Senior Member
English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
Hello Lugubert! I think your search may be over! Here is the relevant passage from Kipling’s book, ‘Kim’: [[...Then I say: "Even verree poor man cabuy a turquoise or tarkeean." ' 'That is kichree - vegetable curry,' said Kim. 'Of course it is. You say: "Let me see the tarkeean."...]] The clue to your query is in the answer Kim gives: 'That is kichree - vegetable curry,' We call it (in both Urdu and Hindi) khichRi --- pronounced ‘k-hichRee’ and spelt [كھِچْڑی ] --- with the ‘h’ fully aspirated and the R a retroflex!. It is a very simple dish made from boiling rice (چاول ) with the lentils (دال ), plus condiments. Here is more about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khichdi [[I do not know the origin of the word ‘tarkeean’ as used by Kipling. Will have to do some searching]] Its very satisfying. My favourite is ‘moong dal (Mung bean) khicRi with fresh coriander chutney. [moong dal = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moong_daal ] There is a general belief that khichRe gave rise to the Anglo-Indian dish Kedgree:http://www.grouprecipes.com/35654/kedgree.html and http://informationsinindia.blogspot.com/2007/06/fish-kedgree.html I had this in Scotland. Quite good. The word كھِچْڑی ( khichRi / khichRee / khichDee etc.) is also used generally and metaphorically to mean mixing things up. For example if someone uses a lot of foreign (English) words in Urdu or Hindi, then we can say: osne to zabaan ki khichRee banaa dee! = He / She has got his / her language all mixed up! = He /She has made mess of the language etc. Hope this helps.
  • Lugubert

    Senior Member
    Thanks for taking your time. Yes, that quote is indeed what started my search. I have asked Indians and a few people in India, but so far, there's no answer. Like I wrote, I know that it is a kind of curry, but what I'm looking for is a (preferably dictionary) reference to the spelling of 'tarkeean' in Hindi and Urdu, not just a however educated guess. Waiting for the answer, guesses are welcome: t- or T, -r- or -R-, -i- or -ii-, etc...