Whats Cooking

inspiring to cook n bake
List of Ingredients

5 (five) spice mix, Bengali

Hindi : Panch phoran

Panch phoran (five-spice mix) is a spice blend used in Bangladesh and Eastern India, especially in Bengal, Assam, and Oriya. It is a blend of five different seeds: fennel seed, black mustard and nigella seeds, fenugreek and cumin seeds. Generally the ingredients are added in equal proportions, though this can vary according to taste. In Bengali "phoron" means tempering and "panch' is five.

Agar-agar, china grass, isin glass, kanten

This is derived from sea weed. It is a vegetarian option instead of gelatin. It comes in sheets, flakes and powder form. Can be powdered and stored. Agar-agar is to be always dissoved in hot water before adding to food.
Substitute agar agar for gelatin in equal quantity. 1 tablespoon of agar agar flakes is equal to 1 teaspoon of agar agar powder.
1 cup of liquid can be set using 1 tsp.of agar agar powder. Agar agar should be first dissolved in water or any other liquid and then brought to a boil.

Ajinomoto, MSG, monosodium gultamate

MSG is the salty version of glutamic acid. Today, the MSG we find on store shelves is usually made from fermented sugar beet or sugar cane molasses, in a process quite similar to the way soy sauce is made. It is a non essential amino acid. Our body produces necessary non essential amino acids and actually we do not require it in any additional form. A fifth taste,(other than sweet, sour, salty and bitter) called 'umami'. Umami is the savory taste that occurs naturally in foods such as tomatoes and ripe cheese. Just as eating chocolate stimulates the sweet taste buds on our tongue, eating food seasoned with MSG stimulates the glutamate or "umami" receptors/ buds on our tongue,increasing the savory flavor of these foods. MSG has very little flavor of its own, but it 'improves' or enhances the flavor of other foods it is used with.
In some people MSG causes stomach upset, which is commonly known as chinese stomach syndrome.

All spice

Malayalam : All spice     Hindi : Kebab Cheeni

Allspice is the dried unripe fruit of a plant .It combines the flavors of cinnamon,nutmeg, and cloves. Fresh leaves are also used in cooking. They are similar in shape & texture to bay leaves.They are added during cooking and then removed before serving.These leaves loose flavor when dried & stored.

Alternatives :-combine cinnamon, nutmeg and clove


Malayalam : Badam     Hindi : Badam

The almond is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia.Almond consists of an outer hull and a hard shell with the seed inside. Shelling almonds refers to removing the shell to reveal the seed. Blanched almonds are shelled almonds that have been treated with hot water to soften the seed. Flaked almonds which are deskinned is available at some baking stores.


Malayalam : Kozhuva, netholi     

Anchovies are a small, shiny, silver fish .Anchovies are often confused with sardines . In some areas, the terms anchovy and sardine are used interchangeably.


Hindi : Chhoti saunf

The flavor of aniseed has similarities with some other spices, such as star anise, fennel, and liquorice. Anise is sweet and very aromatic, distinguished by its characteristic flavor.


Malayalam : Apple     Hindi : Seb

The saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, will give us an understanding of the importance of apple. Apple is always available throughout the year. Apples come in all shades of red, green and sometimes yellow too. The flesh is white or cream. Some apples are crispy and juicy while others are soft and sweet, whereas some apples like granny smith are a little tart. Most of the apples come with a waxy coating. Apples naturally sweeten dishes when added while baking dishes. Apple sauce can be made by cooking apples with sugar and water, and adding other ingredients such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon juice or zest, to increase the flavour. Cut apples turn brown quickly, especially when chopped finely or grated. Sprinkle a little lemon juice on the surface to prevent this.

Apple cider vinegar

Also known as cider vinegar or ACV. It is made from Cider ( which is is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples) or from apple must (freshly squeezed apple juice that contains the skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit). Cider is obtained by fermenting apple juice with yeast. Its commonly used as a preservative as well as a flavor enhancer. It has a milder flavor as compared to wine vinegar. It is health benefical (compared to synthetic acidic vinegar)like all the natural vinegars.
Available in supermarkets.


Malayalam : Apricot     Hindi : Khubani

Apricots have been cultivated in Iran. Dried Apricot is an important commodity in Iran.


Malayalam : Koova     Hindi : Araru, arraruta

Arrowroot is a root from plants. Arrowroot powder is a starchy powder obtained from the roots of the plant native to South America. Lack of gluten makes it an ideal choice in baking. It is always safe to buy arrowroot pieces and powder it as ready made powder may contain all purpose flour. arrowroot powder is used as a thickening agent in place of corn starch. Arrowroot gives a better sheen to sauces than corn starch. Also arrowroot powder is used for making cookies. Arrowroot is highly valued as it is considerd easily digestible. Usually only 1/3rd of arrowroot flour to corn flour is necessary when using for thickening. The powder should be mixed with a cool liquid before being introduced to a recipe, and it should be added towards the end, since overcooking can destroy the gelling properties of arrowroot. Once the mixture thickens, remove immediately to prevent thinning. Arrowroot thickens at lower temperatures unlike thickeners made with flour or cornstarch. Unlike many starches, arrowroot turns clear as it sets, and will not change the color of dishes it is included in. Since arrowroot flour is very bland, it is used in neutral recipes. In baking, it is used as a thickening agent for fruit pie fillings and glazes. It is also used in the preparation of arrowroot cookies. It makes shimmering fruit gels. Lack of gluten in arrowroot flour makes it useful as a replacement for wheat flour in baking. It is also used in the preparation of homemade ice cream since it prevents the formation of ice crystals.


Malayalam : Kaayam     Hindi : Hing

Asafoetida is used as a digestive aid, in food and as a condiment,in pickles. It is a flavor enhancer. In india its commonly used in lentil curries and also in batter using chick pea flour. Asafoetida is said to have originated in Afghanistan( formerly Afghanistan was a part of Hindusthan or India).It has been widely used in Indian medicine and cooking. It is resin of a plant and is most widely used in its powdered or granulated form, and is usually yellow in colour. The most commonly available form these days is compounded asafoetida, which contains 30 per cent resin and 70 per cent Arabic gum and rice flour or maida. Asafoetida witout arabic gum isconsidered to be the best.

Ascorbic acid

This is commonly known as vitamin C. Some bakers add this to bread flour as it enables bread dough to get greater volume when baked.

Ash gourd

Malayalam : Kumblanga     Hindi : Petha

Ash gourd grows on a vine. It is a vegetable. It is roundish-oblong in shape and is quite bigger.Outside skin is greenish in colour and is not consumed. Flesh is whitish in color with seeds. This gourd keeps well for a long time. Ash gourd has medicinal properties and has very few calories. In India, a sweet called petha is made from ashgourd and is very popular.

Aubergine/brinjal/egg plant

Malayalam : Vazhuthananga     Hindi : Baingan

There are different varities of brinjal varying in color & shapes. Brinjals are green, violet & white. Green ones are slender. Purple ones come in 2 sizes--small & big. Some varieties of brinjal are egg shaped and hence called egg plants. Brinjals usually have a slight bitter taste. To reduce the bitterness, slice the brinjal, sprinkle salt evenly over it and mix well. Bitterness will be reduced after some water has been drained out.Rinse well after 10 minutes and use as required. It is a good source of dietary fibre.

Avocado, butter fruit

Hindi : Kulu Naspati , Makhanphal

Avocado is a green, fleshy, pear-shaped fruit. It has a single large seed.
The flesh is smooth and buttery, with a nutty flavor. It is used insandwiches, salads, smoothies and milkshakes. Use only ripe Avocado. To ripen the fruit, keep in a brown paper bag. When ripe it will turn brown from green. Since the cut fruit discolours fast, it should be tossed with lemon juice soon as it is cut, if not used immediately.

Baby potatoes

Potatoes that are harvested before maturity and are of a much smaller size are known as baby potatoes. These potatoes have a much sweeter flavor than regular potatoes as they are harvested before maturity. A famous indian dish 'dum aloo' is made with baby potatoes.


Bacon is a meat product prepared from pig. It is usually cured(preserved) using salt, nitrates, nitrite or sugar.


A type of French bread which is long and narrow. Pronounced- ba get. This bread has a crusty loaf.

Baking powder

Baking powder is used for leavening or rising. It has two components- baking soda and either tartaric or citric acid.Over time baking powder can loose it's strength and should always be checked for it's strength. Good baking powder will bubble strongly when 1 teaspoon of it is mixed with a quarter cup of water.

Baking soda or bicarbonate of soda

Also known as bread soda or cooking soda. Baking soda reacts with acid when it becomes wet and will produce carbon dioxide which in turn will lighten baked goods. The acidic ingredients that usually causes a reaction are buttermilk, citrus juices vinegar etc.

Baking soda, Bicarbonate of soda, Sodium Bicarbonate

Baking soda is a white powder which is used as a leavening (raising) agent. Its main purpose is to break down proteins and neutralise acids. It helps in tenderising also. Is also known as bread soda or cooking soda. Baking soda reacts with acid when it becomes wet and will produce carbon dioxide which in turn will lighten baked goods. The acidic ingredients that usually causes a reaction are buttermilk, citrus juices vinegar etc. Baked recipes using baking soda usually have a lighter crumb and show signs of aeration ( tiny holes). Store in an airtight container in a cool and dry place. Since it is a tenderiser, it is used in cooking of soaked dried beans. Baking soda is also added to batter fried things to give a smooth finish to them, avoiding the small curls that accompany them.

Balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is made from a reduction of cooked white grape juice and not a vinegar in the usual sense. Traditionally balsamic vinegar is aged for years. Balsamic vinegar of Modena (a place in Italy), an inexpensive modern imitation of the traditional product is widely available. This is commonly used in salad dressing with oil. Balsamic vinegar is available in some supermarkets here. Though its a bit expensive, its worth trying.

Bamboo shoots

Malayalam : Mulamkoobu     Hindi : Kanile

Bamboo shoots are the edible shoots of the bamboo plant. The shoots have a tough exterior which is peeled off and only the tender interior is used. Bamboo shoots are first boiled whole in lots of water and then water is drained before slicing and using in recipes. Canned bamboo shoots are available in supermarkets.

Banana leaf

Malayalam : Vazha ela     Hindi : Kele ke patta

Banana leaves are big, flexible and waterproof. They are used for cooking,wrapping food and as well as for serving food. when banana leaves are used for cooking food they are passed over a flame to make it pliable, so that the leaves will not tear. In the south of India, specially tamilnadu food is served on banana leaves. so a person gets a leaf which has not been used by anyone else. It is bio-degradable. Steaming food in banana leaves imparts a flavor to food. Many other countries , specially asian countries use banana leaves to cook food.

Banana, dessert banana

Malayalam : Pazham     Hindi : Kela

Banana is a soft, sweet fruit of the banana tree. Banana tree is found in the tropical regions of India, Africa, West Indies and South America.
Each plant tree bears around 45 to 150 bananas, which have outer skins in varying shades of green, yellow or red, and a white or off-white coloured sweet flesh.Banana is used both as a vegetable (in raw form) & as a fruit (when ripe). In the south of India, the stem, flower and of course the fruit is used in cooking. Banana leaves are used as disposable plates.
In Kerala, a particular type of banana known as Nenthran or ethakka is used. When ripe it is called nethra pazham/ethapazham and when raw is known as nenthra kaaya/ etha kaya. Nenthran is used in cooking in its raw form.
Small types of various bananas are called dessert bananas. They are served in place of desserts or together with desserts like payasam/kheer.


Basa is a fleshy fish, native of Indochina.

Basil leaves

Malayalam : Rama thulasi     Hindi : Tulsi

Basil is known as tulsi in India. There are various types of basil available throughout the world. In Italy Basil leaves are used on Pizzas and for pesto. In Thai cooking Basil leaves are used widely. Add fresh basil at the last moment, since cooking can quickly destroy the flavour of basil. Basil contains volatile oils which get destroyed on over cooking. Basil is available in dried form also. Italian Basil is also known as sweet basil. Both Thai basil and Italian basil cannot be interchanged. The nearer substitute to Thai Basil can be mint. Thai basil, can be identified by its purple stem. We planted sabja seeds also known as falooda seeds or black khuskhus to get basil plant.

Basmati rice

Hindi : Basmati chawal

These are long grained slender rice. The best known variety is the Basmati. The hindi word, basmati translates to 'queen of fragrance'. Indian basmati is exported to many countries. Even though India and Pakistan produces basmati, Indian basmati is considered superior to Pakistani.

Bay leaf, leaves

Hindi : Tejpatta

Bayleaf is an aromatic leaf that is often added to soups, gravies and rice preparations for the strong fragrance it imparts. It is available in fresh and dried forms. In india, it is commonly available in dried form. It has a flavor similar to cinnamon.

Beaten rice flakes

Malayalam : Aval     Hindi : Poha

To make flattened rice, it is parboiled, rolled and then flattened and is dried to make flakes. Beaten rice comes in two forms- white, which is the thinner variety and reddish brown, which is the thicker variety. they are considered healthy and easily digestible.


Malayalam : Matirachi     

Beef is the culinary name for meat from cattle.Beef is accepted and used in many countries around the world. However in certain parts of India cow is worshipped and hence cow slaughter is banned. There are different cuts of meat available such as steak, rib, rib eye and processed stuff like sausages and salamis.


Beer is an alcoholic drink with alcohol strength ranging from 3 to 6%. Beer is made froml grains like barley, wheat, maize, etc. But the commonly used base for beer remains malted barley. Malted barley is the source of the sugars which are fermented into beer. The malting process allows the grain to partially germinate.Malted barley gives the beer its characteristic pale amber colour. Dark colour is obtained when the malts have been roasted for a longer duration. The process of making beer is known as brewing. Brewing converts the starch from the grains into sugar which is then fermented using yeast. The yeast used for this purpose is called Brewers yeast. Hops add flavour to beer. Hops are the female flowers (also called seed cones or strobiles) of the hop plant, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though they are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine.It also acts as a preservative. Hops comes in two varieties: Aromatic and Bittering.
There are two main types of beers based on the brewing process:
Ale: The beer is brewed using top fermenting brewers yeast. This yeast ferments beer quickly. They are brewed at higher temperatures. It usually takes around a month to brew but some varieties can take longer. The flavour of most ales are bitter since they are brewed with bittering hops.
Lager: The beer is brewed using bottom fermenting brewers yeast. They are brewed at a low temperature. Lagers are stored for at least three weeks before being served and thus take longer time to brew than ales.


Hindi : Chakunder

Beetroot or beet as is sometimes known is a sweet vegetable. Even though beetroot brings to mind the red ruby color, now a days yellow , violet etc. are some of the colors available. Beetroot is commonly used in salads after steaming or boiling. Cakes are also made using beetroot. Beetroot is also used to make wine.

Bell peppers/ capsicum

Malayalam : Bell peppers/ capsicum     Hindi : Shimla mirch

The most common colour of capsicum is green. Yellow & red capsicum are also available. The seeds inside the fruit are removed before using.

Bengal gram, split

Malayalam : Kadalaparippu, pottukadala     Hindi : Chana dal

Chana dal is split Bengal gram without skin. It is available in roasted form also.

Bengal gram, whole

Malayalam : Kadala     Hindi : Kala chana

Bengal gram comes in 2 sizes. They are brownish in colour. This is a good source of fibre.


Malayalam : Irumban puli     Hindi : Bilimbi

Averrhoa bilimbi tree is also known as bilimbi, cucumber tree, or tree sorrel. These small cucumber like fruits hang in bunches on the trunk of the tree. The fruits are sour and is used in fish curries in Kerala, Goa etc.

Birds eye chillies

Malayalam : Kanthari mulagu     

It is know as bird's eye chili because birds love to pick the ripe chili,These chillies are very spicy even though small.The small chillies found in Kerala and Meghalaya, India, are birds eye chillies of India. In Kerala it is referred to as 'Kanthari mulagu'. Bird's eye chili flower faces down and chili faces upward towards the sky. Chilies can also be used as an insect repellent when crushed with water.

Biscuit, cookies, crackers

Hindi : Biskut

Biscuit, is also known as cookies or crackers. These are baked flour based products. it is not soft unlike bread and cake. Biscuits aresomewhat hard compared to cakes,but crumbly and crisp. there are a lot of varities of biscuits differing in shape, flavoring, texture etc.

Bitter gourd, bitter melon

Malayalam : Pavakka, kaipakka     Hindi : Karela

Bitter gourd is among the most bitter of all vegetables. . The fruit has warty exterior and is longish in shape. Inside of the fruit has seeds and pith. Seeds, exterior of gourd and pith turn red after the gourds ripe. Usually this vegetable is used in it's raw form. Bitter gourd is highly valued for it's medicinal benefits. Bittergourd ,specially juice is considered good for diabates.

Black cumin/ persian cumin

Malayalam : Sajeerakam     Hindi : Shahi jeera

Caraway seeds are actually fruits of the plant, but they are called seeds by people around the world. The fruits are crescent-shaped. They are used as a spice in breads, especially rye bread. In some cusines its used in biryanis. It is commonly used in British caraway seed cake.

Black gram dal, urad dal

Malayalam : Uzhnu, uzhnu parippu     

Black gram as the name denotes has a black colored skin. When deskinned, it is creamy white in color. In South India, this lentil(deskinned) is used to make idlis, vadas and dosa.Which are staple breakfast dishes. With skin, black gram is used to make Dal makhani, the famous dish of punjab. It is a good source of protein.

Black salt

Hindi : Kala namak

Black salt, Kala Namak or Himalayan Pink Salt is a type of rock salt, salty and pungent-smelling condiment used in South Asia.Kala Namak is used extensively in India and Pakistan as a condiment or added to chaats, chutneys, salads, all kinds of fruits, raitas and many other savory Indian snacks. Chaat masala, an Indian spice blend, is dependent upon black salt for its characteristic aroma. Kala Namak is considered a cooling spice in ayurvedic medicine and is used as a laxative and digestive aid.

