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Cottage cheese

To remove the peel and stem of a fruit or vegetable.

A very popular herb used in salads. It is specially used in soups and stews as a flavouring and in dry dishes like fried fish, etc. as a garnish.

A small pie like vol-au-vent filled with bits of meat or fish tossed in a sauce.

A commonly used spice, There are four varieties - black, green, white, and red. The black, green, and white peppers are from the same shrub. Green pepper is freshly plucked, whereas the black and white peppers are the dried forms. White pepper is obtained by removing the outer husk of the seed. As this can be done only from the best quality of seeds, white pepper is considered superior to black pepper. Red or cayenne pepper is prepared from the seeds of certain types of red chillies or from red capsicum pods. Pepper is used generally in a powdered form but for some dishes it is also used whole. The dried whole berries are called pepper-corns.

Pit (to)
To remove seeds or stones from fruits and vegetables.

A fruit of the banana family. Plantains in their raw form are cooked as vegetables. When ripe they are eaten raw, fried, or steamed.

The heart, liver, and lungs of animals like lambs and calves.

Poppy seed
Seeds of the poppy plant. The seeds are used either ground or whole in a variety of Indian dishes like meat curries, biryanis, some savouries, sweet stuffngs, etc. They are also used along with other ingredients for stuffing poultry.

The flesh of pig. It is usually uncured and unsmoked.

A vegetable available in different varieties, e.g. white pumpkin, red pumpkin, etc. It is cooked as a vegetable or made into Halwa (an Indian sweetmeat).

A kind of drink served either hot or cold. There are no set ingredients but generally a punch contains rum, lime juice, sugar, mint, pepper, egg white, etc.

Pulp. Cooked vegetables, etc. are mashed and passed through a sieve to get a smooth, thick pulp, e.g. tomato puree, potato puree.



A popular root plant. It is generally used raw as a salad. The two most common types are the red which is smaller and globular, and the white which is larger, longer, and cylindrical. Both varieties have a pungent flavour.

Dried grapes eaten as such or fried and used as a garnish for some Indian sweets and biryanis. Raisins are also used in cakes and puddings. In Kerala, a very delicious pickle is made out of raisins.

A very delicious small fruit eaten raw or used for making jam, syrup, souffle, etc.

Fish egg

Rub in (to)
A method used for mixing fat in flour as is done for making short crust pastry. The tips of the fingers and the thumb are used for the mixing, without using any pressure as is done in kneading. The mixture should look like breadcrumbs.


A colouring and flavouring used for rice dishes like pulaos or biryanis, rich meat gravies, and also some sweets. It is obtained from a plant of the crocus species. In India, the Kashmir valley abounds in this plant.

A starch obtained by slitting open the trunk of the sago - palm tree. The pith obtained from the trunk is powdered, made into a paste with water and then passed through sieves of various sizes. It thus forms small and large sago rounds. These are dried thoroughly before being marketed.

Made from minced and spiced pork or beef. The mixture is packed tight into a sausage-like casing and smoked. Salami is eaten at breakfast with eggs or in a cold meat salad or in sandwiches.

A fruit, also known as chikoo in north India.

Food items of a large variety of meats, particularly pork or beef. The meat is finely chopped, spiced, and put in skin-like casings. Sausages are available fresh, canned, frozen, etc.

A term implying "tossing" or a brisk cooking process. The food is sauted or tossed in shallow fat by moving the pan quickly backward and forward on a high flame.

A variety of tit-bits salted and spiced, used for main meals and at tea-time.

To heat a liquid just below boiling point or to dip food in boiling liquid or pour the boiling liquid over food.

To brown the surface of meat quickly by cooking on a fierce flame.

Made out of wheat by a special process of grinding which yields fine or large grained powder. Semolina is used both for savoury dishes as well as for sweet dishes.

A table napkin kept near dinner plate.

A shell-fish almost like prawn but smaller and more slender.

Put through a sieve. The object is to remove lumps and also to incorporate air and allow a proper combination of various ingredients.

After reaching the boiling temperature, the heat is lowered to enable a slow bubbling and cooking of food.

Burn superficially

A long wooden or metal pin (like a thick knitting needle) used to thread small pieces of meat, vegetable, etc. while grilling.

A spicy liquid in which meat or fish is soaked for some time prior to cooking.

Soy sauce
Prepared by fermenting the soyabean in salt water. It is available in bottles. When a few drops of the sauce are added to soups or stews the dishes improve in colour and flavour. Care must be taken not to use too much of it as it would make the dish unpalatable, being very salty.

A type of macaroni but thinner and smaller. Very commonly used in Italian dishes.

To extract flavour by placing a solid food item in hot liquid (just below boiling point) for a certain period of time.

A broth made by boiling meat, bones, vegetables or fish in water with or without spices. This cooking is done on slow fire for an hour or more and then the liquid is strained. The liquid forms the base for a number of soups and sauces.

Stone (to)
To remove seeds or stones from fruits or vegetables.

Small seedless dried grapes.


Tabasco sauce
A pungent sauce available in bottles and used for flavouring soups and sauces. It is made from a variety of red pepper.

A fruit of the tamarind tree. It looks like a long, brownish bean. The juice is extracted by soaking a few pods in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes, squeezing the softened pods, and then straining the juice. This juice, which is sour, is used in a number of curry and gravy dishes. Tamarind may also be used in chutneys.

A food substance from the tapioca (cassava) plant. The starch extracted from the roots is used for making sweet dishes and puddings. The tender roots are cooked and eaten as vegetables.

Tartaric acid
It is present in many fruits. It is mainly extracted from grape roots. It can be used instead of citric acid or lemon juice.

The temperature reached by mixing about four parts of cold water to one of boiling water.

To tie or stitch a bird to enable cooking it whole.

The popular Indian yellow spice, 'Haladi' of the ginger family. The powdered root is used in a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

A root vegetable used for stews or soups.



An extract from the vanilla bean-pod of the vanilla climbing vine which is mostly grown in Mexico. The extract is available mostly in liquid form. It is a delicately fragrant flavouring agent used in a large variety of sweet dishes.

Very fine thread-like strands made from wheat flour. The strands are dried before packing. Vermicelli is used both for sweet and savoury preparations.


The nut of an aquatic plant found in lakes or pools. The variety common in India is the Singhara nut which has a large sweet kernel. The nut is mostly boiled whole and when soft, the kernel is removed from the shell and eaten. The kernel is also dried and pounded and the flour is used to make a variety of dishes.

A sweet, fleshy, watery fruit grown in many parts of the world. It is eaten either as a fruit or made into a sherbet with rose water flavouring.

The liquid which separates from milk solids when the milk is curdled for making cottage cheese (paneer). The liquid, which is very easy to digest, makes a refreshing drink either by itself or with the addition of a little crushed mint or curry leaves.

A method used for incorporating air in certain food items like eggs, cream, etc., to make them light and fluffy. This can be done by vigorously beating the food item with either a fork or an egg beater.



A root vegetable resembling sweet potatoes.

Used generally for quickening the fermenting of bread-dough.


Thin outer skin of oranges or lemon, or the skin covering the walnut kernel used as flavouring.

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