Delhi Darbar


Spices are an integral part of cooking in cuisines from most parts of the world. Spices add flavour and aroma to food items and appeal to most taste buds.

Most people, especially we Indians, love spicy food and use a large variety of spices in most of their cooking. Here is a list of some common Spices with their alternative names. Next time you're cooking and get confused with the names of spices, refer to this list! Happy Cooking!

Anise Seed Saunf Chilli Powder Mirch Powder
Basil Leaves Tulsi Patta Flour Maida
Parsley Pudina Saffron Kesar
Garlic Lehsun Ginger Adrak
Cloves Long Cardamom Elaichi
Nutmeg Jaifal Fenugreek Methi
Bay Leaf Tej Patta Cinnamon Dalchini
Cumin Seeds Zeera Tamarind Imli
Turmeric Haldi Mustard Seeds Sarson
Green Cardamom Choti Elaichi Black Cardamom Bari Elaichi
Jaggery Gur Asafoetida Hing
Sesame Seeds Til Coriander Seeds Dhania Sabut



  • 3 tbl spns = 1 big spn
  • 4 tbl spns = 1/4 cup
  • 5 tbl spns+ 1 tbl spn = 1/3 cup
  • 8 tbl spns = 1/2 cup
  • 10 tbl spns + 2 tbl spns = 2/3 cup
  • 16 tbl spns = 1 full cup
  • 2 cups = 1 pint
  • 4 cups = 2 pints or 1 quart
  • 2 level tbl spns (big spoon) = 1 oz (for sugar etc)


DELHI DARBAR has some Tips to make you a Perfect Cook:

  • To save from Worms from your Grocery stock, put some Neem Leaves into it.
  • To save Sugar from ants, add 2 pieces of Clove. 
  • After making Coriander or Mint Chutney, squeeze few drops of Lime Juice and store in a Refrigerator- because of Lime juice the colour of Chutney remains Green.
  • After getting green leafy vegetables, wash and cut them into small pieces, then wrap them in a newspaper and place it in a polythene bag and now store in the Fridge – Vegetables will remain fresh for 15+ days.
  • Want to have thick gravy? – Add Maida to few tablespoons of water and stir till it gets dissolved, add this to your gravy, it will become thick.
  • To cook onions fast add little salt or sugar while frying them in oil.
  • If your curds want to be curled earlier heat milk till lukewarm add 1 teaspoon of curds and close the lid to the vessel and keep the same in a hot box, it turns the curds faster- this tip is good for winter season and for cold areas.
  • Keep Coriander Leaves fresh for 15 days – cut the roots and wrap it in the newspaper, put it in a container and store in your refrigerator.
  • Gravy too salty? – Just Add a few boiled or mashed potatoes in it.
  • Want to have Crisper Golden Brown Dosas? – Just add a teaspoon of sugar to your Dosa batter.
  • Want to save Rava from worms? – Roast lightly, cool and store in airtight container.
  • For nice and crisp Poories, heat oil till smokes add this to maida while making the dough.  
  • For soft Poories – just add little milk to your dough.
  • Want Tasty & Colourful Coriander/ Mint Chutney? – Add 2-3 spoon of curd in it.
  • While making green gravy or green vegetables just add little bit of sugar in the oil before adding masalas- for better taste and aroma.
  • To store Green Chilly longer, just remove the stalk and keep in tight bottles in the Fridge.
  • Eating cauliflower makes the stomach bleated- so better first slightly boil it and throw the water before cooking.
  • For soft Roti/Chapati/Parathas – just put 1 tablespoon of yoghurt in dough instead of oil or just add ½ teaspoon of baking soda while making daough.
  • Add a pinch of soda-bicarbonate to Spinach while blanching to retain its bright green colour and never overcook any of green vegetables.
  • Adding turmeric will help pickles from getting spoilt.
  • For making soft sauce just add some paneer.
  • In order to make your Poori more tastier, add 1 tblespoon of Semolina for each 100 gms. Of flour. 
  • Dal will cook well if you add a little of sesame oil while cooking.
  • If you curry turns out too salty, garnish it with grated coconut mixed with cumin powder.
  • Soak almonds in warm water for about a minute, it will get peeled quickly.
  • If you want to make crispy Potato or Banana Chips, sprinkle salt over them while frying.
  • Add a little powdered lemon rind to Puddings or Desserts to avoid the smell of egg.
  • If you need only the egg-white, for storing the remaining yolk, cover the yolk with water or milk and keep in a cool dark place. Just drain off before using the yolk.
  • If the Bread is too soft to cut into pieces, just hold the knife close to a flame and then slice the bread with it.
  • Boiled Eggs will last longer if you store the shelled eggs in a bowl of cold water in a Refrigerator.
  • Cut boiled eggs with a knife dipped it hot water to avoid breaking.
  • Keep boiled eggs in cold water for 5 minutes to easily remove its shell.
  • While boiling eggs, put a hole with a pin on the rounded portion of the egg so that the shell won’t break while boiling.
  • For making Tasty and Healthy Chapati – mix wheat flour and barley in equal proportion.
  • Barley Powder increases the Taste and Texture of Meat and Vegetable Curries.
  • To get thick Cream, just cover the milk vessel with thin muslin cloth and refrigerate overnight.
  • After extracting Butter from milk cream, add a little milk or curd to the residue and boil- you will get soft Paneer.
  • Apply some oil on the sides of the vessel in which you intend to boil milk- it will stop overflowing.
  • If running short of cream to add in the soup or gravy, add a mixture of Butter and Milk.
  • Green peas will retain its original colour if you add a pinch of sugar while boiling.
  • To peel Garlic flakes easily, wash and soak them in cold water for about an hour.
  • Add some Bay Leaves to your Flour Container in order to keep Flour moisture-free.
  • While chopping raw Bananas and Potatoes, put the pieces in a bowl of water to avoid it from turning black.
  • Add a pinch of Corn Flour to your Salt Jar to prevent it from getting damp.
  • For Crispy Dosas, add a teaspoon of Tuvar Dal and some Fenugreek seeds while soaking rice.
  • Add some vinegar in the boiling water before steaming potatoes.
  • While cooking Dal, add some refined oil or Garlic to reduce Gas Trouble.
  • If your curd has become too sour, add 4 cups of water to it. After 30 minutes, remove the water collected on the top.
  • To adjust salt in curries add roasted rice powder.
  • Put some Neem leaves and Turmeric pieces or Garlic flakes in Rice or Grain Container to keep the insects away.


