Chana Dal Makes the Latest Entry in the Oxford Dictionary: Top 5 More Such Food Entries

Chana Dal (split chickpea lentils) and Chana (chickpeas) were among the 600 new words to be included in the latest version of the Oxford Dictionary which was unveiled yesterday.

Chana Dal Makes the Latest Entry in the Oxford Dictionary: Top 5 More Such Food Entries


  1. The latest version of the Oxford Dictionary was unveiled yesterday
  2. Various Hindi food-related words have been included
  3. Apart from Chana Dal, we list down 5 other food words
Everything Indian seems to be trending these days- ranging from Bollywood star diva Priyanka Chopra, to International Yoga Day and even Indian culinary delights. Indian cuisine is also gaining popularity by the second, as there is awareness about foods other than the regular Indian curries and spices. This trend is also reflected in the latest version of the Oxford Dictionary unveiled yesterday, which includes Chana Dal (split chickpea lentils) and Chana (chickpeas) among its 600 new words. 

This mini-achievement for Indian Cuisine and Hindi food-related words got us thinking. Are there more such words from our traditional Indian kitchen that have been given room in the prestigious Oxford Dictionary?

We’ve put up a quick collection of the top 5 Hindi Food-related words that have been included, before Chana Dal made its way.

1. Ghee

Ghee is defined as “a clarified butter made from the milk of a buffalo or cow” as per the Oxford Dictionary. This is one of the absolute essentials of Indian Cooking. Traditionally, it has been used in the making of a number of regional delicacies. Ghee is still popular, used to elevate the flavour of khichdi, paranthas, rotis and dals

Nutrionally fortifying, yet tastefully satisfying Ghee. Photo credits: iStock

2. Masala

Masala is claimed to have its origins in Urdu, meaning "A mixture of ground spices used in Indian cooking." The dictionary also includes ‘garam masala’ among its definitions. Oxford has also broadened the usage of the term masala to fields other than cooking, as it could be used to signify ‘a person who grew up with a variety of influences.’ This definition is also suited to the diverse Indian culture, where everyone grows up with a ‘masala’ of cultures and ethnicities.
biryani masala

Freshly ground masala is a must for Indian cooking. Photo Credit: Facebook/Mycookbook

3. Bhelpuri

This popular crunchy snack has been included in the dictionary much to the delight of Mumbai’s devout street food lovers. The Oxford Dictionary defines Bhelpuri as, "an Indian dish of puffed rice, onions, spices, and hot chutney." The Bhelpuri can add several other ingredients as well such as potato, tomato as well as some sev, but it surely gets us drooling in every avatar.

Bhelpuri is one of India's most popular street-snacks. Photo credits: iStock

4. Chutney

Indian cuisine is something which cannot be bereft of its most-loved accompaniment, the chutney. Every variation of Indian cooking contains some or the other form of chutney. According to the Oxford Dictionary,chutney is "a spicy condiment of Indian origin, made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar." Coconut, tamarind, chilli and tomato chutney are some of our favourites.

Chutney is a staple accompaniment to the Indian meal. Photo credits- iStock

5. Papad

Claiming its origins from the Tamil language, papad is said to be "a large circular piece of thin, spiced bread made from ground lentils and fried in oil." This crunchy, spicy side dish couldn’t be defined better. Papad is a must-have in every meal. Some of the famous papads of India are made from Channa, Moong, Urad or even Garlic. Papads can be garnished with extra masala and onions to add a spicy zest to their crispy goodness.

Fried, crunchy savoury goodies are called Papad. Photo Credits: iStock

With so many Indian food related words getting included in the Oxford Dictionary, it won’t be a wonder to see the global foodie community embracing Indian cuisine with open arms.

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