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No. English term Description Other languages
1 Almond Almonds are used extensively in north Indian meat curries in order to thicken sauce and in certain vegetable kormas, both, to thicken sauce and also to add a nutty flavour (for use in gravies as sauce thickener, cover almonds with water and microwave them on high for a minute. Let sit aside for two to three minutes, drain water and squeeze/pinch the nut out of the skin by putting pressure on the pointed end while holding on to the skin. Remember, the nuts are still hot. Make into a smooth paste in a processor along with a little water or fried onions or as the recipe calls for). Over the last few years they have seeped into south Indian gravy dishes too (apart from the traditional poppy seeds or khus-khus). Almonds are also widely used for 'Badam kheer'-a popular dessert and as a snack (They are served in wide silver platters along with other dry fruits and nuts on festive occasions like Diwaali). Almonds are also used in kashmiri rice preparations. High in vitamin E, they are shallow fried in ghee or clarified butter along with cashew nuts, raisins, sugar and whole wheat flour in equal proportions and then roughly ground, which is then given to lactating mothers.
bengali badam
gujarati badam
hindi badam
kannada badami
malayalam badam
marathi badam
panjabi, eastern badam
tamil vadumai
telugu bedamu, baadamu
2 Aloe vera
bengali musabhar
gujarati kumara
hindi ghikanavar
kannada lolisaara
malayalam katar vaazha
tamil kartazhai
telugu kalabanda
3 amblic myrobalan (Indian Gooseberry) Aamla is used extensively in India both for its medicinal value and also for cosmetic purposes. Amla contains pretty much all the tastes. It is sour, sweet, bitter, pungent etc. It is praised as a miracle ingredient for curing all alimentary canal problems. Aamla oil helps in slowing of premature greying, baldness, etc. Aamla is also used in making pickles. It is also available in dried form. Store the dried aamla in a cool place away from heat and moisture. Before using, seep in warm water for fifteen to twenty minutes.
bengali aamla
gujarati ambala
hindi aamla
kannada nellikaayi
malayalam nellikka
panjabi, eastern amla
tamil nelli kai
telugu usiri kaaya
4 Anise pepper, Sprice pepper, Sichuan pepper, Chinese pepper, Japanese pepper, (Japanese) prickly ash
hindi tilfda
kannada kamte kai
marathi Tirphal, chirphal
5 Anise seed (fennel) Aniseed or saunf is mostly used in north Indian pickles and also as a mouth freshener. It is also extensively used, in powdered form, in Kashmiri dishes, especially in the preparation of sauces. Store in a cool place.
bengali banmohuri
gujarati warjari
hindi saunf
kannada dodda sompu
malayalam sutha koppa
tamil santhakuppai
telugu sompu, sopu
6 Asafoetida Dried gum resin from the root of various East Indian and Iranian plants. Asafoetida or hing as is popularly called, is sold in both powdered and cake form. The powdered form usually contains wheat flour for upto 30% by weight and is less pungent than the cake. The best flavour of hing comes out when it is added to hot oil. It is used in bagaar of dals (tomato pappu, thotakoora pappu, nimma pappu, paalakoora pappu), curries like avial. Asafoetida forms an integral part of sambhar podi (sambhar spice) and rasam podi (rasam spice). It is used in the tasty and famous prasadam at Tirumala temple (In both, pulihora and daddojanam). Medicinal use: In south India, a pin head amount of asafoetida sprinkled on a damp cotton swab is often placed on the belly button of infants suffering from colic and stomach cramps. It has been proven to be highly effective in giving comfort to the infants and relief to parents!
chinese, wu Hing
french Perungayam
german, standard Hing
kannada hingu
korean Hing
malayalam perungayam
marathi hing
telugu Inguva
7 Ash Gourd Ash gourd is very important in Indian religious ceremonies. It is frequently found hanging from a rope in front of newly built houses, as it is believed to ward off evil spirits. This gourd is also ground to a coarse paste and made in to vadiyaalu (similar to papads). It is also used in preparation of a dessert called peths which is the most famous sweet of Agra, the place that also boasts of Taj Mahal. The gourd stays well for up to three to four months.
bengali cerifera
gujarati kohola
hindi petha
kannada boddu gumbala
malayalam kumpalam
panjabi, eastern petha
tamil kumpala
telugu boodida gummadi
8 Basil Tulasi (as basil is known in many parts of India) has a very strong and characteristic fragrance. It is used extensively in treating health ailments ranging from head aches (Add five to six leaves to the boiling water for a two cup teapot, let seep for two minutes and then remove the leaves, proceed to prepare tea as usual) to nausea and common colds. Unlike in the far east, basil is not readily used in south Indian cooking, though, occasionally, basil leaves may be used to flavour eggplant dishes like vankaaya pacchadi, vankaaya tomato koora (eggplant and tomato curry) and salads. To store fresh leaves, wash them in cold water and drain well. Pat dry with a paper towel, spread in a thin layer in a zip lock bag, close and then put in the freezer. Add leaves directly to the tea pot without thawing.
assamese tulasi
bengali kalo tulasi
gujarati sabji
hindi tulsi
kannada tulsigedda
malayalam siva tulasi
marathi sabja tulasa
tamil tulasi
telugu tulasi, oddhi, rudra jaada
9 Bay leaves Bay leaves are widely used in rice preparations in both north and south India. In Indian marriage feasts on can notice the head cook checking the aroma of bay leaves before putting them in the large pot for cooking biryani, because it is thought that without a good bay leaf, one can never prepare a good biryani! Bay leaf is also used in dishes that have a persian/mughal influence to them like, dabba ghost or bagare baingan. The oil extracted from bay leaf is also used in the treatment of rheumatism and sprains. Some recipes may also call for bay leaves in powdered form. Store leaves in an air tight container away from direct light.
bengali tej patta
hindi tej patta
kannada tamal pattra
malayalam pattai elai
tamil pattai elai
telugu patta aaku
10 Bengal gram, Split Bengal gram, split, is similar to yellow peas in appearance. It is usually sold hulled. When buying check that the gram is a golden colour, does not have whitish spots on the seed and that they are all uniformly circular at the base. Store in an airtight container and keep away from moisture. Bengal gram, split is used for making the famous masala vada, bobbatlu, poornaaalu, powders, curries etc. It is also sold in roasted form. Lighter than the raw kind, pale golden in colour, this is usually added in snacks like chewda, bhuji etc. Storage is similar to the raw variety.
bengali chhole dal
gujarati chana dal
hindi channa dal
kannada kadale bele
malayalam kadala paruppu
marathi harbaara bele
tamil kothu kadalia
telugu senaga pappu
11 Bengal gram, Whole Bengal gram, split, is similar to yellow peas in appearance. It is usually sold hulled. When buying check that the gram is a golden colour, does not have whitish spots on the seed and that they are all uniformly circular at the base. Store in an airtight container and keep away from moisture. Bengal gram, split is used for making the famous masala vada, bobbatlu, poornaaalu, powders, curries etc. It is also sold in roasted form. Lighter than the raw kind, pale golden in colour, this is usually added in snacks like chewda, bhuji etc. Storage is similar to the raw variety.
bengali chola
gujarati chana
hindi channa
kannada kadale
malayalam kadala
marathi harabaara
tamil kothu
telugu senagalu
12 Betel leaf This leaf is perhaps more important than any other ingredient used in worshipping God in the Hindu religion! Also, it is an essential part of social interaction as is described by the following verse/riddle frequently put to test children: Hamsa, Hamsa Kaalu Kurasa Andarikii varasa Meaning, This is a swan (considered a most delicate and sublime bird) The swan has a short leg (the leg mimicking the short stem of the betel leaf) the one who connect all (betel leaves are exchanged between the bride and groom, relatives of bride and groom and also between all the women as a symbol of building a bond of friendship, during the wedding ceremony). An elongated heart shaped leaf, it comes in a couple varieties. In south India, the best variety of Betel leaf is pale green in colour whereas the frequently found variety else where in India is known as Calcutta variety which is dark green in colour. The south Indian leaf has more 'kick' to it where as the Calcuttan variety is milder. When buying, check for leaves without any black spots or broken stems. Storage: Wash in fresh water a few times and then drain well. Place them all, stem pointing down, in a plastic bag. The plastic bag should be placed in the door of the refrigerator (keeping in mind that the stem should point down). they will stay fresh for up to a week.