DELHI DARBAR has some Tips to Win the Heart of your Family:

  • Tea stain can be removed by pouring cold milk over it and wipe it off with dry cloth or sponge - stain vanishes quickly.
  • Sundry lemon rinds and powder it- store in an airtight jar. Use it to wash white clothes by adding one heaped spoon alongwith the detergent. White clothes will regain their whiteness.
  • To remove the smell of masala form your Mixture-Grinder, put few pieces of dry bread and powder it.
  • To clean non stick pans easily, pour some warm water into it and keep it for some time and then wash it with any detergent.
  • To remove tea or coffee stains from steel cups clean it with salty water.
  • To remove stains from brassware, dip it in tamarind water for some time and wash it and then polish it using brasso.
  • To remove stains from vessels, rub it with a wet cloth dipped in baking soda.
  • Add a little water to used tea leaves and used them to clean glass and window panes for sparkling results.
  • Diamonds will regain their luster if you rub a piece of chalk over them and wipe clean with a soft dry cloth.
  • Nail polish remover is excellent for removing stains from bone china.
  • To remove the chewing-gum stuck to the floor, clean it with a little kerosene.
  • Put some bits of lemon peels in the pressure cooker while cooking, the cooker will remain white inside.
  • To clean your diamond ornaments, soak it in water for 15 minutes, add some washing powder and boil for 7 to 8 minutes and wash it in running water.
  • Clean the silverware with dry ash or common salt for shiny appearance.
  • Use a few drops of after shave lotion to get rid of stubborn dirt from shoes.
  • To remove the stains from white foot wear, soak a small cotton wool in nail polish remover and rub briskly on your foot wear.
  • Hardened glue becomes soft and useable again if you add some glycerin and warm water to it.
  • In order to keep away the termites and insects from your bookshelves, keep few pieces of sandalwood in your Bookshelf.
  • Use Agarbatti ash to clean silver and brass articles.
  • To soften a tight leather shoe, apply some curd on their inner surfaces at night.
  • Clean dust particles and dirt from your steel or iron sieve by holding it over the fire for some time. After the grime burns to soot and falls off, wash with soap and water. Your sieve will look better and shine like a new.
  • Instead of scratching off candle wax from an object, hold the object close to a flame or some source of heat for a few seconds till the wax melts away.
  • Soften hardened shoe polish with a few drops of white spirit.
  • Rub toothpaste over the fine scratches on glassware. It acts as a slight abrasive and smoothens out the area.
  • Keep the water in your flower vase odorless for a long time, put a piece of charcoal in it.
  • To sharpen a sewing machine needle, stitch through a piece of sand paper.
  • To remove lipstick stain, apply Vaseline on that portion and wash it with soap after some time.
  • To remove the tea stains from the vessels, take some water and add 2 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate and boil it. After some time, wash the vessel with detergent.
  • To remove mud and mud strains from clothes, rub the affected area with potato stock and wash it with water.
  • Soak your silver articles in tamarind water for 30 minutes and wash off with fresh water, if you want them to shine like new.
  • To prevent silver fish from attacking your clothes, keep a few Kalonji seeds tied in a muslin cloth in your cupboard.
  • Vinegar is an excellent cleanser for glassware.
  • If two stamps stick together, keep it in a freezer for some time and peal them out.
  • To keep a vacuum flask clean and odor-free, fill up half the flask with vinegar, hot water and pieces of egg shell.
  • Used mosquito mats is an excellent blotting agent.
  • To remove stains from utensils, add bleaching powder in a tub of water and dip the utensils before washing with detergent.
  • While mopping the floor add two teaspoons of salt to the water to keep flies at bay.
  • To remove ink stain from clothes, rub the area with a cotton bud soaked in eau-de-cologne.
  • To remove the stain of henna from the cloth, dip the cloth in warm milk for half an hour and wash with soap.
  • To remove the stain of wine from cloth clean that portion with the cloth dipped in soda.
  • The gold will become more brighter if it is cleaned in pumpkin juice.
  • The furniture becomes more shiny if it is cleaned with mixture of olive oil and vinegar.
  • Apply some wax or soap on the sides of the drawer for easy movement.
  • The furniture becomes more bright and shiny if it is cleaned with the cloth dipped in strong tea.
  • Cleaning the furniture with shoe polish will lend an excellent sheen to it
  • To remove the marks in furniture's, scratch with the paste made from ash of cigar and vinegar.
  • While washing silk sarees add a little lemon juice. The colour won't fade and it will give a glossy finish.
  • Whenever you fry something, grease your frying pan with cooking oil and heat it for a minute then clean it off whenever you use your frying pan for heating curry. The frying items won’t stick to your pan.
  • Smear some table-salt inside the coconut halves – it will increase its shelf life.
  • To clean Kitchen Mess, add little Baking Soda in water and clean everything including your gas stove.


