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Learning Useful Hindi Food and Dinner Vocabulary

written by: Sonal Panse • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 3/2/2012

Food is a wonderful way of exploring a culture. In this article, you will learn some useful Hindi phrases about having dinner. These might come in handy if you are invited to dinner with a Hindi-speaking family, if you go to an Indian restaurant or if you visit India.

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    In this language learning lesson, we will talk in Hindi about having dinner. Since the language is Hindi, we will look at things from the perspective of a Hindi-speaking family. The cuisine will be Indian, and as Indian cuisine is too extensively and regionally varied to be considered in totality here, we will hypothetically eat what I like.

    Just so you know, some of the regional types of Indian cuisines are -

    • Maharastrian
    • Konkani
    • Gujarati
    • Punjabi
    • South Indian
    • Bengali
    • Assamese
    • Manipuri
    • Arunachali

    Most Indian people eat with their hands. They use the right hand to eat, and use the left to pick up a glass or utensil. Most modern Indians, especially in the cities, dine at a dining table, but in the olden days they would sit down on the floor on wooden boards or rugs and used patravalis as plates. A patravali is made from banana leaves, palas leaves, muthla leaves, jackfruit leaves or teak leaves. Patravalis are still used on ceremonial occasions and in some regional hotels. They are more eco-friendly than plastic, steel or glass plates, if you think about it. In the olden days, the supplies for your dinner would come from the shops wrapped up in leaves too.

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    Here are some useful Hindi phrases that you might hear if you visit someone for dinner -

    C'mon, dinner's ready - Chalo, khana tayar hain.

    Sit down - Baith jao.

    I'm hungry - Mujhe bhook lagi hai.

    What will you eat? - Tum kya khaoge? (informal) / Aap kya khaoge? (formal)

    What's for dinner? - Khane may kya hai?

    Today we have made Hyderabadi biryani - Aaj humne Hyderabadi biryani banayi hain.

    And there is also rice, roti, sambhar, paratha, vegetables, salad, pakoda, papad, pickle, curd, buttermilk and lassi - Aur chawal, roti, sambhar, paratha, sabzi, raita, pakoda, papad, aachar, chutney, dahi, tak, lassi bhi hain.

    Do you like sweet dishes? - Tumko mithai pasand hai? (informal) / Aapko mithai pasand hai? (formal)

    There is also mango juice, jalebi, rasgulla, gulab jamun, shrikhand, barfi and laddoos - Aam-ras, jalebi, rasgulla, gulab jamun, shrikhand, barfi aur laddoo bhi hain.

    I was also going to make Momos, but I didn't have the time - Main Momos bhi banana wali thi, lekin mujhe wakt nahi mila.

    Tomorrow I'm going to make South Indian food - dosa-sambhar and wada-sambhar - I particularly like Iddiyappam - Kal main Dakshin Bharatiya khana banana wali hoon -dosa-sambhar aur wada-sambhar - mujhe Idiyappam khas pasand hai.

    What will you have? - Tum kya logay? (informal) / Aap kya logay? (formal)

    What else will you have? - Tum aur kya logay? (informal) / Aap aur kya logay? (formal)

    Would you like some more? - Tumko aur chahiye? / Tumhe aur chahiye? (informal) / Aapko aur chahiye? (formal)

    Do you want water? - Tumko pani chahiye? (informal) / Aapko pani chahiye? (formal)

    Move your glass here - Glass yahan karo

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    Do you want a spoon, knife and fork? - Tumko chamach, suri aur kata chahiye?

    No, I'll eat by hand - Nahi, main haat say khaoongi. (feminine) / Nahi, main haat say khaoonga. (masculine)

    I would like some more rice - Mujhe aur chawal chahiye.

    I will have sambhar with it - Uske saath main sambhar loongi. (feminine) / Uske saath main sambhar loonga. (masculine)

    Does it need more salt? - Usme aur namak chahiye kya?

    Does it need more sugar? - Usme aur shakkar chahiye kya?

    Do you find it hot (as in chillie hot)? - Tumko tikha lag raha hai kya? (informal) / Aapko tikha lag raha hai kya? (formal)

    You don't find it hot (chillie hot), do you? - Tumko tikha to nahi lag raha hai na? (informal) /Aapko tikha to nahi lag raha hai na? (formal)

    Is it hot (as in scalding hot)? - Garam hai kya?

    The food hasn't become cold, has it? - Khana thanda toh nahi huwa hai na?

    There's more in the pot - Katore may aur hain.

    Do you like the dinner? - Khana aachha lag raha hai na?

    Yes, it's good, thank you - Ha, acchha hai, shukriya.

    Eat some fruit - Kuch phal kha lo.

    Will you have some more? - Tum aur logay? (informal) / Aap aur logay? (formal)

    Your plate looks/is looking empty - Tumhari thali khali deekh rahi hai (informal) / Aapki thali khali deekh rahi hai (formal)

    No, enough, I'm done, my stomach is full - Nahi, bas, mera ho gaya, mera pet bhar gaya.

    Thank you, the food was very tasty/good, your cooking is amazing - Shukriya/Dhanyawad, khana bahut swadishta/acchha tha, tum kamal ka khana pakati ho (informal)/ aap kamal ka khana pakatay ho (formal).

    Come again - Phir aao/aajao

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    A Note About the Foods Mentioned

    Some of the foods mentioned above have retained their Indian names - as far as I know, that's how they are referred to in English too - an online search will explain what they are, or better yet, you can look up the recipes and try making them at home yourself!

    Recipe for Hyderabai Biryani - a rice dish

    Recipe for Sambhar - a type of curry

    Recipe for Gulab Jamun - sweet dumplings in syrup

    Recipe for Rasgulla - sweet dumplings

    Recipe for Jalebi - a sweet dish

    Recipe for Shrikhand - sweet yoghurt

    Recipe for Boondi ka Laddoo

    Recipe for Momos -

    You can find other recipes at the following websites featuring Indian food -

    Sanjeevkapoor

    Indian Food Forever

    Indian Food Recipes

    Awesome Cuisine

    Indian Food Cooking