I have missing for a few weeks……our house was on market so I could not cook properly for various reasons, two main ones being the clean up after and the smell !!!! Anyway, the house sold and we found another so all is finally well in my world but I still haven’t got back into the groove as yet !!! Instead of a recipe I figured that I would answer a question that my Nikki posed a few weeks back . She needed help with the menus at Indian Restaurants. Before I do that I need to tell you about her….. I met Nikki in the winter of 2007. We soon discovered that I was her Indian doppelganger. At that time she also had three children, her oldest , a girl , born 9 hours before N and twin girls born 6 hours before mine, delivered by the same doctor and we were in rooms next to each other !!! She and I were born a week apart, met our husbands online and so on and so forth !!

We became friends. At that time I was overwhelmed….my mom had gone back to India and I had to deal with 3 children under the age of 3. Life was hard for me. She was ion the same situation but was able to handle it better…in fact her husband traveled mine didn’t !!! I learnt from her and could share…she understood like no one else could !!! She will always have a special place in my heart. She moved a couple of years back and now write a really witty blog about her adventures with her 4 children, she had a boy who incidentally was born a few hours after my niece !!!! Check out her blog www.ninjamomblog.com. Its really good.

A few weeks back, she asked me to translate a menu for her….now I do not have a menu from from any restaurants near her so I am just going to give the descriptions of the most popular ones !!! This ones for you Nikki…….thanks for being there !!!

A general rule of thumb is that south Indian restaurants have more spicy food than north Indian ones !! ALso keep in mind that I do not eat meat so I cannot give you accurate descriptions nor do I remember what dishes there are !!!

ALOO means potato.

GOBI means cauliflower.

Any dish that has PANEER in it has an Indian cheese in it…its a non melting, unaged farmers cheese.

PALAK PANEER is a dish with cubes of paneer in a creamy spinach sauce.

MUTTER PANEER is a dish of cubes of paneer with peas in a spicy tomato-onion sauce.

MALAI KOFTA is a dish with balls of potato and paneer deep fried and cooked in a creamy luscious sauce. Its one of my favourites !!

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA is a dish of chunks of chicken with spices and yogurt baked in a tandoor and served with a creamy tomato sauce that is orange in colour. Its Britain’s national dish !!!

Any dish with the word CHANNA in it features garbanzo beans.

PULAO means a pilaf, basmati rice delicately spiced unlike a BIRYANI which is aggressive and highly spiced .

RAITA is a yogurt sauce if you will , containing vegetables or fruits .

NAAN is a leavened flat bread baked in a tandoor oven. It is sometimes stuffed with paneer, potatoes, meat or even raisins.

CHAPATHI or ROTI is an unleavened flat bread made with wheat flour.

PARATHA is also an unleavened flat bread which usually has layers. It is sometimes stuffed with paneer, cauliflower, radish , peas or potatoes.

PURI is a unleavened bread made with wheat or all purpose flour and deep fried. Its extremely addictive !!!

KORMA is usually a dish that feature a sauce made either with yogurt , cream and nut pastes ( if from the north ) or coconut milk ( if from the south ).

SAMBHAR is a vegetable stew made with a broth made from tamarind and pigeon peas ( lentils ). It is usually served with dosas or vadas. Atypical south Indian lunch features sambhar with rice.

DOSAS are crepe or thin pancakes made from a fermented batter of rice and black lentils. MASALA DOSA is a dosa stuffed with a spicy potato mixture. Dosas are always served with sambhar and chutneys. RAVA DOSA is a crepe made from a batter with semolina.

VADA is a fritter made with a batter made from black lentils or a mixture of different lentils or chickpeas flour and potato. It is usually in the shape of a doughnut and has onions, cilantro and green chillies in it.

PAKORAS or PAKODAS are usually vegetable fritter though I have eaten paneer and bread pakoras. All are equally delicious !!

GOBI 65, CHILLI GOBI and GOBI MANUCHURIAN are all variations of an Indian Chinese fusion dish. It features deep fried cauliflower florets in a sauce made with soy.

Last but not the least are SAMOSAS….deep fried pastries in the form of a triangle made from a all purpose crust stuffed with spiced potatoes, lentils or ground meat or lamb. They are found in every Indian restaurant.


Thats all I can think of. Hope it helps Nikki.