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Bengal gram  Kadalai parupu Kadalaparippu Senaga pappu Kadale bele Chana dal
Green gram Payathamparupu Cheruparipu Pesara pappu Hesaru bele Moong dal
Black gram Ulunthamparuppu Uzhunnuparippu Mina pappu Udiina bele Urad dal
Red gram Thuvaramparupu Thuvaraparippu Kandipappu Thoragibele Toordal
Thymol Omam Vaum Vaumu Oma Ajwain
Aniseed Sombu Perinjeerakam Sopu Badesepi Saunf
Jaggery Vellam Vellam Bellam Bella Gud
Sugar Sakarai Panjasara Chakara Sakkare Shakkar
Ghee Neyi Neyi Neyyi Thuppa Ghee
Curds/Yoghurt Thayir Thayer Perugu Mosaru Dahi
Butter Vennai Venna Venna Benne Makhan
Buttermilk More   Majjiga Majjige  
Turmeric Manjal Manjal Pasupu Arasina Haldi
Tamarind Puli Puli Chintapandu Huli Imli
Poppy seeds Kasakasa Khasakhasa Gasagasalu Gasagasa Khuskhus
Pepper Milagu Kurumulagu Miriyalu Ollemenasu Kalimirchi
Nutmeg Jathikai Jathikai Jajikayi Jajikayi Jaiphal
Mustard Kadugu Kadugu Avalu Sasive Rai
Ginger Inji Inji Allam Shunti Adhrak
Garlic Poondu Vellulli Ullipayilu Bellulli Lasun
Rice sticks Sevai        
Rice flakes/Beaten rice Aval Aval Attugulu Avalakki Chivda/Poha
Gramflour Kadalamaavu Kadalapodi Senaga pindi Kadalehittu Besan
Riceflour Arisimaavu Aripodi Biyyampindi Akkihittu  
Allpurposeflour Maidamaavu Maida Maidapindi Maida Maida
Drumstick Murungakkai Muringakaya Munnakaya Nuggekayi Sago
Cilantro/Coriander 
leaves
Kothamallli Malli Ela Kothimira Kothambari Soppu  
Coriander seeds Kothamalli verai Malli Dhanialu Kothambari Beeja/Dhaniya Dhania
Ladiesfinger/Okra Vendaikkai Vendakaya Bendakaya Bendekayi Bindi
Spinach Keerai Cheera Paalak Paalak Paalak
Mint leaves Pudhina Pudhina Pudhina Pudhina Pudhina
Semolina Ravai Rava BombaiRawa Rave Sooji
Cracked Wheat Godhumai ravai Gothambu rava Godumalu rawa Godi rave  
Curry leaves Karivepilai Karivepila Karivepaku Karikevu Kadi patti
Vermicelli Semiya Semiya Semiya Shavige Semya/Sevai
Sago Javarisi   Saggubiyyam Sabkakki Sabudhana
Cardamom Yelakkai Ellakkaya Elakayi Yelakki Elaichi
Cinnamon Pattai Krugapatta Lavang patta Chakke Dalchini
Cloves Grambu/lavangam Karayam Poo Lavangam Lavanga Lavang
Cumin Seeds Seerakam Jeerakam Jilakara Jeerige Jeera
Cashewnuts Mundhiri paruppu Kashunandi Jeedipappu Godambi Kaju
Fenugreek Vendhayam Uluva Menthulu Menthe Methi
Dry red pepper Sigappu/vara milagai Kollamulaku Yendu mirapakayalu Onamenasina kaayi Lal mirch
Sesame seeds Ellu Ellu Nuvvullu Ellu Til
Saffron Kumkuma poo Kesari Kukumpoovu Kesari Kesar
Lima Beans Mocha paruppu Amarapayar Anamulu Chapparada avare kaaye  
Wheat Godhumai Godhambu Godumalu Godi Gehu
Garbanzo beans/chick peas Kondai kadalai/ Kabul kadalai   Senagalu Kadale kaalu Channa
A
Aasmi A filigree-fried batter made from the sap of the kududawula tree and coconut milk and drizzled with treacle.  
Achar Pickle.
Adrak Ginger.
