If you haven’t tried Indian food yet (or if you have and like to widen the range of Indian delicacies your taste buds have touched), here’s some basic frequently asked questions and their answers to kick start your relishing journey.

The first thing you’d notice in an Indian menu is a little bit of the native tongues, principally Hindi and Urdu words that actually aren’t as complicated as you may think. The managers and servers are more than willing to help you out if you’re confused about what’s in a dish - so don’t be afraid to ask.

Read on to become a little more of an expert.

What is curry?

The term coined by the British to describe savory Indian dishes that feature meat, poultry, fish or vegetables seasoned with a variety of spices. Although a few spice mixtures are widely used, including garam masala, different chefs use many other spice combinations to flavor food.

Are any Indian foods vegetarian friendly?

The great thing about Indian cuisine is the availability of vegetarian options. Lentils, greens, roots and branches, are all conjured up to please, titillate and satisfy.

Are any Indian foods vegan friendly?

Many Indian dishes are naturally vegan, and many others can be easily modified for a vegan diet. It’s one of the best cuisines out there for flavorful, nutritious vegan food! Look for dishes focusing on naturally vegan protein, such as lentils, beans, and nuts. You can also use cubed firm tofu in recipes calling for paneer cheese, and oil in place of ghee or clarified butter. Curries can be thickened with ground cashews or almonds rather than dairy.

Are any Indian foods keto friendly?

Many Indian foods can be adapted to be keto friendly. Some low carb dishes are palak paneer, lamb saag, tandori chicken, butter chicken and shrimp, vindaloo, kabobs, vegetable and chicken korma and gobi. However, naan, rice, papadum and aloo should be avoided or replaced with a low carb version.

What is Desi?

Desi means belonging to India, of Indian origin, or native of India. In Hindi, ‘Desh’ means Nation. Deshi/Desi means belonging to the nation. ‘Desi’ is widely used for Desi Ghee, Desi Khana etc.

What is the difference between North Indian and South Indian food?

North Indian cuisine reflects culinary traditions brought to India by the Mughals, Muslim Turks from Central Asia. These traditions include the preparation of aromatic pilafs and roasted meats. North Indian food also incorporates more dairy products and features more flat breads. South Indian cuisine, by contrast, reflects the region’s more tropical climate. Meals commonly include rice and often feature fish. In addition, many curries are seasoned with coconut. The vast majority of Indian restaurants in the U.S. serve North Indian cuisine (which includes samosas, tandoori chicken, and paneer).

What is Modern Indian Cuisine?

Indian history goes back over 5,000 years. Modern Indian Cuisine is a fusion of ingredients brought in by traders from Mid-east, incursions by Mongols, Moghul rule, colonization by Portuguese, and colonization by British while the culinary is influenced by Aryans (Pot cooking), Nawabs (Dum cooking), Moghul (Tandoor cooking), British (Baking) and Portuguese (Baking, Pickling).

Is Indian Food healthy?

Contrary to popular belief, Indian food is not just about curry, chillies and oil. There is probably no other cuisine in the world that includes as many healthy and diverse vegetables and spices.

What is chilli powder?

In India, chilli powder is powdered dried red chilies, most commonly the cayenne variety of chilli peppers. It is similar to Cayenne Powder. For authentic Indian flavours, it is best to prepare in house by grinding dried red chilies to a powder in a spice grinder.

What is garam masala?

Garam masala is a catch-all term for an Indian spice blend. It has no fixed recipe but is likely to contain a combination of cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay, black pepper, star anise, dried chillies, coriander, cumin and maybe more or less.

What is Masala?

Masala means, spice mixture (the commonly used garam masala blend usually includes pepper, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom)

What is Saag?

Spinach and/or other greens with added spices

What is Paneer?

Fresh cheese similar to queso fresco

What is Aloo?


What is Chana?


What is Tikka?

Usually refers to cutlets of marinated meat or fresh cheese

What is Murgh?


What is Curry?

