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Sev are small noodle-like snack made from gram flour. They are seasoned with spices such as turmeric, cumin seeds powder, and cayenne to add color and taste. Their thickness varies. You can find fine sev used mostly in chaat, and a little thicker sev used mostly for snacking.

Sev is eaten as snack or used in Indian chaat such as Bhel, Tokri Chaat, and Sev Puri to lend it a crunchy texture. It can be stored for months in airtight packages or containers. It is available at Indian grocery stores mostly as a snack (namkeen).

Pav/Bun Pav/Bombay Pav/Ladi Pav

Pav is buns made from whole wheat flour or all purpose flour. Pav are soft in texture and bland in taste, and are, therefore, coupled with spicy curry or patties. These buns are fried in butter to be had with curry (bhaji), or sliced and stuffed with patty (vada). Vada Pav (Patty sandwiched between a pav) and Pav Bhaji (Pav with spicy curry) are the most popular street food of Mumbai (Bombay), India.

For vegetarians, eggless pav buns are available. Pav can be purchased from grocery stores and supermarkets usually in packs of 6-8.

Recipes made with Bun Pav:

Pav Bhaji

Vada Pav

Misal Pav

Puffed Rice/Murmura/Bhel/Kurmura/Murmure/Mudhi/Muri/Mouri


Puffed rice is puffed grain made from rice. It is very light in weight and is easily digestible. It is used in the popular Bombay Bhel. Puffed rice is mostly used in India in chaat, but is also used to make sweet balls. Puffed rice is also used for adding crunchiness to chocolates.

It is combined with other ingredients such as chopped onions, tomatoes, spices, and sauces to make different kinds of snacks. It is a well-loved street food in India. It is a staple diet in a few parts in India.

Puffed Rice Recipes:
Bhel Puri
Dry Bhel
Murmure Namkeen/Dry Snack
Puffed Rice Sweet Balls/Murmure Ladoo

Tapioca Pearls/Boba/Sabudana/Sago


Tapioca Pearls is known as Boba in China, and Sabudana or Sago in India. It is cultivated worldwide and is a staple diet in many regions. Tapioca is native to Brazil and was taken to South America, Africa and Asia by explorers. It is popular ingredient in China and India.

Tapioca is made from starch extracted from cassava root. When soaked in water, the Tapioca balls increase 3-4 times in size, and become chewy. Tapioca is often used in wine, tea, and other drinks to give the drinks a chewy contrast. It is also used in puddings, and as a thickening agent. Tapioca does not have a distinct taste of its own. Therefore, it is used with other ingredients and flavoring syrups. It comes in various colors, traditionally brown and white.

Tapioca Pearls/Sabudana/Sago Recipes:
Chinese/Japanese Bubble Tea
Sabudana Papad (chips)
Indian Sabudana Khichdi/Porridge
Tapioca Fruit Slush
Taho (Tofu+Tapioca+Sugar Syrup)

Glossary of Indian Spices in English and Hindi with Photographs

Indian spices are used for flavoring and aroma. India is rich with varied spices. From cardamom (in English)/Elaichi (in Hindi) to Fenugreek seeds (in English)/Methi dana (in Hindi). See with photographs.

Cloves (English)/Laung (Hindi)cloves_laung_English_Hindi_namesCloves have a strong flavor and healing qualities. They are widely used in Asian cuisine especially in Indian, Indonesian cuisines. They are also used in toothpastes because of their quality to heal toothaches, and prevent decay of teeth and gums. In food, they are used in small quantity because of their strong flavor.


Fennel seeds (English)/Saunf (Hindi)


Fennel seeds provide a distinguished flavor and aroma. They are usually ground to make a powder to be used in recipes. Fennel seeds are also coated with sugary syrups to be eaten as mouth freshener.


Ground cumin seeds (English)/Roasted cumin seeds powder (English)/Bhuna jeera powder (Hindi) [Watch how to make]


Cumin seeds powder is used as a substitute for cumin seeds when seeds cannot be used in a recipe. Cumin seeds powder can easily be made at home in five minutes by roasting and grinding cumin seeds.


Nutmeg (English)/Jaiphal (Hindi)/Pala (Indonesia)


Nutmeg originated from Indonesia but is now widely used throughout Asia. Nutmeg and mace comes from the same tree, Myristica fragrans. Nutmeg is used for its unique aroma and flavor mostly in sweets. Oil derived from nutmeg is used in perfumes.


Mace Spice (English)/Javitri (Hindi)


Mace comes from the same plant as nutmeg. It has a stronger aroma than nutmeg. It has nutritional value, as it contains protein and fibre. It has a sweet flavor and is mostly used in sweet and savory recipes.


Star anise (English)/Illicium verum (English)/Chakri phul (Hindi)/Anasphal (Hindi)


Star anise is the fruit of a small evergreen tree. It looks beautiful and has a sweet savory flavor. This star shaped spice has seeds inside, but the flavoring is concentrated in its casing. Star anise has health benefits as well. It helps to fight viral and bacterial infections, and allergies.