Adrak (fresh) Fresh Ginger
Adrak / Sonth Ginger
Ajwain or Ajowain Carom Seeds / Thyme / Lovage
Aloo Potato.
Alpe A twisted sugar-stick made from different degrees of caramelized sugar.  
Alu chole A vegetarian dish using chickpeas, potatoes and tamarind.
Alur dom A dish using whole potatoes.
Am Mango.
Am chur or Amchoor Mango powder. A very hot sour flavouring agent.
Anaar Dana (Powder) Pomegranate Seeds (Dried)
Angoor Grapes
Areca Betel nut.
Arhar Dal Split Red Gram
Arrack Made from fermenting the sap collected from palm or coconut flower, this is a heady, alcohol. 
Asafoetida Hing. Gum obtained from root of giant fennel-like plant. Used in powder or resin form. A rather smelly spice.
Aserio Aniseed.
Ata or Atta Chupatti flour. Fine wholemeal flour used in most Indian breads. English wholemeal is a suitable alternative.
Auyrvedic An alternate medicine that treats with herbal extracts and the controlling of the diet. 
B
Badai Aniseed stars.
Badam Almond
Baduns Usually baduns comprise of fish, seafood, meat and game. These are fried in oil with onion, herbs such as pandanus and curry leaves, red chili and tomato. 
Banana leaves  is widely used for wrapping ingredients (particularly fish) before cooking. They should be soaked briefly in hot water to make them pliable. If banana  leaves are unavailable use alumininium foil. 
Bargar The process of frying whole spices in hot oil.
Basmati The best type of long grain rice.
Basmati rice  the finest Indian long-grained rise grown in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is known as the prince of the rices because of its fine flavor and aroma. It should be rinsed and soaked for 10 minutes before using.
Bay leaf Tej patia. This very well known leaf is used fresh or dried in certain Indian recipes.
Besan  also known as gram flour, this is made from chickpeas. It is used to flavor and thicken curries and for making Pakoras and bhajias, pancakes and teamed patties.
Bhajee or bhaji Dryish mild vegetable curry.
Bhajia Deep fried fritter, usually onion. See pakora.
Bhare Stuffed.
Bharta or Bhurta Mash or puree.
Bhoona or Bhuna The process of cooking the spice paste in hot oil. A bhoona curry is usually dry and cooked in coconut.
Bhunana Roast.
Bhutta Corn Cobs
Bindi or Bhindi Okra - A pulpy vegetable also known as ladies fingers.
Biriani A traditional dish. Rice baked with meat or vegetable filling.
Biriyani masala  This is a special sweet spice mix for biriyani dishes. Grind together the cardamom seeds from 8 pods, 25 g (1 oz) cinnamon stick, 6 cloves and 1 tsp fennel seeds.
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.
Bombay potato Small whole potatoes in curry and tomato sauce.
Boti kebab Marinated cubes of lamb cooked in a tandoor oven.
Breadfruit This ruggerball-shaped fruit is a popular staple in Sri Lanka. This maybe boiled and enjoyed with a side dish of coconut sambol or sliced very thinly, fried and either sprinkled with salt and chili powder or drizzled with sugar syrup. 
Brinja or Brinjal Aubergine.
Burfi or Barfi An Indian fudge-like sweetmeat made from reduced condensed milk in various flavours eg plain or pistachio.
C
Cassia bark A corky bark with a sweet fragrance similar to cinnamon and is used extensively in Northern Indian cookery. Although cooked in the curry the bark is too coarse to eat.
Cayenne pepper A type of chilli powder.
Ceylon curry Usually cooked with coconut, lemon and chilli.
Chaamp Chop.
Chakla belan Special rolling pin and board.
Chamcha Ladle.
Chana Chickpeas (brown)
Chane Ka Atta Gram Flour
Chapati  the bread  usually made on a circular cast iron griddle known as a tawa, which is slightly concave to give its distinctive shape. It is cooked without fat, over very high heat. 
Chawal  rice
Chawli / Lobhia Black Eyed Beans
Chhalni Sieve.
Chhuara Dates (Dried)
Chick peas also called gram or, in America, garbanzo beans. As chickpeas often demand hours of cooking before they become tender.
