Lesson 1: Cena al ristorante indiano

David: Good evening, everyone. My name is David, and this is my friend, Keith.

Keith: Hello! David and I were at university together, but we haven’t seen each other for five years… but now David has found a job in London, so we can meet more often. We’ve decided to have dinner together…

David: And a long chat!! Keith loves Indian food, and I haven’t had Indian for ages, so this restaurant seemed to be a good place to come. I’m really looking forward to it!

Waiter: Would you like to order now, gentlemen?

Keith: Ah, yes… now then… I think I’ll have a starter.

David: Yes, me too. What about Onion Bhajis?

Keith: I love them! And we’ll have a couple of Samosas, too, please.

Waiter: And for your main course?

Keith: I think… the madras and the vindaloo are too hot for me. I… I don’t think that would be a good idea… I know, I’ll have Lamb Kormamild, and cooked in cream!

David: And a Chicken Tikka Masala for me.

Keith: That’s not really Indian, David! They invented it for western customers!

David: I know, but I like it!

Keith: OK, OK. Now, vegetables. Aloo Gobi, I think – that’s cauliflower – some dhal. And we’ll have pilau rice for two… what about bread, David?

David: Yes, a couple of Naans and some Popadums.

Waiter: And to drink?

David: I’ll have that yoghurt drink – Lassi, that’s it!

Keith: In my opinion, the best accompaniment to an Indiam meal is a glass of cool lager!

Waiter: Very good. Thank you.

Keith: I’ll have another lager, please! This looks good! Mmm! So, tell me, David, how’s work?

David: Work? Work’s just fine. Things are going really well.

Keith: Great! I’m finishing my post-doc, so I’m pleased about that. And the university has offered me an interesting job.

David: Mm… Sounds good.

Keith: Yeah. Well… what about your love life?

David: Oh yes, that! Well, I’ve had six or seven relationships, you know, all with beautiful women, but they’ve all endend in tears, as usual. I think women always want too much… at least from me. The last one was Sandra. Huh! I’ve never met a more dishonest, manipulative woman in my life.  Ugh, terrible! What about you?

Keith: Well, you know, I’ve met quite a few nice women recently, but nothing serious. I still believe every woman is different… there are no rules. Mmm, this dhal is delicious – I love lentils. And the Korma looks excellent, too. How’s yours?

David: Mmm… It’s very tasty. I like the Chicken Tikka Masala, because it’s not too hot. I can’t stand food which is too spicy. By the way, you went out with… erm… Sandra’s friend, right? What’s her name? Jade? What’s happened to her?

Keith: I haven’t talked to her since last Christmas and that was when we split up. Mind you, I have spoken to Sandra, actually. In fact, I’ve talked to her a lot recently.

David: Who? Sandra!!

Keith: Yes.

David: You’re not… erm… I mean… you’re not seeing her at the moment, are you?

Keith: What? ‘Seeing her?’ Well maybe, David, maybe. I mean… umm … yes, actually… yes… I am.

David: What about dessert?

  • And a long chat – E una lunga chiacchierata

La parola chat è entrata nell’uso quotidiano ormai; to chat infatti significa ‘chiacchierare’, e un chiacchierone è un chatterbox.


  • Cooked in cream – cotto nella panna

cream è ‘panna’ o ‘crema’, a volte però di consistenza diversa da quella usata nella nostra cucina. E a proposito di cucina, ecco alcuni vocaboli utili

Shell the peas Sgranare i piselli

Peel/mash the potatoes Sbucciare/schiacciarele patate

Shred the lettuce Tagliare l’insalata

Dice the carrot Tagliare la carotaa dadini

Slice/chop the onions Affettare/tritare le cipolle

Dress/toss the salad Condire/mescolare l’insalata

Beat the eggs Sbattere le uova

Knead the dough Lavorare la pasta

To grate Grattugiare

Drain the pasta Scolare la pasta

Coat with breadcrumbs Impanare

Grease the tin Ungere la teglia

To sift Setacciare


  • This dhal is delicious – questo dhal è delizioso

I due amici sembrano apprezzare molto la loro cenetta indiana: delicious, excellent, tasty descrivono il loro entusiasmo per le pietanze.


  • Mind you, I have spoken to Sandra, actually – ma attenzione, ho parlato con Sandra, in realtàRicorda il false friend actually, che significa ‘in realtà, veramente’, mentre ‘attualmente’ si traduce con presently/ now/ at the present time.

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