Bottle gourd

Malayalam : Churakka     Hindi : Ghia/ lauki/ doodhi

Bottle guard is also known as squash, or long melon. This is mainly used as a vegetable when harvested young. If harvested mature,then it's dried, and used as a bottle or utensil to carry water or milk. The fresh fruit has a light green smooth skin and a white flesh. Rounder varieties are called calabash gourds and the slender long fruits are called Bottle gourds. They come in a variety of shapes.


Bran is the outer layer of a grain, like oats and wheat.Bran is added to cereals and baked goods to include dietary fiber. Bran is readily available in supermarkets which can be added in small quantities in baking muffins, granola, bread etc. Adding too much of bran may cause diarrhea.


Brandy is a spirit produced by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains 35–60% alcohol by volume. Some brandies are aged in wooden casks, some are coloured with caramel colouring to imitate the effect of aging, and some brandies are produced using a combination of both aging and colouring.

Brioche bread

Brioche, pronounced 'bri osh' is a buttery and egg rich bread of french origin. It has a dark, golden, and flaky crust, frequently accentuated by an egg wash applied after proofing.


The origin of Brocolli is North America.The Latin word Brachium from which Brocolli is derived, means branch, since it looks like a tree.The stem and stalk of Brocolli are crunchy whereas the florets are soft. Buy brocolli which is dark green in color, do not buy the ones with yellowish colour.

Broken red rice/ Red rice

Malayalam : Matta, rose matta     

Kerala red rice also known as matta or rose matta is parboiled rice. It is not the same as brown rice. Matta takes longer time to cook. Original matta is a good source of b complex as it is not polished. But now a days red color is given to polished, cheap rice to make it look like red matta. Matta is crushed to make it smaller tiny bits & is known as 'podi ari/ nurukku ari'.

Brown sugar, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar

Light and dark are the two most common types of brown sugar. In general, the lighter the brown sugar, the more delicate the flavor. Very dark brown sugar has a more intense molasses flavor. Molasses, or black treacle, is a by-product obtained after refining of sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. The word comes from the Portuguese melaco, derived from mel, the Latin word for "honey".


Malayalam : Nurukku gothambu     Hindi : Daliya, lapsi

Also known as cracked wheat, Bulgar, Burghul. Bulgur wheat is is made from wheat kernels that are steamed and toasted before cracking, so they develop a rich, nutty flavour. Bulgur also requires minimal cooking, since it is already partially-cooked.


Hindi : Makhan

Generally, butter must have a minimum fat content of 80%, a max of 18% moisture content and fat solid at 2%. butter comes in salted and unsalted forms. Usually unsalted is used for cooking and baking. Salted butter is used as table butter to be spread on breads, buns etc. Butter gives richness to baked goods. Butter should always be stored under refrigeration.

Butter, clarified

Malayalam : Neyyu     Hindi : Ghee

Ghee is clarified butter originaly found in India and is commonly used in Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Nepali and Sri Lankan cuisine. Also ghee is used in traditional medicine(ayurveda) and for religious rituals.The word ghee comes from Sanskrit word 'grith'.


Malayalam : Moru     Hindi : Chaas

The liquid left after churning out butter from milk is called buttermilk. It has slight sour taste to it. Buttermilk is consumed,specially during summer months, as a cooling beverage. The tartness of buttermilk takes away the mettalic taste of baking soda when used in baking or cooking. It also makes batters for cakes, pancakes etc. very light and airy. If you do not want buttermilk to sour, store it in the fridge, preferably in airtight bottle and ideally the buttermilk should daily be removed and bottle cleaned. Buttermilk is easily digestible than milk. It is also good as marinade for chicken.

Button mushrooms

Malayalam : Koonu     

Button mushrooms are a variety of mushroom and is widely available. It is available fresh and canned. Buy button mushrooms that are intact and firm, with tightly closed cap. Do not buy mushrooms that are wrinkled or spotted. If the gills are showing, it's an indication of age ( gill, is a papery rib under the cap of some mushrooms). Mushrooms are extremely porous and soak up water like a sponge. Because they are mostly water, never soak fresh mushrooms in water. Always check expiry of mushrooms.


Malayalam : Cabbage     Hindi : Patta gobhi, bandh gobi

Cabbage is a leafy vegetable with layers of leaves. It comes in pale green and violet color. It can be eaten raw or cooked.


Malayalam : Karpooram     Hindi : Kapoor

There are two types of camphor--edible and non edible. Camphor is a white solid substance with a strong aroma. Usual camphor is used for burning during pujas and other ceremonies. It has a very strong aroma and is also used as a repellant against cockroaches etc. Edible camphor is different from the camphor used for poojas.


Capers are immature buds plucked from a small bush plant. Capers are sold immersed either in salt solution or vinegar. Its good to wash capers before adding to dishes.

Capsicum, bell peppers

Hindi : Simla mirch

The fruit of Capsicum plants have a variety of names depending on place and type.The most common colour of capsicum is green. Yellow & red capsicum are also available. The seeds inside the fruit are removed before using. The spicy varieties are commonly called chilli peppers, or "chillies". The large, milder ones are called bell pepper in some countries. The fruit is called paprika in some other countries (although paprika is commonly refered to the powdered spice made from red capsicum. Capsicum can be eaten raw or cooked. Red capsicum is much sweeter than green and yellow varities.


It is sugar browned by heating and made into a thick brown consistency.

Caraway seeds

Malayalam : Sajeerakam     Hindi : Shahi jeera

This seed is also known as Persian cumin. Actually what we use, though resemble seeds are the fruits of the plant. These seeds are crescent shaped, brown colored and sharp to touch. They look like cumin. It is is widely used as a spice for flavouring bread, biscuits, cakes and cheese. In some biryanis, caraway seeds are added.

Cardamom, green

Malayalam : Elakka     Hindi : Hari/ chotti elaichi

Next to black pepper, cardamom is the most widely used spice in India. It is often called the Queen of Spices. It is used widely in India for culinary and medicinal purposes. Cardamom is best stored with the pod, because if the seeds are exposed or ground, they quickly lose their flavour. Cardamom is one of the main ingredients in Garam Masala, a spice mix used commonly in India. Tea made with cardamom is aromatic. Arabic coffee is made using cardamom.


Hindi : Badi elaichi

Black cardamom is 4 to 6 times the size of the common small cardamom.Its flavour, and other qualities are quite different from small cardamom.It has a distinctly more astringent taste.In India, black cardamom is used for spicy dishes & rarely for sweets.To make black cardamom powder, grind the whole cardamom in a mixer to a fine powder. Sieve to remove the outer skin. Store in an air-tight container and use as required.

Carom seeds, thymol seeds, bishops weed, celery seeds

Malayalam : Aymodagam     Hindi : Ajwain

Carom belongs to the cumin and parsley family, carom seeds are tiny, oval-shaped with a sharp and penetrating taste. It has been used since ancient times for its aromatic and medicinal properties. Carom seeds are mostly used in whole form, and very rarely as a powder. because of its strong aroma it is used in very small quantities. It is used in Indian fried snacks as it aids digestion. Being a good digestive, it added to the buttermilk served after a meal or eaten in dry roasted form.


Malayalam : Carrot     Hindi : Gaajar

Carrots are orange, red, purple, yellow, or white in color. The carrot has a sweet flavor and is one of the most popular versatile root vegetables. Carrots are an excellent source of antioxidant compounds, and the vegetable with most vitamin A carotenes. Carrots' antioxidant compounds help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer. It also promotes good vision,

Cashewnut, cashew

Malayalam : Kashuvandi     Hindi : Kaju

The kidney-shaped cashew nut is encased in a hard shell with two layers .Cashews are one of the most popular dessert nuts after almonds. They are consumed in their natural state, or in varous ways like chocolate covered and honey roasted cashews.They are also ground & added to gravies to give richness & body.

Castor sugar / caster sugar

Fine textured, refined sugar which will melt quickly. Used for baking.


Malayalam : Cauliflower     Hindi : Phool gobhi

Cauliflower belongs to the same plant family as broccoli, kale, cabbage. Choose cauliflowers that are tight and compact, with no dark spots or mildew, and with firm, straight leaves.The leaves surrounding the florets should be fresh and green. Cauliflowers also come in orange & purple colour.To freeze cauliflower, separate it into small bouquets. Blanch them for 3 minutes and drain well.Place in freezer bags. Once blanched florets lose a significant amount of their sulfur which is responsible for their odor. The head of the cauliflower which is eaten is known as 'curd'. Cauliflowers are heavily infested with insects and also a lot of pesticide is used because of this. It is always safe to soak the flower in hot water with vinegar and salt or turmeic added to it. The hot water kills the insects and they will float in water. It is said that one serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It's also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese.


Hindi : Ajmoda

Celery is predominantly used in Chinese cooking. It imparts great flavor and fragrance to dishes. It is the head of celery, that is sold as a vegetable. Usually only the stalks are eaten. The leaves are very strong in flavour and are used either in soups and stews or as a dried herb. The seeds can be ground and mixed with salt, to produce celery salt. Celery salt can also be made from an extract of the roots, or using dried leaves. Celery salt is used as a seasoning, in cocktails ( Bloody Mary cocktail, virgin mary mocktail)etc.

Celery seeds

Malayalam : Ayamodagam     Hindi : Ajwain

This seed belong to the cumin family. They are very tiny but with a sharp taste. It is mostly used as whole and very rarely in powdered form. It is used in batter used for frying as it helps in digestion.

Chaat masala

Hindi : Chaat masala

One ingredient that gives zing to snacks, tandoori dishes etc. is chaat masala. Chaat masala is a spice blend consisting of black salt, chilli powder, cumin seeds and dry mango powder. There are as many recipes for chaat masala as there are households in India. Chaat masala is available in supermarkets.

Charcoal, coal

Malayalam : Kari     Hindi : Koyla

Charcoal is the impure form of carbon containg ash. Charcoal is used in baked and grilled recipes to add a smoky flavor. It is usually heated till red hot, placed in the dishes which is then tightly sealed for few minutes. It is the removed and discarded at the time of serving. Charcoal briquettes are now available in some supermarkets, which is used in a grill or barbeque.

Cheddar cheese

Cheddar cheese was earlier produced in a village called Cheddar in Somerset, England, This cheese is the most popular of all cheeses known for its unique flavour which sharpens over time. Cheddar's strength is denoted in terms like mild, medium, strong, tasty, sharp, extra sharp, mature, old, or vintage. The colour of Cheddar varies from creamish to the off-white, and orangeish. Cheddar may vary in colour due to the addition of colouring agents but when it comes to texture, it is crumbly and melts in your mouth. The strongest of Cheddars are called vintage. They are matured upto 15 months ensuring that the flavour is extra-strong and kicks-in a sharp punch.


Cheese is made mostly from the milk of cows but sometimes,also from other mammals, including sheep, goats, buffalo, reindeer, camels and yaks. Cheese is made by curdling milk and using rennet ( rennet is an enzyme produced in the stomach lining of young animals).These days vegetarian rennet made from plants are used to make vegetarian cheeses
There are a variety of cheeses like hard, semi-hard and soft cheeses.
Hard cheeses are well aged and can be easily grated and mainly used in cooking. Eg.--parmesan, Romano,etc.
Semi hard cheeses include cheddar, colby, edam and gouda.
Soft cheese--These cheeses are fresh, not aged with high moisture content, typically set with the addition of lactic acid cultures. This category includes cheeses like Cottage cheese, Cream cheese, Feta, Mascarpone, Ricotta etc.
Blue cheeses are cheeses with a blueish mold or streaks on them. These molds are generally considered harmless.


Hindi : Sakura

The cherry is a small, round, dark-red fruit. It has a long stalk. Cherries grow on trees in small clusters, and can be classified into two main types: sweet and sour. Sweet cherries are larger. They can be eaten as it and is also excellent when cooked. They range in colour from golden and red-blushed to dark red or purplish black.
Sour cherries are smaller, softer and more globular in shape than sweet cherries. Unlike sweet cherries, most sour varieties are too tart to eat raw, but they are excellent in pies and preserves.

Cherry tomato

Cherry tomatoes are slightly smaller and sweeter than ordinary tomatoes. These are supposed to have originated in Peru and Northern Chile. They are popular all over the world, and they can be found in lots of salads. They are also remarkably easy to grow, and they mature quickly in hot climates. They are expensive than ordinary tomatoes. Since tomatoes are sensitive to cold, and it will impede their ripening process, store them at room temperature and out of direct exposure to sunlight.


Malayalam : Kozhi     Hindi : Murgh, murghi

Chicken is a domesticated fowl. Both the meat and eggs of the chicken are used for human consumption. Chicken is an omnivore ( omnivore is an animal which feeds on a variety of foods including plants, animals, algae, fungi etc.

Chilli flakes, dried

Malayalam : Mulagu kutthi podichathu     Hindi : Kutta hua lal mirch

These are dried chillies crushed either in a mortar or pestle or in a blender till they resemble small flakes.

Chilli powder

Malayalam : Mulagu podi     Hindi : Lal Mirchi powder

Dried red chillies are ground to form fine chilli powder. It imparts hot and spicy taste to curries, gravies, fries etc. Different types op chillies have different levels of spiciness. Chilli powder also gives a nice color to dishes.

Chilli sauce

Hot sauce also known as chili sauce, or pepper sauce is a spicy sauce made from chili peppers and other ingredient.

Chilli, dried, red

Malayalam : Vattal mulagu     Hindi : Sookhi lal mirch

There are different types of dried red chillies in india.The substances that give chili peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically are capsaicin. India is the world's largest producer, consumer and exporter of chili . Guntur in Andhra Pradesh produces 30% of all the chilies produced in India, and the state of Andhra Pradesh as a whole contributes 75% of India's chili exports

Chinese cabbage, napa cabbage

Chinese cabbage is also known as Napa Cabbage. It is a large-headed cabbage with firmly packed, white and pale green leaves. It is either eaten raw in salads or added to stir-fries and soups in the last stages of cooking.

Chironji nuts

Hindi : Chironji

Actually these nuts do not have an English name. Also known as charoli. Commonly found in Hyderabad.It is also available in stores selling dry fruits. They are small, round and a pale brown in color. They are the kernels of a fruit.


One of the most favored food in the world. Chocolate gets it's name from the Spanish worf 'Xocolati, which means "bitter water". There are various types of chocolates like unsweetened, milk, bitter semi-sweet etc. All forms of chocolates have the base ingredient,"cocoa liquor". Cocoa liquor is obtained by grinding, roasting and blending of small pieces of cocoa beans which are called nibs. Cocoa liquor does not contain alcohol. This liquor is quite bitter to taste as it has had no added sugar and is essentially chocolate in its purest form.

Chocolate chips

Chocolate chips are small drops of chocolate. They are often sold in a round, flat-bottomed teardrop shape. They are available in dark and milk chocolate forms.

Chocolate compound

Compound chocolate is not real pure chocolate in the true sense. it is made by combining cocoa, vegetable fat, and sweeteners. It is used as a cheap alternative to pure chocolate. In pure chocolate cocoa butter is used in place of other fats / vegetable oils. Hence chocolate compound is much cheaper than pure chocolate. Healthwise pure chocolate is superior than compound. Also it is easier to work on compound, rather than pure. Pure chocolate requires tempering.

Chocolate, real and compound

Chocolate is divided into two distinct categories:
real chocolate and compound chocolate.
The difference in compound and real chocolate lies in the fat used in them.
Real chocolate contains cocoa butter, which is extracted from the cocoa or cacao bean. Cocoa butter is an expensive ingredient which has some unusual characteristics or quirks. Because of the nature of cocoa butter, real chocolate requires a special procedure during the melting process called tempering, which re-establishes the cocoa butter crystals, giving the cooled and finished chocolate the proper sheen, snap and taste. Also tempering prevents bloom, where the cocoa butter separates from the cocoa solids and comes to the surface, turning the chocolate whitish or grayish in color. If you are making things that won't be consumed within a day or so, tempering is absolutely mandatory for all real chocolate.
You should temper the couverture onlyif you are using it for coating truffles or when you need an attractive, shiny coating for moulded chocolates that will sit at room temperature. Need not temper chocolate when using in a recipe.

Chutney powder

Malayalam : Chutney podi     

This is a mixture of different pulses, coconut and spices ground to make a fine powder and is served commonly with idlis and dosas in the South of India.


Malayalam : Patta/Karugapatta     Hindi : Dalchini

Cinnamon is the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree. Cinnamon is harvested as strips of bark rolled one inside another.Cinnamon is very similar to cassia.Although related, cinnamon and cassia are not obtained from the same plant. Recent studies have determined that consuming as little as one-half teaspoon of cinnamon powder each day may reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels by as much as 20 per cent, in Type II diabetes patients.


Malayalam : Grambu     Hindi : Laung

Cloves are the immature unopened flower buds of a tropical tree.When fresh, they are pink, and when dried, they turn to a rust-brown colour. Their flavour can be termed as sweetly pungent, astringent and strongly aromatic.Cloves can easily overpower a dish, particularly when ground, so only a few should be used. Whole cloves are often used like a nail to bind vegetables, rotis, samosas, rolls, sweets, etc. Cloves are used in the preparation of several spice mixtures including garam masala, curry powders etc. Clove oil is used for treating toothache.

Cocoa butter

Fat of cocoa bean is known as cocoa butter. It is highly priced.