assamese paan
bengali punj
gujarati paan
hindi paan
kannada veeleyadelae
malayalam vethila
tamil vettrilai
telugu tamalapaaku
13 Bitter Gourd Bitter gourds come in many varieties - short, long, dark green, pale green etc. In general, pale green ones are less bitter than the dark green ones. To remove the bitterness, cut the gourd into round pieces and put them in a clean vessel. Pour buttermilk until the pieces are just immersed and add a pinch turmeric and salt. Boil until the liquid evaporates or clings to the pieces. Now the pieces are ready to be cooked. Or, make a slit on the side of the gourd and rub salt all over its surface. Keep aside for ten to fifteen minutes at the end of which you will notice a litle juice seeping out of the gourd. Now wash with water a few times. This also helps in reducing the bitterness level.
bengali karala
gujarati karela
hindi karela
kannada hagala kaayi
malayalam pavakkayi
tamil pavakkayi
telugu kaakara kaaya
14 Black gram, Whole This gram is oblong in shape and dull black in colour. The skinned, split Black gram is called Urud dal. This is pale cream in colour. This dal is used in making a variety of breakfast items like dosa, vada, idli, etc. It is also used in south Indian spice mixes, in powders that are served with idli and uthappam, in maakhi dal, the famous dal from punjab, (which makes use of the whole, skinned, gram), etc. Mostly, people buy skinned variety, but the unskinned is more tastier. The only problem is that it is very time consuming to use this gram. If you have bought this, soak it for three to four hours and then using excess water, remove the husk by gently rocking the container and allowing the lighter husk to float away along with the water. Repeat this process until all the skin is washed away. Wash this gram thoroughly before soaking. Store in a airtight container and away from moisture.
bengali kolai, biuli
gujarati alad
hindi urad
kannada udina
malayalam uzhunnu
marathi uducchi
tamil ulutham
telugu minumulu
15 Black pepper Small, dark, unripe fruit of the pepper plant. Most people are familiar with the ground pepper, but in India peppers are often used whole.
bengali Golmarich
hindi Kala mirch, gol mirch
tamil Milagu
telugu Miryaalu
16 Bottle Gourd
bengali lau
gujarati ghia
hindi lauki
kannada halugumbaala,soorikaayi
malayalam chorakkai
panjabi, eastern ghiya
tamil soorikaayi
telugu sorakaayi, aanapakaayi
17 Buttermilk
bengali ghole
hindi lassi
tamil mor
telugu majjiga
18 cabbage
bengali banda kopi
gujarati kopi
hindi band gobi
kannada kosu
malayalam mutha gobi
marathi kobi
tamil muttai kosi
telugu cabbagee
19 Capsicum (Giant Chili)
bengali bilathi lanka
hindi simla mirchi
kannada donn mensina kaayi
malayalam undaamu lagu
marathi bhopali mirchi
tamil kodimilagai
telugu pedda mirchi, simla mirchi, pacchadi mirchi
20 caraway seeds Caraway seeds are also known as shahijeera. Shahijeera is similar to cumin except for being slightly longer and is brownish black in colour. It is used in rice dishes in Hyderabad, Kashmir, etc and gives a sweet/nutty flavour to the dish. It is a constituent of Panch Poran, the five spice mix of west Bengal.
kannada jeerigae
marathi jeera
tamil shimai shombu
bengali jeera
hindi shahijeera, kaala jeera, vilayati jeera
telugu nalla jeelakarra
21 Cardomom, Green Seeds of the capsular fruit of a rhizomatous Indian herb. Often called the "grain of paradise" it has medicinal properties too. Green cardamom is an intrinsic part of many Indian spice mixes. It imparts a very aromatic and pleasant flavour to the dishes either if added in powdered form or fried, whole, in hot ghee. It is widely used in pulao, biryani and meat dishes. Most common form of usage is to fry the whole pods (slightly crushed so as to let the oil seep through but at the same time prevent the seeds from getting out of the cover) in hot ghee or oil along with other whole spices like bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves and onion. In rice dishes, cardamom pods are added to hot oil along with some white sugar. The combination of caramelized sugar and cardamom imparts an exquisite flavour to the dish. Cardamom in powdered form flavours a host of Indian desserts which range from rice based desserts like paayasam and chakrapongal through coconut and carrot based halvas to milk based favourites like gulab jamun, sondesh, kulfi, etc. These pods should be stored in an air tight container to be kept in a cool, dry place.
hindi Elaichi, Choti elaichi
telugu Yalukalu
tamil elakkai
marathi veldoda
kannada yelakkai
malayalam elathari
gujarati elaichi
22 carom seeds Ajwain, is commonly used as a good digestive. Typically, a teaspoon of crushed ajwain is swallowed along with a big glass of water to cure stomach ills (bloated feeling, flatulence, indigestion). In south Indian food preparations, it is added to various kinds of bajji batter, like for example, vankaaya bajji (eggplant bajji), aratikaaya bajji (plantain bajji), ullipaaya bajji (onion bajji), etc. It is also used in bagaar of lentils in north India, as a constituent of the bengaali spice mixture known as panch phoran and occasionally, in dry curries like fried cluster beans (goruchikkidugaaya in telugu). A pinch or two of ajwain added to a teapot helps relieve stress head ache and nausea.
hindi ajawan
kannada oamaa
malayalam omum
marathi ovaa
tamil omum
telugu vaamu
23 Carrot
bengali gajar
gujarati gajar
hindi gajar
kannada gajjare
marathi gajar
tamil mangal mullangi
telugu gujjara gadda
24 Cauliflower
bengali phul kobi
gujarati phuli kobi
hindi phul gobi
kannada hukosu
malayalam cauliflower
marathi phul kobi
tamil cauliflower
telugu cauliflower
25 Cayenne Pepper
assamese jolokia
bengali jlanka, morich
gujarati mirchi
hindi mirchi
kannada menashina kaayi
tamil mulaga
telugu mirapakaayi
26 chebulic myrobalan
bengali haritaki
gujarati himaja
hindi harara
hindi chotee haar
kannada alale
malayalam kadukkayi
panjabi, eastern harara
tamil kadukkay
telugu karakkaaya
27 Chickpea Flour (Gram Flour) This is basically flour made from chick peas, also known as Gram flour or Besan or Senagapindi in the ethnic food stores. It is best stored away from moisture, preferably, in an air tight container and kept in the refrigerator.
bengali beseen
gujarati channa no loat
hindi besan
kannada kadale hittu
malayalam kadalai maavu
tamil kadalai maavu
telugu senaga pindi
28 Citron Lemon known as nimbu in hindi, has a very wide usage in India. Lemon pickle along with fresh yoghurt and alu/mooli paratha is a breakfast staple in many homes in winter. Lemons are pickled whole (they are initially cut in half and stuffed with spices. They are then placed in a container and left for a few days to mature. This pickle only improves with time and most households prepare this pickle for a few years at a time. Lemon juice is used to give a sour note to dals (nimma pappu), rasam (nimma rasam), rice dishes (nimma pulihora) and salads. It is also used to marinade meat, in preparation of paneer (cottage cheese) and for cosmetic purposes. Medicinally, lemon is supposed to be nature’s gift to mankind. Lemon juice rubbed on the forehead relieves migraine headaches. Lemon juice taken at the beginning of the day helps in toning the whole system and in improving the skin and complexion. It also improves the functioning of liver.
