Glossary of Indian food

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Indian food is food eaten in the Indian subcontinent including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Srilanka and other countries in the region. Indian food is also popular in many countries around the world known for its spicy, delicious and colorful foods with a wide variety of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

Glossary / dictionary of Indian foods

Indian food
Indian food

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  • Asafoetida is the Indian name for Hing. Gum obtained from root of giant fennel-like plant. Mainly used in powder form in South Indian cooking /
  • Bhoona, Bhuna is the Indian name for the process of 'stir-frying' the spice paste in hot oil. Bhoona curries are generally 'dryish' and cooked in coconut.
  • Bumallo or Bombil is the Indian name for Bombay Duck - A smallish fish native to the Bombay area known locally as Bommaloe Macchi. This was too hard for the British to pronounce so it became Bombay Duck. It is dried and appears on the table as a crispy deep fried starter or accompaniment to a curry.
  • Cassia is the Indian name for A 'corky' bark with a sweet fragrance (similar to cinnamon). Used extensively in Northern Indian cooking. Normally removed before the dish is consumed.
  • Jeera, Zeera is the Indian name for Cumin. The white seeds are a very important spice in Indian cookery (ground or whole). The black seeds (Kala Jeera) are sweeter and used less often then the white seeds.
  • Madras is the Indian name for Generic term for 'hot' curries originating from the Madras region in Southern India.
  • Matka is the Indian name for Round earthenware pot used to freeze ice cream. It is filled with ice and salt.
  • Nargis kebab is the Indian name for Indian scotch egg (spicy minced meat around a hard boiled egg).
  • Tamarind, Imli is the Indian name for A date-like fruit used both as a chutney and in cooking as a souring agent (Southern India).
  • Tandoor is the Indian name for Indian clay oven (drum shaped) that operates at very high temperatures (up to 600C).
  • Tukmeria, Tulsi is the Indian name for Black seeds of a basil family plant which look like poppy seeds and are commonly used in drinks like Falooda.
  • Vindaloo is the Indian name for A fiery hot dish from Goa. Traditionally it was pork marinated in vinegar with potato. Also sometimes called Bindaloo or Tindaloo.

Also see


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