Cocoa powder

Cocoa powder comes from cocoa beans. The beans are fermented, dried, roasted and cracked. The nibs are ground to extract about 75% of the cocoa butter, leaving a dark brown paste called chocolate liquor. After drying again, the mass is ground into powder (unsweetened cocoa). There are two types of unsweetened baking cocoa available- natural and dutch processed. Dutch-process cocoa is processed with alkali to neutralise its natural acidity. Dutch cocoa is slightly milder in taste, with a deeper and warmer colour than natural cocoa.


Malayalam : Nalikeram     Hindi : Nariyal

Coconut belongs to the Palm family. Coconut fruits are large and nearly round. The husk is hard, brown, and has a rough, hairy surface. Three round depressions / eyes are found on one end of the fruit. The husk is used for coir making. White flesh is used in cooking, grated or ground to a paste. Coconut is grated and ground to extract coconut milk. The white flesh of the fruit is the coconut meat. Oil is also extracted from coconut oil and is used in cooking, specially in South India.

Coconut milk

Malayalam : Thenga paal     Hindi : Nariyal ka doodh

Coconut milk is derived from the creaming/ grinding or pressing of the flesh of the brown coconut and not the tender green ones. After grating the coconut, coconut meat is squeezed to release fresh, thick first extract coconut milk. After this add a little bit of hot water and repeat the step of squeezing the milk out. 3 rounds of this should provide you with coconut milk of varying thickness. When making stews, soups and curries, first use the thinner coconut milk before rounding it off with the thickest batch of coconut milk. This ensures that the coconut milk does not split. Now canned, tetra packs and powdered forms of coconut milk are available.
Though these are easy to use, it is advisable to make it the old fashioned way, giving freshly pressed coconut milk which is fragrantt and full of flavour.

Coconut oil

Malayalam : Velichenna     Hindi : Nariyal thel

Coconut oil contains saturated fats that are different from those present in animal fats. Organic virgin and refined coconut oil is readily available in the market. Coconut oil is commonly used in cooking and frying in South Indian cusine, specially Kerala. It is also used for head and body massage. Coconut oil contains about 50 per cent lauric acid. The only other abundant source found in nature is human breast milk. Lauric acid is good for health.Even though coconut oil is a fat, it actually promotes weight loss because of the healthy medium-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids do not circulate in the bloodstream like other fats, but are sent directly to the liver where they are immediately converted into energy, just like carbohydrates. Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties.

Coconut vinegar

Malayalam : Kallu vinagri     Hindi : Nariyal sirka

Coconut vinegar, made from the sap, or "toddy," or coconut water of the coconut tree. It is used extensively in Asian cuisine (particularly in the Philippines known as Niyog suka, as well as in some cuisines of India, Goa and Kerala. Coconut vinegar is similar to other fermented vinegars such as apple cider and balsamic vinegars. After fermenting it forms into a cloudy white liquid, with a sharp, acidic taste.


Coffee is a widely consumed stimulant beverage prepared from roasted seeds, commonly called beans, of the coffee plant. Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. The seeds are then roasted, undergoing several physical and chemical changes. They are roasted to various degrees, depending on the desired flavor. They are then ground and brewed to create coffee. Robusta and Arabica are the most sought after.

Coffee liqueur

A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that has been flavored with fruit, herbs, nuts, spices, flowers, or cream and bottled with added sugar. Coffee liqueur has instant coffee added to it.Liqueurs are typically quite sweet; they are usually not aged for long but may have resting periods. It is usually served after meals. Kahlua is used to make cocktails and as a topping or ingredient in several desserts, including ice cream, cakes, and cheesecakes. Most liqueurs have a lower alcohol content (15%-30%) than spirits, but some liqueurs contain as much as 55%.

Coffee, instant

Instant coffee, is also called soluble coffee. Instant coffee enables to prepare hot coffee instantly by adding hot water to the coffe powder or granules. Instant coffee powder/granules is prepared by either freeze-drying or spray drying. Instant coffee can spoil if not kept dry. Ideally it is better to store instant coffee in fridge and keep the lid closed tightly always. Always use only a dry spoon to take out coffee. Exposure of Instant coffee to air will spoil the coffee immediately.

Cointreau, orange flavored liqueur

A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that has been flavored with fruit, herbs, nuts, spices, flowers, or cream and bottled with added sugar. Liqueurs are typically quite sweet; they are usually not aged for long but may have resting periods. It is usually served after meals. Kahlua is used to make cocktails and as a topping or ingredient in several desserts, including ice cream, cakes, and cheesecakes. Most liqueurs have a lower alcohol content (15%-30%) than spirits, but some liqueurs contain as much as 55%.
Orange liqueur or cointreau is an orage flavored, rum or vodka based alcoholic drink.

Cold water

Malayalam : Thanutha vellam     Hindi : Tanda pani

Whenever cold water is called for in a recipe, use clean filtered water which is ice cold.

Colocasia/ Taro

Malayalam : Chembu     Hindi : Arbi

Taro is a common name for the corms and tubers of several plants in the Araceae family. Of these, Colocasia is the most widely cultivated.Taro is native to Southern India and Southeast Asia. It is primarily grown as a root vegetable for its edible starchy corm, and also as a leaf vegetable. It is a food staple in African, Oceanic and South Indian cultures and is believed to have been one of the earliest cultivated plants.The skin of colocasia is brown. but inside the flesh may be white, pink, or purple. Taro root is however very similar to, a potato. It does, however, have a hairy outer coating on its surface. The root's outer skin must first be removed. This procedure is easy to do. However, some individuals can acquire a skin irritation towards the juices that are secreted by the taro root .Therefore, to be on the safe side, when peeling a taro root's skin, use protective rubber gloves. Additionally, because taro root can be toxic in its raw state, always cook it before using.

Condensed milk

Condensed milk is cow's milk from which water has been removed. It has a pale yellowish color and is semi-liquid.Sweetened condensed milk is a very thick, sweet product which is available canned. Condensed milk is used in desserts.


Malayalam : Cholam     Hindi : Makkai

Maize,is known in some countries as corn. The leafy stalk produces ears which contain the grain, which are seeds called kernels. Popcorn, also known as popping corn, is a type of corn that expands from the kernel and puffs up when heated. Popcorn is able to pop because, its kernels have a hard moisture-sealed hull and a dense starchy interior. Pressure builds inside the kernel, and a small explosion (or "pop") is the end result. Some types of corn are now cultivated specifically as popping corns. Sweet corn , also called sugar corn is a variety of maize with a high sugar content. Sweet corn is picked when immature (milk stage) and prepared and eaten as a vegetable, rather than a grain. Since the process of maturation involves converting sugar to starch, sweet corn stores poorly and must be eaten fresh, canned, or frozen, before the kernels become tough and starchy.

Corn cob

Malayalam : Cholam     Hindi : Bhutta

Corn on the cob is a culinary term used for a cooked ear of freshly picked maize. Sweet corn is the only variety of maize eaten directly off the cob. The ear is picked while the endosperm is in the "milk stage" so that the kernels are still tender. Ears of corn are steamed or boiled, usually without their green husks, or roasted with them. The husk leaves are in any case removed before serving. Look for corn whose husks are fresh and green and not dried out. They should envelope the ear and not fit too loosely around it. To examine the kernels, pull back part of the husk. The kernels should be plump and tightly arranged in rows. The juiciness of the corn can be assessed by pressing your fingernail on a kernel. Corn that is fresh will exude a white milky substance. Eat corn on the cob either just as is or grilled on live coal and seasoned with butter, salt and pepper, lime or chaat masala.

Corn flakes

Cornflakes are little crispy flakes made from corn or maize. It is a healthy breakfast with the addition of milk, yoghurt or fruits. Available plain and in different flavors. The plain ones are used in cooking and baking. Corn flakes also come with fortified Iron, Calcium and other vital nutrients. it is a high fibre food. Corn flakes was originally manufactured by Kellogg's , an American company.

Corn flour, corn starch

Cornstarch, corn flour, is the starch of the corn (maize) grain. It is different from maize flour or makkai ka atta. Maize flour is milled from the whole kernel, while cornstarch is obtained from the endosperm portion of the kernel. Cornstarch is commonly used as a thickening agent in soups and liquids. White corn flour is used as a filler, binder and thickener in cookies, pastry and meat . Cornstarch is a bland, gluten-free alternative to flour for frying and for sauces and gravies. Always make a paste of cornstarch in cold water before adding to heated foods to prevent lumping.

Corriander leaves

Malayalam : Malliyilla, kothamalli     Hindi : Hara dhania

Coriander leaves are also known as cilantro. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are commonly used in cooking. The leaves have a different taste from the seeds. Choose coriander leaves that have firm, unwilted leaves, & deep green in color with no signs of yellowing or browning. Leaves that are smaller in size will be more tender and have a milder flavour. As heat diminishes their flavor quickly, coriander leaves are often used raw or added to the dish right before serving. The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many South Asian foods (particularly chutneys), in Chinese dishes and in Mexican salsas and guacamole. In Indian recipes, coriander leaves are used in large amounts in gravies and as green curry paste.

Corriander seeds

Malayalam : Malli     Hindi : Sabut dhania

The word coriander in ingredients refer solely to these seeds (as a spice), rather than to the leaves. It has an aromatic scent that is soothingly warm, nutty, slightly fruity. Coriander seeds hold a prominent position in the Indian kitchen. Apart from being used whole, coriander seeds can also be powdered. They are generally toasted before being ground to bring out their full flavour.

Cottage cheese

Hindi : Paneer

A vegetarians delight, paneer also known as cottage cheese is a soft, white& crumbly. Paneer can be made at home by boiling whole milk. An ingredient with acidic properties like citric acid, lime juice or vinegar is added to coagulate the milk. The whey water formed is either discarded or used in various preparations. This cheese thus obtained is called chenna. The chenna is then pressed to form a block of cheese. This cheese block is called paneer. Paneer is a fresh cheese and is never aged. Since it contains no rennet, it is perfectly safe for vegetarians to have. Paneer is a versatile dairy product, it is used desserts, snacks or for main course cooking. If paneer has lost its softness, then place it in warm water for about 5 minutes before using.Paneer is a high-protein food.
I usually store home made paneer in freezer and it stays fresh for about a month. Thaw well before using.

Couverture (chocolate)

High quality chocolate used for coating and baking. Couverture usually has a minimum of 32 percent cocoa butter.

Cow pea

Malayalam : Van payar     Hindi : Chowli

Cow peas are brown and also white in color with black eye.Cowpeas provide a rich source of proteins and calories, as well as minerals and vitamins.


Malayalam : Njandu     Hindi : Kekda

Crabs are found in all of the world's oceans. There are also freshwater and terrestrial crabs, particularly in tropical regions. Crabs vary in size from the pea crab, only a few millimetres wide, to the Japanese spider crab, with a leg span of up to 4 m. Some gourmets prefer these soft-shelled crabs, claiming they are more succulent and sweet. Fresh cooked crab smells fresh, with no hint of ammonia odor. The freshest crabs are alive and frisky. Fresh cooked crab has a bright red shell. Any exposed meat should be white and moist, not dried out or yellow.


This fruit has an acidic taste. These fruits are white when raw and red when ripe. Wherever it is not available fresh, it is either frozen or dried and sold.

Cream cheese

Cream cheese is a soft, mild-tasting fresh cheese made from milk and cream. unlike other cheeses, Cream cheese is not matured and should be consumed fresh. The most famous cream cheese available is Philadelphia cream cheese.

Cream of tartar

Cream of tartar is also known as Potassium hydrogen tartrate. It is a by product of wine making. Cream of Tartar is an acid salt used often in cooking, and is an ingredient in most baking powders. You can say that 3 tbsp of lime juice or 3 tsp. Of vinegar equalises 1 tsp. of cream of tartar. It is best known to incorporate volume to beaten eggs as well as stabilize its stiffness. It is also used to produce a creamier texture in sugary desserts such as candy and frosting, because it prevents the formation of crystals.

Cream, fresh cream, dairy cream

Hindi : Malai

Fresh cream is wholesome thick,fatty dairy product with a silky smooth texture. It can be added to both sweet and savoury dishes. Earlier fresh cream was sourced from local dairies. Today we have readily available cream in super markets. These are pasteurized low-fat cream. This cream comes from fresh milk that is processed and sterilized at high temperatures and then packaged, ready for use. With only 25% milk fat , it cannot be used as whipping creams as the required soft peaks don't form. Very rarely cream with 35 % is available under the brand name milky mist. Fresh cream should not be confused with non dairy whipping cream which has soya and also is sweetened.


A crouton is a piece of toasted or re-baked bread, often cubed.Crouton is used to add texture and flavor to salads,as an accompaniment to soups, or eaten as a snack .The word crouton is derived from the French word 'croute', which means "crust". Most people consider croutons to be the shape of small cubes, but they can be of any size,even up to a very large slice.


Malayalam : Salad vellari     Hindi : Kakdi, keera

The English word cucumber originated from Indian word "kachumbar".The fruit is roughly cylindrical, elongated, with tapered ends. Cucumbers grown to be eaten fresh are called slicers and those intended for pickling are called picklers. Picklers have little ridges on them and are commonly known as gherkins.Cucumbers are mainly eaten in the unripe green form. The ripe yellow are bitter in taste.


Malayalam : Jeerakam     Hindi : Jeera , Zeera

Cumin seeds belong to the parsley and dill family and resemble caraway seeds. The flavour of cumin does not match that of dill or parsley. cumin is oblong & brown-coloured. It can be used raw, but is generally roasted to enhance the flavour and aroma, and sometimes powdered before use. Cumin seeds are a part of the Bengali spice mixture Panch Phoron. In Sanskrit, Cumin is known as Jira. Jira means “that which helps digestion". In Ayurvedic system of medicine, dried Cumin seeds are used for medicinal purposes. Jeera is added to water & boiled & this water is cosumed war. Helps in digestion. However not recommended during summer months as Cumin is warm. It is an indispensable ingredient in the famous Jeera Rice. Roasted cumin seeds powder is added to buttermilk to aid digestion and enhance flavour.


Curacao pronounced 'kur uh sao", is a lime and orange flavored sugar syrupy drink concentrate available in different colors, the most famous being blue. It is mainly used in cocktails and mocktails.

Curd/ yoghurt

Malayalam : Thayir     Hindi : Dahi

Curd has a very important place in the Indian cusine.Curd is a dairy product obtained by curdling milk with any edible acidic substance such as lemon juice, curd or vinegar, and then allowing it to set. The increased acidity causes the milk proteins to form into solid masses,or curds. The remaining liquid, which contains only whey proteins, is the whey. Sour curd is also known as "Khatta Dahi." It can be made by adding more culture to the warm milk and keeping it out for a long time after it has set. Such curds is used to make sour dishes.To attain thick curds, whole fat milk (buffalo's milk) should be used. Hung curd is obtained when curd is drained of whey completely. Hung curd is used for making Shrikhand, a sweet dish from Gujarat, India.

Currants, black currants

There are two different fruits which are called currants: (1) the dried zante / Corinthian grape It is like a raisin,and is used in baked goods and (2) a fresh tiny berry related to the gooseberry. Currents are black, red, or white. The black ones are used for preserves, syrups and liqueurs; while the red and white berries are for eating as it is.

Curry leaf

Malayalam : Vepilla     Hindi : Kadi patta

Curry leaves are native to India. The green leaves have a distinct aroma which can be experienced while cooking. Apart from being widely used in many cuisines, it is also considered to have medicinal value.These leaves are used extensively in South Indian cooking specially for tempering. It is said that these leaves are added to curries to absorb toxins. It is a good source of dietary fibre. It is also a good source of iron. Curry leaves are good to fight anaemia, diabetes and cholestrol. Also it aids in digestion and helps in hair growth and prevents premature greying.

Custard Apple

Hindi : Sitaphal

Also called Bulls heart. Flesh is white in color with creamy texture and lots of seeds which are black in color.

Alternatives :-.


Malayalam : Eenthapazham     Hindi : Khajur

It is the fruit of the palm tree. grows abundantly in very hot weather and so is found mostly in Middle East.The fruits are oval with one long narrow seed, thin papery skin and cloyingly sweet flesh. Dates provide natural sugar in the form of glucose and fructose.They are very easy to digest, and is a good source of energy.

Dates, dried

Malayalam : Karakka     Hindi : Kharek

Dried dates are generally used to break Ramdan fast. It is not sticky as normal dates.

Demerara sugar

Named after the Demerara area of Guyana.s.Demerara sugar is a variety of brown sugar It has coarse grains. It is partially-refined containing some residual impurities. The colour of Demerara sugar varies from golden brown to dark brown, with a strong dark molasses flavour.

Dessicated coconut

Dried and grated coconut, used mainly in desserts.

Digestive biscuits

These are semi-sweet biscuits developed by 2 Scottish doctorsto help in digestion.. These biscuits are so called because in earlier times these biscuits were supposed to have antacid properties due to the addition of sodium bi carbonate.

Dijon mustard

Dijon mustard is the refined version of ordirnary mustard paste. Dijon mustard is made with brown or black mustard seeds, or a combination of both, with the addition of verjuice(verjuice is made with unripe grapes and is highly acidic), wine or vinegar. Usually no artificial colours or fillers or additives are added to Dijon mustard. It has pungent flavour than regular yellow mustard. Dijon muistard is available in supermarkets.

Dill leaves

Malayalam : Chathakuppa     Hindi : Shepu, suva bhaji

It is a bunch of feathery leaves with a slight sweet sour taste. Dill seeds are used in cooking and baking in certain regions. Sometimes dill leaves are mistaken as fennel leaves. Leaves of fennel plant and dill look similar.

Dosa batter

Malayalam : Dosa mavu     Hindi : Dosa mishran

Dosa is as popular South Indian breakfast dish. A batter is made of rice and black gram dal. Dosas are traditionally made using iron pan/griddles, but, nowadays non-stick tavas have made the job easier. You can roast your dosas using oil, ghee or sometimes butter too! Enjoy There are numerous varities of dosas, like ghee roast, masala dosa, paper roast, set dosa, uthappam and plain dosa. Usually dosas are served with chutney and sambhar. If not going to be served immediately, make them slightly thick, so that they will remain soft even after a while.

