Indian cuisine has a global appeal—be it the Chicken Tandoori, Paneer Makhani, Biryani or Masala Dosa. This popularity is reflected in the latest version of the Oxford Dictionary’s latest update. The revised version includes two Indian words, among 600 new words—chana dal (split chickpea lentils) and chana (chickpea).

While even colloquial phrases like Aiyo and Arre yaar have made their way into the dictionary, other food-related words, too, have found their place in the prestigious Oxford dictionary over the years. Here are some of them:

This favourite street food, which the Oxford dictionary describes as ‘an Indian dish of puffed rice, onions, spices, and hot chutney’, made it to the database in 2015. That was one piece of good news for devout Bhelpuri fans. Besides the ingredients in the definition, sev, potatoes and tomatoes are also added to this tangy and spicy roadside snack.


Indian cuisine, particularly south Indian breakfast staples like idli and dosa, will be not be complete without the various types of chutneys to choose from. From coconut-based chutneys, to those with peanuts, onions, tomatoes or mint leaves, chutneys form staple, finger-licking accompaniments to the Indian meal. The dictionary describes chutney as ‘a spicy condiment of Indian origin, made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices and sugar’.


The very mention of the word evokes memories of hot puris, paired with delectable chana, or spicy potato gravy. Derived from the Sanskrit word pūrikā, the dictionary defines puri as ‘a small, round piece of bread made of unleavened wheat flour, deep-fried and served with meat or vegetables’.


The word, which means ‘minced meat’, too, has impressed Oxford dictionary’s editors. Though the word of Turkish origin generally refers to finely minced meat of any type, Keema is typically mutton. It forms the base of many delectable dishes and snacks, be it samsosa, keema-matar, and even kebabs.


Papad or Poppadom
Both these words, which mean the same, have been mentioned in the dictionary’s database. Defined as a large circular piece of thin, spiced bread made from ground lentils and fried in oil, papad is an integral part of Indian cuisine. Be it plain or masala papads, these are served as appetisers in some parts of the country, whereas in other parts, papad is part of the main meal.