The Curry House      Letters to The Curry House

to bhaji or not to bhaji
Roy Sharma Le Pre writes :
I must congratulate you on your excellent glossary of Indian cooking and
curries. It is most accurate, and I was pleasantly surprised, descending
as I do from a family with a tradition of fine eating and sharply-defined
gastronomic vocabulary.  

However, I note that you too have, rather surprisingly, been taken in by
that most infuriating of British Asian errors - bhaji or baaji. A Bhaji
(pronounced bujjy or budgie) is the commonly-known battered and fried
foodstuff. Thus, onion bujjies, potato bujjies, mixed vegetable bujjies
(or pakora), or even fish bujjies, are usually starters. These are
commonly referred to as bhajia, or bujjiya. 

On the other hand, bhaji (pronounced bargee or baaji) is the cooked
vegetables you refer to. Whereas in northwestern India, this can only mean
spinach, in the rest of the subcontinent, this distinctly refers to such
cooked or stewed vegetables, usually served plain. Thus, bhindi baaji,
cauliflower baaji, etc. 

You may contact any speaker of northern Indian tongues, and they too
should reiterate this correct stance. Hindi, Gujerati, Punjabi, Marathi,

I should be indebted to you for eternity, if you would kindly rectify
this, for I have no platform from which to do so myself.

David replies :

Many thanks Roy for your knowledgeable letter. When I find time for a revison of the Glossary I will incorporate your corrections.

Comment on this :

email The Curry House

back to the letters page

go to The Curry House home page

© 2006 David W Smith