Chikoo Sapota
Chilgoze or Nioze Small long creamy nuts with brown shells used in cooking or eaten raw.
Chilli There are a great man species of chillies, which are the fleshy pods of shrub-like bushes of he capsicum family. Chillies range from large to small, and colours include green, white, purple, pink, and red. Curiously, although synonymous with Indian food they were only brought to the sub-continent from South America some four centuries ago. They are now the most important heat agent in Indian cookery. They vary in hotness from mild to incendiary-like potency. Most commonly, small green or red chillies are used fresh. Red chillies can be dried and used whole, and chilli powder is made by grinding dried chillies.
Chimta Tongs.
Chirongi or Charauli Small rounded nuts resembling Egyptian lentils. Used in puddings or pullaos.
Cholia / Hara Chana Chickpeas (green)
Chor maga Melon seeds. Used as a thickener.
Chupatti A dry 6 inch disc of unleavened bread. Normally griddle cooked ,it should be served piping hot. Spelling varies eg Chuppati, Chapati etc.
Chutneys The common ones are onion, mango and tandoori. There are dozens of others which rarely appear on the standard menu.
Curries Any ingredient, may it be a vegetable, tuber, leaves, potatoes, dhal, fish, seafood, meat and game can be made into a curry. Usually, but not always, basing coconut, the ingredient is cooked with spices and herbs and seasoned with salt, and often tomato and gambol. Stirring, this is cooked until aromas build up and flavors are combined and taken off the heat before texture, color and goodness of the ingredient is altered or lost. 
Curry The only word in this glossary to have no direct translation into any of the sub-continent's fifteen or so languages. The word was coined by the British in India centuries ago. Possible contenders for the origin of the word are,Karahi or Karai (Hindi), a wok-like frying pan used all over India to prepare masalas (spice mixtures): karhi - a soup-like dish made with spices, chickpea flour dumplings and buttermilk; Kari - a spicy tamil sauce;Turkuri - a seasoned sauce or stew; or Kari Phulia, neem or curry leaves.
D
Dahi Yoghurt or Curd
Dahi wala A meat dish cooked in a savoury yoghurt sauce.
Dalchini or Darchim Cinnamon. The quill-like dried bark of the cinnamon tree. It is one of the most aromatic spices. Same family as cassia, it is generally used in dishes which require a delicate flavour.
Dalia Broken Wheat
Dals (pulses) dried split peas, usually bought skinned. There about sixty  varieties of pulses available in India. THese are dreid seeds of plants such as beans and peas and those most popularly sued include chick peas (kabuli channa), split black chick peas (bengal gram or channa), black gram (urid daal), red lentils (arhar) and yellow lentils (moong). Pulses should be rinsed in several changes of water. Pre-soaking usually cuts their cooking time by half and salt tends to harden pulses it should not be added until the end of the cooking. As they take a long time to cook, a pressure cooker is a great aid to cooking most pulses. The more unusual pulses are sold in health food or Asian food stores.
Degchi Brass or metal saucepan without handles also called Pateeli or Batloi.
Devils Like its name, devils are a wicked preparation of meat, fish or seafood, sautéed with onion, tomato, capsicum and chilli. 
Dewa Lentils. There are over sixty types of lentil in the sub-continent. The most common restaurant types are masoor, channa and urid.
Dhania Coriander. One of the most important spices in Indian cookery. The leaves of the plant can be used fresh and the seeds used whole or ground.
Dhania Patta Coriander Leaves
Dhansak Traditional chicken or meat dish cooked in lentil and vegetable puree.
Dhungar Applying the smoke of charcoal to ingredients.
Do piaza Traditional meat dish. Do means two and piaza means onion. It gets its name because onions appear twice in the cooking process.
Doroo Celery.
Dosa or Dosai A south Indian pancake made from rice and lentil flour. Usually served with a filling.
Dosa or dosha  is a flat bread made with flours, rice, wheat or legumes, cooked like a pancake. It may be filled with a spicy mixture.
Dum Steam cooking. Long before the west invented the pressure cooker India had her own method which lasts to this day. A pot with a close fitting lid is sealed with a ring of dough. The ingredients are then cooked in their own steam under some pressure.
