Menu Decoder


Adrak - ginger
Alaichi - cardamon
Chini - sugar
Dhania - corriander
Ghee - clarified butter
Haldi - turmerick
Jaggery - sugar from palm trees
Lasoon - garlic
Marich - pepper
Masala - a blend of spices
Methi - fenugreek
Mirch - chili
Namak - salt
Pudina - mint
Sarsok - mustard seed
Tel - oil
Zeera - cumin


Lassi - Yougurt and (purified, hopefully) water
Arak - Clear liquor from rice or potatoes
Chang - Tibetan fermented barley drink
Tongba - The name for chang in Sikkim

Fruits and Vegetables

Achar - spicy and salty condiment, sometimes called "pickle".
Aloo - potato
Anaras - pineapple
Baingan - eggplant
Bhindi - okra
Capsicum - green peppers
Chola - channa
Dal - lentils
Gajar - carrots
Gobhi - cauliflower
Keera - cucumber
Kela - banana
Matter - peas
Muli - radish
Nimbu - lime
Palak - spinach
Papita - papaya
Saag - greens
Seb - apple
Sunterie - orange/tangerine


Naan - or "tandoori naan" - yeast bread, rolled out flat and baked in the tandoori
Chappati - unleavened bread, rolled out thin and cooked in a frying pan without oil.
Roti - like a chapatti, only thicker
Rumali Roti - "Handkerchief". Very thin roti.
Parantha - unleavened bread, folded to create layers and cooked in a pan with a little oil.
Lacha Parantha - same as parantha, but thinner layers.
Makki Roti - corn meal dough, rolled thin and cooked in a pan with a bit of oil.
Puri - Bread rolled thin, but deep-fat fried so that it puffs up.
Batura - Like a puri, but with yeast.
Papadam - paper thin and fried until crisp. Usually has a little pepper in it.


Masala Omlette - Omelet with chili, onion, and tomato. (N.B. Indians consider eggs "non-veg",
so don't order vegetarian on the train if you want an omelet.)
Aloo Parantha - Parantha stuffed with potato and served with yogurt.
Puri Bhaji - Puri served with a potato and vegetable curry.
Aloo Chap - Mashed spiced potatoes, formed into a little roll and deep fried.
Kachuri - Dal paste in a pastry skin and deep fried.

Lunch and Dinner

Thali - a plate of assorted curries with rice and bread.
Murg - chicken
Gosht - meat, usually means goat.
Paneer - Indian cheese, kind of like a solid cottage cheese.
Chawal - Rice
Chichen Tandoori - Marinated pieces of chicken, then cooked in the tandoori. No gravy.
Chicken Tikka - Boneless chicken pieces, cooked in the tandoori.
Chicken Tikka Masala - As above, but then put into a curry gravy.
Saag Gosht - Goat meat in a spinach sauce.
Rogan Josh - Goat meat in curry gravy with a touch of cinnamon.
Sheekh Kabab - Chunks of meat, marinated then barbecued.
Korma - Curry gravy.
Biryani - Meat and rice mixture, kind of casserole style.
Momos - Tibetan dumplings, usually steamed but also fried.
Pakoras - cheese or vegetables, battered and deep fried.
Paneer Tikka - Spiced chunks of cheese, cooked in the tandoori.
Paneer Masala - Cheese in gravy.
Palak Paneer - Cheese in spinach sauce.
Shahi Paneer - chopped up cheese with some other stuff, usually including raisins.
Aloo Gobi - Potatoes and cauliflower
Aloo Dum - Potatoes boiled then fried with onion, tomato, and turmeric.
Beigan Bharta - Spiced mashed eggplant.
Bhindi - Okra, usually cooked with green peppers and tomatoes.
Navrathan - Chopped mixed vegetables.
Vegetables Jaipuri - Spiced mixed vegetables.
Matter Panner - peas with cheese.
Channa - chickpeas, usually spiced and cooked with a little bit of gravy.
Dal - Lentils cooked in gravy.
Dal Makhana - Black lentils and a few kidney beans cooked in a creamy gravy.
Raajma - Kidney beans in gravy.
Dahin or Curd - yogurt
Raita - Yogurt, usually mixed with cucumbers and/or tomatoes.
Dosa - rice flour pancake, usually about 15 inches in diameter.
Masala Dosa - A dosa stuffed with a curry potato mixture.
Idli - South Indian Rice cake.


Rasmalai - balls formed from boiled down milk in a creamy custard sauce.
Kulfi - Similar to ice cream, usually flavored with pistachio or rosewater.
Halwa - Wheat - similar to Cream of Wheat - sweet and very slightly spiced.
Kheer - rice pudding
San Papri - These delicious treats of boiled down milk and crystallized sugar come from the
Sweet shops.