Double cream, heavy cream

Refers to dairy cream. Double cream or full-fat cream, is also known as creme fraiche.It is used in hot sauces, gravies,soups,in sweet and savory custards such as cremebrulees and cream caramels. Double cream can be thinned with milk to make an approximation of single cream. It has a fat content of 36 to 38 %. This cream whips denser thansingle cream. It also holds its shape. Doubles in volume when whipped.

Dried fenugreek leaves, kasuri / kasoori methi

Malayalam : uluva ila unakkiyathu     Hindi : Kasuri methi

Dried fenugreek leaves from the kasoor region of Pakistan is known as kasuri methi. It is the dried leaves of the fenugreek plant. It is an herb with slightly bitter but addictive taste. Used as a spice in Indian curries, tandoori dishes and also in certain parathas etc. For home made kasuri methi, sort the fenugreek leaves to remove rotten ones, then wash and pat dry the good leaves. Allow to dry in the sun for a few weeks, till all the moisture is gone.

Dried ginger powder

Malayalam : Chukku podi     Hindi : Saunth, soonth

Fresh ginger is soaked in water overnight after which the outer skin is removed. Then they are washed again and then sun-dried. During this sun drying, they are turned periodically. The end result is a pale white dried ginger. Sometimes, dried ginger is bleached with calcium carbonate to get a whitish coating. When this dried ginger is powdered in a mixer, we get dried ginger powder. It is a fine off-whitish powder, which has a strong aroma and slightly pungent flavour.
Ayurvedic note:
Ginger is one among 'trikadu' (3 pungents-dry ginger, black pepper, long pepper). Ginger is used in almost all systems of medicine. For cooking usually fresh ginger is used whereas in medicine dry ginger is used. It's pungent in taste, hot in potency. Improves digestion and stimulates the functioning of stomach and intestine. Good medicine for fever and cough.

Dried prawns, shrimps

Malayalam : Unakka chemmen     

Prawns are also known as shrimps. They are sun dried and kept when abundantly available for further use. It is used in many Asian countries.

Dry fruits

Dried fruits are basically a combination of cashews, almonds, walnuts, pistachio, figs, prunes etc. Though it is called dry fruits, it also has nuts also. Dried fruits have a long shelf life. In India it is mainly used for making sweets etc. In India.

Dry yeast

When yeast is activated, bubbles form on top.When yeast comes in contact with warm water and sugar it gets activated. Then it would start releasing carbondioxide which makes the breads to rise.


Malayalam : Tharavu     Hindi : Battakh

Duck belongs to the waterfowl family Anatidae which also includes swans and geese. Ducks are smaller than swans and geese, and is usually found in fresh water and sea water. Ducks meat is considered a delicacy in most parts of the world. Duck eggs are also edible. There are different types of duck meat like broiler, country duck, vigova (vietnamese) duck etc.


Malayalam : Mutta     Hindi : Anda

Eggs are considered a good source of protein. The most commonly used bird eggs are those from the chicken & Duck, and smaller eggs such as quail eggs are occasionally used as a gourmet ingredient. Soft-boiled eggs are a favourite breakfast dish. In this the eggs are not actually boiled; they are in fact simmered for a minimum of three minutes, depending on how well cooked or undercooked the diner likes his egg. Hard-boiled eggs are much easier to cook than soft-boiled eggs, even though the method is much the same. Hard-boiled eggs are used to fill sandwiches, make salads etc.For hard-boiled eggs, the eggs may be placed in the pan along with the cold water rather than added once the water has begun to boil. Once the water is boiling, the heat is reduced to a simmer and the eggs are cooked for around 10 - 12 minutes. Poached eggs must be cooked in water that is very gently bubbling or simmering. Never freeze eggs, it may burst. To store eggs--do not wash eggs before refrigeration. There is a layer on the eggs called "bloom" which prevents bacteria from entering eggs. it also prevents moisture loss.Sometimes commercial eggs are washed right after collection to make them appear clean and presentable. This destroys the protective egg bloom. To replace natural bloom, the shells are sprayed with a thin film of oil.
There are free range eggs and normal cage bred eggs. Free range eggs are laid by chicken that are allowed to roam around freely. Those eggs are creamier and superior in taste. If eggs are cooked for too long the protein in eggs become tough. Adding a pinch of salt to the water in which eggs are boiledwill help in peeling the eggs easily. Also adding a little vinegar will prevent whites from spreading even if eggs are cracked while boiling.


There are free range eggs and normal cage bred eggs. Free range eggs are laid by chicken that are allowed to roam around freely. Those eggs are creamier and superior in taste. If eggs are cooked for too long the protein in eggs become tough. Adding a pinch of salt to the water in which eggs are boiledwill help in peeling the eggs easily. Also adding a little vinegar will prevent whites from spreading even if eggs are cracked while boiling.


Emmental or Emmentaler is a cheese from Switzerland.Hence it is also known as Swiss cheese. It is semi hard cheese made from cows milk. Emmenthal has holes in it. It is also known as 'tom and Jerry cheese' as the famous cartoon characters love this cheese. It seems that the holes, in this cheese come from the gas released by one of the bacteria that helps in the cheese-making process as it consumes the lactic acid secreted by another sort of bacteria.
Available at gourmet stores and at Lulu hypermarket, kochi and Kodai cheese shop Kodaikanal. They make it vegetarian rennet. Refer rennet in glossary for more details.

Epsom salt

Epsom salt, is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate.It is derived from the town of Epsom in England. It is a natural remedy for a number of ailments, Epsom salt has numerous health benefits as well as many beauty uses. Epsom salt is added to warm water to soak tired feet.

Extracts and essences

Extracts are natural products obtained from the real natural ingredient. For eg, vanilla extract is made from natural vanilla bean. Essence is an artifical product tasting like the ingredient.

Falooda seeds, black khuskhus / black poppy seeds

Malayalam : Karutha khus khus     Hindi : Sabja seeds, takmaria

Basil seeds / falooda seeds though looks like frog spawn, is a healthy seed. It is cooling and also aids in digestion. The seeds do not have any flavor as such, but is added to give look and body.
Poppy seed is an oilseed obtained from the plant opium poppy. Opium is the source of many narcotics, including morphine. It adds a nutty aroma to dishes. The Indian variety is generally ivory to beige coloured, while the European variety called is dark grey and the Turkish variety is brown.


Feni is cashew liquor of the Indian state of Goa. Since it falls under the category of country liquor it is not marketed outside Goa. Cashew juice is boiled in a copper pot and then sealed with ant hill clay. The first distilled product is "urak" which has 18 % alcohol content and the second distilled one is known as feni which has 45 % alcohol content. Feni is really a very strong pungent drink. It is either drunk neat or on ice or mixed in cocktails. Time magazine had included cashew feni in its list of '10 ridiculously strong drinks'.


Malayalam : Perujeerakam     Hindi : Saunf

A celery-like plant with a large white bulb and feathery leaves which resemble dill. the seeds of the plant are used in cooking. Fennel seeds are mostly eaten after meals, as they aid digestion and also act as a mouth freshener.

Fenugreek, fresh leaves

Malayalam : Uluva ila     Hindi : Methi

Fenugreek has been used as food, spice and medicine since ancient times. When leaves of fenugreek are used in fresh form,( since it has high water content), add water to your preparations only after 10 mins of cooking. These leaves are considered very effective in combating diabetes. The largest producer of fenugreek is India. In India,the major fenugreek producing states are Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, and Punjab. Rajasthan accounts for over 80% of India's output.


Malayalam : Uluva     Hindi : Methi dana

Fenugreek seeds are small, brownish yellow seeds. The seeds have a bitter yet pleasing flavor and potent aroma. Dry-roasting the seeds just slightly give them a nutty taste. Fenugreek is mainly used for tempering & also in pickles. Fenugreek seeds are said to be good for diabates.

Feta cheese

Feta is a curd cheese.It has a creamy, crumbly texture with a pleasant saltiness. It can be paired with both fruits and vegetables. Feta is commonly used in Greek salad. Pairs extremely well with watermelon also. It usually comes packed in a liittle bit of brine solution to keep it moist. It is better to keep feta in brine / salt solution. I got Feta cheese from Kodai cheese shop at Kodaikanal. It is available at Lulu hyper market kochi. Cheeses at Kodai cheese shop are made of cows milk using vegetarian rennet. Rennet are enzymes from the stomach of an unweaned calf, containing rennin and its used used in curdling milk for cheese. In case of vegetarian cheese microbial rennet or rennet derived from plants is used.

Finger millet, red millet

Malayalam : Ragi     Hindi : Nachni

Ragi is known as finger or red millet in English. Ragi plant is found in Asia & Africa. In India, ragi is mostly grown and consumed in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh & Tamil Nadu. It was found in a study that women in Southern states of India had comparitively low incidence of osteoporosis. This was due to the consumption of ragi in these states. The grain is made into a fermented drink (or beer) in Nepal and in many parts of Africa. In Nepal this drink is known as Chhaang or chang. Ragi is rich in calcium, vitamins, minerals and fiber. In comparison to rice and wheat it is also quite high in protein.

Fish sauce

Fish sauce is a light brown honey coloured liquid extracted after fermentingf fish with sea salt. It is used as an ingredient in various cuisines. Fish sauce is also used as an ingredient for dipping sauce. Most fish sauces are made from raw fish, some from dried fish. Most fish sauces contain only fish and salt, some add a variety of herbs and spices.

Five spice powder

This is a Chinese spice blend with 5 different tastes- salty, bitter, sourness and piquant (sharp pleasant taste). It is a combination of star anise, cinnamon,fennel, clove and Sichuan peppercorns. Sichuan peppercorns are available in speciality supermarkets and also in shops selling baking ingredients and equipments.

Flax seeds, linseeds

Hindi : Alsi

There are 2 types of flax seeds, brown and yellow. The textiles made from flax are known as linen. The oil extracted from this seed is known as linseed oil. Flax seed has large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. It also has high amounts of fibre and is benefical for cholestrol. But these seeds are to be consumed in small amounts.

Flour, all purpose flour

Malayalam : Maida     Hindi : Maida

All purpose flour is plain flour with a protein content of between 10-12%.

Fox nuts, lotus seeds

Hindi : Makhana

Fox nuts (Makhana(hindi word) are the dried puffed up lotus seeds. Makhana is white in color with brown spots. Bihar is the heaven for Makhana production in India. Around 63% of the total Makhana production comes from Bihar . Makhana is superior to dry fruits such as almonds, walnut, coconut and cashewnut in terms of sugar, protein, ascorbic acid and phenol content. Makhana is a good source of calcium. When roasted, it is as good or better than popcorn and at the same time is a low fat snack. Also found in Korea, Japan and Russia and known as 'Gorgon Nut' there. It is also known as Euryale Ferox. It is available in some supermarkets like Reliance in puffed form, ready to be roasted or cooked.


This French word is pronounced as 'fran-jey-pan'. Frangipane is an almond cream filling made from or flavored with almonds. This filling can be used in cakes, tarts and pastries.
Traditionally, frangipane is made with almonds.Hazelnut and pistachio are also used as substitute.

French beans

Hindi : Fansi, phansi

French beans are smaller than common green beans and have a soft, pod. They are quite fleshy for their size with only tiny seeds.French beans are sweet, tender and wonderfully crispy.These do not have strings attached to their sides as in the case of normal green beans.

Fruit salt

Fruit salt is used in cooking to give fluffiness and a rise to certain dishes. Fruit salt is added to water which causes bubbling ang gives the effect of soda. Commonly fruit salt is mixed in water and drunk to get relief from acidity.


Galangal, a herb like ginger and turmeric and belongs to the rhizome family. It is also known as 'Siamese ginger' and is commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine, especially Thai. he whole fresh root is very hard, and slicing it requires a sharp knife. Available at Lulu hyper market, kochi.


Ganache is a combination of Heavy Cream and Chocolate.
See recipe for making ganache.
Mixing Chocolate and Cream together is similar to mixing oil and water. This does not happen naturally. The process of mixing two other wise unmixable ingredients is called emulsification.

Garam masala

Malayalam : Garam masala     Hindi : Garam masala

Garam masala, the hindi word means hot (garam) blend of spices (masala). The word garam or hot is used here in the Ayurvedic context, meaning 'to heat the body' as the spices increases the body temperature.Each region in India has a cdifferent blend. Also almost all families have their own version.

Garcinia Cambogia/ Malabar tamarind

Malayalam : Kudampuli     

Garcinia Cambogia or Malabar tamarind or kudampuli is a fruit tree, of culinary and medicinal use. The fruit is dark in colour, purple to black color, and sticky. The fruit is often halved and sun-dried to a semi-dry stage before being used. It is a preferred ingredient in Kerala for fish curries. The ones found in Konkan region is Garcinia Indica or kokum which imparts a nice purple color, wheras the Kudampuli found in Kerala is more blackish.

Garcinia Indica

Hindi : Kokum

Garcinia Indica, or kokum is a fruit tree, of culinary and medicinal use. The fruit is dark purple in colour. The fruit is often halved and sun-dried to a semi-dry stage before being used. It is a preferred ingredient in Goa, Maharashtra and konkan region for fish curries. The ones found in Kerala is Garcinia Cambogia or kudampuli is more blackish.


Malayalam : Veluthulli     Hindi : Lahsun

The bulb of garlic, the most commonly used part of the plant, is divided into numerous fleshy sections called cloves. The leaves, stems, and flowers are also edible and are most often consumed while immature and still tender. Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor as a marinade & seasoning. Garlic may be applied to breads to create a variety of classic cuisines such as garlic bread, garlic toast, bruschetta, crostini and canape. Oils are often flavored with garlic cloves. These infused oils are used to season all categories of vegetables, meats, breads and pasta.


Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, brittle, tasteless solid substance, derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food. Gelatin comes in the form of powder or sheets. It is commonly used to set desserts and also as a stabiliser.

Ghee, clarified butter

Malayalam : Nei     Hindi : Ghee

Ghee is Hindi word. In English ghee is known as clarified butter. Ghee is the clear golden liquid obtained after melting butter. Ghee is applied over Indian breads like chapathi, naan etc., cooked rice, curries, sweets, etc., to impart a tempting aroma. In fact, the name "ghee" is derived from a Sanskrit word that means "sprinkled". Ayurveda recommends the usage of ghee in moderation.


Gherkins belong to cucumber family and is available in salt solution or vinegar or sometimes even in sugar solution. Gherkins are served in sandwiches or as an accompaniment.

Gingelly /sesame seeds

Malayalam : Ellu     Hindi : Til

Sesame seeds are tiny, flat oval seeds with a nutty taste and a delicate, crunch. They come in white & black colors. Its one of the oldest known oil crop. White seeds are the main ingredient in tahini (sesame seed paste). The black variety yields the best quality of oil and is also best suited for medicinal purposes.

Ginger, dry

Malayalam : Chukku     Hindi : Saunth

Dried ginger powder is pale white in colour. Dried ginger powder is used in making spices and masalas which are used in gravies, curries, etc. Dried ginger powder is combined along with cardamom, cinnamon, fennel and cloves to make tea masala tea powder which is used in brewing teas. Ayurveda medicines use dried ginger powder.
Ayurvedic note:
Ginger is one among 'trikadu' (3 pungents-dry ginger, black pepper, long pepper). Ginger is used in almost all systems of medicine. For cooking usually fresh ginger is used whereas in medicine dry ginger is used. It's pungent in taste, hot in potency. Improves digestion and stimulates the functioning of stomach and intestine. Good medicine for fever and cough. Dry ginger is more potent than fresh ginger.


Malayalam : Inji     Hindi : Adrak

Ginger, botanically known as Zingiber officinale, is a rhizome (stem tuber). Ginger is used in various forms like fresh, tender, dried, crystallized and in the powder form. In Asian cooking, ginger is almost always used minced, crushed or sliced. Ginger has a pale yellow interior and the skin can vary from off white to brown. Ginger is used in food in varied forms which can be fresh, dried or in juice form. Freshly chopped ginger is used in lmost all curries in India. Tender ginger has a mild flavour and is often pickled in vinegar . Sliced tender ginger with lemon juice, green chillies and salt will make a "ready to eat" pickle. Thinly sliced or crushed ginger is used in flavouring teas. Candied ginger is used in making cookies, cakes etc. Ginger finds prominence as the main ingredient in Ginger ale, ginger beer etc. Ginger is an effective cure for congestion, sore throat, cold and cough. It aids digestion.
Ayurvedic note:
Ginger is one among 'trikadu' (3 pungents-dry ginger, black pepper, long pepper). Ginger is used in almost all systems of medicine. For cooking usually fresh ginger is used whereas in medicine dry ginger is used. It's pungent in taste, hot in potency. Improves digestion and stimulates the functioning of stomach and intestine. Good medicine for fever and cough.

Glaced / candied cherries

Glaced or candied cherries are cooked in sugar syrup and sometimes a liquid color is added to give a nice color to the end product.

Golden apples

These are yellow colored apples. These apples can be used in salads and for cooking and baking.

Gram flour, Bengal gram flour, chik pea flour

Malayalam : Kadalamavu     Hindi : Besan

Gram flour, also known as garbanzo bean flour, chickpea flour, or besan, is flour made from ground chickpeas.It is a staple ingredient in Indian, Pakistani, Nepali and Bangladeshi cuisines. Gram flour can be made from either raw chickpeas or roasted chickpeas. The roasted variety is more flavorful, while the raw variety has a slightly bitter taste.It is also popular as a facial exfoliant in Indian Subcontinet.

