Translated into Simple English

Parsis have unique pronunciation of ordinary Gujarati words so we have provided an English translation for many Spices, Vegetables and other processes.

Parsi Gujarati, Hindi and other Indian terms. English
Achar Pickle
Adoo Ginger
Ajmo  It’s “ajwain”, carom seeds, or bishop’s weed. “Ajmo” is a Gujarati word for this plant. The scientific (or Latin) name is Trachyspermum ammi syn. Carum copticum.
Amchur Mango powder
Amli Tamarind
Boti Small piece
Bhinda Okra

This nut is used many times in Parsi Cuisine. It is gives a unique and authentic flavor to parsi food. It can be found in local Indian grocery stores. If not found you can substitute it with sliced and peeled Almonds.

Charoli also called chironji, are seeds of Buchanania lanzan used as a cooking spice primarily in India. Charoli (accent on the first syllable) is a nut the size and shape of a large brown lentil, often used in sweets.


It is the seed of Buchanania latifolia, commonly called chironji in India, from the family Anacardiaceae, which means it’s related to mangoes and cashews.

Chawal Rice
Curd, Dahi Yogurt
 Cumin or Shahi Jeera




Caraway seeds


While native to Europe, Asia and regions of Africa, Caraway, is cultivated in many parts of the world. The fruit and seed of the caraway plant are used to prepare medicinal remedies

Dar, Daar, Dal Lentil soup, lentil dish
Dhania, Dhanna, Coriander seeds Dried Coriander
Eedu, Eeda Eggs




Cardamom pods or powder


Tookhmoorya seeds 

Holy Red Basil or Tulsi Seeds.
Fudino Mint
Garam Hot
Ghee Clarified Butter
Gosh, Gos, Goshst, Mutton Meat of Goat or Lamb can be substituted
Gor Jaggery
Haldi Turmeric
Hing Asafoetida


Javantry Mace
Jardalu, Jardaloo Apricots, Plums
Jeera, Jeeru Cumin
Kanda Onion
Kesar Saffron
Keri Mango
Khichri Rice and Lentil dish
Kheemo Minced Meat
Khus Khus Poppy seeds
Kopra, Copra Coconut
Kothmir, Coriander Fresh Coriander leaves, Cilantro or Chinese Parsley
Lagan Wedding
Lasan Garlic
Lavang Cloves
Limbu Lemon
Limbu na phool Citric Acid (edible one)
Masala, Masaledar Spice, Spicy
Marchu Chili
Margi, Murghi Chicken
Maachi Fish, Shrimps, Prawns
Methi Fenugreek
Papeta Potato
Ravo Cream of Wheat
Rotli Roti – flat wheat bread like lavash
Ras Gravy
Sali Slices, Matchsticks
Sarko Vinegar
Saunf Aniseed
Sev Very thin pasta like vermicelli
Tabota Tomato
Tareli Fried
Taj, Tuj Cinnamon
Tulsi Basil
Vaghar Fry in oil



  • jeera – cumin
  • sabut lal mirch – red chilli
  • shahi jeera – shahi cumin
  • mustard seeds – Mustard seeds
  • methi dana – fenugreek seeds
    phool pathar (also known ar kalpasi and dagad phool) – Black Stone Flower
  • sabut kali mirch – black pepper
  • khus khus – khu khus
  • dal chini – salt
  • laung – cloves
  • tamal patta – bay leaves
  • badian – anise
  • mace (javitri) – mace
  • nutmeg – nutmeg

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Guide to OLD Measures for cooking with Vividh Vani

Ancient cooking book “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia (as is from original volumes in Gujarati)

First published at the turn of the 20th century, this mammoth book of two parts totaling 1500 pages carries over 2000 recipes, ranging from traditional Parsi to continental and Indian cuisines. Written in an era where all cooking was done on wood stoves and without fancy gadgets, no running water and no refrigeration, Vividh Vani offers us an in-depth look at the hard life of the traditional Parsi lady of those times.

I have put out a guide to OLD measures and weights used in the old cookbook  Vividh Vani. (Tipri, Ratal, Maund, Seer/Sehr, Navtak and Tola). Do write back if you have used the cookbook and let us know how the dish comes out.

Old weights converted to 21st century measures.

TIPRI is 1 Cup approx.

RATAL is 500 grams

In 1956, For metric conversion, Government of India defined the Seer as follows:

  • One Seer = 0.93310 kilogram exact

    The UN (1966) set One Seer = 2.057 pounds on average. This is approximately 2 pounds and One ounce

  • 1 Maund = 40 Seer = 100 Troy Pounds Exact

  • 1 Seer = 80 Tola

  • 1 Tola = 11.66375 gram


Click here for handy conversion tool.

Cake Molds and antique tools used in the kitchen by Parsi Cooks  Circa 1867

Old Tools

Printed Paperback of the Ancient cooking book “Vividh Vani” by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia

Products from

Source: Vividh Vani by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia has been a classic reference book for thousands of Parsi ladies over one hundred years. (Click here download 2 volumes in gujarati language. Please be patient as the volumes are large)