I'm often foxed by the unfamiliar names of faminilar things in Indian shops abroad (well, the US northeast. I'm not a well travelled woman), and this is particularly odd to non-subcontinental friends accompanying me. For surely, as an 'Indian', I should know the 'Indian' names of things.
I would if I could, of course, but for the tiny glitch that there IS no such language as 'Indian'. Half the nation's 'diversity'-related 'issues' would probably have been solved if there was, and we would all have been reduced to a homogeneous unilingual country with delusions of difference. But while I laud difference and diversity and hold it's flag flying high, it does present some difficulties with food-shopping and even recipe-writing.
For example, I want to say, "Take a fistful of orohor daal". I say it, but I can't leave it at that. I have to then google to find out what is the commonest pan-Indian name for orohor daal, by what name it's best known in the English-speaking world, what vagaries of my own people should I remember to explain (eg: Bengalis call kaali daal tarka daal, and neither of those phrases mean anything to my friends abroad)...
It gets tedious.
So I'm going to make a list, right here, right now. I'm going to include the Bengali (and wherever possible, Hindi; my knowledge of Indian languages extends no further) names of spices and grams. Vegetables are fine -- I frequently use their English names anyway and they don't confuse me. But the spices and rich array of beans/grams need to be ordered. Now.
Daal is a funny word to translate, because not only does it refer to the dish, in Bengali it also refers to a whole host of things used to make daal. Most of these fall into the legume family -- standard source of non-animal protein -- but as children, we were to taught identify them separately. For example, mushur (masoor) daal is a lentil. Rajma is a bean. Urad daal is a gram (which Wikipedia tells me I should call a pulse). I'm going to list everything I can remember cooking, which falls under the local category of 'daal':
Mushur daal -- masoor. Red lentils (although really they are more orange).
Gota Moog (whole moog) -- moong. Mung beans. Green gram.
Moog daal (de-husked, split moog) -- moong daal. Golden gram. Golden yellow inside green husk.
Chhola or chaana -- channa. Bengal gram or Indian chickpea. Dark, small, rough-skinned. There's an European variety that is much drier/harder.
Kabuli chhola -- chhole. I don't know what this is called in English. White, larger, much softer kind of chickpea.
Chholar daal -- de-husked and split Kabuli chhola. Light yellow inside white husk.
See this for pictures of all three types of chhola (Bengal, European, Kabuli).
Kolai er daal -- whole urad. Black gram/ lentils (not to be confused with black turtle beans, the South American frijoles negro).
Biulir daal -- de-husked, split urad. No English name. It's split black gram, white inside black husk.
Orohor daal -- arhar, toor, tuvar. Red gram, split pigeon peas.
While raajma (rajma. Red kidney beans) is not considered a daal at all, it IS considered a popular bean by lots of people, so I'm adding it to the list.