Granny smith apple / green apple

These apples have been originated in Australia. Granny smith apple is green in color and crisp to taste. It is used for baking, stewing and in salads. These apples are tart in taste. Granny smith is used for stewing and baking as it does not become soggy too soon.

Green chilli

Malayalam : Pacha mulaku     Hindi : Hari mirch

Chillies are the life and soul of any Indian meal. Indian cooking without green chillies is unthinkable. Slit, sliced, chopped or diced, we just have to add a few green chillies to add that zing to our food.Green chillies are very high in vitamin A and C.To store fresh chillies buy crisp and bright chillies.They should not have spots or bruises. Leave them out on a counter for a couple of hours to ensure they don't have excess moisture. Then wrap in kitchen towel( paper) & keep preferably in a container with holes/ perforations. If the paper towel becomes wet & soggy, wrap in new kitchen towel.

Green chutney

Hindi : Harey dhania, pudina ki chutney

This green chutney is common to India, specially North and West. The main ingredients are corriander leaves and mint leaves with chillies etc. It is used as a dip, in sanwiches and as an accompaniment with several snacks and savories, both veg and non veg. The recipe for this is given as ' green chutney'.

Green gram

Malayalam : Cherupayar     Hindi : Moong, mung

Green gram is native to India. The beans are small, and green in colour. They are generally eaten either whole (with or without skin) or as bean sprouts in salads. In India it is used in savory and sweet form. It is a source of protein and dietary fibre and is also easily digestible.

Green gram dal, Moong dal, yellow moong dal

Malayalam : Cherupayar parippu     Hindi : Moong dal

This lentil refers to green gram that has been skinned and split.The end product is flat, yellow, tiny lentil. This cooks fast and is easy to digest. it does not hold its shape after cooking. In India, these are used in curries as well as sweets. It is a good source of dietary fibre and protein.

Green peas

Malayalam : Green peas     Hindi : Mattar

The pea is a green, pod-shaped vegetable, grown in cool climates. Each pod contains several peas. Although it is botanically a fruit it is treated as a vegetable in cooking. Green peas also contain a unique assortment of health-protective phytonutrients. One of these phytonutrients - a polyphenol called coumestrol--has recently come to the forefront of research with respect to stomach cancer protection. Green peas are also an environmentally friendly food. Agricultural research has shown that pea crops can provide the soil with important benefits.

Green tea

Hindi : Harey chai ki pathi

Green tea originated in China and is now popular throughout the world. It is one of the healthiest drink available. Surprisingly both green and black tea originate from the same plant species,Camellia sinensis. For green tea, the tea leaves are harvested and are then quickly heated—by pan firing or steaming and dried to prevent too much oxidation from occurring that would turn the green leaves brown and alter their flavor.
In contrast, black tea leaves are harvested and allowed to fully oxidize before they are heat-processed and dried. During oxidation, oxygen interacts with the tea leaves, turning the leaves the rich dark brown to black color that black tea is famous for, and significantly altering their flavor.
Green tea rejuvenates damaged cells, aids in weight loss, it is fullof anti-oxidants and helps brain functioning. For the real benefits of green tea, it should be drunk without milk and sugar.
How to brew green tea:-
Take 2 gms. of green tea per cup (200ml.) of water. 2gms. can roughly be translated as 1 tsp. or if using larger tea leaves may be around 1 tbsp. Let the water come just short of boiling. Depending on the particular tea the ideal temperature can range from 160°F to 180°F (71 degree C to 82 degree Celcius), which you can measure using a thermometer, or simply eyeball it. Water boils at 100 degree C. Steep the tea for about 3 minutes with a lid on.Strain and pour out. Alternately bring water to a boil and let it cool down for about 8 to 10 minutes. Then proceed by adding tea leaves.

Groundnut / peanuts

Malayalam : Kappalandi     Hindi : Mungphali

The peanut, or groundnut, is a species in the legume or "bean" family. The peanut was probably first domesticated and cultivated in the valleys of Paraguay. The brown shell or pod of the peanut contains two or three peanut kernels. Each oval-shaped kernel or seed is comprised of two off-white lobes that are covered by a brownish-red skin. Peanuts have a high protein content & mono saturated fats.


Malayalam : Perakka     Hindi : Peru

Guava fruits have greenish or whiteish skin. inside flesh can be pink or white in color. They are usually round or oval in shape. In Latin American countries, guava based beverage called agua fresca is made. In most of the countries, Guava is eaten raw and in ome countries, salt, pepper or a masala called Chaat masala is sprinkled on it and eaten. Guava is rich in fibre and vitamin c.

Gulkand, rose petal jam

Hindi : Gulkand

Gulkand is considered as an ayurvedic preparation. It is made with rose petals and sugar and other ingredients such as cardamom, powdered pearl etc. are added. Rose petals and sugar are placed in layers in an airtight glass jar. The jar is exposed to sunlight for 6 hours daily for around 3 to 4 weeks. On alternate days, the contents of the jar are stirred with a wooden stick. When the process is complete, the gulkand is kept indoors in a tightly sealed container. At this stage, cardamom, powdered pearls etc. are added.

Herbal tea

Herbal tea is generally made from herbs, flowers and seeds and is not tea in the real sense. It is not tea from the tea shrub. But it has a lot of health benefits. for eg., chamomile promotes sleep, peppermint soothes stomach etc.

Hoisin sauce

Hoisin sauce is also called Chinese barbeque sauce. It is a pungent sauce used frequently in Asian stir-fries and marinades. It has a strong salty and slightly sweet flavor, which may be objectionable. The ingredients in the sauce are soybean paste, garlic, vinegar and various spices such as chili peppers. In some recipes soy sauce, peanut sauce, molasses, white vinegar, sesame oil and hot pepper sauce are used.
hoisin sauce is available in supermarkets.


Malayalam : Then     Hindi : Shahad

Honey /'h?ni/ is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The spiritual and therapeutic use of honey in ancient India is documented in both the Vedas and the Ayurveda texts. n Hinduism, honey (Madhu) is one of the five elixirs of immortality (Panchamrita). In temples, honey is poured over the deities in a ritual called Madhu abhisheka. Honey is the main ingredient in the alcoholic beverage mead, which is also known as "honey wine" or "honey beer". Most commercially available honey is blended, meaning it is a mixture of two or more honeys differing in floral source, color, flavor, density or geographic origin. Polyfloral honey, also known as wildflower honey, is derived from the nectar of many types of flowers. Monofloral honey is made primarily from the nectar of one type of flower. Store honey in dark coloured bottles and keep them in a cool place in your kitchen cabinet.

Hot dog

The term "hot dog" is used to describe the cured and smoked sausage, and the bread roll made with these sausages are known as hot dog rolls.

Hung yoghurt, dripped curd

Hindi : Chakka dahi

Curd or yoghurt is hung in a muslin cloth and whey is allowed to drain off, to make it thick and solid. It will take 4 hours to may be overnight, if curd is watery. Keep the curd to drain off in the fridge to prevent it from becoming sour.

Iceberg lettuce

The most commonly available letter with a crunchiness.

Icing sugar / confectioners sugar

Used for icings or frostings. For 1 cup of granulated sugar 1 table spoon of corn flour is added and powdered together. Cornflour prevents caking and clumping of the sugar.


Idli is a savory breakfast dish common in the south of India. It is round, spongy balls made of rice and black gram dal batter which is allowed to ferment overnight. It is a good source of carbohydrate. And since it is steamed, it is considered healthy even to be eaten by convalescing people. Fermentation process of the batter makes it easily digestible.

Idli rice

Malayalam : Idli ari     Hindi : Idli ki chawal

Specific type of rice is used for making idlis. It is available in shops selling south indian rice varieties. Only that particular type of rice will make a good idli. In case if you are not able to get idli rice, then you can use parboiled rice or any other rice with short to medium size. Long grain rice (basmati) is not recommended for idlis. Though long grain rice or any other variety are not recommended for idli, in case if you don’t get it then may be adding a handful of soaked flattened rice (thin, white) or cooked rice while grinding can also solve the purpose to a certain extent.

Ivy gourd

Malayalam : Kovakka     Hindi : Tendli, tindora

Ivy gourd is a climbing vine. The fruits are oval and hairless with thick and sticky skin. The raw fruit is green in color and turns bright red when it is ripe. The fruit is commonly cooked in Indian cuisine. Once the insides of the fruit starts to ripen,it is not used for cooking.


Malayalam : Chakka     Hindi : Kathal, Fanas.

The jackfruit is a huge, spined, oval fruit that is believed to have been first cultivated in Indian rainforests.The fruit is the largest fruit in the world.The exterior of the fruit is not edible, but the flesh and seeds are commonly consumed. Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh. The jackfruit tree is a widely cultivated and popular food item in tropical regions of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Jackfruit is also found across Africa, Brazil and in Caribbean nations such as Jamaica. The word "jackfruit" comes from Portuguese jaca, which in turn, is derived from the Malayalam word, "chakka".Jackfruits are known for having a distinct aroma. The young raw Jackfruit is called" polos "in Sri Lanka and" idichakka" or "idianchakka" in Kerala.
Raw jackfruit is very popular and in great demand after studies revealed that it is good to control diabates. However ripe jackfruit is very sweet and hence spikes up sugar levels.

Jaggery / palm sugar

Malayalam : Sharkkara     Hindi : Gur, gud

Jaggery or gur is a type of sugar popular in India. It is normally manufactured from either sugar cane or date palms. It can vary in colour from golden brown to dark brown in colour. Jaggery is a rich source of iron. Jaggery is mixed with other ingredients, such as peanuts, condensed milk, coconut, and white sugar, to produce several locally marketed and consumed delicacies. Maharashtra is the largest producer and consumer of jaggery.

Jalapeno peppers / chillies

Jalapeno (pronounced Ala-peen-yo) are popularly used in both Spanish and Mexican cuisines. They are also availabe, soaked in brine in supermarkets.

Jeera rice

Malayalam : Kaima or jeerakasala rice     

In the Malabar region of kerala, a small thinner variety of rice called Kaima is used to make biryani and ghee rice. This rice does not require soaking before cooking. The flavor and fragrance of kaima is totally different from basmati.

Jelly crystals

Jelly usually used to mean a sweet desert made by adding gelatin to fruit juice. Gelatin is mixed with fruit flavors and given color and is sold dry. These are to be mixed with water and made to set to form jelly.

Jelly, jam preserves

All these belong to the same family. They all are fruit mixed with sugar and pectin. Pectin is present in ripe fruits and is used as a setting agent in jams and jellies.
The difference between these three comes in the form the fruit takes before cooking. In jelly, the fruit takes the form of fruit juice. In jam, the fruit comes in the form of pulp and in preserve, the fruit takes the form of chunks in a syrup.


Kachampuli or the Coorg vinegar is a dark tart vinegar made from the Garcinia Gummi Gutta fruit which belongs to the Garcinia family, the same fruit that is used in dried form in parts of Kerala, where it is known as kudampuli. Kokum, which is used in some Mangalorean, Konkan and Maharashtrian cuisines also belongs to the same family. In the Kodava language, the fruit is known as panapuli, while the boiled extract is kachampuli. The ripe fruits from the garcinia gummi gutta tree are gathered and heaped up new baskets. The baskets are left in earthenware pots and left outdoors to ferment and release their juices. This juice is then gently boiled down, until it thickens, into a dark brown vinegar, which can be stored indefinitely. Kachampuli is used in all the non veg Kodagu dishes from pandi curry to chicken fry. It is a souring and thickening agent, which can also be used as a marinade. It is often added last to a curry that is already cooked, and simmered gently to thicken it

Kaffir lime leaves

Kaffir lime leaves are thick, dark green and shiny. A leaf has two connecting leaves like double leaves. It has a distinct aroma.If recipe calls for kaffir lime leaves and you can't find any, skip the leaves, don't substitute. The fragrance is is irreplaceable.

Kaima rice

In the Malabar region ok kerala, a small thinner variety of rice called Kaima is used to make biryani and ghee rice. This rice does not require soaking before cooking. The flavor and fragrance of kaima is totally different from basmati.

Kalamata olives

Kalamata olive is a large, black olive with a smooth, meaty texture named after the city of Kalamata in the southern Peloponnese, Greece. Olives cannot be eaten right off of the tree; they require processing to reduce their bitterness. these olives are ripened artifically, where as green olives are picked after ripening. Kalamata olives are preserved in olive oil or brine. Can be added to salads. Both pitted and non pitted olives are available.

Kashmiri red chilly

Hindi : kashmiri mirchi

Kashmiri chillies are dark in color without the spiciness of other chillies. They look a little wrinkled. They impart very bright red color to curries.

Khoa/ khoya / mava

Hindi : Khoa/ khoya / mava

Actually Khoa/ khoya / mava are hindi words. Khoa / khoya/ mawa are one and the same thing. It is milk reduced to form solids. This reduced milk is used in Indian cooking for both savory and sweet dishes. It has a soft and grainy texture. Though this recipe takes very long to cook, its worth the effort. No shortcut ill give the desired result.
See recipe for -- Khoa/ khoya / mava.

Kidney beans

Malayalam : Rajma     Hindi : Rajma

Just as its name suggests, the kidney bean is shaped like a kidney with a reddish brown colour and a thick skin. It has a strong flavour with a slightly sweet aftertaste, a nutty aroma and a chewy texture. The kidney bean is used extensively in Mexican cooking, and also in certain Indian dishes. It is quite popular in Punjabi cuisine. Soaking rajma does not cause any nutrient loss but makes it easier to digest.


Kiwi is a berry like oval fruit, approximately the size of large hen's egg. It has a brown to green colored fibrous outer covering, somewhat velvety in texture. Some fruits are golden yellow in color. It has a light bright green flesh with black spot like seeds.

Kosher salt

Kosher salt has larger grains than table salt. It is used in baking also as it adheres to food better. Kosher salt has no iodine or anti caking agents which are generally used in table salt. Kosher salt is added to butchered meat to drain off the blood before cooking. According to Torah (the religious book of Jews) the jews are allowed to eat kosher meat only.

Ladies fingers, okra

Malayalam : Vendakka     Hindi : Bhindi

Ladies fingers, also known as Okra is a long slender finger like vegetable, having a small tapering tip at the end. This vegetable, when cut has some sliminess (stickiness) to it.

Lady fingers

Ladyfingers often called savoiardi or English sponge fingers in Britain are low density, dry, egg-based and sweet sponge biscuits roughly shaped like a large finger. A main ingredient in many dessert recipes, such as trifles, charlottes, as fruit or chocolate gateau linings and for some types of tiramisu instead of similar sponge cake layers. They are typically soaked in a sugar syrup or liqueur, such as coffee for the tiramisu dessert.

Lady fish

Lady fish is white and slightly longish. It is a very clean looking fish. Fried lady fish is a speciality of Mangalore, a town in Karnataka, South India. Mangalore is a coastal area. Lady fish is called kane (read as kaa-ne) in local language.

Lamb's quarter

Hindi : Bathua

Lamb's quarter is a leafy vegetable found during the winter months. It belongs to the family of spinach. Chenopodium album, the scientific name of Lambs quarter, translates to white goose foot. Lamb's Quarters from a distance, tends to always looks dusty; this is because there is a white powdery coating on the leaves. The whitish dust present on each leaf is made up of mineral salts from the soil and is an indication of its mineral-rich value.


Belongs to the family of onion and garlic. Leek is the stem of the leek plant. It comes in layered form and green in color. They have an oniony taste.

Lemon grass

Malayalam : Inji pullu     Hindi : Chai ki patti

Only the light green inside part of the stem is edible. The upper grass portion is very fragrant, but not edible. To use lemon grass, remove the leaves. Discard about one inch hard portion of the stalk. Remove the hard outer surface. Then cut the soft portion into tiny roundels. Leaves can be tied into a knot and added to soups or black tea and discarded after cooking.


Malayalam : Lettuce     Hindi : Salad patta

Lettuce is most often grown for its leaf , but sometimes for its stem and seeds. Lettuce is most often used for salads, although it is also seen in other kinds of food, such as soups, sandwiches and wraps. Different types of lettuce include:-
1) Arugula or rocket has long, spiked, dark green leaves and a peppery flavor.
2) Romaine lettucehas crunchy texture can be used with any dressing.
3)Lollo Rosso is a red loose leaf type of lettuce. Lollo Rosso is also known as Lolla Rossa or Lollo Rossa. Lollo Rosso's sister varieties are Lollo Biando and Lollo Verde.

Lime / lemon

Malayalam : Cherunaranga     Hindi : Nimbu (limbu)

Limes and lemons are both citrus fruits rich in Vitamin C.
Lemons are yellow and limes are green. Limes are smaller than lemons. According to the USDA Nutrient Database, lemons are a richer source of Vitamin C than limes, which has 29mg . It is rich in Vitamins A, C abd B complex required by the body for its processes. Lemon juice, rind, and zest are used in a wide variety of food and drink. Lemon juice is used to make lemonade, soft drinks, and cocktails. It is used in marinades for fish & meat. Lemon juice is also used as a short-term preservative on certain foods that tend to oxidize and turn brown after being sliced, such as apples, bananas and avocados. In cooking, lime is valued both for the acidity of its juice and the floral aroma of its zest.


Malayalam : Jathipathri     Hindi : Javitri

Nutmeg and mace are from the same tree.Mace is the crimson or bright red colored spice or condiment, present as the second membrane covering the seed of the nutmeg fruit or the nutmeg. Its taste is milder than that of nutmeg and is used in recipes which are delicately flavored. It consists of the essential oils, which give out its peculiar flavor and aroma. Mace should be added at the beginning of cooking in order to develop its full flavor.

