Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Clarifying nomenclature

In yesterday's post Vreya mentioned that chickpeas and chana are synonymous, but my recipes mention both by name and mean different things, so I looked it up in a cook book I bought in India on Gujurati cooking. There is a translation list in the back, which is only marginally helpful as the English terms are British English and Americans have different names for some of the things. What we call legumes they call pulses. A whole Bengal Gram (see what I mean) is called a Channa in Hindi, split Bengel Gram is chana dal or a kind of yellow split pea. Chick peas are listed as lobia in Hindi, but I have never seen it labeled that in English in an Indian market, it either doesn't have an English name or it is labeled chick peas. There are a lot of other pulses that I use in my cooking that really don't make a lot of sense in English because they are only found in an Indian market here. The only ones that are readily found in supermarkets or health food stores are what we call black eyed peas, or field peas, and red lentils, though the Indian variety are smaller. As I said, an endless variety of vegetarian cooking.

We bought a half share in the local organic farm this year, local as being down the street local. I pick up every other Monday and we had a great haul yesterday with the weather having warmed up finally. I made the beets and Swiss chard with our salmon and polenta last night.
We also have 2 kinds of lettuce, bok choy, garlic scapes, zuchini, and the snap peas never made it home they were so good.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hi, Nancy,

    Sorry, I didn't mean to cause confusion! Actually I think my knowledge of a little Hindi caused me confusion. In Hindi, chickpea is चना - chana. But...

    Because legumes/pulses/dals are so important to the Indian diet, as you've mentioned there are endless varieties and endless terms for those varieties. I see now that चना दाल - chana daal refers to split chana, but it may or may not be the same chana which is sold whole as Bengal gram, chickpeas, garbanzo beans, etc...

    Anyway, all that aside, you sound like an adventurous cook! And I love the sound of fresh snap peas - but I'll have to wait a few months here.


  3. Thank you for reminding me of the Threads articles on white shirts. I'll go look those issues up right now!

  4. The school lunch today lacked any green vegetable. I sorely miss your two veggie a meal dishes. My fantasies about you cooking Indian food continue...

  5. eToro is the ultimate forex broker for beginning and pro traders.