Measurement Terms

Tsp/tsp – teaspoon Tbs/tbs – tablespoon Mins/mins – minutes Ozs/ozs – ounces

Bhun (Dry)

Bhun is a Hindi/Urdu word for a cooking stage and the concept can be dry or wet. Dry bhun is the process of dry roasting. To dry roast spices, heat a griddle or frying pan to medium hot, add the spices e.g cumin, dry coriander, cloves etc, stir them until they begin to jump and give off a ‘roasted’ aroma. Roast each spice separately, cool, grind if required and store covered in a glass jar for up to a month. To dry roast nuts use the same process as above, cool before storing.

Bhun (Wet)

Once ingredients have been added to oil and liquids are cooked off, stirring the mixture until a paste forms and the oil separates, this is called the bhun stage of cooking and referred to throughout the site. It is essential to get this stage right to produce an authentic curry that will be distinguished from a casserole or a stew!

Chaat Masala (Dry)

This is a blend of various spices and can be shop bought or made by dry roasting half cup whole cumin and 3 tbs whole dried red chillies or red chillie flakes. Cool, grind and store for up to a month in a covered glass bottle.

Cooking ingredients

For full descriptions and details of spices and ingredients on this website, and how to order if required, logon to

Coriander/Dhaniya Dry

The dry coriander seed is round or oblong with a heady musty aroma, it is dry roasted and coarsely ground or used whole in cooking. The planted seeds produce green aromatic shoots of the fresh herb which is an essential garnish ingredient for most Indian/Pakistani recipes.

Coriander/Dhaniya Fresh green

To store shop bought fresh coriander, either keep upright in a jug of water and pick for use as required or place in a re-sealable plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper. Always freshly chop the green coriander and place in a deep bowl with plenty of cold water (the mud from the coriander will settle to the bottom). Collect the coriander from the top of the water with a sieve and place in a small bowl ready for use/garnish.


This is a special cooking process for some Pakistani and Indian dishes. It is a very ‘slow cooking’ method and is used for the final stages in dishes like rice, kebabs, roast chops etc. This is usually a final stage and is cooked on very low heat on the stove top or in a pre-heated oven.

Garam Masala (Dry)

This is readily available in Indian/Pakistani stores and in Supermarkets in the UK and is an aromatic mixture of dry roasted spices for a recipe to make your own click Gram masala.

Masala (Base masala – wet)

Basic Masala for curries is a mixture of ingredients and oil, bhuned until the oil separates, resulting in a sticky/wet Masala. To prepare Masala for 2lb of chicken, lamb, fish or vegetables Place 8 tbs oil in a sauce pan, add 8oz finely sliced or grated onion, cook on medium heat until onions are golden brown in colour. Add 1 tbs fresh crushed ginger, 1 tbs fresh crushed garlic and 3 crushed tomatoes, mix well. Keep stirring every few minutes until liquids dry up and the oil separates, bhun (20 – 30mins). This forms the base of a curry, can be made in bulk, bagged up and stored in portion sizes in the refrigerator for 3 days or can be frozen for up to 3 months.


The majority of our homes use Basmati rice for all rice dishes. This is the Queen of rice, long grained with a special fragrance and is an export of the India/Pakistan/Bangladesh. It is now readily available in Supermarkets and other shops in the United Kingdom. If Basmati rice is not available, other types of rice e.g American Long grain rice can be used as a substitute, taking care to adjust cooking measures and time of cooking.

Rice Pilao

This is rice cooked with stock, it can be flavoured with cumin and onions and with or without lamb/fish/chicken/vegetables.

Rice – Cooking tips for Basmati Rice

Basmati rice needs washing in 2 or 3 changes of water to reduce the extra starch that clings to the grain and soaking the rice for 1 hour in warm water or 3 hours in cold water will result in a fluffy texture when the rice is cooked. Always cook rice in a large pan to allow it space to expand during the cooking process and complete the final stage of cooking by covering tightly with a lid or aluminium foil and placing the pan in a pre-heated oven for 15mins (dhum) or on the lowest setting on the stove top. It is best not to open the pan during this final stage of cooking. Switch off heat, leave covered for a further 5mins, carefully open the lid and use a fork or wooden spoon to fluff up and separate the rice gently before serving on a flat platter.

Rice – Measures of water for cooking

1 mug rice to 2 mugs water 2 mugs rice to 3.5 mugs water 4 mugs rice to 6 mugs water 10 mugs rice to 12 mugs water (less water is used as the weight of the rice on top will cook the rice at the bottom)


This is a special process in Indian and Pakistani cooking. Oil/ghee/butter is placed in a pan and heated to a medium heat. Onions, garlic or spices are added to this oil, then heated further and transferred sizzling and hot to the cooked dish.