Maize flour, corn meal

Hindi : Makkai ka atta

Maize flour is also known as corn meal.Cornmeal is a coarse flour ground from dried maize (corn) and is yellowish in color. It is usually ground to fine, medium, and coarse consistencies. But it is not as fine as wheat flour. It is the second most produced and consumed flour after wheat flour. It is yellow coloured flour with coarse texture. It is easily available in grocery stores. Mexican tortillas, nachos and tacos are made with maize flour.
Corn meal is different from corn flour or corn starch. Corn starch is also known as corn flour. It is extracted from the endosperm of corn. This white corn starch is most often used as a thickening agent for sauces, gravies, etc.

Malabar porotta

Malayalam : Malabar porotta     

Porotta is a layered flatbread,found in South India and Ceylon. It is made from maida/ all purpose flour. It is a common street food in southern India, especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is very popular as compared it is cheap and also filling. But the scare of consumption of all purpose flour has forced eateries to make porotta with whole wheat. Lots of oil is used in the preparation of porotta. The dough is beaten into thin layers and then formed into a spiralled round ball.Then kept to rest, preferabby in oil. after sometome the spiralled balls are flattened like chapathy and fried in a pan with little oil. Porottas are usually served with gravied curries.


Malayalam : Maanga     Hindi : Aam, kairi

Mango is considered as the King of fruits. There are countless varieties of mangoes and is consumed when it is unripe (kairi) and when it is ripe. Raw mango is always green. Ripe mango varies in size and colour. It can be yellow ,orange , red or green when ripe. Unpeeled mango gives off sweet smell. When it is peeled, it has fleshy and juicy yellow coloured pulp.In India, mango pulp is squeezed to make thick juice ( Aam-Ras) which is eaten with puri. Ripe mango pulp is cut into thin layers and folded to make bars which are known as mango bars or aam-papadi. Ripe mango pulp can be diced or crushed and used for topping ice-creams and custards. Mango pulp is used to prepare mango milkshakes. Mango Lassi(blend of beaten curd and mango pulp) is a widely prepared in North India during summer season. In Kerala, ripe mango pulp is used to prepare mambazha kaalan in which ripe mango pulp is cooked in yogurt and coconut gravy.

Mango powder, dried

Hindi : Aamchur

Amchoor or aamchur, also referred to as mango powder, is a spice powder made from dried unripe green mangoes and is used as seasoning. It is produced in India, and is used to flavor foods and add the benefits of mangoes when the fresh fruit is out of season.


These are sweeets that are spongy. These are made from sugar, starch and gelatine. Usually available in different colors. Marshmallows are added to some desserts like mousses which do not use eggs as the gelatine in marshmallows lets the mousse set.


Mayonnaise, often abbreviated as mayo,is a thick, creamy sauce. It originated in Spain. It is an emulsion of oil, egg yolk and either vinegar or lemon juice. Mayonnaise varies in color but is often white, cream, or pale yellow. It may range in texture from that of light cream to thick. In countries influenced by French culture, mustard is also a common ingredient. In Spain and Italy, olive oil is used as the oil and mustard is never included. Numerous other sauces can be created from it with addition of various herbs, spices, and finely chopped pickles. In the traditional method of making mayonnaise, raw egg yolks are used. So it is not advisable for pregnant women & infants below 1 year.


Malayalam : Tharbhuz     

These are edible fleshy fruits with seeds like that of cucumber. There are different types of melons like watermelon, honey dew melon, muskmelon (cantaloupe). They all vary in color, size and shape. Basically the texture of the fruit and sweetness are almost the same. Melons are either eaten raw or made into frozen desserts, beverages like smoothies etc.

Melon seeds

Hindi : Charmagaz

Melon seeds are a mixture of pumpkin,cucumber,watermelon and muskmelon seeds. They are cooling by nature. These seeds are soaked and ground to a paste and added to gravies. The paste thickens the gravy. These seeds are also dried and roasted and used as mouth freshners with other ingredients.


Malayalam : Paal     Hindi : Doodh

Milk is considered as complete food. It is packed with calcium and nutrients required for bone development and growth. Milk from cows, goats and buffalos are commonly used. Buffalo milk has higher fat content than cows milk. Curd and paneer made from buffalo milk is creamier than that made from cow's. Milk available in packets or tetrapacks are pasteurised.
Evnthough milk is considerd a complete food, a lot of people with lactose intolerance cannot take milk. Lactose intolerance is the inability of adults to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and to a certain extent in dairy products. It is due to a lactase deficiency in the body. The allergic reaction can vary from mild to severe condition where immediate hospitalisation is required. Sometimes when people experience allergy problems after eating from restaurants, they do not realize that it may have been caused by the dairy products they consumed.

Milk chocolate

To some chocolate enthusiasts milk chocolate is not really chocolate. Usual brands of milk chocolate contains only 20 percent cocoa solids. It may have a sugar content as high as 50 percent. Also it contains vegetable fat.

Mint leaves

Malayalam : Pudina     Hindi : Pudina

Mint is a very delicate leaf. The leaves have a fresh, sweet flavor with a coolness. These leaves are used in teas, beverages, syrups,ice creams etc. Chopped mint is usually used as garnishing. Cocktails and mocktails also use mint for flavor or garnish, namely the Mint Julep and the Mojito. Creme de menthe is a mint-flavored liqueur used in drinks.


Malayalam : Sarkara pavu     Hindi : Gur ras

Molasses,viscous by product after refining of sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. Molasses is thick, brown to deep black, honey-like substance. It is enjoyed as a sweetener in many countries, particularly in England where it is called treacle. Molasses are used primarily for baking. The word comes from the Portuguese melaco, derived from mel, the Latin word for "honey".

Mozarella cheese, pizza cheese

Mozarella cheese, also known as Pizza cheese, is a semi-soft, white cheese, with high moisture content. It melts easily and hence is used in dishes that require melting. Traditionally it is made from the milk of water buffalo. After curdling the milk, the resultant product is drained and the whey discarded. The cheese is then stretched and kneaded by hand to make it soft. Partially dried mozzarella is used to prepare dishes like lasagna. When twisted to form a plait it is called treccia. Normally Italians use fresh mozarella which are small soft white roundels. What we usually get here are semi dried mozarella cheese.


Malayalam : Koonu     Hindi : Dhingri, khumb

A mushroom (also known as toadstool) is the fleshy, fruit body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. Always check expiry of mushrooms. Mushrooms are extremely porous and soak up water like a sponge. Because they are mostly water, never soak fresh mushrooms. Mushrooms should be cooked before cosuming.

Musk melon, cantaloupe

Muskmelon is a round melon with firm, orange, moderately-sweet flesh and a thin light-brownish yellow rind. In some countries it is called rock melon. It is normally eaten fresh or rarely converted to make ice creams or smoothies. Muskmelon has a distinct fragrance when ripe.

Mustard oil

Malayalam : Kadugu enna     Hindi : Rai / sarason ka tel

Mustard oil has a strong smell and a nutty taste. Mustard oil is sometimes adulterated with argemone oil, which is toxic. So,buy a good brand so there will be no adulteration. Check whether it is a nice golden in colour and also aromatic. This oil is used in small quantities and goes rancid soon, so buy in small quantitites.

Mustard seeds

Malayalam : Kadugu     Hindi : Sarson, rai

Mustard seeds are the small round seeds of various mustard plants. The seeds are usually about 1 or 2 mm in diameter. Mustard seeds may be colored from yellowish white to black. The seeds can be black,brown and yellow mustard. In indian cooking mustard is used mainly for tempering.

Mustard seeds,split

Malayalam : Kadugu parippu     Hindi : Rai na kuria

Split mustard seeds, which are split . First, the skin of the mustard seeds are removed and discarded. The skinless seeds are then ground coarsely. This coarsely ground skinless mustard is often referred to as split mustard seeds or cracked mustard seeds. It is used mainly in making pickles.

Mutton, lamb, goat meat

Malayalam : Aatirachi     Hindi : Mutton

A sheep in its first year is called a lamb and its meat is called lamb meat. The meat of a juvenile sheep older than one year is hogget, though this term is not commonly used. The meat of an adult sheep is mutton, a term only used for the meat, not the living animals. The term mutton usually refers to Goat meat in the India. lamb meat is expensive than mutton or hogget.


Noodles are staple food in many south east asian countries. A noodle is made from unleavened dough that has been shaped into thin flat strips or round cylinders and cooked in a boiling liquid. Noodles are usually cooked in boiling water, sometimes with cooking oil or salt added. They are often stir fried or deep-fried. Noodles are often served with a gravied dish or in a soup. Noodles, these days are made of wheat flour, which is a better option than refined flour.


Nutella ( pronunciation:[nut ella) is the brand name of a sweetened hazelnut chocolate spread.manufactured by the Italian company Ferrero. The main ingredients in this spread are ingredients sugar, oil, hazelnuts, cocoa solids and milk powder. Nutella is most commonly used as sandwich spread. The other uses are in smoothies or as an ingredient in cake and cookie frosting.


Malayalam : Jathikka     Hindi : Jaiphal

Nutmeg is enclosed in a yellow fleshy fruit. A red net like membrane called mace covers the nutmeg. both nutmeg and mace are prized spices. Both the spices are sold seperately. In India, kerala is the largest producer of nutmeg. Nutmeg is used in ground or grated form.It is used in curries as well as in fruit (plum) cake. In European countries this spice is commonly used in potato dishes.


A nut is a fruit composed of a hard shell and a seed, which is generally edible. nuts are used in cusines throughout the world. Nuts include cashewnut, brazil nuts, peanuts, pista, pine nuts etc.


Oat is the seed of a particular type of grass. Oats are a popular breakfast item. Oats is a great source of fibre. although the grains are hulled(hul is the dry outer covering), the process does not strip away their bran and germ.


Malayalam : Enna     Hindi : Thel

In recipes where a particular oil(like coconut, mustard etc.) is not mentioned, then use any flavorless oil.

Olive oil, extra virgin, pomace, light olive oil

Olive oil is made by crushing and then pressing olives. Olive oil is more healthful than other oils because of high content of monounsaturated fat (mainly oleic acid) and polyphenols. This oil comes in different varieties, depending on the amount of processing involved. Of these, extra virgin olive oil has the most delicate flavour and highest antioxidant benefits.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVVO);-
Considered the best, among all the olive oils, as this oil comes from the first pressing of the olives.
Virgin olive oil;-
Virgin oil comes from the second pressing of olives.
Pure olive oil;-
Some processing, filtering and refining is done.
Cold pressed olive oil;-
Cold pressed means that minimal heating was used when processing the olives to make oil.
Pomace olive oil;-
Most commonly used in Indian cooking.The solid portion after the extraction of oil or juice(of any fruit) is called pomace. It hardly has the benefits of olive oil. It is extracted from olive pulp after the first press. Once the mechanical oil extraction of olive oil is complete, approximately 5-8% of the oil remains in the pulp, which then needs to be extracted with the help of solvents, an industrial technique used in the production of most other edible oils.


Hindi : Jaitun

Olives are fruits of olive trees. It is also a source of oil. Olives are black and green in color. There are also a variety called kalamata olives. Olive oil is considered highly benefical.


Malayalam : Savala, sabola     Hindi : Kantha, pyaz

The word onion comes from the Latin word unio for "single," or "one," because the onion plant produces only a single bulb. It is a vegetable that brings tears to eyes but delights your taste buds. Onions are used in a large number of dishes. There are mainly two types of onions (apart from spring onion), brown/ red and white. White onions are also known as Spanish onions and is milder than red ones. In India, onions hold an important place in its cusine. Onions are also dehydrated and availasble in powdered form

Onion seeds, nigella seeds

Malayalam : Karijeerakam     Hindi : Kalonji

Nigella or kalonji, is refered to as the "seed of blessing" as it has a lot of healing properties. The seeds are about the same size as sesame seeds, though they have a more triangular instead of oval shape.


Oolong tea is a product made from the leaves, buds, and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant. This is the same plant that is also used to make black tea and green tea. The difference lies in the processing. Oolong tea is partially fermented, black tea is fully fermented, and green tea is unfermented.
this tea helps in lowering cholestrol and increases metabolism therby reducing weight.
Oolong tea is available at Kannan devan hill plantation(KDHP) depot at Munnar.


Malayalam : Naranga     Hindi : Santra, narangi

Oranges are juicy fruits packed with vitamin c. This fruit is divided into segments with white membranes covering it. The peel of oranges are also valued in baking as well as in using after drying and powdering in face masks.


Oregano means "mountain joy".It has a warm and aromatic flavour,. It is a commonly used herb, and if you have tasted a tomato based pasta or pizza, you would surely have revelled in its hearty and assertive flavour.

Oyster mushrooms

These are fleshy mushrooms.

Oyster sauce

Oyster sauce is a thick, brown sauce with a sweet and salty flavor. Oyster sauce is a popular ingredient in Vietnamese, Thai, and Cantonese cuisine. Traditionally, oyster sauce was made by simmering oysters in water on a low fire until the juices caramelize into a thick, brown, intensely flavorful sauce. Today Oyster sauce is usually made with a base of sugar and salt and thickened with corn starch. Oyster extracts or essences are then added to give flavor to the base sauce. Other ingredients, such as soy sauce and MSG are also added to deepen the flavor and add color.
Available at all leading supermarkets.

Panch phoran

Hindi : Panch phoran

Panch phoran (five-spice mix) is a spice blend used in Bangladesh and Eastern India, especially in Bengal, Assam, and Oriya. It is a blend of five different seeds: fennel seed, black mustard, nigella seeds, fenugreek and cumin seeds. Generally the ingredients are added in equal proportions, though this can vary according to taste. In Bengali "phoron" means tempering and "panch' is five.

Paneer, cottage cheese

Hindi : Paneer, chenna

Paneer is an Indian cheese. It is soft, white and crumbly in texture. Paneer is a vegetarians delight. Paneer can be made at home by boiling whole milk. An ingredient (with acidic properties) like curd, vinegar or lime juice is added to coagulate the boiling milk. The whey water formed is either discarded or used in various preparations. The resultant cheese is called chenna.Chenna is then pressed to form a block of cheese. This cheese block is called paneer. Paneer is a fresh cheese and is never aged unlike other cheeses.Since it contains no rennet, it is perfectly vegetarian. Rennet, used in cheesemaking traditionally, comes from stomach lining of young animals.


Malayalam : Pappadam     Hindi : Papad

Papad is a thin, crisp, disc-shaped food found in India. It is made from black gram dal(urad dal) dough. Pappads are available plain, or with different flavors like cumin, pepper etc. They are either fried in oil, grilled or in certain cases cooked over coal. Other flours used in papad making are, chickpeas, rice, tapioca, potato etc.
Papads are served as an accompaniment to a meal or as an appetizer or snack, sometimes with toppings such as chopped onions, carrots, chutneys or dips. Papads are sometimes used in a gravied dish.
Pappad is called as Appalam in Tamil Nadu, pappadum in Kerala and pappad in most of the country.

Pappaya, pawpaw

Malayalam : Pappakaya     Hindi : Papita

Pappaya is called the fruit of angels. It does not have any season and grows abundantly throughout the year.The flesh is beautiful orangeish red color with a buttery texture when ripe. The seeds are black, round encased in a gelatinous-like substance.
The most common meat tenderizer used in India is raw papaya. The leaves, and green skin of raw papaya contain an enzyme called Papain. The connective tissue in the meat breaks down when it comes in contact with Papain. Papaya is preferred tenderizer for red meat (Lamb, Mutton, Goat, Beef).

Parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese is also known as Parmegiano reggiano. It is hard cheese orinating from Italy. This cheese is salty and slightly granular. In Italy it is used in pastas ,pizzas and in some sauces like pesto. Real Parmesan cheese is marked with a stencil, indicating where and when it was made. The cheese is soaked in a brine bath and then aged for a minimum of two years before being sent for sale. Parmesan is available in grated form also.
It is available at lulu hypermarket, kochi.


Parsley is the world's most popular herb. It derives its name from the Greek word meaning "rock celery". There are two types of parsley--curly parsley or moss-curled and Italian flat leaf parsley. The Italian variety has a more fragrant and less bitter taste than the curly variety.

Passion fruit

This fruit has a hard tough shell varying in colors from purple, orange and pale yellow. The flesh is slimy with a tangy taste. Some fruits are sweeter and do not require the addition of sugar when consuming as it is, whereas some require the addition of sugar to cut the sourness.


Pasta, the staple dish of Italy, may be divided into two broad categories, dried (pasta secca) and fresh (pasta fresca). Pasta is made from an unleavened dough of durum wheat flour mixed with water and formed into sheets or various shapes. It can be made with flour from other cereals or grains, and eggs may be used instead of water.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter is made from roasted and ground peanuts and oil with the addition of salt and sugar. Sometimes chocolate is also added. Peanut butter is used as a spread on bread instead of butter. Good for people with milk product allergy, but to be avoided by people with nut allergy.


Hindi : Nashpati

Pear comes in green and yellow colors. Pears generally have a large round bottom that tapers towards the top. It has a thin papery skin with soft, grainy flesh. Pears os refered to as the 'gift of gods'. Pears belong to the rose family and is a cousin of apple. Pear can be eaten on its own or is stewed and used in desserts.

Pearl spot

Malayalam : Karimeen     

Pearl spot (known as Karimeen in Kerala) has lot of bones. It is a freshwater fish found in Southern India and Sri Lanka. It is known as pearlspot due to black spots on the surface. In India, it is found throughout Kerala, especially in Kerala Backwaters around Alleppey (Alappuzha), Kottayam, Quilon (Kollam), and in western flowing rivers in Karnataka, backwaters of Andhra Pradesh and Chilka lake. In 2010 state fisheries minister of Kerala declared Karimeen as the official fish of Kerala state.