E
Ekuri Spiced scrambled eggs.
Elaichi (Chhoti) Green Cardamom
Elaichi (Moti) Brown Cardamom
F
Food colorings  turmeric and saffron will color food yellow, but you can also buy coloring that has no taste.
Foogat Lightly cooked vegetable dish.
G
Gajar Carrot
Garam masala Literally 'hot mixture'. This refers to a blend of spices much loved in Northern Indian cookery.
Gehun Wheat
Gehun Ka Atta Wheat Flour
Ghee clarified butter made by melting butter and separating the fat from the solids. It can be made at home. From the best flavor ghee is made from unsalted butter. Cheaper blends of butter are most suitable to make ghee. Once prepared it will keep for up to three or four months in a cool place.
Gobi or phoolgobi Cauliflower
Goor or gur Jaggery (palm sugar) or molasses
Gosht Lamb.
Gotukola Gotukola is a flat leaf commonly found in Sri Lanka. Kotukola candgi and Kotukola sambol are extremely popular in Sri Lanka. 
Gulab jaman An Indian dessert. Small 1-inch diameter balls of flour and milk powder deep-fried to golden and served cold in syrup. Cake-like texture.
Gurda Kidney - Gurda kebab is marinated kidney skewered and cooked in the tandoor.
H
Halapa A sweetened coconut paste wrapped in Kande leaf. 
Halva Sweets made from syrup and vegetables or fruit. Serve cold in small squares. It is translucent and comes in bright colours depending on ingredient used; e.g. orange (carrot), green (pistachio), red (mango), etc. Has texture thicker than Turkish delight. Sometimes garnished with edible silver foil.
Handi Earthenware cooking pot.
Hari Mirch Green Chilly
Hasina kebab Pieces of chicken breast, lamb or beef marinated in spices and then skewered and barbecued with onion, capsicum and tomato. Of Turkish origin.
Hindi Hindi is the official language of India. Although there are fourteen or so other languages in India, only Hindi translations have been used in this glossary. Spelling of Hindi translations have been used in this glossary. Spelling of Hindi words can vary in English because 5they are translated phonetically from many Hindi dialects.
Hing Asofoetida
Hisa Bill (account)
Huldi Turmeric
I
Idli  is a bread from the South, almost like a cake, round and thick, made with fermented rice from the Kerala and legume flour (urad), shaped and then steamed (the legumes have a leavening effect). 
Imli Tamarind.
Imli Tamarind - A date-like fruit used as a chutney, and in cooking as a souring agent.
Inji Ginger
Isgubul Vegetable seed.
J
Jaggery Palm sugar made from treacle – mostly palm treacle. These hard, mound-shape cakes are nibbled with ginger tea or grated and used in almost all Sri Lankan sweetmeats and desserts.  
Jaifal or Taifal Nutmeg.
Jal frezi Sautee or stir fry
Jalebi An Indian dessert. A flour, milk powder and yoghurt batter pushed through a narrow funnel into deep frying oil to produce golden curly crispy rings. Served cold or hot in syrup.
Javatri or Javitri Mace, the outer part of the nutmeg
Jeera Cumin -  There are two types of seeds: white and black. The white seeds are a very important spice in Indian cookery. The black seeds (Kala Jeera) are seldom used. Both can be used whole or ground.
Jeera or zeera Cumin
Jeeragam Cumin seeds
Jhanna Flat slotted spoon
Jinga Prawns
Jinga Praj Patia. Prawn butterfly, marinated in spices and fried in batter.
K
Kabli chana or Kabuli Chana Chickpeas.
Kaddu kas Grater
Kadhi Yoghurt soup
Kadipatha Curry leaves - Small leaves a bit like bay leaves, used for flavouring.
Kadugu Mustard seeds
Kaju Cashew nut
Kala Black
Kala jeera Black Cumin Seeds, or Caraway Seeds
Kala namak Black salt or Rock Salt
Kala namak. Black salt
Kaleji Liver
Kali Mirch Black Pepper
Kalongi or Kalonji Nigella, similar to wild onion seeds.
