish cooked with butter.
Makhani: cooked with butter.
Maldives fish: small dried fish, used in Sri Lanka as an ingredient in Sambols.
Masala/masaladar: cooked with spices.
Massalem: a dish popular in Pakistan, where chicken is marinated before being casseroled.
Moghul: a general term often used to describe Muslim dishes from Northern India.
Mogo: an Asian-style dish - coming by way of East-Africa - consistingof deep-fried cassava. It is often served with a sour tamarind chutney.
Mooli: a giant white radish; sometimes known as daikon.
Nan/naan: flat bread, often tear-dropped shape, cooked in a tandoor.
Nihari: a dish made by very slowly cooking a lamb shank.
Niramish: a dish made with thinly-sliced potatoes and onion, fried with spices.
Pakora/pakoda: a North-Indian version of Bhaji. So savoury fritters.
Palak: a word for spinach. See Saag.
Paneer/panir: curd cheese.
Paratha: griddled-fried flat bread, sometimes stuffed.
Parsee: a religious group, centred around Bombay, and renowned for their cooking.
Pasanda: rich, korma-like dish, often made with lamb.
Pathia/patia: a dark sweet and sour sauce, originally created by theParsees - the term sometimes also applies to a seafood curry made withthe sauce. See Parsee.
Paya: a curry made by slowly cooking lambs feet, generally on the bone.
Payasam: a pudding, traditional in Southern India, made from milk flavoured with cardamoms and saffron.
Peshawari: cooked with coconut and fruits.
Phal: a very hot style of curry - with an abundance of chilis..
Pilau/pillau/pulao: a rice dish, where the cereal is first sweated inghee, before being finished in stock. Traditionally flavoured withsaffron.
Pol: Sri Lankan word for coconut.
Pol kiri: see Kiri hodi.
Pol sambol: a spicy Sri Lankan coconut and chili relish.
Poori/puri/puree: a disc of wholemeal deep-fried bread; the frying puffs it up, so it needs eating quickly to be at its best.
Prawn puree/puri: prawns served in a hot sauce on a puri (a type of deep-fried chapati).
Punjabi: From an area in the North East of the Indian sub-continent, nowdivided between Pakistan and India. Main course dishes from this areainclude thick stews and products from the tandoor.
Poppadum (can correctly be spelt popadom, poppadom, papadum etc.): big,very thin, Indian wafers, often eaten in Britain as a precursor orwhile eating "curry". In Indian restaurants, various chutneys aregenerally served as an accompaniment.
Pungaji: usually means cooked in butter.
Quas chawal: saffron rice fried in ghee.
Raita: a mixture of yoghurt and freshly-chopped cucumber, used as cooling a side dish.
Rasam: a thin soup, coming from Southern India, made from lentils and flavoured with tamarind.
Rasgulla: semolina dumplings cooked in syrup
Rasmali: rasgullas served in cream.
Rashmi/reshmi kebab: minced-meat patty inside an omelette.
Rawa halwa: semolina pudding.
Razzala/rezala: a thick, mild, sweet, hot and sour sauce.
Rhogan josh/Roghan gosht/rogan josh: (literally red-juice meat) meat,generally lamb or mutton cooked in yoghurt, usually with peppers andtomatoes.
Roti: a general Indian term for bread.
Saag / Sag: a word for spinach. See Palak.
Sabz: yoghurt mixed with green herbs.
Sada pulau: plain fried rice.
Sambar/sambhar: a Southern Indian dish, similar to dahl, but more spicyand with tamarind as a main flavour. It is often served as anaccompaniment to Dosai or other snacks.
Sambals/Sambols: strongly flavoured relishes, traditional in Sri Lanka. Often served warm.
Samber: a curry from Southern India, originally made with lentils, but now also prepared with meat.
Samosa: traditional Indian savoury pastry packets, generally triangularin shape. These may contain mixtures of vegetables or meat. Served as asnack or starter.
Sashuka: a medium-hot sauce made from roasted spices, onions, tomatoes and green peppers.
Seeni sambol: a Sri Lankan caramelised onion relish.
Sev: the Indian equivalent to vermicelli.
Seekh kebab: skewered and grilled cubes of meat.
Sheek kebab: spiced minced meat formed into sausages, skewered and grilled.
Shahi tukra: a type of bread pudding.
Shakar para: a sweet "crisp-type" snack.
Shakarkhund: sweet potato.
Shikar: pork, popular in Indian in Goa - due to the Portuguese influence.
Sont (amonum zingiber): dry ginger.
Sothy: see Kiri hodi.
Souf (pimpinella anisum): aniseed.
String hoppers: a form of Sri Lankan hoppers made with thin rice noodles. These are formed into flat discs and fried in a similar way to hoppers.
Suren: the Indian equivalent of yam.
Tahiri: rice and peas.
Tak-a-tak: a method of cooking on a griddle, whereby the main ingredient (usually meat) is chopped as it is cooked.
Talapia: a freshwater fish, popular with the Asian community originating in East Africa - where it is farmed.
Tamarind: the pods of this tree is popular in the cuisines of allcountries between East Africa and the Far East. They are made into apaste, and provide a sour but pleasant taste.
Tandoor: a clay vertical oven, originating from the North Westerncorner of the Indian sub- continent. Extreme heats are produced andingredients ranging from tikkas to nan bread can be cooked veryquickly.rnTarka: a technique developed in Bengal, where spices andflavourings are cooked away from the main ingredients and added at thefinal stage. See Tarka Dahl.
Tarka dal/dahl: a spiced lentil purée.
Tarkari: mixed vegetables.
Tej Patha: the Indian equivalent to a Bay leaf.
Thali/Thal: meaning "plate/tray". In Britain this has come to mean anassortment of little dishes, which together make up a full meal. InIndia, the term indicates "eat as much as you like".
Tikka: chunks of meat or poultry, was have been marinated in spiced yoghurt, before being cooked in a tandoor.
Tikka masala: a creamy sauced curry, served with chargrilled/tandooried meat or fish.
Til: sesame seeds.
Tindaloo: a hotter version of Vindaloo (see below).
Tinsaloo: a hotter version of vindaloo.
Udruck: green ginger.
Uthappam: a spicy and crisp pancake coming from Southern India, served topped with tomato and chilis.
Vadai / Wada: a fritter made from ground lentils, and coming from Southern India. Often served with a tamarind and date sauce.
Vindaloo: a hot curry originating in Goa, which was a Portuguese colony. The word comes from the Portuguese for vinegar, which is aperquisite ingredient. A authentically-cooked Vindaloo, shouldn't have extreme chili heat, as this just overpowers the character of the dish.
Wattalappan/vattilapan: a Sri Lankan version of crème caramel, made with kithul palm syrup instead of sugar.
Xacuti: a traditional Goan dish, made from chicken or lamb.rnYakni: mutton.
Zeera: cumin seeds