Being of Indian origin, I find that folks often visit Indian restaurants and grocery stores and then are unsure of what to buy because while the item may or may not look familiar, they often don't know what it's called in Hindi, or other Indian languages. Hopefully this glossary will help you some. It's a work in progress so if you see a term you don't know please post a comment below and I'll gladly interpret for you :)

* denotes items that may contain meat or dairy, non-dairy/meat versions may be available on this site.

Indian Term English Translation Type 
Atta Flour, typically Whole Wheat FI
Baigan/Brinjal  Eggplant V
Besan Chickpea Flour FI
Bhindi Okra V
Biryani Savory Rice Dish, flavored with spices and vegetables (and meat!) CP
Chai* Tea, brewed with(out) Spices, typically contains Milk CP
Chappati (or Roti) Flat bread, made w Unleavened Flour, on a griddle CP
Chawal Rice G
Chutney Fresh or Preserved Relish, made with a variety of Herbs and Spices CP
Coriander Cilantro (Leaves or Seeds) H/S
Curry Sauce or Gravy, not a Spice-Mix CP
Dal Lentils B
Dhania Cilantro (Leaves or Seeds) H/S
Ghee Clarified Butter C
Jeera Cumin (Seeds) H/S
Kabab Marinated Meats or Vegetables, skewered and grilled in a Clay Oven CP
Kheer* Rice Pudding, flavored with cardamom or saffron, may contain raisins and nuts CP
Kulfi* Home-made Ice Cream, flavored with cardamom/saffron/pistachios, may contain nuts CP
Lassi* Yogurt Drink, savory or sweet; may be flavored with mangos/saffron/pistachios (sweet) or roasted cumin (savory) CP
Masala Any Spice or Spice Mix FI
Mutter Peas V
Palak Spinach V
Papad or Pappadum Thin, Chip-like wafer; made with lentils, potatoes etc. Served at most Indian restaurants (instead of bread), with Chutney, before a meal.  CP
Paneer* Fresh Cheese, made by separating curds from whey FI
Naan Flat bread, made w Leavened Flour, in a Clay Oven (Tandoor) CP
Roti (or Chappati) Flat bread, made w Unleavened Flour, on a griddle CP
Saag Any green leafy vegetable V, CP
Tandoor A Clay Oven KI
Abbreviations: B: Beans; C: Condiments; CP: Culinary Preparation; F: Fruit; G; Grain; H/S: Herbs/Spices; KI: Kitchen Implement; V: Vegetable;

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