Kalonji Nigella, similar to wild onion seeds.  Small black tear-shaped onions seeds, used to add piquancy to vegetable curries and Indian breads.
Kancha milagai/Milagai Vathal Red chili pepper
Karahi Karai, korai etc. Cast iron, wok-like, frying pan.
Karalla karalla is a tiny, bony fish. 
Karapincha Sprigs of small, slightly pointed leaves. The closest substitute would be bay leaves. 
Karchhi Metal flat spoon used for turning frying ingredients.
Karela Small, dark green, knobbly vegetable of the gourd family.
Kari Patta Curry Leaves
Kasa-gasa Poppy seeds
Kashmir chicken Whole chicken stuffed with minced meat.
Kashmir curry Restaurateurs creation. A sweetish curry often using lychees or similar ingredient.
Kathal Jack fruit.
Katori Small serving bowls which go on a thaali (tray).
Kebab Skewered food cooked over charcoal. A process over 4000 years old which probably originated in the Middle East. It was imported to India by the Moslems centuries ago.
Keema Minced meat curry.
Kesar or zafron Saffron - The world's most expensive spice, saffron is the stamen of the crocus flower. It takes 70,000 stamens to give a recipe a delicate yellow colouring and aroma.
Kewra Screwpine water.  An extract of the flower of the tropical screwpine tree. It is a fragrant clear liquid used to flavour sweets. It is a cheap substitute for rosewater.
Khalla musaria Grinding stone or pounder.
Kheera Cucumber
Khir Technique of making a sort of cream. Milk is cooked with cucumber and pureed.
Khoa  full fat milk powder
Khoya, Mawa Dried Whole Milk/Thickened Milk
Khurzi Lamb or chicken, whole with spicy stuffing.
Kirambu/Lavangam Cloves
Kish mish Sultanas or Currants
Kishmish Currants
Kofta Minced meat or vegetable balls in batter, deep-fried, and then cooked in curry sauce.
Kohila This is a type of watercress plant. Both the leaves and the shoots make popular dishes. 
Kokum or cocum A variety of plum, pitted and dried. Prune-like and very sour. Also known in Malayan as mangosteen.
Korma To most restaurants this just means a mild curry. Traditionally it is very rich. Meat, chicken or vegetables are cooked in cream, yoghurt and nuts, and are fragrantly spiced with saffron and aromatic spices.
Kos (Jakfruit) Kos is a huge fruit, average in 1 ½ - 2 feet in length with the middle circumference averaging around 1 foot. The skin is tough, green and thorny. Curries and mallums are made from the raw fruit as well as the seeds of the fruit. The ripe fruit is extremely juicy and has the sweetness of honey. 
Kothamali Podi Coriander powder
Kothamali vethai Coriander seeds
Koya Reducing milk to a thick sticky solid. Used for sweet making.
Kulcha Small leavened bread sometimes stuffed with mildly spiced mashed potato and baked in the tandoor.
Kulfi Indian ice cream. Traditionally it comes in vanilla, pistachio or mango flavours.
Kulthi Horse Gram
Kunguma-poo Saffron
Kurmura Puffed Rice
Kus kus See cuscus
L
Lasan / Lahsun Garlic
Lasan. Garlic
Lavang or Laung Cloves
Lavang. Cloves
Lhassi or lassi A refreshing drink made from yoghurt and crushed ice. The savoury version is Lhassi namkeen and the sweet version is Lhassi meethi.
Lilva A small oval-shaped bean which grows in a pod like the European pea.
Loochees A type of bread made in Bengal using white flour.
M
Macchi or macchli Fish.
Madras You will not find a traditional recipe for Madras curry. It is another restaurateurs invention. But the people of South India do eat hot curries; some original chef must have christened his hot curry madras and the name stuck.
Maida Refined wheat Flour
Makai Ka Atta Maize Flour
Makhani A traditional dish. Tandoori chicken is cooked in a ghee and tomato sauce.
Makke Cornflour.
Malai Cream
Malaya The curries of Malaya are traditionally cooked with plenty of coconut, chill and ginger. In the Indian restaurant, however, they are usually mild and contain pineapple and other fruit.
