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Hindi Food Quotes

vikas.kumar's picture

Doodh ka jala, chhaachh bhi phook phook kar peeta hai

Literal – One who’s burnt his tongue having hot mik will even blow over buttermilk, before drinking it?!? (somebody plz translate that for me!)

English equivalent – Once bitten, twice shy.

Meaning - Someone who has been hurt or who has had something go wrong will be far more careful the next time.


Bandar kya jaane adrak ka swad

Literal - Would one expect a monkey to appreciate the taste of ginger?

Meaning – Those who don’t know, can’t appreciate.


Jale pe namak chhidakna

Literal – To sprinkle salt on one’s burns/wounds.

Meaning – To add to one’s miseries.


Heeng lage na phitkari, rang bhi chaukha aaye

Literal - No need for asafoetida or potash alum to get colour.

Meaning – To make profits without much effort.


Sabr ka phal meetha hota hai

Literal – The fruit of patience is sweet.

Meaning – Patience yields desired results.


Munh mein chandi ki chammach lekar paida hona

Literal – To be born with a silver spoon in the mouth.

Meaning – To be born rich.


Dushman ke daant khatte karna

Literal – To make the teeth of the enemy, sour.

Meaning – To defeat the enemy.


Ghar ki murgi dal barabar

Literal – Pet chicken is like lentil.

Meaning – Not to realise the worth of loved ones or We do not value the things that we already possess.


Ghee ke diye jalaana

Literal – To light oil lamps full of ghee (clarified butter).

Meaning – To rejoice.


Dal mein kuchh kala hai

Literal – There’s something black in the lentil.

Meaning – Something’s fishy.


Oont ke munh mein zeera

Literal – Cumin in camel’s mouth.

Meaning – Too small an amount for a very large need.


Pani pani hona

Literal – To become water-water.

Meaning – To be embarrased.


Thotha chana, baaje ghana

Literal – Hollow lentil makes more noise.

Meaning – Those who can’t deliver, talk more.


Aasmaan se girey aur khajoor pe atke

Literal – Fell from the sky, landed on a date palm.

Meaning – Stuck in the middle of nowhere.


Chupdi aur do do!

Literal - You want two instead of one bread and that too dipped in butter!

English equivalent - You would like to have your cake and eat it, too!

Meaning – Asking for too much.


Ek anaar, sau bimaar

Literal - One pomegranate is all there is, and a hundred men are feigning sickness trying to get it.

Meaning - There is a great demand for something in short supply.


Gehun ke sath ghun bhi pista hai

Literal - Creatures infesting the wheat are ground along with it (on the grind stone).

Meaning - One would be sure to meet the same fate as his companions.


Ab pachhtaye kya hot jab chidiya chug gayi khet?

Literal – What is the use of repenting now when the bird has eaten the harvest?

English equivalent – No use crying over spilt milk.
Meaning – No use repenting when it’s too late to undo the damage.


Angoor khatte hain

Literal – Grapes are sour.

Meaning – Denial of the desirability of something, after one has found out that it cannot be reached or acquired.


Nau sau choohe khaake billi haj ko chali

Literal – After feasting on 900 mice, the cat embarks on a pilgrimage.

Meaning – A remark for a person who tries to veil his shameful acts by trying to do righteous deeds.


Haathi ke daant-dikhane ke aur, khaane ke aur

Literal – An elephant has 2 sets of teeth, one to show off and the other to eat with.

Meaning – What you see is not necessarily true.


Char aana murgi, barah aana masala

Literal – Chicken for 4 annas, spices for 12!

Meaning – In adversity, everything takes a bad turn.


Khaya nahin, piya nahin, gilaas toda, barah aana

Literal – Didn’t eat or drink but broke a glass worth 12 annas.

Meaning – When someone finds himself in a situation he had nothing to do with in the first place, yet he incurs losses or faces trouble just because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

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shantihhh's picture
Great fun reading these! Shanti/Mary-Anne
shantihhh's picture
Vikas I have been trying to send this link to you of old Mumbai but the site is acting up. Shanti/Mary-Anne
khau.khan's picture
where did you get all this from man? Bon Appetite!
vikas.kumar's picture
we indians have grown up on them. jotted them down from memory, some i found on the net, raavi came up with a few ones...translating them can be pretty tough, and the end result quite amusing... there are many that comes to mind - 'Ek to karela, oopar se neem chadha'!
shantihhh's picture
Vikas! what is the traslation of 'Ek to karela, oopar se neem chadha'! ???? p>Shanti/Mary-Anne
vikas.kumar's picture
'Ek to karela, oopar se neem chadha', literally translated would mean - 'A bitter gourd, that too growing on neem'. The bitter gourd plant is a vine and needs support to grow. Now, if it were to grow on a ‘neem’ tree, it would take some of the latter’s bitterness, too. So, the 'karela' which is already bitter, becomes even more bitter. This is generally said when there's someone/ something that you know is bad, but turns out to be worse.
shantihhh's picture
Oh I love this! Knowing kerela/bitter gourd and of course the Neem tree-such a great saying. 'Ek to karela, oopar se neem chadha' I think my husband is knowing someone like this now on his assignment. LOL Shanti/Mary-Anne
Anonymous's picture
Good work buddy!!
Hindi Food Quotes