hindi bijiura
kannada maadavaala
malayalam kalpinarangan
tamil elumicha
telugu nimma
29 Clarified Butter (Ghee) Clarified butter is also known as ghee in India. It is notorious for its fat content, highly sought after for its taste and medicinal properties. Infact, in Ayurveda, it is called “Sahasraveery” and is supposed to help attain long life. It is an antidote for certain poisons, helps people suffering from nervous weaknes, reduces biliousnes, etc. However, let us get back to its usage in food. Anyone who has ever eaten dal with ghee will know why it is so sought after as a table food additive. Pleasant and sweet smelling, it is pale golden yellow when very fresh. When it solidifies (below 25 degrees centigrade), it has a waxy white appearance. How to make it: We clarify the butter obtained from fresh non-homogenised milk or cream from fresh yogurt. Now, this contains lot of milk residues. To get rid of the milk residue, we take fresh butter and then melt it on the stove. There are two layers formed. On the surface is clarified butter or ghee; the residue below is called Godaari. Even if there is the slightest residue in the ghee, the ghee will burn at high temperatures, emitting a distinctly unpleasant smell. So, we are very careful to make sure the butter is thoroughly clarified of its milk residues and that the ghee has no godari in it, when we use it for deep frying. Store in a clean container in the refrigerator for a long life. Keep away from moisture. Also, never heat ghee to smoky hot.,
bengali ghee
haryanvi Ghee
kannada thuppa
malayalam ney
marathi thup
marwari Neyyi
tamil ney
30 Cloves Clove is a highly aromatic spice, used extensively in most Indian masala mixes. It has amazing medicinal properties. Powdered cloves taken with a teaspoon of honey, a few times a day can cure even the worst throat infection. In curries it is used mostly in ground form. In kormas it is used both, whole and powdered. In rice dishes cloves are usually added whole to the hot ghee and fried until their essence is transferred to the ghee. in this ghee, basmati rice is deep fried. It is also used as a mouth freshener. When buying look for deep maroonish black cloves. The stalk should be thick and the bud/head should be firm and closed. Be cautious as occasionally, cloves from which oil has been removed are sold as the original. How to check for their authenticity: put a clove in your mouth and bite/chew into it with your back teeth. If you can imediately feel the spiciness, which makes saliva rush in to your mouth, then you know you have the original before you. Storage: Store in an air tight container, away from direct sunlight and moisture.
bengali labang
gujarati lavang
hindi lavang
kannada lavanga
malayalam krambu
malayalam lavang
tamil krambu
telugu lavangaya
31 Cluster Beans
gujarati guvar
hindi guvar ki phalli
telugu goru chikkudu
32 Coconut The seed or, to be precise, the kernel inside the seed is the edible part of the coconut plant. Of course, like mango or tamarind many parts of the tree are put to some use. The leaves, when fresh, are woven into baskets which are used for transporting fresh flowers. They are made into little leaf figures also, which are the only toys most children in the villages know of, apart from the ubiquitous image of a boy chasing with a stick, a rolling, used rubber tyre. They are also woven into arches from which hang fresh flowers and under which the marriage ceremony takes place. When dry the leaves are stripped of everything except the long stem, a bunch of which are tied together to form a broom. Now, coming to the fruit or seed, the liquid inside a tender green coconut is very refreshing in Indian summers and is especially given to people suffering from water borne hepatitis, typhoid etc. The covering on the outside of the shell is woven into mats and carpets. When ripe or mature the coconuts are plucked by experienced tree climbers and thrown down. They are stripped of the copra and kept in a cool place. When required, the coconut is broken into two and the meat scooped out. This meat may be grated and coconut milk extracted from it for use in curries (using a special grater available only in India until recently) or also chopped up and ground along with other spices for use in curries. The grated meat is used for making desserts like Coconut halwa or cooked with jaggery and sugar to be made into Coconut laddus and Coconut burfi. Coconut meat is also used in preparing Kobbari pacchadi (Coconut chutney) along with fresh green chilis or added to fresh yoghurt for Coconut raita. The grated meat is also added to rice dishes and a host of vegetable curries like avial, beans, carrot, eggplant, etc, and dals like sambhar/sambar. Dried kernel is also used for thickening of sauces and in meat preparations. Dry kernel (with oil) is grated and stuffed to give a popular south Indian sweet called Kajjikaayalu and Kobbari burelu. Oil extracted from this kernel is used for cosmetic purposes and also as a cooking medium. One very interesting dish that was made with coconut is unfortunately ignored these days. When I was young, this was a very popular sweet. The outer covering on a fresh coconut is removed to expose the shell (the meat inside should be neither too hard nor soft-something experienced people will be able to tell) and at the top where there are the three eyes, holes are punched. The water is then extracted from the nut and mixed well along with a quarter cup of sugar. When the sugar has melted, the water is carefully poured back into the nut, the hole sealed with a paste made of maida (all purpose flour) and water. The sealed nut is now put in hot embers and completely surrounded by them. After an hour, the nut is removed from the embers and the shell cracked open (It turns black and is a bit burnt too). The resulting meat inside is heavenly. The water is absorbed and the meat is soft and sweet. Storage: Firstly, the kernel can be easily removed by uniformly heating the shells of the two halves over a low flame. The shell shrinks and the meat can be easily pried out. This kernel can be cut into a few large pieces, which can be easily stored in the freezer. The advantage with this method of storage is that if put in water for a few minutes, the brownish covering comes off very easily. The grated or pureed meat is white and without the coarse brown skin. Grated coconut can be made in to small balls and placed on a wide plastic in the freezer. Upon hardening slightly, remove from the plastic and put them all in a zip lock bag. Thaw a ball or two as required, for a few minutes before adding to the dish. Grated coconut thaws very easily because of its oil content.
assamese narikol
bengali narikel
gujarati nariel
hindi narial
kannada kobbari, naarikela
malayalam valikeram
marathi marnaral
tamil tenga
telugu kobbari, tenkaaya
33 colocasia Also known as Arvi, this is a tuber ranging from one inch in length to about four inches. Usually about one and a half inch in thickness. they are pale brown in colour with hair like growth. The leaves, of the same size as swiss chard/silver beet leaves, are used in cutlets or stuffed and steamed. When buying colocasia, look for medium sized tubers, with as little hair/roots as possible. Store as you would potatoes. They are best eaten fresh. Try not to over boil them as they can easily get mushy. Occasionally, after boiling, some might still be hard. It is better to discard these as they will not be able to absorb any sauce/flavour and hence are tasteless.
bengali mankaachu
gujarati alavu
hindi arvi
kannada kesave, manaka
malayalam chaembu
marathi alukanda
panjabi, eastern arvi
tamil seppan kizhangu
telugu chama dumpa
34 Coriander Aromatic Eurasian herb of the parsley family. Sold as cilantro and Chinese parsley. Both Coriander leaves and seeds are used extensively in Indian cookery. Coariander seeds are oblong in shape and pale golden yellow in colour. When buying look for whole seeds and avoid the split varieties. Coriander seed powder is an essential constituent of garam masala (of any variety), rasam powder or sambhar/sambar powder. Even in the usage of coriander seed powder, different grades of fineness are used for different purposes. For example, in rasam powder, the coriander seeds are crushed roughly and allowed to cook along with other spices and tamarind extract in boiling water (sometimes they are just thrown in the water pot as is) and later strained. Fine powder is rarely used in the preparation of rasam. In sambar/sambhar, apart from finely ground coriander seeds, a few whole coriander seeds are also added to the simmering liquid. The powder does not stay fresh for long and if you need to, make small batches of this powder. Coriander leaves (fresh) are used for garnishing dishes as well as for flavouring. The leaves are used for garnishing while the leaves and the stems are used for flavouring. In rasam (of many kinds), the long coriander stems are slashed with knife and are added whole to the pot containing the simmering liquid. Towards the end, they are just lifted out with a slotted spoon and discarded. A fine paste of coriander leaves and stems is an important constituent of meat marinades. Chopped leaves are an essential flavouring of meat kebabs. Powdered coriander leaves are used in garnishing yoghurt relishes. In order to store coriander leaves for longer periods of time, wash well, drain the leaves along with the stem (discard the root) and spread on paper towels for about twenty minutes. Once the excess water has drained, gently place them in a plastic bag and lay it flat in the freezer. The flavour is intact if stored this way.