Maldive fish This is a seasoning used in almost all Sri Lankan dishes. Bonito (also known as skipjack) is boiled, smoked and sun-dried until rock-hard. Shavings or tiny chunks of maldive fish are sprinkled into curries, sambols and mallums. 
Mallums Mallums are the cooked version of sambol. Quickly tossed in a heated pan or wok, this is a very healthy and extremely delicious ‘rice-puller’. 
Mamra Puffed basmati rice.
Manjal Turmeric
Masala A mixture of spices which are cooked with a particular dish.
Masoor Red lentil with green skin.
Mathanni Wooden whisk.
Matka Round earthenware pot used to freeze ice cream. It is filled with ice and salt.
Mattar Green peas
Mattha (Chhaach) Butter Milk
Meethi Sweet
Melon seeds Chor magaz
Methi Fenugreek. This important spice is used as seeds and in fresh or dried leaf form. It is very savoury and is used in many Northern Indian dishes.
Mint  widely used herb often paired with lamb. Indian mint has a stronger flavor and more pungent aroma than Western varieties.
Mirch Pepper or chilli.
Mirch Chile
Modjus The difference between a modju and a pickle is that a pickle is blanched in vinegar , where as a modju is blanched in very hot oil and its base is mango chutney. 
Moglai or moghlai Cooking in the style of the Moghul emperors whose chefs took Indian cookery to the heights of gourmet cuisine three centuries ago. Few restaurateurs who offer Moglai dishes come anywhere this excellence. True Moglai dishes are expensive and time-consuming to prepare authentically.
Mollee Fish dishes cooked in coconut and chilli.
Mooli Large white radish.
Moong One of the more commonly used lentils. It has a green skin and can be used whole, split or polished to make various dhals.  Green Gram, Skinned Split Mung Bean
Moong Fali Groundnut
Mulligatawny A Tamil sauce which has become well known as a British soup.
Mullu Milagu Whole Black Pepper
Munacca Raisins.
Murgh Chicken.
Murgh masala A speciality dish of whole chicken, marinated in yoghurt and spices for 24 hours then stuffed and roasted.
Mustard oil  a yellow oil made from mustard seeds that is pungent when raw and sweet when heated. Much used in Kashmir and Bengal.
N
Naan  a kind of bread popular in North India. It is made with leavened dough (chopped onion or cilantro can also be added to it), and the leavener is often made from buttermilk or yogurt. The dough is stretched by tossing the piece of dough quickly from one palm to the other to form a thin oval flatbread, slightly thicker around the edges than in the center. Traditionally is baked on the walls of a tandoor oven, brushed with a thin coating of oil or ghee and served hot.  It can also be stuffed with cheese, vegetable curry or meat. In this case, the filling is placed on part of the dough which is then folded over on itself before being rolled flat with a rolling pin.
Naan peshwari Naan bread stuffed with almonds and or cashew and or raisins and baked in the tandoor.
Naan, keema Naan bread stuffed with a thin layer of minced meat curry then baked in the tandoor.
Namak Salt
Namkeen  Salty
Nargis kebab Indian scotch egg spiced minced meat around a hard boiled egg.
Nariel Coconut - essential to many dishes. It is obtained from the white flesh of the nut and is both rich and smooth-testing. widely used in southern Indian cuisine, is used both savory and sweet dishes.  Buy a fresh coconut to extract the milk or use desiccated coconut to thicken sauces or garnish finished dishes.
Naryal Coconut
Neem Curry leaf
Nimboo Lime
Nimboo ka Sat Citric Acid
O
P
Paav / Pav / Pao Bun
Pakoras To all intents and purposes the same as the Bhajia.
Palak or sag Spinach.
Pan or Paan Betel leaf folded around a stuffing lime paste or various spices and eaten after a meal as a digestive.
Panch phoran Bengali Five Spice - mix of five spices - cumin seeds, onion seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and anise
Paneer Cheese made from bottled milk which can be fried and curried (matter paneer).
Papaya  a fruit with good digestive properties
Paprika Mild red pepper made from capsicums. It originally came from Hungary and only reached India this century. Its main use is to give red colour to a dish.
Paratha  a bread; richer version of chapati, crispy and cooked in ghee on a griddle. They are very thin and are stacked up like crêpes. 