Pepper, peppercorns, black pepper

Malayalam : Kurumulagu     Hindi : Kali mirch, safed mirch

The fruit, known as a peppercorn is, dark red when fully mature, and, contains a single seed. Peppercorns, and the ground pepper derived from them, may be described simply as pepper, or more precisely as black pepper (cooked and dried unripe fruit), green pepper (dried unripe fruit) and white pepper (unripe fruit seeds).Black pepper is native to south India,specially kerala. It was referred to as black gold by Portugese and British who invaded India. Freshly ground black pepper is the most popular form of pepper consumption. Spice mills filled with pepper graces many a dining table. Home made pepper powder has a better flavour and aroma compared to readymade pepper powders. Crushed pepper is great for sprinkling over salads, soups, sandwiches or even a cup of tea. It helps kindle appetite, and helps soothe disturbed respiratory tract and colds.

Pigeon peas

Malayalam : Thuvara parippu     Hindi : Tur dal, arhar daal

Pigeon peas are always available in deskinned and split form and not as whole. A rich source of protein it is used almost daily in India, specially by vegetarians. It is also a good source of dietary fibre.

Pine nuts

Hindi : Chilgoza

Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pine trees. They are small elongated ivory-colored seeds . When raw, the seeds have a soft texture and a sweet, buttery flavor. They are often lightly toasted to bring out the flavor and to add a little crunch. Mostly the seeds are harvested by hand and hence very expensive. Pine nuts are mainly used for making pesto.


Hindi : Ananas

Pineapples are juicy with sweetness as well as tartness. It has scaly skin. After the skin is peeled there are black spots on the fruit which are called 'eyes'. Pineapples are green in color and turn yellow when ripe. It aids in digestion.

Pistachios, pista

Hindi : Pista

Pistas are also called green almonds. Pista is very popular as a snacking item. Roasted salted pistas are prefered to unsalted ones. Pistas are also called skinny nuts as they do not have much calories. There is a hard shell and a thin papery skin on the nut. Kernels of pistas are almost always half open. The shell actually opens on its own during the growth process. As the pistachio nut grows, it expands until it pops its shell open. Pistas are used in cooking and baking.

Plain chocolate or bitter sweet

Plain or bittersweet chocolate contains 34 percent cocoa solids. Bitter chocolate is often used in cooking and is also known as unsweetened and baking chocolate.


Malayalam : Mathala naranga     Hindi : Anar

This is a juicy fruit with little luscious pearls encased inside the fruit. These fruits are high in vitamin C and potassium, and a good source of fiber and low in calories. Pomegranate seeds as well as juice are of great value in digestive disorders. It acts as an appetizer. A valuable remedy for diarrhoea and dysentery. The bark of the tree is used as medicine.

Pomegranate seeds

Hindi : Anardana

Pomegranate seeds or anardana are the dried seeds of the pomegranate fruit. A variety of wild pomegranate called daru, which grows in the southern Himalayas, is known to yield the best anardana. These dried seeds are used as souring agent in Indian cusine.


Malayalam : Bambloos naranga, kambili naranga.     Hindi : Chakotara

Pomello is the biggest citrus fruit in the world. It has pale green to yellow skin when ripe. The flesh is usually white, but sometimes rarely the flesh is pink or red. It has a very thick rind or skin. This is similar to grape fruit but with a drier pulp than grape fruit.

Pomfret, white and black

Malayalam : Avoli     Hindi : Paplet

Pomfrets are are found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, and the largest species, the Atlantic pomfret, Brama brama, grows up to 1 m long. The earlier name was pamflet, a word which probably ultimately comes from Portuguese pampo, referring to various fish such as the blue butterfish. There are 2 types of pomfret-black and white. Black pomfret is much thicker and fleshier than white.

Poppy seeds

Malayalam : Khus khus     Hindi : Khus khus

Poppy seed is an oilseed obtained from the plant opium poppy. Opium is the source of many narcotics, including morphine. It adds a nutty aroma to dishes. The Indian variety is generally ivory to beige coloured, while the European variety called is dark grey and the Turkish variety is brown.
Black khus khus is known as falooda seeds and is used in beverages and desserts like falooda. Basil seeds / falooda seeds though looks like frog spawn, is a healthy seed. It is cooling and also aids in digestion. The seeds do not have any flavor as such, but is added to give look and body.


Malayalam : Pork     Hindi : Suar

Pork is the meat from domesticated pigs. Pork is eaten both freshly cooked and preserved. Curing extends the shelf life of the pork products. Ham, smoked pork, gammon, bacon and sausage are examples of cured pork. Curing involves preserving with salt after cooking. Judaism and Islam prohibits the consumption of pork.Pork meat is severely restricted in Israel as it has a Jewish majority.


Malayalam : Urula kizhangu     Hindi : Batata, Aloo

Potato lovers often regard it as comfort food. It is a staple food in many parts of the world. It is a humble mans meal as well as adorns the tables of food giants like KFC, Mcdonalds etc. Potatoes are the swollen portion of the underground stem which is called a tuber and is designed to provide food for the green leafy portion of the plant. There are about 100 varieties of edible potatoes. They range in size, shape, color, starch content and flavor. Those that are harvested before maturity and are of a much smaller size are known as baby potatoes.


Malayalam : Chemmen     Hindi : Jhinga

Prawns are seafood highly valued as it is tasty and also has no bones. Prawn is known as shrimp in some parts of the world. It is to be shelled and deveined before cooking.


Hindi : Alu bhukara

Prunes are dried European plums. It is sweet with a sticky texture. Prunes are highly nutrious. It is used in cooking and baking. Prunes are a good source of fibre.

Puffed rice

Malayalam : Pori     Hindi : Murmura, Mamra

Puffed rice is made from rice, by heating white raw rice under high heat. Traditionally clay stoves were heated with wood fuel. A tray is kept on the stove with river sand. Rice is added to the hot sand and immediately it would puff up. It is then taken out using a sieve and a shake or two will throw the sand particles back and only the puffed rice will remain in the sieve. Puffed rice is eaten as it is or used by adding little coconut and sugar. It is the main ingredient in the famous street food 'bhel puri'.


Malayalam : Mathanga     Hindi : Kaddu, lal bhopla

These are a good sourcr of carotene. In India pumpkin is available throughout the year. In USA pumpkin is associated with Halloween. Halloween falls on the night of 31 October, the eve of All Saints' Day.Children dress up in frightening masks and costumes. Halloween is associated with the Celtic festival Samhain, when ghosts and spirits were believed to be abroad. Pumpkin is low in calorie with potassium. Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as a source of the mineral zinc.


Malayalam : Mullangi     Hindi : Mooli

Radish is a root vegetable with a crisp texture and a peppery or hot flavor. It comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. The most commonly found are the small, round with pink skin , pink large round radish or the white carrot shaped ones. White carrot shaped ones are known as Daikon. Radishes are considered good for skin problems and also to relieve gastric discomfort.

Raisins, black

Malayalam : Unakka munthiri     Hindi : Kaley kismis

Black raisins are sun dried, which gives them dark clor and a shrivelled appearance. They have a high sugar content and is a good source of iron and vitamins.

Raisins, golden

Malayalam : Unnakka munthiri     Hindi : Kismis

Golden raisins, like dark raisins are seedless raisins. Golden raisins are treated with sulphur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide or sulphur dioxide is the chemical compound with the formula SO2. It is a toxic gas with a pungent, irritating, and rotten smell. Golden raisins after treating with sulphur dioxide is air dried to keep the golden yellow color.

Rasam powder

A combination of spices are dry roasted to make rasam powder. For most of Tamilians, rasam is comfort food. This tangy and spicy watery dish is supposed to get rid of colds. Some drink it plain as a soup, some have it with rice and it is also drunk as a palate cleanser in between a meal. Rasam can be made with or without pigeon pea (tur dal). Though rasam powder is available commercially, nothing to beat the home made version. There are numerous types of rasam like tomato rasam, pineapple rasam, pepper rasam etc.

Red chilli, dried, fresh

Malayalam : Chuvanna mulagu     Hindi : Lal mirch

Chillies are spicy fruits of a plant. Chillies are used in cooking to give it spiciness. When chillies are dried, it is refered to as dry red chillies. Dried chillies are ground to make powder called chilli powder.

Red wine

Red wine is a type of wine made from dark-coloured (black) grape varieties. Much of the red-wine production process therefore involves extraction of colour and flavour components from the grape skin.
Wine is made from fermented grapes or other fruits. Wines are classified into dry, sweet and semi-dry depending upon the residual sugar level. In a dry wine all residual sugar is converted into alcohol. Sweet wine will still have some residual sugar left. Semi-dry wines have a small level of sweetness. Residual sugar is the natural sugar left over by the fruit after fermentation process is over.


Rennet are enzymes from the stomach of an unweaned calf, containing rennin and its used used in curdling milk for cheese. In case of vegetarian cheese microbial rennet or rennet derived from plants is used.


Malayalam : Ari     Hindi : Chawal

Rice has been one of the most commonly used grains the world over. It is an important food throughout the world for generations. Two thirds of world population survives on rice.
There are different types of rice, like basmati, white rice, parboiled rice, red rice etc. Rice is harvested when the stalks turn golden in color. The golden stalks are sun dried and used as cattle fodder. The grains are threshed to remove the outer husk. This is the natural state of rice and is called unpolished or brown rice with bran. Refined white rice has the bran and germ removed, and is polished to give a shiny look. In India, rice is the staple diet of people of South India. Rice is ground to obtain rice flour which again is in cooking a lot of different dishes.

Rice flour

Malayalam : Ari podi     Hindi : Chawal ka atta

Rice flour is made by grinding rice into a fine powder. It is generally made from polished broken rice and is therefore usually whiter in color. Depending on the consistency (coarse, fine etc.) of flour used, the texture of the food will vary from light and soft to somewhat gritty and coarse. In certain dishes roasted rice flour is used.

Rice gruel water

Malayalam : Kanji vellam     

The water in which rice has been cooked. It has lots of nutritional benefits.

Rice rava

Malayalam : Idli rava     Hindi : Idli rava

Idli rava is coarse semolina type grains made with rice. You can either buy it from shops or make it at home. To make the rice rava, Wash rice in lots of water. Soak it for 2 hours. Drain it completely and spread it in a clean cloth and dry it under fan for 3 hours. Now take the rice in a blender and powder it finely. Use a fine sieve and sift the mix. The rava in the sieve is rice rava. The fine particles is rice flour. Now spread the rava in a plate and dry it. Store it in a air tight container. Either idli rice or another rice called ponni rice is used.

Rice vinegar, chinese

Rice vinegar is a vinegar made from fermented rice or rice wine in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam.Rice vinegar comes in several varieties. The simplest is made from fermented rice and is often nearly colorless in appearance. The sharp of Chinese rice vinegar is sharper than normal white vinegar.
White rice vinegar is a colourless to pale yellow liquid, higher in vinegar content and more similar to Western vinegars, but still less acidic and milder in flavor.
there are different types of vinegars;-
Black rice vinegar -is usually made from sweet rice and can include millet or sorghum. The color is a dark brown. Its smoky flavors makes it distinct from other forms.
Red rice vinegar-- is made with fermented red yeast rice. Many prefer this vinegar above the others because of its tartness as well as sweetness.
Sushi Vinegar- Rice vinegar can be mixed with salt and sugar to make sushi vinegar, which is used to season the rice used in sushi.
Rice vinegar is available in supermarkets and store selling baking ingredients. All the other wines are not easily available.

Rice wine, chinese

Chinese rice wine is also known as Shao Xing. This alcoholic beverage is made from rice. In China, it is also known as yellow wine. Rice wine is made by the fermentation of rice starch .

Roasted gram

Malayalam : Pottu kadala     Hindi : Daria, channa dal roasted

Black chick peas are roasted and deskinned. It is available roasted. It has a creamy colour. It is added to chutneys, in poha chivda and can be eaten as it is. can also be added to upma.

Rock sugar

Malayalam : Kalkandam     Hindi : Misri

Rock sugar is also known as rock candy. These are crystallised sugar lumps.

Rocket leaves / Arugula / Salad rocket

Used in salads . Has a peppery taste.

Rose water

Hindi : Gulab ki jal

Rose water is made by steeping fresh rose petals in distilled water and then steaming/ cooking it on a low flame, till rose oil floats on top. It gives a special fragrance when added to food.Preferable to use organic flowers.Distilled water is water that has been boiled and many of its impurities removed. Rosewater is used for skin care as well as in cooking.
Rose water is available in supermarkets.


Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant evergreen needle-like leaves. Rosemary leaves are available both in fresh and dried form.


Malayalam : Kumkumapoo     Hindi : Kesar

Saffron is considered as the world's most expensive spice. it is used to color and flavor food. In India, Kashmir produces saffron and is highly valued in the market. saffron is the stigma(thread like strands) of a flower.Each stigma is very small and a large number of stigmas are necessary to make a gram of saffron. These stigmas are hand picked hence it is highly priced. Saffron is generally soaked in warm milk or water and crushed lightly by hand to bring out the full flavor.


Malayalam : Uppu     Hindi : Namak

Salt is sodium chloride. It is used to give taste to food. Salt is made by drying up salt water in shallow pools, and then cleaning the crystals obtained after the water evaporates. Now a days table salt comes in two forms-normal table salt and low sodium salt. Salt removes juices out of vegetables. This is a good thing for some watery vegetables like cucumbers and eggplant and also adding salt to bittergourd and draining the juices before cooking removes bitterness to a certain extent.


Malayalam : Mathhy, chaala     Hindi : Darly

Sardine refers to a small, oily fish of the herring family. It is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. This fish eaten with bones provied calcium to the body.

Schezuan, Sichuan pepper

Hindi : Triphal, Teppal

This is the outer pod of a tiny fruit. Even though the name has pepper in it, it is not related to the pepper family. This pepper creates a numbness in the mouth. The pods are lightly toasted and crushed before adding to recipes.Sichuan peppercorns are one of the traditional ingredients in the Chinese spice mixture five-spice powder . These peppers are alsofound in the Kokan region of India.
These are available at speciality stores selling baking and cooking ingredients.

Sea salt or crystal salt

Coarse salt with large crystals. Sea salt is produced through evaporation of ocean water or water from saltwater lakes.

Seer fish

Malayalam : Nei meen     Hindi : Surumai

Seer fish belongs to the mackerel family. It is a prized fish in India.

Self raising flour

Plain all purpose flour which has a raising agent (baking powder) mixed in.

Semolina / Rawa

Malayalam : Rawa     Hindi : Sooji

Semolina is a tiny coarse type of grain, commonly known as rawa, usually made from durum wheat. It is the grain which is left behind when the fine flour is sifted after milling.
Internationally, durum semolina is commonly used in the making of pasta because of its high gluten content, which ensures that it retains its shape during the cooking process. In India, different varieties of semolina are available, made from soft wheat, maize, rice, and other grains . Indians use semolina to make upma, idli, halwa, kheer and also to coat certain foods before frying instead of bread crumbs.

Sesame / gingelly oil

Malayalam : Ellu enna     Hindi : Til ka tel

Sesame oil is derived from sesame seeds. Besides being used as a cooking oil in South India, it is often used as a flavor enhancer in Chinese, and far eastern cusine. This oil is valued in Ayurveda system of medicine.The black variety yields the best quality of oil and is also best suited for medicinal purposes.
Sesame oil has the highest smoking point. Also it has the least chance to turn rancid (unpleasant smell and taste) when not refrigerated. This is due to the natural anti oxidants present in the oil.

Shallots, sambar onion, madras onion

Malayalam : Chuvana ulli     

Shallot belongs to the onion family. The flesh is usually pinker than that of brown skinned onions. In India, shallots are used in the southern states. Since it is used in the preparation of Sambar (a lentil dish of South India), it is known as Sambar onion and since Sambar is the main dish of Tamilians ( Madras / Chennai natives), it is also known as Madras onions. Shallots are commonly used in French cooking. It is said that regular consumption of shallots will reduce cholesterol levels and improve the blood circulation. High concentration of flavonoids in shallots reduces the risk of cardio-vascular diseases.

Sherry vinegar

Sherry vinegar is a gourmet wine vinegar made from Sherry. It is produced in a Spanish province,known as the "sherry triangle". Sherry is a wine made from white grapes that are grown near the town of Jerez de la Frontera in Spain. All Sherry is fermented as dry wine(not sweet).Whereas sweet Sherry are sweetened after the wine is made by adding a sweet wine called Pedro Ximenez (in short called PX). Sherry is also a fortified wine, which means that, after fermentation, the wine is fortified with neutral spirit from15 and 18% abv (alcohol by volume).

Silver foil / chaandi ka varq

Hindi : Chaandi ka warq

Many people use the word silver foil to mean aluminium foil. But this is totally different. Aluminium foil is used to wrap food and also it is not edible.It is commonly knows as chaandi ka varq or warq. Warq is the Urdu word meaning leaf. These are edible silver flattened to make very thin, delicate sheets. It does not have any flavor. It is used on Indian sweets, sometimes on fruits during Diwali time (in a gift hamper) and on Halwas etc. Another varq is soney ki varq which is edible golden sheets, again used in the same way, but by the royalty.
Available in stores selling baking ingredients.

Simple syrup

Simple (or sugar) syrup is as the name implies, very simple to make and is an essential item to stock in any bar. You will find it in many mixed drinks including Mojitos, Daiquiris and Hurriacnes. This sweetener is primarily used as a substitute for raw sugar and adds volume.
It can be stored in the refrigerator in a well sealed bottle for about 6 months.

Soda, Aerated water, Sparkling Water, Club water, bubbly

Soda is carbondioxide gas added to water. Actually soda is the main component of all the areated soft drinks. Sodas are commonly used to make juices, cocktails and mocktails. In some cases sodas are added to certain batters to make the end fried product crispy. Once opened sodas do not stay bubbly for a very long time. Hence for little use buy small bottles. Also check expiry. Sodas can be made at home using a soda maker.