bengali Dhoney
gujarati Dhane
hindi Dhania
kannada Havija, Kambari
tamil Kottamalli
telugu Dhaniyalu (seeds), Kotimira (leaf)
marathi kothimbeer
35 Cottage Cheese/Paneer It is a misnomer to call paneer as cottage cheese. This is based on the infromation sent to amma by: anita reddy, switzerland. 03/05/00 : Cottage cheese does not work as a substitute for paneer. Probably because cottage cheese is prepared by non-sour splitting of milk, by using enzymes. what I have used and found to be a decent substitute is Ricotta cheese. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Paneer is a common home made cheese in India. It is similar to tofu in appearance.To make good panner, you need the following: Half 'n Half milk -- 1000ml Plain Yoghurt -- 1 cup Heat milk and when milk starts to rise, add yogurt and stir well over low heat. You will notice that the milk starts to form into coagulated lumps and the rest of the contents turn very watery. Remove from heat and pour over a cloth through which water will drain. Place a small weight over the cloth and keep on a slant surface so that the water will drain. Do not use a very heavy weight as this will drain all the water and make the paneer dry and hard instead of soft. Save this water as it is very rich in protein and can be used in curries, mixing dough for chapati/paratha, and in cooking rice. The only way paneer is made in India is either by adding yoghurt/lemon juice or white vinegar to boiling milk, stirring for a minute on low heat until the paneer is formed and then straining. It should be stored, immersed in fresh water, in the refrigerator. It stays good up to a week.
bengali chhana
gujarati paneer
hindi paneer
panjabi, eastern paneer
telugu chhana, paala virugudu
36 cowpea This is hard to find raw, but if found, it is a very tasty dish, cooked like a beans curry. When dry, the seeds are soaked and used to cook like a dal or else ground to a paste along with other spices and deep fried like vadas or garelu.
assamese naseramah
bengali barbati
hindi bora
kannada alasande
malayalam thattapayeru
marathi chavli
panjabi, eastern raung
tamil thattapayeru
telugu alasandalu
37 cubebs (tail pepper)
gujarati tadamiri
hindi sitalchini
kannada gandha menasu
bengali sitalchini
malayalam vilmilaku
tamil valmulaku
telugu thoka miriyaalu
38 Cumin Seedlike fruit of Mediterranean herb used often in curry and chili powders. Used mainly for its digestive properties. Cumin has a very distinct aroma and is used in different forms to give different flavours. For example, cumin fried in ghee upon addition to dal gives an excellent pleasant aroma, much different from the raw cumin. Jeera rice is cooked on the same basis that cumin when fried in ghee/clarified butter gives a very aromatic rice. Roasted and powdered cumin is an important constituent of sambar/sambhar powder and rasam powder. Cumin is one of the five spices in Panch Poran, the Bengali spice mixture. It is also an important constituent of garam masala. In north India, roasted cumin is ground and then sprinkled over beaten yoghurt, salads and lassi (a yoghurt drink). Cumin powder is given to lactating mothers so as to aid in digestion and also help strengthen the spinal cord. When buying make sure that the cumin is whole and of a pale greyish colour, since it turns a pale black green when old. Also, periodically check for worms which can appear in humid and warmer climes. They look very similar to cumin seeds and hence are hard to detect. If stored in a dry place and kept away from moisture or in the refrigerator, it should be fine for five to six months at least.
bengali Jeera
hindi Jeera
tamil Shiragam
telugu Jeelakara
39 currants
assamese angur
bengali angur
gujari mudraka
hindi kishmis
kannada onadraaksha
marathi manuka
telugu draaksha
40 Curry Leaf (Nim Leaf) No self respecting cook familiar with Indian food will prepare the various kinds of dal, sambar/sambhar, rasam or any of the rice dishes of south India if told to cook without curry leaves. In south India, these leaves are used in every dish! In copious amounts! Having said that, I will also add that no cook worth her/his salt will want to substitute these with dried curry leaves, because, once dried they lose the very flavour that makes them so desirable in the first place. Curry leaves are similar to neem leaves in appearance except that they are a bit more darker than the pale green neem leaves. The leaves are sold attached to the stem and only before actually using in a dish are they stripped from it. They are basically used to flavour dishes. The bagaar for any dal requires the addition of fresh curry leaves in the hot oil. These leaves are stir fried for a minute or so and only then the cooked dal is added. Rice dishes like Pulihora, Kobbari annamu also require curry leaves. Crushed curry leaves are used in many chutneys while whole curry leaves are used in pickles. A powder made from curry leaves called Karivepaku podi is the staple of most houses. This is eaten along with hot white rice and a dollop of fresh butter. There is no substitute for these leaves.
bengali barsunga
hindi kadi patta, meetha neem, barsunga
kannada karibevu
malayalam kariyapela
tamil karuvepila
telugu karuvepaaku
41 custard apple When buying, try to look for fruit with large and flattened 'eyes'. In between the eyes, the grooves should be of a light pink shade. A fruit with these qualities will definitely ripen. Store in a rice container to ripen raw fruits. Eat as soon as they are ripe since they are hard to store. It is always better to drink a large glass of water so that it is easily digested. (This fruit has an enzyme that makes it harder to digest).
bengali ata
gujarati sithaphal
hindi shariifa
kannada seetaphala
telugu seetaphalam
42 Dals Member of the legume or pulse family. Commonly used dals are: Arhar, Channa, Masur, Mung, Labia (black-eyed peas), Rajma (red kidney beans).
hindi Daal
telugu Pappulu
43 Dried fenugreek leaves The leaves of a cloverlike Eurasian plant with white flowers.
bengali Methi
hindi Methi saag
telugu Menthu koora
44 Drum-Stick This vegetable is about a foot long and varies from pale green to dark green colour. The outer skin is usually peeled away and the remaining vegetable is cut into five or six finger length pieces. Drum-sticks are used in sambhar/sambar, avial, cooked in milk and also with raw mango and onions. It is also pickled along with sun dried tomatoes and is simply one of the best pickles of Andhra Pradesh! Occasionally they may have a slight bitter taste. This could be either because the drum-stick is not yet ready to be plucked or its seed varies a bit from the normal ones. When buying look for firm, slightly darker than pale green drum-sticks. The thickness should be roughly about that of an average adult thumb.
bengali sajina
gujarati suragavo
hindi shahijna
kannada nuggi
malayalam muringa
panjabi, eastern savongna
tamil murungai
telugu munaga kaaya
45 Drumstick Leaves Drumstick leaves are very high in vitamin A and Calcium. They can be either cooked like any other green leafy vegetable or added to dal/lentil. When buying, look for tender leaves as the more mature ones tend to be of hardier nature. Heat a few cups of water until more than luke warm, and then add the washed leaves, cover and remove from heat. Keep covered for half a minute and then drain the water. Now the leaves are ready to be added to the dal/lentil of your choice. These leaves are best used fresh as they tend to rot quickly.
bengali sajna saag
gujarati sekta ni sing no palo
hindi saajan patta
malayalam muringi ila
marathi shevaga pan
tamil murangai keerai
telugu munaga aaku
46 Dry Red Chili
bengali lanka
gujarati march
hindi mirch
kannada menasine kaayi
malayalam mulaka
marathi mirchi
tamil milagai
telugu mirapakaayi
47 Eggplant, Brinjal, Aubergine
bengali begun
gujarati ringena
hindi baingan
kannada kadale
malayalam vazhu thananga
marathi vangi
tamil kathirikai
telugu vankaaya
48 Elephant Yam
bengali ol
gujarati suran
hindi suran
kannada suvarna gadde
malayalam chaena
panjabi, eastern zamin kanda
tamil senai kilangu
telugu soori kanda, teeya kanda
49 Fenugreek Seeds Pungent seeds of the cloverlike Eurasian plant. Fenugreek seeds are pale brownish yellow and square in shape. They are slighlty bitter to taste but the way they are used in indian cuisine renders them palatable (dry roasting eliminates the bitterness and hence is preferred in pickles). In south India, they are either added whole in pickles (eg: nimmakaaya pacchadi, cauliflower pacchadi, allam pacchadi) or dry roasted and powdered to be added to pickles (maamidkaaya pacchadi, usirikaaya pacchadi, kodi pacchadi). This spice is an important constituent of sambar/sambhar powder and also of sambhar/sambar. When fried in hot oil, until they turn to a slightly darker shade, they give a characteristic fragrance to the oil. This oil is now ready to be used for cooking Pulusu, that is, gravy curry in which the sauce essentially consists of onion, tamarind extract and fresh green chilis. A pinch of sugar is also added to this sauce which enhances its fenugreek flavour. Store them in a dry place. The paste of fenugreek seeds soaked overnight and then ground, is applied to hair as it acts as a conditioner. Fenugreek leaves or methi saag are cooked like spinach, are added to dal, added to a rice preparation and are used for stuffing in parathas. Dried leaves known as kasoori methi are powdered and added to fresh yoghurt along with powdered mint and coriander leaves. This is a refreshing side dish.