Pasanda Meat, usually lamb, beaten and cooked in one piece.
Patia Restaurant seafood curry with thick, dark brown, sweet and sour sauce.
Patna A long grain rice.
Patta Gobi Cabbage
Pattai Cinnamon
Pepper Corns Mirch. Has for centuries been India's most important spice, gaining it the title king of spices. It grows on vines which flower triennially and produce clusters of berries, which are picked and dried and become the pepper corns. Green, black and white pepper are not different varieties. All peppercorns are green when picked and must be bottled or freeze-fried at once to retain the colour. Black pepper is the dried berry. White pepper is obtained by soaking off the black skin of the berry. Peppercorns are a heat agent and can be used whole or ground.
Perum-jeeragam Aniseed
Perungayam Asafetida
Phal or phall A very hot curry (the hottest) invented by restaurateurs.
Phitkari Alum
Phool Gobi Cauliflower
Piaz, peeaz or pyaz Onion.
Pickles Pungent, hot pickled vegetables or meat essential to an Indian meal. Most common are lime, mango and chilli.
Pistachio nut Pista magaz. A fleshy, tasty nut which can be used fresh (the greener the better) or salted. It is expensive ad goes well in savoury or sweet dishes such as biriani or pista kulfi (ice cream).
Podina Mint leaves or powder.
Poha, Chiwda Pounded rice.
Polpala An herb, full of goodness and many beneficial properties. 
Poondu Garlic
Poori or Puri A bread fried in hot oil, completed submerged so that it puffs up. Pooris are common to the 
Poppodums and pappads  the pre-made and precooked flat breads (made from legume flour (urad) and rice flour) that need only be immersed in hot oil to puff up instantly; they are turned with a skimmer so that they stiffen up slightly and then are drained and served while still crisp. Some are plain, others are spiced with mixtures of spices. They can also be prepared under the broiler, thus eliminating the chore of frying. 
Prawn puri Prawns in a hot sauce served on puri bread.
Pudina  Mint 
Pullao Rice and meat or vegetables cooked together in a pan until tender. In many restaurants the ingredients are mixed after cooking to save time.
Q
Quas chawal or kesar chaval Rice fried in ghee, flavoured and coloured with saffron.
R
Raai / Raee / Rai Mustard Seeds (Small)
Raita A cooling chutney of yoghurt and vegetable, cucumber for instance, which accompanies the main meal.
Rajama  or Rajma Red kidney beans.
Rasgulla Walnut-sized balls of semolina and cream cheese cooked in syrup (literal meaning juicy balls). They are white or pale gold in colour and served cold or warm.
Rashmi kebab Kebab minced meat inside a net-like omelette casing.
Rasmalai Rasgullas cooked in cream and served cold. A very rich sweet.
Ratin jot or Rattam-Jog Alkanet root. Beetroot coloured , dried, wafer-thin bark of the root. It is used as a deep red dye to make-up, clothing and food. Traditionally the Northerners obtained their red tandoori and rhogan josh gosht colouring from it.
Rava / Suji Semolina
Rhogan josh gosht Literally means red juice lamb. It can be spelt dozens of ways. It is a traditional Northern Indian dish. Lamb is marinated in yoghurt then cooked with ghee and spices and tomato. It should be creamy and spicy but not too hot.
Roti The name is related to the French word "rôtie," meaning toasted bread. It is made from whole wheat (aata), millet (bajra) or sorghum (jowar) 
Ruh gulab Rosewater - A clear essence extracted from rose petals to give fragrance to sweets.
Rumali Toasted bread, or handkerchief bread, which is also found in other eastern countries, is made up of numerous layers of dough like a folded handkerchief. 
S
Saboodana / Sabudana Sago or Yuca
Sabzi A generic term for vegetables.
Sag or saag Spinach.
Salt Namak
Sambals or Sambols Sambols are the appetizers of a Sri Lankan meal. Very much like the Thai, Sri Lankans also do not have courses in a meal. Rather, the appetizers are enjoyed as part of the main meal. This is a very simple mixture of onion, green chilli, salt, lime and maldive fish often folded into thinly sliced vegetable such as bitter gourd, or fish such as salted sprats. 
