Ciao! Today we were going to be in Cinque Terre, a mountainous area along the Italian Riviera… which I hear is stunning… but we were cramming SO much in that we decided to skip it. Next time! In stead we are on the overnight train to Siena.
We made lots of friends in Alba and the surrounding areas, many of which are from other countries – Japan, Mexico, America, Denmark, and Sweden (to name a few). It makes me want to quit my job and move to Italia too! I could work in a kitchen making creations like pumpkin soup with parmesan gelato. (Yes, it was as amazing as it sounds).
Today’s post is by Parita @ My Inner Shakti. Funny enough, we went to MBA school together (Go Jackets!)… but I didn’t know she was a blogger! Parita’s blog is a bright spot in my daily reading – she is one of the most positive people I know.
Another tidbit: she’s recently engaged! Visit her blog to read all about it and see the cool outfit you get to wear in Indian wedding ceremonies.
Hi, Sprint 2 the Table readers!
My name is Parita, and I blog over at myinnershakti. I’m honored to have the opportunity to guest blog for Laura as she wines and dines in Italy! Who am I kidding… I’m honored and very jealous!
My blog is really about a hodgepodge of things that are important to me – exercise, food, travel, my fiancé, my family and friends…simply put, life! One day, I’ll blog about a newfound recipe and the next day I’ll write about my upcoming wedding. I love to keep my readers guessing!
Laura’s blog has become a daily must read for me. And not just because we went to the same business school, but because it leaves me drooling, laughing, or some combination of the two. Every. Single. Time. If you’re an avid reader as well, the one thing you definitely know about Laura is that she’s a foodie – through and through. AND she loves her Indian food! So, when I read her email about guest posting, I knew exactly what I wanted to share with her readers – North Indian Menu Vocab!
Dining at an Indian restaurant can be daunting… even for Indians, so I’m going to do my best to walk you through some of the more common words you’ll find on most any menu. After reading this post, you’ll be ready to take on any North Indian restaurant. 😉
Let’s get started…
Murg/Murgh – Chicken
Aloo – Potato
Mutter – Peas
Palak – Spinach
Chole/Channa – Chickpeas
Malai – Cream
Ghee – Clarified butter
Paneer – Curd cheese (absolutely delicious)
Masala – A spice mix that can range from mild to extremely spicy
Garam masala – A popular spice blend that includes black and white peppercorn, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and a bunch of other things.
Naan – Soft, thick Indian bread
Chapati/Roti – Thin, tortilla like bread usually made with wheat flour
Bhatura – Large, soft, puffy deep fried bread usually eaten with Channa Masala (chickpeas in a spicy masala sauce). The smaller version is called a puri.
Pakoras – Vegetables (cauliflower, onion, potato, chilies) coated in a thick batter and deep fried until golden brown.
Tikka – Tikka means chunks. For example, chicken tikka is chunks of chicken marinated in a yogurt sauce and cooked in the tandoor. Paneer tikka is one of my all-time favorite dishes. (Editor’s note – this is my fav too!!!)
Papad – A crunchy and spicy Indian tortilla generally eaten as an appetizer or alongside the main dish.
Tikkis – Cutlets made from mashed up vegetables. My favorite way to eat tikkis is in a chickpea stew.
Kadai – A yogurt based curry that includes onions, tomatoes, and bell pepper.
Korma – A creamy yogurt based sauce made with cream, nuts, and coconut milk.
Saag – Leafy greens cooked in masalas.
Makhani – A sauce where tomatoes are the stars of the show and butter and cream are the sidekicks.
Malai – A cream based sauce also made with onions, garlic, ginger, and garam masala.
Jalfrezi – A sauce made by frying all the ingredients and using little cream to thicken everything up.
Vindaloo – A spicy sauce made with lots of red chilies, cinnamon, cumin, and vinegar. (Editor’s note – I love this stuff!)
My favorite dishes:
Paneer Makhani – Cheese cooked in a tomato, butter, and cream sauce.
Navratna Korma – Big patties made with nuts, cheese, and an assortment of veggies cooked in a korma cream sauce
Palak Paneer – A mildly flavored dish made with a spinach sauce and cheese.
Well, there you have it – Parita’s very own guide to North Indian restaurants and cooking! Even though this list isn’t all-inclusive, I really hope that it helps you the next time you’re trying to decipher an Indian menu.
Thank you so much for reading and thank you, Laura, for allowing me to take over your space for a bit! If you want to learn more about me and my crazy antics, feel free to stop on by at myinnershakti!
Indian food is my favorite (shhhh… don’t tell the Italians).
Do you ever go to Indian restaurants?
Is there a certain part of your town where the “ethnic” restaurants cluster? In Atlanta it’s Dectaur for Indian (try Bhojanic!) and Buford Highway for Asian and Mexican.