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The Indian Restaurant Menu Explained

RICE

Rice is the staple diet on the Indian sub-continenent and its influence has extended to it being the traditional accompaniment for Indian dishes in restaurants. The very best rice is Basmati rice (from the snow drenched foothills of the Himalaya’s according to the front of the packet). Basmati rice is generally used in the preparation of rice dishes in the Indian restaurant. Never confuse the quality of Basmati for normal long grain (such as Patna) rice, as Basmati is far superior.

Rice is served as either plain boiled or Pilau. Pilau rice is pre-boiled to an al dente texture, fried with aromatics such as cardamom, clove, cinnamon and coloured and flavoured with saffron (or turmeric if the restaurant owner or chef is a cheapskate). Then there are all of the variations of Pilau rice such as fried with pre-cooked vegetables or mushrooms or mince or eggs or peas.

Rice tends not to be eaten with a Tandoori meal and lends itself better to curries, where there is a sauce to absorb.

ROGAN JOSH

Rogan Josh used to be a Kashmiri lamb stew before Indian restaurants commercialised it in the UK. It most almost certainly still exists as a traditional dish in Northern India and Kashmir but that is where the resemblance stops. Now in Indian restaurant parlance it means cooked with tomatoes and onions and probably capsicum for good measure. It is generally presented as a medium strength curry, not as hot as a Madras.

B

BALTI

BHUNA

BIRYANI, BIRIANI

C

CHAPATTI

D

DHANSAK, DANSAK

DOPIAZA, DUPIAZA

J

JALFREZI, JALFRAZI, JHALL FRYZY, ZALI FREZI etc, etc.

K

KORMA, KURMA

M

MADRAS

N

NAN BREAD, NAAN

P

PHALL

PURI

R

RICE

ROGAN JOSH

S

SAMBER

SHAMI KEBAB

SHEEK KEBAB, SHEIK KEBAB

T

TANDOORI

TIKKA

TIKKA MASSALA

V

VINDALOO

The Indian Restaurant Menu Explained

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