Sambar A south Indian vegetable curry made largely from lentils.
Sambar powder a southern Indian spice mix for vegetable curries.
Samosa The celebrated triangular deep fried meat or vegetable patties served as starters or snacks.
Sanuf. Aniseed
Sarson ka sag Mustard leaves
Sarson or Moti Mustard Seeds
Saunf or souf Aniseed
Seeng Drumstick. A bean-like variety of marrow which looks exactly like a drumstick.
Seeni sambol A hot and sweet sambol made from shallots, garlic and maldive fish.  
Seenl Allspice - Related to the clove family, the seed resembles small dried peas. Called allspice because its aroma seems to combine those of clove, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and pepper. used rather more in European cooking than Indian.
Shami kebab Round minced meat rissoles.
Shashlik Cubes of skewered meat.
Sheek or seekh kebab Spiced minced meat shaped on a skewer and grilled or barbecued.
Shimla Mirch Capsicum
Sil batta A pair of grinding stones: Sil, large stone, batta, small pounder.
Sombu Fennel
Sonf Fennel seed.
Sont (dried) Dried Ginger
Sont or sonth Dry ginger.
Soonf Fennel
Sorportel A Goan pork dish with heart, liver and meat.
Sub-continent Term to describe India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma, and Sri Lanka as a group.
Supari Mixture of seeds and sweeteners for chewing after a meal. Usually includes aniseed or fennel, shredded betel nut, sugar balls, marrow seeds etc.
T
Tadka Seasoning
Taipal or jaiphal Nutmeg
Tandoori A style of charcoal cooking originating in north -West India. Originally it was confined to chicken and lamb and naan bread. More recently it is applied to lobster etc. The meat is marinated in a reddened yoghurt sauce and placed in the tandoor.
Taraazu Weighing scales.
Tarbooj ke beej Watermelon seeds.
Tarka Garnish of spices/onions.
Tarka dhal Lentils fried and garnished with spices.
Tava or tawa a flat cast iron pan used for making bread.
Tej patia or Tej Pattia Bay leaf
Thaali A tray which holds the complete meal served in individual bowls (katori). Used by diners in the South.
Tikka Skewered meat, chicken or seafood, marinated then barbecued or tandoori baked.
Til Sesame
Tinda  A vegetable of the cucumber family.
Tindaloo See vindaloo.
Toor dal or Toovar dal a glassy dark yellow split pea, similar to chana dal
Toran style of cooking where the dish remains dry.
Tukmeria or tulsi Black seeds of a basil family plant. Look like poppy seeds. Used in drinks.
Turmeric Haldi or huldi. A very important Indian spice, turmeric is a rhizome. The fresh root is used occasionally as a vegetable or in pickles. The ground spice is extensively used to give the familiar yellow colour to curries. Use sparingly or it can cause bitterness.
Tusci Basil
U
Udrak Ginger
Uppama a flat bread whose dough is made from semolina instead of flour. It can be quite rich and may include onions, chilies, ginger, mustard seed, nuts, various vegetables etc.
Urad Dal, Urid Daal, Kaali Daal Horse Bean, Black Gram, Sabut, split black lentils, often used as a spice in southern India. It takes quite a long time to cook.
V
Vadai Deep-fried savories made from dhal or black gram flour. 
Vaddha Vaddhas are an ancient tribe in Sri Lanka. Living as one with nature, these people are untouched by the modern world. However, these people are by no means primitive. Their knowledge of the forests they dwell in and their respect to nature constitute them as a tribe of wise men. 
Vanaspati Starch
Varak silver leaf used as a decoration for both sweet and savory dishes. 
Vark or varak Edible silver or gold foil.
Vendhayam Fenugreek seeds
Vindaloo A fiery hot dish from Goa. Traditionally it was pork marinated in vinegar with potato (aloo). In the restaurant it has now come to mean just a very hot dish. Also sometimes called Bindaloo or Tindaloo.
X
Xacutti A Goan dish using chicken and coconut.
Y
Yakni Mutton
Yelakkai Cardamom
Z
Zafron Saffron
Zeera Cumin