“The curry was like a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony that I’d once heard…..especially the last movement, with everything screaming and banging ‘Joy.’ It stunned, it made one fear great art. My father could say nothing after the meal.” -Anthony Burgess
Spices are an essential part of Indian cuisine. One of the toughest challenges I had when I started cooking was shopping for spices. I would write my mom and grandma’s recipes down in excitement but once I got to the store I had to play the guessing game. You see, the issue was that I had the names of the spices memorized in Hindi/Urdu and I knew exactly what they looked like but I had no idea what some of their English names were. What was dal cheeni, hing, or saunf in English? More often than not, I would find myself calling my mom to see if she knew the translation or “googling” the spices Hindi name to get the English translation.
I created this Indian Spice Glossary for English to Hindi/Urdu translation. I’ve tried to add the most common spices that I can think of but please let me know if you have any additions that may be helpful.