assamese mithiguti
bengali methi
gujarati methi
marathi methi
tamil vendayam
kannada menthe
hindi methi
malayalam uluva
50 French Beans
gujarati fansi
hindi bakla
kannada huruli kay
malayalam french avara
marathi pharasbee
tamil beans
telugu beans
51 Garam masala A combination of several spices.  
52 Garlic, Fresh I think garlic is an excellent spice but more than that I prefer it for its medicinal properties. It is excellent for relieving hyper tension which probably afflicts most of the world’s population these days! Garlic, according to scientists is an excellent booster of immunity though upon boiling, it is said to lose this property. Raw garlic is a broad range anti-bacterial, and hence preferable to antibiotics for common illnesses. To peel a large amount of garlic, rub the individual cloves (including skin) with any cooking oil and turmeric and put them in the sun for ten minutes. Peeling seems very easy afterwards. Garlic, as a spice, is best when freshly chopped/ground.
bengali rashun
gujarati lasan
hindi lassan
kannada bellulli
malayalam vellulli
marathi lason
tamil velepoondu
telugu vellulli
53 Gherkins
assamese belipoka
bengali telakucha
hindi bimba
kannada thonde kaya
malayalam koval
panjabi, eastern ghol
marathi thendlee
tamil kaavayi
telugu donda kaayi
54 Ginger, Dry Ginger is widely used in India in fresh form and in large parts of india in dried form. Dry ginger is given to lactating mothers to help in digestion and increase appetite. The powdered form of ginger is an additive in almost all native medicines. When buying ginger check to make sure that the skin is fresh without wrinkles and that there is no growth of fungus at any of its small knobs/roots. Store it either in the refrigerator. In the villages, traditionally, ginger has been stored buried under a patch of damp red soil and sand mixture. It should be kept damp as to ensure future growth and also freshness of existing ginger.
gujarati suntya
hindi sonth
kannada sunthi
malayalam inchi
panjabi, eastern sounth
telugu sonthi
55 Green gram, Whole
bengali moog
gujarati moog
hindi moong
kannada hesare kalu
malayalam cheripayar
marathi moong
tamil pasipayar
telugu pesalu
56 Green Peas
bengali mattar
gujarati batana
hindi matar
kannada bataani
malayalam pattani
marathi vatani
tamil pacchai bataani
telugu pacchi bataani
57 Groundnuts (Peanuts) Look for peanuts with a beautiful pink shade. The redder the shade the older the seed. Peanuts from previous crops are oilier to smell and taste. In warmer climes, they can be easily stored in an airtight container. For some reason, as the peanuts get staler, they start acquiring a bitterness that is hard to mask. If living in colder climes, it is better to roast the peanuts lightly, remove the skin and then store in the refrigerator (In winter, fungus tends to grow on them and they turn unpalatable). To remove the skin: Dry roast the peanuts until the skin shows splits. Then rub them between your palms. The skin easily comes off and can be discarded. Peanuts are used in chutneys like Verusenaga pappu pacchadi, in hot powders like Verusenaga pappu podi, in curries for sauce, in rice dishes (Pulihora) and in desserts, the most famous being Chikki.
assamese china badam
bengali china badam
gujarati maphali
hindi mung phali
kannada kadali kaayi
malayalam neela kadalai
panjabi, eastern mung phali
tamil neela kadalai
telugu verusenakkayalu
58 Horse Gram Horse gram is a maroonish, disc shaped lentil. It should be picked over well for any stones or hardened earth before being washed. Apart from the horse gram soup, this is not frequently used in south Indian food. It is believed to give heat to the body and hence is commonly taken in winters or given to infirm. This gram may be stored in a dry container. It will keep up to a year if not exposed to moisture. If in doubt, spread the gram on a large tray and place in the hot sun for two to three days (remove when the sun goes down). This should help in its storage.
hindi kulthi
kannada huruli
malayalam mudira
telugu ulavalu
59 Jack Fruit It is perhaps better to speak of Jack fruit (ripe) and Jack fruit (raw). Raw Jack fruit is dark green in colour with prickly projections all over its oblong surface. The size of Jack fruit ranges from about three feet in length (large) to 1 foot in length (small). Upon ripening, it turns pale golden in colour apart from an exceedingly pleasant smell. If the prickly projections are nudged with the hand, the skin of the fruit should visibly move, then you can be sure that it is ripe. Even without this test, the smell of a ripe Jack fruit cannot be missed. Raw Jack fruit is used for cooking a dry curry with garam masala, just as one would cook, say, potato curry. Firstly, one ought to be familiar with the process of prying out the meat from inside the thick skin. Apply oil liberally to the whole of the front and back of the palm so as to prevent the milk from sticking to the hands (This is very hard to get rid of). Now cut it like you would cut any other fruit and remove the meat (Note: If seeds are already formed, the meat will no longer be tender). Later, this can be either grated or cut into chunks. Now proceed with the curry in the regular way. Ripe Jack fruit is to be cut similarly. However, the insides look much different now. There are what look like tentacles that are very tough and are to be discarded. Encased in them are golden yellow loaves of meat in the shape of a slightly irregular pear. Make a small slit on this pear and remove the seed. Next, you may either eat it as is, or preserve in sugar syrup and store in the refrigerator for extended use. Occasionally, they are chopped up into little pieces and added to fruit salads. To ripen a raw Jack fruit: Roll the jack fruit in a gunny sack and put in a dark place for about three days after plucking from the tree.
bengali inchora
hindi kathul
telugu panasa pandu
60 Jaggery Unrefined sugar made from sugar cane or palm sap and usually in the mollasses form, muddy yellow/pale golden yellow in color. Jaggery enjoys a very important place in Indian culture, both in food and religion. It has been considered worthy enough of being offered to Gods. Many devotees prepare Paramannam - God's food, which consists of rice cooked in milk and flavoured with jaggery and cardamom. This is taken to the temples and offered to the deity. Later, this offering is distributed as alms. All Indian temples give Prasadam - a gift of God which is usually a small piece of coconut meat, a small piece of jaggery and additionally flowers (which have adorned the Goddess) for women. Storing Jaggery: It is preferable to buy jaggery as and when required. Commercially, sugar cane is processed approximately four times a year. I try to buy jaggery three to four times a year so that I can buy the fresh batch. Fresh jaggery is pale golden yellow and is usually mixed with crushed cardamom. How to check for freshness: Put a piece of jaggery in your mouth. If you notice a dominant salty taste then it is not fresh. The older it gets, the saltier it tastes, which is not good if you intend to use it for desserts, apart from religious purposes. Also, older jaggery colours the dish you use it in. However, old jaggery does have advantages over the new one in medicine. Fresh jaggery can increase ailments like cold and cough apart from causing digestive disorders if taken in excess. Old jaggery on the other hand does not have these side effects. All medicinal properties of jaggery are supposed to diminish in about three years time. There are many additives to jaggery. In Punjab, jaggery is pre-mixed with fennel seeds/saunf, crushed almond, etc. This has an excellent flavour and is good for making syrups. Store jaggery in an airtight container.