Long pepper (English)/Indian Long Pepper (English)/Pipali (Hindi)


Long pepper is used both as a spice and a medicine in India. It lends a spicy flavor to a dish. Similar to black pepper, it has a strong spicy flavor. It has health benefits, which include curing and preventing colds and coughs.


Black pepper seeds (English)/Kali mirch (Hindi)

black_pepper_whole_Kali_mirch_HindiBlack pepper seeds are native to India where they are widely used in everyday cooking. Black pepper comes from a flowing vine Piperaceae. It is hot and has medicinal qualities. It is helpful in preventing and curing cold, cough, and fever. Usually, it is used in a powder form by grinding it.


Spices Mix Recipes:

Garam Masala Recipe (Powdered spice mix used in curries)

Chaat Masala Recipe (Powdered spice mix used in chaat)

Chole Masala/Chana Masala Recipe (Powdered spice mix used in chickpeas curry)

Asian Spices Photo Dictionary: Spices Names (English and Hindi)

Indian spices are used for flavoring and aroma. India is rich with varied spices. From cardamom (in English)/elaichi (in Hindi) to fenugreek seeds (in English)/methi dana (in Hindi). See with photographs.

Cardamom (English)/Green Cardamom (English)/Elaichi (Hindi)/ Ilaichi (Hindi)


This spice is used for flavoring and aroma. It is often used in Indian tea to give it a fine scent. Cardamom is known to treat digestion problems and ulcers. You will find cardamom in most Indian kitchens.


Cumin Seeds (English)/Cummin seeds (English)/Jeera (Hindi)/Jira (Hindi)


Cumin is a dried seed of the small plant. It is extensively used in Asian cuisines. Cumin seeds have a strong aroma. Its flavor intensifies upon roasting and grinding it. The health benefits of cumin seeds are better digestion, and prevention of heart diseases, nausea, and fever. Cumin is used both in food and drinks.


Cinnamon sticks (English)/Dalchinni (Hindi)

cinnamon_sticks_asian_Indian_spiceCinnamon sticks are mostly used in sweets, but its use has now grown to flavoring drinks such as tea and coffee, and in flavoring meats and vegetables. Cinnamon is a popular flavoring spice in alcoholic drinks as well.


Black cardamom (English)/Badi elaichi (Hindi)/Moti elaichi (Hindi)

Black cardamom is also known as hill cardamom, Bengal cardamom, greater or bigger cardamom, Indian cardamom, Nepal cardamom, winged cardamom, or brown cardamom. It is four times the size of green cardamom. It widely differs in taste as well. Black cardamom has a strong flavor that makes it unsuitable for sweet dishes. It is mostly used in meats and certain curry to give it a strong, smoky essence.


Indian Bay Leaf (English)/Tej patta (Hindi)/Malabar leaf (Hindi)


Indian bay leaf is an aromatic leaf from the laurel tree used in Asian cuisine such as pulao (rich dish), soups, and curries. It is also known as malabar leaf, Indian bark, Tamala cassia, cinnamomum tamala, malabathrum, and Indian cassia bark.


Carom seeds (English)/Ajwain (Hindi)


Carom seeds are tiny seeds that have a strong flavor. They are good for digestion and are used as a medicine for ingestion. Carom seeds/Ajwain in Hindi is used in curry, and breads.


Coriander seeds (English)/dhania (Hindi)


Coriander seeds is used in a powdered form in many Asian recipes. It has a light aroma and is used generously in curries. Coriander seeds are also used as medicine for digestion problems.


Fenugreek seeds (English)/Methi dana (Hindi)


Fenugreek seeds come from fenugreek plants and is used as a spice and medicine. It has a slightly bitter flavor. It is used in little quantity in curries and pickles. They are sometimes roasted to enhance its taste and aroma.


Spice Mix Recipes:

Garam Masala Recipe (Powdered spice mix used in curries)

Chaat Masala Recipe (Powdered spice mix used in chaat)

Chole Masala/Chana Masala Recipe (Powdered spice mix used in chickpeas curry)

Flattened Rice Flakes/Poha/Mota Poha


Flattened or beaten rice is rice grains pressed into flat flakes. These are very light, easily digestible, and can be eaten raw or stir fried. Its thickness can vary from almost translucent to a few millimetre. Flattened rice is believed to have originated in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, India.

These rice flakes or poha swell to doubt their size when you soak them in any liquid such as water or milk. They quickly absorb the liquid, and if not drowned in it, they do not leave their shape or break up.

They are commonly used as a snack in India. Poha is used as a dry snack mixture called chivda/chiwda with peanuts, cashews, and curry leaves. It is also cooked with vegetables as a breakfast recipe called Poha.

Recipes of Poha/Flattened Rice:

Poha (Video)