Food & Nightlife

Desi Veggies, Videsi Tadka: We Bet You Didn’t Know The English Names Of These Vegetables!

KanupriyaKanupriya  |  Jan 18, 2021
Desi Veggies, Videsi Tadka: We Bet You Didn’t Know The English Names Of These Vegetables!


Indians share quite an unusual bond with vegetables. As children, we considered finishing our greens as some brutal punishment while our parents tried to make it a fun event by offering us some reward by the end of our meals. Remember when we were offered extended video-game hours if we finished our tinda for lunch? Yep, those were the golden days!

While there were some veggies that tasted bad beyond words (and still do), there were a few that we looked forward to eating. All in all, every single veggie has got a nostalgic childhood memory in our lives because of the love-hate relationship we share with them. Thankfully, we have grown past the age where we secretly disposed of the vegetables that we didn’t like and have finally made our peace with them because of their multiple health benefits. However, do we really know our veggies?

I mean, sure we can easily tell the difference between the taste of kaddu and lauki but can we tell what they are called in English? While you ponder on that, we have listed here some more veggies with their English names that we’re sure you didn’t know about. And, if you think you do, then give it a look:

9 Vegetables & Their Peculiar English Names

Alright desi folks, time to get some videsi tadka on our regular veggies aka find out what these common (and uncommon) vegetables are called in English.

‘Toree’ aka Zucchini

Ask our mothers what their favourite veggie in the world is when it comes to feeding us, and there’s a high probability that they will instantly reply toree. Honestly, we can’t even blame her because of the high range of health benefits this green vegetable has to offer. It’s a great source of antioxidants, has low calories and fats, and full of essential vitamins. BTW, toree is actually called zucchini. Yep, the same zucchini that is used frequently by foreign chefs in their vegetable sandwiches!

‘Chukandar’ aka Beetroot

This one is a star veggie for its amazing skincare benefits. You can have its juice or even make its raita as Alia Bhatt does. While there’s no denying that this veggie is quite common, it makes on this list because a lot of you might not know that it’s actually chukandar that’s called beetroot in English. 

P.S. If you are struggling with your dark circles, then don’t forget to include this veggie in your regular diet!

‘Baingan’ aka Eggplant

This one creates quite a confusion because of its different names. NGL, most of us grew up calling this versatile veggie brinjal (which isn’t wrong) before we learned that its common American name is eggplant. Also as a heads up, next time when someone says ‘aubergine’, do not get confused and remember they are talking about the same thing.

‘Ajvaayan’ aka Celery

More than the veggie itself, we commonly know ajvaayan as a form of seed that has various health benefits. While you may have drunk it in the morning in lukewarm water for weight loss and better digestion, did you know what its leaves are called in English? That’s right, celery! You can make a delicious soup out of it, use it as a stock to enhance the taste of your meals or even have it in your salad.

‘Saag’ aka Kale


This is another vegetable that tops on the list of our mother’s favourite veggies ever. Winters in India is incomplete without delicious saag ki sabzi and in case you did not figure it out by now, the green leafy vegetable is called kale in English. It comes from the cabbage fam and honestly, there’s hardly any veggie that can complete with the nutritional value that kale provides. 

‘Haak’ aka Collard Leaves


This is a popular green leafy vegetable that is mostly consumed in Jammu and Kashmir. It looks a lot like kale and tastes a lot like spinach, but it’s actually known as haak in Hindi and collard leaves in English. We bet you didn’t know this one, did you?

‘Lobia’ aka Black-Eyed Pea


These beans are usually consumed as dal in North India. Honestly, they taste amazing and the fact that they are good for our bones and blood pressure is an added bonus. Interestingly enough, the name will remind you of one of our favourite bands of all time–Black-Eyed Peas. Seriously, we would like to know if the band were also fond of lobia!

‘Kaddu’ aka Pumpkin

While Americans love to carve scary faces on this round and huge vegetable during Halloween, Indians like to include it in their diet on a regular basis. Honestly, we might have hated kaddu aka pumpkin as a child but over the years, this versatile veggie kinda grew on us. Don’t you think?

‘Lauki’ aka Bottle Gourd


Finally, ending this interesting list from where we started and ultimately revealing that lauki is actually called–*drumrolls*–bottle gourds! However, remember that lauki has different variations and while the tall ones are called bottle gourds, the round ones are generally called calabash.

How many of these did you guys know?

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