By the end of this year, i.e. 2010, India will carry 60% of the world’s Heart Disease burden, nearly 4 times more than its share of Global Population- a research at St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, has revealed.

India is a Tropical Hot Country, hence most of the times Indians love to eat Vegetarian Dishes, to top it all some days like Tuesdays and Thursdays are believed to be Vegetarian Days in most part of India, besides, many are Vegetarians by cast, creed or even choice- that’s really a relief and a good news indeed in such geo-climatic conditions like India – Vegetables, Whole Grains, Milk and its Products and Plant-based Foodies contain essential micro-nutrients and vitamins that produce antioxidants that are good for Heart, Blood- Pressure and Diabetes.

But we face Heart Attacks 5 years earlier than the people in the West – why? – Mainly because of Saturated Fats and Excessive use of Cooking Oil.

  • Calories in Indian Foods and their Nutrition depend on the way you cook your Food;
  • Instead of deep-frying, go for stir-fry or grill;
  • Instead of Creamy Dishes, go for Tandoori recipes;
  • Never Reheat the Food, as that will destroy its Nutrients;
  • Don’t overcook the Food;
  • North Indian and Punjabi Food are high in Fat as they use Ghee, Butter Oil or trans Fats or trans-Fatty acids (Hydrogenated oils and Fats – Dalda or Vanaspati) that is dangerous for your health- always avoid Dalda/ Vanaspati of Ghee as cooking medium.
  • North Indian Bhature has topped the list of Most Fatty Foodies in the Conference on “Fats and Trans-fatty Acids in Indian Diet” at 7th Health Writers Workshop organized by HEAL in 2007 which foud that the Trans-fatty Acids in French Fries is 4.2% - 6.1% whereas 9.5% in Bhature, 7.8%  in our Aaloo Parantha and 7.6% in Puri and Tikkis.

So get serious and take the following tips from DELHI DARBAR:

  • Instead of Deep Frying, you can stir fry or sauté in a little vegetable oil.
  • Consume 5 days vegetarian food per week.
  • Stop cooking the vegetables when it is still crisp.
  • Use Steam instead Pressure Cooker.
  • Never use Vanaspati like Dalda, Rath etc as cooking medium.
  • Try and minimize chopping the vegetable as the more its surface gets exposed to atmosphere the more it loses nutrients.
  • Never wash vegetables after chopping.
  • Never overheat the oil.
  • Keep your batter thick for making Pakodas as thin batter will absorb more oil.
  • Never add Ghee or oil while making dough for Puri otherwise it will absorb too much oil during frying.

Dr. Das Suman Kumar
(President & CEO)
- India Roaming: +91 9311115901
- Global Roaming: +91 9899992477


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