Sour cream

Sour cream is a dairy product obtained by fermenting a regular cream with certain kinds of lactic acid bacteria. The bacterial culture sours and thickens the cream. The taste of sour cream is only mildly sour.Sour cream is used as dip, in salads & in preparations like tacos & burritos.

Soya bean

Soyabeans are mostly yellow in color. It is considered one of world's healthiest food. Soyabeans tend to lower bad cholestrol or low density lipoprotein(LDL). Cheese made of soyamilk is known as Tofu.

Soya chunks, granules

Soya chunks are processed to look and taste like meat. This is extremely low in fat and high in fibre. Soya chunks are rehydrated in water before usage. Soya is available in the form of granules also.

Soya flour

Soya flour is now readily available. It is used in combination with wheat flour to make rotis and parathas. Usually 1/4 soya flour is added to wheat flour.

Soya milk

Soya milk is an excellent source of protein.
To make soya milk, soak soyabeans in water and grind and strain them to extract milk.

Soya sauce, light and dark

In Chinese cooking both light and dark soya sauce is used. Dark soya sauce is used for color and light for flavour. Soya sauce is made from fermented soya beans, wheat and salt. Soya sauce has a good amount of salt, so be careful when adding salt to dishes that also has soya sauce. Dark soya sauce is aged longer, giving it the dark clor and thickness. Too much dark soya sauce can ruin the color of a dish. Too much dark soya sauce can make the dish bitter. Soya sauce is used in marinades, cooking and also as a dipping sauce.


Hindi : Palak

Spinach is a green coloured leafy vegetable. There are 3 main types of spinach, savoy, smooth leaf and baby spinach.
Savoy has crisp,wrinkled,curly leaves. Smooth-leaf has flat, unwrinkled, spade-shaped leaves.Baby spinach is great for use in salads as it has a sweeter taste.
Spinach was popularised by Popeye, the famous cartoon character. There is a story behind the love for spinach by Popeye. It seems that in 1870 German chemist Erich von Wolf ascertained the amount of iron in spinach as 3.5 milligrams. But while scribbling it in his notes, he accidentally left out the decimal point and wrote that spinach had 35 milligrams of iron per 100-gram serving. This fact wasn't corrected until almost seventy years later. This claim of iron content in Spinach was noticed by the studio that created the cartoon character Popeye. So they brought out the theory that Popeye got his strength from eating iron rich Spinach.

Spring onions, Green onions, scallions

Widely used in Chinese cooking. The taste of these onions are milder. The green leaves and also the bulbous onions are used for cooking.

Star anise

Hindi : Chakri phool

Star anise, as the name suggests, is star-shaped. It is hard, with about 8 segments or petals. There are tiny seeds in each of the segment. It is used a lot in Chinese cooking. Star anise is an ingredient in Chinese 5 spice powder.

Stock, vegetable, chicken

There are two basic types of stock-vegetable stock and chicken stock. Vegetable stock is a subtly flavoured liquid made by simmering water with some vegetables and spices. It can be used as a base for different soups and sauces instead of water to give it a better flavour. where as chicken bones are used in chicken stock.
Refer vegetable stock and chicken stock recipes.


The red luscious fruit with a green cap is the most popular berry fruit in the world. It is the only fruit in the world with seeds growing outside the fruit. Strawberries are like sponge in soaking up water. Hence it should be washed only just before using them. Also the green cap of leaves are to be removed only after washing the fruit. before storing these berries in fridge, remove the damaged and rotten ones or it will spoil the rest.Do not leave strawberries at room temperature for too long, it will spoil.


Malayalam : Panjasara     Hindi : Cheeni, shakkar

Sugar is made primarily from sugar beets and sugarcane. Sugar is a carbohydrate. Sugar has become an ingredient which is widely used in everyday cooking and baking.


Malayalam : Unnakka munthiri     Hindi : Sultanas

Sultana is white, seedless grape of Turkish or Iranian origin. These are typically larger than the raisins. It is dried and then known as sultanas.Sultana raisins have a delicate and unique flavor and are of golden colour.It is soft, juicy, amber coloured fruit with a very sweet flavour. It is largely produced from a seedless white grape and varies in shape from round to oval according to variety.

Sweet chilli sauce

Sweet chilli sauce refers to a chili sauce with added sweetening ingredient such as fruit or a refined sugar to impart a sweet taste to the otherwise hot chili sauce. It is made with sugar, tomato paste, chilies, salt, spices and garlic powder. It is commonly used as dipping sauce or while stir frying.

Sweet corn, cream style

Fresh cream-style corn recipe is made with freshly scraped corn, butter, and seasonings. It is an almost soupy version of sweet corn. Unlike other preparations of sweet corn, creamed corn is partially pureed.Sugar and starch are also added.Cream style sweet corn is availabe in super markets.



Tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce is the brand name for a red chilli sauce. Tabasco sauce is made from tabasco peppers , vinegar, and salt, and aged in white oak barrels for three years. It has a hot, spicy flavor.


Malayalam : Puli     Hindi : Imli

Tamarind is a soft, dark brown coloured pod with black coloured seeds. The fruit, which is soft, sticky and sour, is the part that is used in cooking. The seeds are not used. Tamarind comes in sweet and sour varieties. The sour variety is used in Indian cooking, while Thai cuisine mainly uses the sweeter version.Tamarind has a sour taste while young. Although the fruit gets sweeter as it ages, the basic flavour is predominantly sour and acidic.

Tapioca, yuca, cassava

Malayalam : Kappa     Hindi : Shimla aloo

Tapioca is a native of South America.The edible part is the root. Tapioca must be cooked in lots of water and water drained out ,after it is cooked to remove toxins. Pearls made from tapioca are known as Sabudana in Hindi / Marathi.Tapioca is a staple food in Kerala, India and in some African countries. In the state of Kerala, tapioca is consumed, either boiled or cooked with coconut and spices. Tapioca and fish curry is a popular dish in Kerala. Tapioca is thinly sliced in and made into wafers like potato. Tapioca flour is used as a thickener.

Tartare sauce

Tartare sauce is Mayonnaise with Gherkins, capers and shallots, usually served with fish dishes. Chopped hard-boiled eggs, olives, and radish are sometimes added, and mustard sauce is often used as an emulsifier. The sauce was invented by the French, who named the condiment "sauce tartare".


Malayalam : Chaya, theyila     Hindi : Chai

Tea is India's most popular drink. We consume approximately 8,37,000 tonnes of tea every year.
Tea drinking was made fashionable by Catharine of Braganza(wife of King Charles 2 of England). but afternoon tea drinking gained acceptance as a social event in England, after Anne, Duchess of Bedford, England, started having tea in the afternoons to avoid 'sinking feeling' during long gaps between meals. She invited her friends to the event had light finger sandwiches served with tea.
Tea leaves are harvested and allowed to fully oxidize before they are heat-processed and dried. During oxidation, oxygen interacts with the tea leaves, turning the leaves to rich dark brown to black color that black tea is famous for, and significantly altering their flavor.
Kashmiri tea , known as Kahwa, has green tea, saffron, almonds etc.
Assamese tea is known as Ronga Saah. It is red tea without milk.
Mumbai is famous for it's 'cutting chai'. Cutting chai is 'full glass tea cut into half(shared)'. The basic concept here is 'aadhe se jyada aur poore se kam', which means, 'more than half, but less than full'.
The more you steep tea in water, the taste becomes more bitter.


Is a herb used in Italian and European cusine. Thyme is easily available in both fresh and dried forms.

Toddy or palm wine

Malayalam : Kallu     Hindi : Thaadi

Palm wine or toddy is an alcoholic beverage created from the sap of various palm trees, such as the palmyra, date palms, and coconut palms. Toddy, in Kerala is coconut wine.In kerala toddy shops serve toddy with a meal, like tapioca mashed, hoppers and various veg and non-veg curries. Food available in these shops are known to be extremely tasty. Earlier only male members of the community went to these shops to have toddy, but now a days, there are family toddy shops, where even children & women can relish the curries. Toddy is also used to make hoppers etc. It serves the purpose of yeast and is much more tastier than hoppers made with yeast.

Tofu, bean curd

Hindi : Soya paneer

Tofu has its origins in China. It has high protein content. To make tofu, fresh soya beans are soaked, ground, boiled and strained.Soy milk undergoes a process of coagulation and the curd formed is pressed into blocks. These blocks of cheese are called Tofu. Tofu does not have any flavor on its own. Tofu is kept immersed in water. Water should be changed daily.


Hindi : Tamatar

Tomatoes have fleshy segments with slippery seeds surrounded by a watery body. They can be red, yellow, orange, green, purple, or brown in color. Although tomatoes are fruits in a botanical sense, they don't have the sweetness of other fruits. Instead they have a subtle sweetness and acidic taste. Cooking tomatoes and brings out their sweetness.

Tomato ketchup/ sauce

Tomato Ketchup is also known as Catchup or Catsup. Highly seasoned with salt, pepper and spices, then boiled into a thick liquid and strained through a sieve creating a smooth, thick sauce. The ingredients in ketchup are tomato pulp, vinegar, sugar, salt, spice and herbs like celery, spices, garlic powder etc.


Malayalam : Kizhangu vargam     

Tubers are thickened underground part of a stem or rhizome. These are edible and are also buds from which new plants arise. Most tubers are starchy in nature. Examples of tubers are potato, tapioca/yuca etc.


Tuna is a saltwater fish. Tuna is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna is available fresh, but the most common forms are tinned tuna in oil or brine solution.

Turmeric powder

Malayalam : Manjal podi     Hindi : Haldi

Turmeric powder is a bright yellow spice powder made from dried turmeric roots. Turmeric powder is one among the three main spice powders used in Indian cooking, the other 2 being chilli and corriander powders. The presence of "curcumin" makes it suitable for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. Turmeric is also used in Hindu religious ceremonies.

Turmeric, fresh

Malayalam : Manjal     Hindi : Amba haldi

Fresh turmeric has a deep orange color inside an orange-tinged light brown skin. Fresh turmeric has a distinct flavor. It is used widely in Thai cooking.

Vanilla essence, extract

Vanilla is the most widely used ingredient for flavoring. Vanilla plant is a type of orchid. It is the second most expensive spice, after saffron. Pure vanilla extract is made by soaking vanilla pod in alcohol. It does take a bit of patience in waiting for the alcohol to extract the flavor from the beans. Bourbon or Madagascar vanilla is the best available. Next is the Tahitian vanilla, which is subtly fruity and floral, while Mexican vanilla tends to be smooth and spicy. Vanilla essence is the artifical flavoring created and hence does not give the same flavor as extract. If steeping in alcohol of vanilla cannot be done due to religious reasons, glycerine (edible) is used instead.


Verjuice is a highly acidic juice made from unripe grapes, crab-apples or other sour fruit. It has its origin in France. Verjuice is used in making dijon mustard.


Malayalam : Semiya     Hindi : Seviyan

Vermicelli is an Italian word which literally means "little worms". These are long, thin, strands of noodles made from rice flour and water. Vermicelli in south india is called semiya or seviya.


Malayalam : Chorukka     Hindi : Sirkka

Vinegar is a liquid consisting mainly of acetic acid and water. The acetic acid is produced by the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Wine vinegar is made from red or white wine and is the most commonly used vinegar in Mediterranean countries . Wine vinegar tends to have a lower acidity than that of white or cider vinegar.


It is colourless and tasteless. Addition of fruit juices or adding in cocktails, takes vodka to a higher level. There are two types of vodkas, clear and flavored. Vodka has its origins in Russia. It is either made from grains or potatoes.


Malayalam : Walnut     Hindi : Akhrot

Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. It is a good source of vitamin e. These nuts are shaped like human brain and is also considered as an intellectually stimulating food.


Malayalam : Vellam     Hindi : Pani

The chemical formula of water is H20, which means a water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms. It is a transparent liquid which forms the base of human sustenance. In cooking, water is necessary to wash ingredients as well as to cook.
The boiling temperature of water is 100 degree Celsius(212 degree Fahrenheit). The temperature of lukewarm water is 35 degree Celsius(95 degree Fahrenheit).

Water chestnuts, singhara

Malayalam : Karimbolam     Hindi : Singhara

It is an aquatic vegetable that grows in marshes. They are consumed raw, roasted or steamed. It is cultivated in India. It has brownish-black paper like skin. Its flesh is white, crunchy and juicy. After steaming, the outer becomes black and has a starchy taste like potato. Water chestnuts are not nuts in the truest sence, it is rather a vegetable. It is called a nut as it resembles chestnuts.


Malayalam : Kadungal     

Watercress is generally grown floating in water. Watercress contains significant amounts of iron, calcium, iodine, and folic acid, in addition to vitamins A and C. Watercress is not be confused with garden cress. It is different.
We have planted watercress in soil and it is growing well.


Malayalam : Thannimathanga     Hindi : Tharbuj

For most of us summer heat reminds us of juicy red watermelons. Watermelon skins can be dark green, light green wth stripes or even yellow colored. There are a lot of tiny black seeds in this fruit. Watermelon is 91% water. Usually one side of the melon is slightly whitish yellow in color.This is because that area was resting on the ground when ripening. Hence if the fruit does not have that whitish color, it may have been prematurely harvested.
Japanese have been trying to create watermelons in square shape as it is easy to stack them.

Wheat flakes

Wheat flakes are similar to corn flakes, but are made of whole wheat and wheat bran. Whole wheat are rolled and made into flakes which helps retain their fibre content along with other vital nutrients. Wheat flakes was originally manufactured by Kelloggs.

Wheat, whole meal flour

Malayalam : Gothambu     Hindi : Gehun

Wheat is often refered to as whole wheat as all of the grain (bran, germ and endosperm) is used and nothing is lost in the process of making into flour. Wheat is light brownish in color with a nutty taste. Often some complexions are referred to as 'wheatish complexion'. When cakes are made with whole wheat flour, it is much denser and not airy as when made with all purpose flour or maida. Using them in cookies does not make much difference. From the health point of view, wheat flour is much superior to maida. People with celiac disease cannot eat wheat. Celiac disease is a disorder in which the body reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, as if it were an allergen or poison.
Wheat broken to small bits/pieces are avaialble, known as daliya in hindi. Wheat bits are specifically available for making payasam and upma. It is made from samba wheat.

Whipping cream, whipped cream, dairy and non dairy

Whipped cream can be dairy cream or non dairy cream. In case of dairy whipping cream, cream with fat content of about 38% is used. In case of non dairy whipping cream soya cream is used. Unbeaten whipped cream is thick, creamy and semi-solid, and is best used when in a semi-frozen state. The more chilled it is, the better it is to work with. An electric beater is used to whip it into soft, fluffy peaks. This cream can then be used for frosting cakes, or in desserts, like mousses. Unbeaten whipped cream when whipped yields almost twice the amount of cream. Usually about 1 1/4 cups of unbeaten whipped cream would give you 2 cups of whipped cream. Should always be stored in the freezer.

White chocolate

White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids and thus cannot be considered true chocolate. Cocoa butter has very little chocolate flavor.It is usually used in desserts due to it's color contrast with dark chocolate. In some countries white chocolate is not considered as chocolate. White chocolate is very delicate and care should be taken in melting it. It should be melted at very low temperature or will burn soon.

White tea

The Chinese knew and enjoyed white tea for over a thousand years, but rest of the world become aware of this secret brew only recently. White tea is the least processed form of tea, made of beautiful silver buds and leaves which have been steamed and dried.
White is mild in flavor with low caffeine. White tea contains the same types of antioxidants as green tea, but in greater quantity. It preserves the natural elasticity and speeds up fat burning. It is good for cholestrol and for heart in general.
The finest white tea,is Silver needle, made only of silvery white buds. Next highest in quality, is White Peony which consists of buds and leaves. The best White Peony has both bud and leaf covered in silvery white hair. It tends to have a stronger taste and darker color than Silver Needle.
Kannan devan hill plantation (KDHP) sales depot at Munnar has white tea.

White wine, sweet and dry

White wine is made from either white or mainly from green or golden grapes.It is available in sweet and dry forms. White wine pairs well with seafood. Dry white wine is used for cooking.
Wines are classified into dry, sweet and semi-dry depending upon the residual sugar level. In a dry wine all residual sugar is converted into alcohol. Sweet wine will still have some residual sugar left. Semi-dry wines have a small level of sweetness. Residual sugar is the natural sugar left over by the fruit after fermentation process is over.

Wine vinegar

Wine vinegar is made from red or white wine and is the most commonly used vinegar in Mediterranean countries . Wine vinegar tends to have a lower acidity than that of white or cider vinegar.

Wine, dry, sweet

Wine is made from fermented grapes or other fruits. Wines are classified into dry, sweet and semi-dry depending upon the residual sugar level. In a dry wine all residual sugar is converted into alcohol. Sweet wine will still have some residual sugar left. Semi-dry wines have a small level of sweetness. Residual sugar is the natural sugar left over by the fruit after fermentation process is over.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is pronounced 'wooster shire' sauce. It is also known as worcester (pronounced 'wooster')sauce. This sauce is of British origin. It is used as a marinade and most famously, added to Bloody mary cocktail. It is a good marinade for beef dishes. The main ingredients in this sauce are vinegar, molasses, sugar, anchovies, water, onions, salt, garlic, tamarind, cloves etc.

Yam/ elephant yam

Malayalam : Chena     Hindi : Suran

Yam is sometimes known as elephant yam also. May be it is big in size or as it resembles elephant foot. It is usually creamish in color inside and quite firm. Outside the vegetable is roundish in shape with a rough exterior. It grows under the soil. Yam is highly regarded vegetable in ayurveda.