bengali gud
gujarati gol
hindi gud
kannada bella
malayalam vellamu
marathi gul
tamil vellam
telugu bellamu
61 Lemon Grass
bengali gandhabena
gujarati lilly chaaya
kannada puravali hullu
malayalam vasana pullu
tamil vasana pullu
telugu nimma gaddi
62 Lentils Fequently used in North Indian dishes, but not so much in South. Good for soups.
bengali masoor
gujarati masoor dal
hindi masoor dal
kannada masoor bele
malayalam masoor parippu
marathi masoor dal
telugu mysore pappu
tamil mysore parippu
63 Mango/Mango Powder This is a rather sour spice, made with dried, crushed mango. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Probably the most famous tropical fruit, one just has to visit any town in south and mid-western India during the mango season to see what mango means to the people. Mango tree is the life-line for many villages and towns. Every part of the mango tree is utilised. The branches are used as fire wood, the fresh green leaves are used for decoration of the lintels of households during festive occasions and other formal ceremonies. The unripe, but as yet not mature, mango is used whole for pickling while, the mature but unripe mango is cut up into large pieces for pickles, grated for a different set of pickles, is cut into strips and sun dried for use in dals (whoever has eaten maamidikaaya pappu/mango dal with fresh ghee and hot white rice has ever said, “No” to a second helping?). The ripe mango is eaten as fruit or its juice extracted, the fruit juice is added to drinks (eg: mango lassi) or desserts (eg: mango ice-cream) and also used to make that famous mongo cake called “Tandra”. This is basically mango juice that is sun dried and when dry, another layer of mango juice is poured on top of that. This process is repeated a few times and resulting sticky, elastic semi-solid block of cake is called “Taandra”. Powdered mango called aamchoor is used to give a sour note to dishes like Kadi, chole, sprinkled in namkeen and also used in tandoori cuisine as a meat tenderizer (apart from raw papaya paste). In the summer, ripe mangos are put in water containers so as to cool the juice before consuming. Popular varieties of mango are: banganepalli, collector, imampasand, alphonso, imaayati etc while for extracting juice, the best varieties are chinna rasam, pedda rasam, totaapuri, etc, and for pickling the best variety is “jalaalu”. Even in this variety, the best pickle will result from the fruit whose tree was watered the least. In fact, more the tree has been watered, the greater the chance of the fruit having worms inside or the mango pieces turning to a mush after a couple months of being pickled. At the very worst, fungus will start to grow in spite of all the precautions you may take. However, we do not have control over this and have to make the best of the situation. For pickles, try to pick the variety which has more flesh and less fibre, heavy and of a dark green colour. There should be no black spots. The skin should feel very firm to touch. If it feels soft then do not use it for pickles.
bengali aamb
hindi aam/aamchoor
gujarati keri
kannada maavaikaayi, kukku
tamil maavaikaayi
telugu maamidikaayi
64 Melon
assamese bangi
hindi tarbuja
hindi kharbuza
gujarati tharbuch
malayalam thannimathi
tamil thannimathi
65 Mint Perennial herb found mostly in Mediterranean region used for flavoring. Mint is used in garnishing of meat dishes and also in snacks of many varieties. It is very commonly made into a paste with fresh green chilis and pomegranate seeds and raisins. This chutney, called mint chutney, is served with lamb kebabs, chicken tikka, crispy samosas, paneer tikka, etc. Mint paste is used in marinating meat, especially lamb and chicken. Powdered mint is added to beaten yoghurt as flavouring. A pinch of dried mint sprinkled over Asian salad is very refreshing in the hot Indian summers. Medicinally, mint is used all over the country as a digestive stimulant. It is believed to enhance blood circulation in our body. Mint leaves may be frozen in a manner similar to coriander leaves.
assamese podina
bengali pudinah
gujarati pudina
hindi pudinah
kannada chatni maragu
malayalam putiyana
tamil puthina
telugu podina
66 Mustard, Black (Indian Mustard) Needless to say, without mustard seeds, south Indian cooking would not exist. Smallish, round and black, they are pungent when eaten raw but upon being popped in hot oil they acquire a nutty and slightly bitter flavour. In south India, powdered mustard is used to pickle the sour mangoes, tomatoes, chicken, eggs, drumsticks, cauliflower, etc to name a few. In rice dishes like pulihora and daddojanam, it is a required spice and it is hard to find a good substitute. In south Indian temples, ground mustard is frequently added to rice based prasaadams, which gives them a peculiarly pungent flavour. In certain parts of eastern India, the oil extracted from mustard seeds is considered essential for cooking. Mustard is believed to give heat to the body and so it is frequently given to the elderly and infirm in winter to ward off colds.Mustard that has not popped can be the most unpleasant thing between the teeth when one is enjoying a dish. They do not soften up with cooking, so they pop between the teeth and taste very bitter. It is altogether different when one powders it for pickles (it is bitter initially but after being pickled with other ingredients loses its pungency). Upon putting in hot oil (the temperature of oil should be such that a few moments it woould be smoky hot) mustard not only pops but also assumes a slight nutty flavour. Also, popped mustard seeds stay on the top while unpopped mustard will sink to the bottom.
bengali sorshe
gujarati rai
hindi rai
telugu aavaalu
67 Nigella, Onion Seeds Nigella or Onion seed, a long, pointed, black coloured grain, is a constituent of the Bengali spice mixture called Panch Phoron. It is not used in south India. It is used whole, either dry roasted or fried. It is often used in north Indian pickles and snacks.
bengali kalonji
hindi kalonji
kannada karijirigi
malayalam karungiragam
marathi kalonji
tamil karingiragam
telugu nalla jilakarra
68 Nutmeg Nutmeg and mace, both come from the same tree and in fact the same fruit. Nutmeg is the seed while mace is the covering that encloses the seed (No, it is not the same as the flesh of the fruit). It has a pleasant aroma and is stored whole. Nutmeg should be crushed and powdered just before use. It is an important ingredient in the Mughlai spice mix for meat dishes. It is also used in the long grain, aromatic rice known as basmati rice in India. Store in a closed container in a cool dark place.
bengali jaiphal
gujarati jaiphal
hindi jaiphal
kannada jaijikayi
malayalam jathikkai
marathi jaiphal
tamil jaithikkai
telugu jajikaayi
69 Onion
bengali piaj
gujarati kanda
hindi pyaz
kannada erulli
malayalam ulli, saavala
marathi kanda
tamil vengaayam
telugu neerulli, ulli gadda, ullipaaya
70 Papaya Both, raw and ripe papayas are used in food preparation in India. Raw papaya is usually ground to a paste (with skin or occasionally without skin) and used to marinade meat dishes. This is because it is believed to make the meat more tender. When I was young, a papaya smelt like a papaya - a heavy earthy odour - not preferred by many. Also, there were soapy, round, black seeds inside. The papayas of the present day smell wonderfully unlike the ones of old, plus, there do not seem to be any seeds. This new vaiety is known as Babaco, which is typically much larger than original Papaya. You may pluck papaya unripe and let it ripen inside your home. Keep it wrapped in a few old newspapers or in a large container of rice. Upon ripening, it will not keep long. However, you may peel off the skin, cut into large pieces and store in a plastic container in the refrigerator. The milk that oozes when a raw papaya is scratched is known to remove moles when applied as a thin film.
assamese amita
bengali paipsi
gujarati papaye
hindi papita
kannada papaya
malayalam papaya, kappalam
marathi popai
tamil papali
telugu boppayi
71 Paprika This is a bright red spice which is used most often in Middle Eastern food. It is a slightly sweet spice and must not be overheated lest the sugar in it turns bitter.
hindi Deghi mirch
72 Peppers, Black An aromatic and pungent spice, it's flavour is evoked in many ways- the whole pepper corns fried in hot ghee give that excellent aromatic flavour to rice dishes like pongal, daddojanam, kobbari annam, etc, while the crushed peppers lend their pungency to papads and relishes like sev ki murabba, akhrot ki murabba, etc. In powdered form, they are part of sambhar powder, rasam powder, garam masala and various other spice mixes. Black pepper powder is considered to possess excellent medicinal value and the most common usage is adding crushed peppers to hot milk. This is an excellent cure for sinus colds. When buying pepper corns, look for black, round seeds with wrinkles on its surface and of uniform size. They should be stored whole. Powdered black pepper loses its aroma and pungency very quickly. Store the whole spice in a dry place.