An Anglicism that derives from a Tamil word, can be any of a wide range of dishes, but always consists of meat, seafood, vegetables, or some combination of them in spice sauce

What is Tandoor?

A deep, hot vertical oven that’s used to cook breads and marinated meats

What is Tandoori?

Any time you see the word tandoori on a menu, it means that the menu item has been cooked in a traditional cylindrical clay tandoor oven. This method of cooking basically consists of grilling marinated proteins inside an extremely hot clay pit. When you see this in a dish’s name, you won’t be getting anything that is deep fried, or even pan fried.

What is Biryani?

Popular all across India, biryani is composed of long-grain rice, spices, and meat and/or vegetables

What is Butter Chicken?

Chunks of chicken marinated in a yogurt and spice mixture, roasted in a tandoor, and served in a rich tomato-based sauce that also contains garlic, cardamom, a whole bunch of spices, and (of course) butter

What is Chana Masala?

Meaning “spiced chickpeas,” and is a mixture of chickpeas, garam masala, and, typically, onion, tomatoes, coriander, garlic, ginger, and chiles.

What is Chicken Tikka Masala?

It starts with chunks of chicken that have been cooked in tandoor, and is served doused with a tomato-based sauce that usually also includes cream or yogurt and a spice blend.

What is Pakora?

Pakoras are, essentially, fritters, of a type found throughout South Asia. They’re generally made with onion, potato, chicken, eggplant, shredded mixed vegetables, or cauliflower that’s been dipped in chickpea flour and deep fried.

What is Roti?

Roti is the Hindi word for bread, and there are several types of breads that you’ll find in our menu.

What is Naan?

One of the most popular variant of Roti. This large, puffy bread is brushed in oil and void of fiber. It’s cooked in tandoor and is similar to pita but fluffier.

What is Paratha?

Paratha is a denser, layered flatbread fried in butter.

What is Poori?

Puffy flatbread that’s been fried in oil.

What is Samosa?

Samosas are fried turnovers with any number of fillings.

What is Tandoori Chicken?

Chicken (or other proteins, including shrimp, lamb, or paneer) is marinated in yogurt and a spice blend that includes chili powder, turmeric, and paprika; skewered; and lowered into the tandoor. It’s served as-is (without sauce), usually on a smoking plate, à la fajitas, with sliced onions.

What is Vindaloo?

Essentially the traditional house curry, made with your choice of protein, potatoes, and a whole lot of chile powder.

What is Khichdi?

A rice and lentils dish that varies heavily by region. No matter what recipe you choose, it’s generally considered to be comfort food and makes a fantastic side. It ranges from plain (lentils, rice, and salt) to chock-full of veggies and spices.

What is Malai kofta?

It’s a North Indian meal with fried vegetable balls and tomato-based gravy with coriander, cumin, chillies, cardamom, cream, and more.

What is Saag paneer?

This dish contains spinach, but it is cooked in cream and also offers plentiful amounts of cubed cheese (“paneer”).

What are Dal-based/lentil dishes?

“Dal” is the name for split lentils, split peas, or other legumes, as well as for Indian dishes that feature those beans cooked in an array of spices. All you really need to know is that it’s code for a protein, fiber, and mineral-rich meal.

What is Rajma?

This kidney bean curry bathes the fiber and protein-rich beans in a combination of chilis, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, and coriander.

Is full course Indian meal healthy?

Full course Indian meal (popularly known as Thali) provides a good balance of all the major nutrients. Rice and roti- carbs, Dal- proteins, Vegetables- proteins and other micronutrients, Oil or ghee used in cooking- fats, Fruits- vitamins etc.

Is Indian food safe?

Most of the food items in Indian food are made from fresh ingredients and are well cooked. So they are both microbiologically and biochemically safe. Also the spices have anti-microbial properties. It certainly makes the food safer to consume.

Are spices good for health?

The spices are not just for taste but also to provide anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. Proper use of spices certainly helps in sustaining the condition of good health.