Glossary

Some of the words and foods used in South Indian cooking may be unfamiliar to you. Here is a brief description of some of the basics. Of course the tastes themselves are indescribable!
Basmati rice:
India's favorite, a delicate long-grain rice with a nutty flavor.
Chai:
The Indian spiced tea, soothing and sweet and an excellent aid to digestion and camaraderie.
Chole:
Chickpeas in sauce, usually served as a side dish.
Chutney:
A universal element in Indian cooking, chutney is a condiment, often sweet, served to accompany the main dishes. At Paru's we usually serve coconut and tamarind chutneys.
Dal:
Rich lentil broth, tangy and hot.
Dosa:
Lentil crepe, often filled with potato curry (masala dosa). A basic South Indian food.
Ghee:
Clarified butter used in cooking and flavoring.
Gulab Jamun:
A special dessert, almost impossible to describe; it consists of fried milk pâté dumplings in golden syrup. Very rich and sweet.
Halwa:
A sweet pâté, made at Paru's of nuts or wheat, served as dessert.
Idli:
Rice and lentil dumpling, savory and mild.
Milagu Tawny:
A thin lentil broth, also known as rasam.
Papad:
A crisp lentil cracker that is a wonderful appetizer.
Paratha:
Indian flatbread, chewy and flavorful. Often stuffed to become a meal in itself.
Poori:
Puffed round bread, always served hot from the oven.
Sambar:
Thin vegetable gravy used for dipping--though many of our friends like it so much they eat it as soup!
Samosa:
A crisp turnover stuffed with hearty potato and peas curry.
Uppuma:
Savory curried semolina, rich and mild.
Uttapam:
Thick lentil crepe topped with a variety of vegetables--you could call it an "Indian pizza."