bengali golmirch
gujarati mari
hindi kaali mirch
kannada Kaari menasu
malayalam kurumulaku
marathi mire
tamil milagu
telugu miriyaalu
73 Pomegranate/Pomegranate Seeds Pomegranate seeds are ruby red in colour and are embedded in a white pulp. They have a sweet-sour taste. They are predominantly used in garnishing of curries in western India. They are also added in mint chutney, coriander chutney, etc for taste as well as visual purposes. Anardaana as these seeds are referred to, may also be dried pomegranate seeds. They are blackish brown in colour and more sour than sweet. A variety of pomegranate that is sour is dried when raw to give rise to this seed. One cannot dry regular (that is, sweet variety) to obtain these seeds. These seeds are mostly used in dishes that require a tartness different from that obtained from adding tamarind. Also, these seeds not only give a note of sourness but also keep the colour of the dish intact where as tamarind extract usually changes the colour of the dish to dark brown. Kadi sauce has good amounts of this seed as do the pakoras that go into this sauce. Pomegranate juice is given to sick and infirm as it is rich in iron. The seeds when eaten along with white pulp are good for stopping diarrhoea. The seeds discolour upon exposure to air and hence should be served immediately upon cutting of the fruit.
assamese dalim
bengali dalim
gujarati dadam
hindi anar, anardaana
malayalam matalaam
tamil madulam
telugu daanimma pandu
74 Poppy seeds Poppy seeds are widely known as khus khus and are creamy white in colour, smallish and round. Poppy seeds have a nutty flavour; South Indian cuisine uses poppy seed paste to thicken sauces in gravy curries. The seeds are usually ground alone, with water, and added to the dish a few minutes before removing from heat. The sauce is stirred well and then as it starts to thicken, it is removed from heat and kept aside for five to ten minutes. A good substitute for poppy seeds as sauce thickener is ground almond paste (without skin). Kodi pulusu (Chicken in sauce), Chepala pulusu (Fish in tamarind sauce) of Andhra Pradesh basically utilize poppy seed paste to give that nutty flavour to the chicken and to thicken the tamarind sauce in fish curry. Poppy seeds are stored best as whole. Any powder or paste version should be quickly used as it can turn rancid with time. Poppy seed powder can stay fresh in the refrigerator shelf for a week at the most.
assamese afugocch
bengali pasto
hindi khas khas
kannada kashakashi
malayalam kashakasha
marathi aphu
panjabi, eastern post
tamil postaka
telugu gasagasaalu, abhini
75 Potato
bengali gol alu
gujarati batata
hindi alu
kannada alu gadda
malayalam urula kazhangu
marathi batata
tamil urulai kazhangu
telugu bangaala dumpa
76 Pumpkin, Red (sweet gourd)
assamese rongalau
bengali rongalau, meetha kumra
hindi meetha kaddu
kannada kumbala
marathi kaalaboopala
malayalam chakkara kumbalanga
tamil pooshnikai
telugu teeya gummadikaayi
77 Radish
assamese mula
bengali mula
hindi mooli
kannada moolangi
malayalam mullanki
tamil mullangi
telugu mullangi
78 Red gram, Whole
bengali arhar
gujarati tuver
hindi toor
kannada tugare
malayalam tuvaran
marathi tur
tamil tuvaram
telugu kandulu
79 Red Kidney Beans
hindi rajma
panjabi, eastern rajma
tamil kaaramani
telugu erra beans
80 Rice Flour To make your own: wash and soak rice for one hour in sufficient water. Next, drain the water and spread the soaked rice on a thick and absorbent cloth. Leave aside for four hours or until the rice feels free of moisture and the rice grains are not sticking to each other. Now, make this into a fine powder. Flour prepared this way not only tastes far better than the store bought flour but also retains its freshness for a very long time. You may store it in the refrigerator too.
bengali chalerguro
gujarati choka no loat
hindi chawal ka atta
kannada arasi hittu
tamil arasi maavu
telugu biyyapu pindi
81 Rice, Flattened When buying flattened rice, try to get the slighter thicker variety. The thin variety tends to become mushy and spoils the look of the dish. Cleaning: If it is the very thin variety, take a large container and fill it to three fourth of its volume with water and now pour the flattened rice into this water. Stir once in a circular motion and then cover the container and drain immediately. The rice is ready to be added to any dish. If it is thicker, wash in enough water twice or thrice and then fill it with water until the flattened rice is just immersed in water. Keep aside for five minutes. Then drain the water. It is ready to be used in milk sweetened with jaggery or as a substitute for cooked rice in Pulihora, or for Poha, etc.
bengali chirey
gujarati pohwa
hindi chewda
kannada avlaaki
marathi poha
telugu atukulu
82 Rice, Puffed
bengali moori
gujarati mamra
hindi mormora
kannada kurulu
malayalam pori
marathi murmura
tamil arisipori
telugu maramaraalu
83 Ridge Gourd
bengali jhinga
gujarati sirola
hindi torai
kannada heere kaayi
malayalam peechingai
panjabi, eastern kaakitori
tamil peechanka
telugu beerakaaya
84 Rock Salt
hindi saindalavana
kannada saindalavana
malayalam saindalavana
85 Rose/Rose Water Rose water is commonly known as gulab jal and is usually used to give fragrance to milk based desserts like gulab jamun, ras malai, etc. It is also used as a fragrance (Rose Attar is one of the popular items sold in the historically important old city area of hyderabad). Infact, most Indian wedding receptions involve sprinkling of rose water on the guests as they arrive at the venue. It is also used to flavour cold drinks like lassi (buttermilk) that includes other additives like crushed badam (almonds) or saffron. Hyderabaadi layered biryani, the dish that has caused many a poet to write verse in praise of it, has rose petals as one of its ingredients. This dish, with a very faint hint of rose, eaten along with Tamater ki shorva, on the cool evenings after hot and humid days, simply elevates ones spirit to a different plane altogether!
bengali Golap/Golap jol
hindi Gulab/gulab jal
kannada gulaabi/panneru
malayalam Penimirpushpam
marathi Gulapha
tamil iroja, Gula
telugu rojaa, Gulabi
urdu Gulab
86 Saffron Saffron is widely used in rice dishes in both the Mughal inspired north Indian and in Lucknow inspired cuisine of hyderabad (The best biryani as once reputedly made by a cook for the Lucknow royalty. The nawab of Hyderabad ordered his cooks to get trained in Lucknow who then, not only learnt the recipe but also infused their own south Indian spices to the dishes to create a unique Hyderabaadi cuisine). Saffron is the central part of a flower and sold in the form of ‘leaves’ or ‘threads’. It is blackish orange in colour. If a recipe calls for saffron, then it is implied that you dissolve it in a little milk or water for about half an hour and then use it. The essence of this spice is absorbed by the water or milk and consequently, the liquid turns orangish yellow in colour and is fragrant. Occasionally, the recipe may suggest that you powder saffron threads along with other spices and use it for the sauce. This method is okay too, as long as the sauce is to be cooked over low heat for long periods of time. Saffron is also used in halwas and cool drinks. It is very expensive and hence usually sold adulterated. Try to buy it from the source if possible and that too if the whole flower is sold. Store it in the refrigerator.
assamese zafran
bengali zafran kesari
gujarati keshar
hindi keshar, zaffran
tamil kunguma pu
telugu kunkuma puvvu
87 Screw Pine The essence derived from the flower of the screw pine tree is called kewra essence. This is used predominantly in north Indian desserts (especially in Rajasthan). This essence is used to give fragrance to Ras gulla, Ras malai, Burfi etc. Rajasthan is famous for kewda Icecream. It is simply divine and worth a visit to the state! The screw pine (to quote lore) is known to attract the King Cobra and many other reptiles to its grove because of its fragrance. The flower is about 18 to 20 inches long, though, the actual part from which essence is taken is from within inside the leaves. These leaves which surround the actual flower are known as mogali rekulu and are used by south Indian women as fresheners(the leaves are kept between the Konjeevaram silk saree folds). The leaf is also used in some preparations but traditionally this is has no culinary use in south India. Being expensive, this essence is usually sold diluted and/or adulterated.
