The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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Apart from the obvious division of dishes on Indian menucards (veg, non-veg), there's the more subtle dry and gravy distinction.

If you order too many dry dishes, the waiter will grow increasingly concerned for your health and safety, and will gently suggest "gravy dish, saar". A gravy dish is considered essential to a meal, and unnamed, horrible things happen to diners attempting to eat rice or rotis with only dry dishes.

If you turn down the waiter's offer, his eyes will widen, he'll start shaking a little and there'll be tears in his eyes as he implores, "No saar, gravy dish is a must. Cancel one dry dish?" He'll gesture towards the ladice and children at the table as if to say, "How can you treat them so?"

If you're pushy enough to persist, he will bring you the dry dishes, and then triumphantly set down gratis bowls of "gravy". "To have with naan, saar."

Gravy dish is a must.


"Okay, so we'll have one chicken kebab, one brain dry fry, one gopi Manchurian."
"No gravy dish?"
"Nah it's okay, the KPs come with gravy."
"But still."
"Ufff, okay ba. One paneer butter masala as well."
Added 2011-07-07 by Minkey Chief




All India


Food and Drink

Related Terms

Non-veg, Veg, Menucard, Bearer, Dry fry

Terms referencing this

manjuri, dry item