So, when your travelling to India for the first time, it would be nice to know what you're eating, right? Ha ha. The first (and second) time I stayed in India, most of the time I didn't really know what my dinner was. So here we go with an explanation of popular Indian foods and ingredients...
- Panni: Water
- Aloo: Potato
- Gobi: Cauliflower
- Palak: Spinach
- Mutter: Peas
- Unda: Egg
- Chaval: Rice
- Dud: Milk
- Tomatar: Tomato
- Pyaaz: Onion
- Paneer: Indian Goats Cheese (my favourite!)
- Dal: Lentils
- Jeera: Cumin seeds (used in most curries)
- The spices used in the base of almost all curries include: Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric, Corriander, Cumin and Salt.
- Roti: Chappati, or flat bread. Used in every meal throughout North India, it is used to scoop the food from the plate into the mouth.
- Nan: a thick flat bread, like roti but much thicker.
- Pakora: a pakora has a stuffing, such as potato or onion which is then coated in batter and deep fried. They're kind of like onion rings... except the batter has spices in it.
- Raita: a cool yogurt
- Dal Fry: A lentil curry. A very popular dish which is often eaten daily by Indians.
- Aloo Mutter: Potato and pea curry.
- Mushroom Mutter: Mushroom and pea curry.
- Aloo Tomatar: Potato and tomato curry.
- Palak Paneer: Spinach with paneer cheese curry.
- Paratha: Stuffed Roti (see above). Eaten at breakfast. Stuffing usually contains potato and green chilli.
- Aloo Gobi: Potato and cauliflower curry
- Unda Curry: Egg curry.
- Chilli Chicken: Chicken in a spicy chilli sauce
- Tandoori Chicken: A dry chicken, cooked in a clay oven (or tandoori oven)
- Namkeen: Salty snack (called Bombay Mix in England).
- Chai: Tea (or Masala Chai, which has masala spices in the tea)
Taking a note of these translations will be a great help while travelling in India. Also, something to know is that food is always divided into a "Veg" or "Non-Veg" category. Due to the widespread vegetarianism in India, many restaurants and hotels are strictly vegetarian. So, "Veg" describes these vegetarian-food-only venues and "Non-Veg" means that the establishment serves meat. However, as Hindus never eat beef, and Indians in general find pork to be a dirty meat (they don't eat pork through choice, not through religion like beef) you will only find either chicken or mutton (lamb) available in India. Also, eggs are categorized as Non-Veg in India.
If you have any more questions on Indian cuisine or India in general, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org where I am happy to answer any of your queries. :)
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