assamese Ketaki
bengali Ketakiphul
gujarati Ketaki
hindi kewda
kannada tale hoovu
malayalam kitha
marathi kewda
panjabi, eastern keora
tamil thazhai
telugu mogali puvvu
88 Semolina There are two important varieties: Bombay rawa and Idli rawa. The former is used in preparing Upma and the latter in preparation of Idli.
hindi Sooji
telugu Rava
89 Sesame seeds Oil extracted from sesame seeds is used in certain dishes. Helps maintain a good constitution and increases appetite. However, it is not good for diabetics as it slows their digestion. Sesame oil is one of the most important oils for the south Indians because this oil is used in preparing of the annual pickles like mango pickle, ginger pickle, etc, as it is supposed to help preserve the pickle for longer time. Sesame seeds are used for making spice powders, sweets etc. Religious significance: On Naagul Chavithi, a day specifically earmarked for the welfare and worship of snakes, sesame seeds are pounded along with molasses, made into small balls and slipped into termite mounds, so that the snakes may enjoy the feast.
bengali til
gujarati tal
hindi til
kannada acchellu
malayalam ellu
marathi til
tamil ellu
telugu nuvvulu
90 Snake Gourd To remove the 'pasara vaasana' for snake gourd, apply coarse salt liberally to the surface and rub it in. This should help scrape away the skin. Now, cut the gourd into small pieces, add a teaspoon to two teaspoons of salt and a pinch of turmeric. Let sit for three minutes and then squeeze out the juice. Wash once and it is ready to be cooked.
bengali chinchinga
gujarati padavali
hindi patola
kannada padavala
malayalam padavalam
panjabi, eastern parole
tamil pudalai
telugu potlakaaya
91 solidified condensed milk This is popularly known as Khoya or Maawa. It is used in a variety of sweets, curries, etc. It is sold in various ways depending upon the percentage by weight of solidified milk in the solidified milk cum milk and water mixture. Khoya/Maawa is basically solidified milk. It is very time consuming to make at home. The process is very simple though. Just boil milk until it thickens (stir often as it can stick to the bottom of the pan as it loses its water content. Steps to hasten the process: 1. Use a heavy based, wide mouthed pan. 2. Use thick milk. 3. Start off with the pan over high heat. As it gets to semi-solid stage, lower heat to medium-low and stir often. Remove as per instructions for the given recipe. Conversion information: One liter (1000ml) of milk gives roughly 200-225 grams of Maawa.
bengali khoya khir
hindi khoya
kannada khoya
malayalam khoya
marathi khava
tamil thirattupal
92 Sweet Potato (Kumara)
assamese meetha alu
bengali meetha alu
gujarati shakaaria
hindi shakkarkand
panjabi, eastern shakkarkand
kannada genasu
malayalam madhurakizhangu
tamil sarkaraivalli kizhangu
telugu chilagada dumpa, ganusu gadda
93 Tamarind Tamarind, is the flesh of the ripe fruit of tamarind tree. Needless to say, all most all parts of tamarind tree are used. The bark is used for medicinal purposes, the dry branches as fire wood, the fresh and tender leaves for dal (Chintachiguru pappu/ tender tamarind leaf dal) and the flowers as stimulants. The fruit when raw is used to make a popular pickle called chintakaaya pacchadi while the flesh of the ripe fruit is used to give sourness or tartness to various vegetable curries and almost all lentil dishes/dal/pappu. It is commonly used in fish and crab curries. However, it is not generally used in meat, chicken or prawn dishes. The seeds and leaves of tamarind tree are used to treat scorpion bites. Too much of tamarind (fresh) will cause flatulence and may also cause loose bowel movements. Old tamarind (that is, last year’s crop as opposed to this year’s) tastes very different from new and also gives a much stronger colour to the dish. Try to store new tamarind, which you can distinguish on the basis of its lighter colour-almost the colour of light brown honey, in the refrigerator as it will retain its colour and taste longer.
bengali tetul
gujarati amli
hindi imli
kannada hunise hannu
malayalam puli
marathi chinch
tamil puli
telugu chinta pandu
94 Tomato, Unripe/Green
bengali bilathi begun
gujarati tamatu
hindi tamata, vilayathi baigan
kannada asavru dapparu, chapparu badaane
malayalam pacha thakkali
tamil thakkali kai
telugu pacchi tamaata
95 Turmeric, Indian Saffron Turmeric is used in almost every dish in India. It is used in considerably greater quantities in north Indian lentils and dry curries than in south Indian curries. The popular rice dish of south India called Pulihora/Tamarind rice or Nimma pulihora/yellow rice uses copious amounts of turmeric. The genius of Indian cuisine lies in the way different ingredients are used to get the best possible flavour out of one particular ingredient. For example in the preparation of Pulihora, one of the steps involves the following: In a mound of hot white rice, a hole is made at the centre and in this, turmeric powder, fresh curry leaves and hot groundnut oil are poured and immediately the hole is covered with rice. It is allowed to sit for ten to fifteen minutes or so. Then, the whole mound of rice is mixed well with the ingredients. The fragrance of turmeric is at its best in this rice! I have never come across any better method of getting out the best fragrance of turmeric. The modern turmeric that is sold in India is obtained from turmeric rhizomes that have been boiled initially, then dried and later powdered. My amma insisted on using freshly ground turmeric for most of the curries. She preferred using fresh turmeric rhizomes, a piece of which she would grind on a slab of rough stone along with a little water, a small piece of asafoetida/hing and mustard seeds. This paste would be mixed with hot oil (which is removed from the heat) and fresh curry leaves, all of which would be buried in a mound of hot rice for ten to fifteen minutes. Later the whole would be mixed along with the rest of the sauce for Pulihora and then partially covered and kept aside for ten to twelve hours. Usually, this was done at night and served the next morning for an early lunch along with Kobbari pacchadi (coconut chutney) and Perugu pacchadi (onion and yoghurt chutney). Turmeric plays an important role in hindu religion and hindu woman’s life both as a cosmetic and also as a means of good fortune and prosperity when offered to other married women. Store turmeric in a dark place.
assamese halodi
bengali halud
gujarati halad
hindi haldi
kannada arishina
malayalam huva
marathi halade
tamil manjal
telugu pasupu
96 Vermicelli
bengali semai
gujarati sev
hindi seviyan
kannada semigae
malayalam semiya
marathi sevayan
tamil seviyan
telugu semiya
97 Water Cress
assamese halim shak
bengali halim shak
gujarati asaliya
hindi halim, asaliyo
kannada allibija
marathi ali
panjabi, eastern halon, tejak
tamil ativerai
telugu adiyaalu
98 Water Melon
assamese khormuja
bengali tharmuja
gujarati karigu
hindi kalingu
kannada kalacchi
malayalam kummattikaayi
tamil kummattikaayi
telugu pucchakaaya
99 Wheat flour (Whole)
bengali atta
gujarati ato
hindi atta, Gehun ka atta
kannada godihuhittu
malayalam godhumambu maavu
marathi kaneek
tamil godhumai maavu
telugu godhuma pindi
100 Wheat Flour, Refined
bengali moida
gujarati maido
hindi maida
kannada godihittu, billi
malayalam american mavu
marathi maida
tamil maida maavu
telugu maida
101 White turmeric
hindi Kachur, Amb halad, Gandhmul
102 Whole wheat flour Used in preparing Chappati, Paratha, Puri and other breads.
czech Atta
greek Godhuma pindi
bengali atta
gujarati ato, loat
kannada godhihuhittu
malayalam godhambu mavu
marathi kanek
tamil godhumai mavu
103 Wood Apple
assamese kath bael
bengali kath bael
gujarati kotha
hindi katha
panjabi, eastern katha
kannada baelada hannu
malayalam blanka
marathi kawath
tamil velan
telugu velaga pandu
104 yam
assamese kathalu
bengali chupri alu
hindi chupri alu
kannada mudigenaasu
malayalam maah kona
panjabi, eastern kniss
tamil kayavalli
telugu pendalamu
105 yoghurt
bengali dahi
hindi dahin
kannada mosaru
malayalam thaayir
tamil thaayir
telugu perugu

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