These are terms commonly used in Indian cooking. Each region and State in India has its particular vegetable, grain and spice. Please add to this list if you find something missing or ask us if you need to know anything more!


Aniseed or Fennel Seeds – Saunf

Asafoetida – Hing

Bay Leaf – Tej Patta

Black Cardamom – Badi Elaichi

Black Pepper – Kali Mirch

Black Salt – Kala Namak

Caraway Seeds – Shah Jeera

Carom Seeds – Ajwain

Chilli Powder – Lal Mirch Powder

Cinammon – Dal Chini

Clarified Butter – Ghee

Cloves – Laung

Coriander Powder – Dhania Powder

Coriander Seeds – Sabut Dhania

Coriander/Cilantro – Dhania

Cottage Cheese – Paneer

Cumin Seeds – Jeera

Curry Leaves – Kari Patta

Dry Fenugreek Leaves – Kasoori Methi

Dry Ginger – Saunth

Dry Mango Powder – Amchur

Fenugreek – Methi

Fenugreek Seeds – Methi Dana

Fresh Ginger – Adrak

Garlic – Lehsun

Green Cardamom – Hari Elaichi/Choti Elaichi

Green Chilli – Hari Mirch

Green Peas – Hari Matar

Ground Nut/Peanuts – Moongphalli

Holy Basil – Tulsi

Jaggery – Gur

Lime/Lemon – Nimbu

Mace – Javitri

Melon Seeds – Magaz

Mint – Pudina

Mustard Seeds – Sarson

Nutmeg – Jaiphal

Onion – Pyaz

Onion Seeds – Kalonji or Mangrela

Pearl Millet – Bajra

Pointed Gourd – Parwal

Pomegranate – Anar

Pomegranate Seeds – Anardana

Poppy Seeds – Posta/Khus Khus

Raisins – Kishmish

Red Chilli – Lal Mirch

Rock Salt – Sendha Namak

Saffron – Kesar/Zafran.

Sesame Seeds – Til

Small Black Mustard Seeds – Rai

Tamarind – Imli

Turmeric – Haldi

Vinegar – Sirka

grains glossary


Beaten Rice – Poha

Black Gram or Black Lentil – Kaali Dal

Black Eyed Beans – Chawli or Lobhia

Black Lentil – Sabut Urad Dal

Bengal Gram –Kala Chana

Bitter Gourd – Karela

Broken Wheat – Dalia

Brinjal, Eggplant or Aubergine –Baigan

Raw Bengal Gram – Cholia or Hara Chana

Chickpeas – Kabuli Chana

Gram Flour – Besan or Chane Ka Atta

Green Gram/Mung Bean – Moong

Maize Flour – Makai Ka Atta

Minced Mutton – Keema

Mutton/Meat – Gosht

Puffed Rice – Kurmura or Murmura

Pumpkin – Kaddu or Sitaphal

Red Kidney Beans – Rajma

Red Lentil – Masoor

Rice – Chawal

Refined Flour – Maida

Semolina – Rava or Suji

Sorgum – Jowar

Spinach – Palak

Split Bengal Gram – Chana Dal

Split Red Lentil – Masoor Dal

Split Black Gram – Urad Dal or Kaali Dal

Split Green Gram – Moong Dal

Split Red Gram – Tuvar Dal or Arhar Dal

Wheat – Gehun

Whole Wheat Flour – (gehu ka) Atta

Yellow Lentil/Pigeon Peas – Arhar Dal

Spice Picture source:

Grains Picture source:

Krishna Sahai
Krishna Sahai

Krishna Sahai took voluntary retirement as a senior Commissioner of Income Tax of the Indian Revenue Service to follow alternative paths. A multi-talented person, she is a trained Bharata Natyam dancer and has also published a book on the subject. Krishna has imbibed the old traditions of Avadhi culture from her family and is concerned about preserving the vanishing cuisines of India. She consults on financial and business matters apart from running a not-for-profit organization.

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