Basic Culinary Terms

When we read a recipe, there are some culinary terms that we have read many times, but we don’t know what they actually mean. Following is a list of some basic culinary terms that are used very often in Indian Cooking:


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  • Chopping – Cutting into small pieces.
  • Dice – Cut into small even cubes.
  • Grate – Cutting into fine thin strips (using a grater).
  • Peeling – Removal of outer layer using a knife or a peeler.


  • Fry – Cook in oil/ghee.
  • Deep Frying – Cooking in hot oil/ghee where the product or stuff actually gets covered by the oil.
  • Shallow Fry – Cooking in a little oil.
  • Roast – Over heating without any oil/ghee.


  • Garnish – Decorate (on top) by adding other food stuff or ingredients.


  • Knead – Pressing dough with hand by folding and turning till it reaches the required consistency. Nowadays dough making machines are also available
  • Sieving – A Process used to separate finer parts from the coarser parts (using a sieve).


  • Mash – Crush the food finely after softening (by boiling, roasting etc) or by using a masher.
  • Paste – Smooth blend of solid ingredients with liquid.

Cooking and Flavoring

  • Seasoning – To add spices and other ingredients to increase the flavor.
  • Simmer – Cook in low flame after content starts boiling.
  • Stirring – Mixing with a ladle.

Related Culinary Posts:

  1. Glossary of Indian Spices in English and Hindi
  2. Glossary of Cereals Grains in English and Hindi
  3. Glossary of Legumes Lentils in English and Hindi
  4. Glossary of Indian Dry Fruits in English and Hindi

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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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6 comments/reviews

  1. Hi Dassana,

    Thanks a lot. This will really help…

    Another Hats Off to your prompt and heartily replies… This is very rare in India…

    Love your site…


    • thanks mudhoji.

  2. Hi Dassana,

    I am regular follower of your website and I love your recipes. These are perfect recipes in simple language. And Hats off to your Pictorial Presentation. It Helps a lot.

    Since long I had a query. I am using teaspoons and tablespoons available in my kitchen which I think is not perfect measurement. When I surfed on net, I found there are different sizes of tsp, tbsp and Cups for different country. I am very confused which one to use – US/UK/AUS.

    Please let me know –

    1. Which one you are using in your recipes?
    2. Which one is normally used in India?

    Please guide me on this ……. Please….

    …… Mudhoji

    • thanks mudhoji. i use US measurement based cups. thats what is available in india. the UK cups are about 284 ml. US ones are 240 ml and the australian cups are 250 ml. if using the australian cup, then for most recipes, the difference is not much and overall will not affect the dish, unless it a baking recipe. if using the UK cup, then there is a considerable difference.

  3. Hi Dassana

    I tried searching in here for standard measurements.
    What is 1 cup of flour in grams?
    How much is 1 cup water or milk in ml?
    When (in baking recipes) you say 1 cup flour and 1 cup water are the two measured in the same cup? As in say 200 gms cup of flour and the same 200 gm cup of water/milk?

    • i have replied to your query on the apple cake post. both solids and liquids are measured in the same cup. since both have different densities they both measure differently when weighed in grams for solids and in ml/litres for liquids. 1 cup of maida/all purpose flour is 125 gms whereas 1 cup of water/milk is approx 240 ml if using an american cup.