Mamta's Kitchen - A Family Cookbook

Cooking Conversion Charts

Cookery books from different countries, even different periods in the same country use different units of measurements. They are a minefield of confusion. Changing to metric system in recent times has made life easier, but many people are resistant to change. I read somewhere; "if God had meant humans to use the metric system, he'd have given us ten fingers!!"

I have attempted below to make some sense of this confusion, so I hope you will find what you are looking for. Generally speaking, rounding up a conversion to the nearest complete figure, e.g. 28.4 ml to 30 ml, is enough.

Oven Temperature

Always warm the oven for at least 10 minutes or until the indicator light goes out telling you that the desired temperature has been reached. Oven temperatures vary. Fan ovens should be kept around 10-15°C lower than ordinary ones.

Fahrenheit Centigrade Gas Oven Mark
475°F246°C9Very Hot
450°F232°C8Very Hot
425°F218°C7Fairly Hot
400°F204°C6Fairly Hot
375°F191°C5Moderately Hot
250°F121°C12Very Cool
225°F110°C14Very Cool

Metric & Imperial Weights

The task of converting between metric and imperial measurements is that many imperial measurements vary not only in different countries but even within the same country.

So take the precise conversions with a pinch of salt(!); simpler approximations will often be accurate enough.

It is a good idea to have one large weighing scale that will measure up to 5 kg. A smaller scale - the type often used by people on a diet - is good for measuring very small quantities accurately.

Quick approximations
1 gram (gm.)A pinch
30 gm.1 ounce (oz.)
125 gm.14 pound (lb.) (4 oz.)
250 gm.12 lb. (8 oz.)
500 gm.1 lb. (16 oz.)
750 gm.112 lbs.
1 kilogram (kg.)2 lbs.

More accurate conversions are below; there are two lists, depending on which direction you are converting.

Imperial to Metric
12 oz.14 gm.
34 oz.21 gm.
1 oz.28 gm.
2 oz.56 gm.
3 oz.85 gm.
4 oz.113 gm. (US stick of butter)
5 oz.142 gm.
6 oz.170 gm.
7 oz.198 gm.
8 oz.227 gm.
9 oz.255 gm.
10 oz.284 gm.
11 oz.312 gm.
12 oz.340 gm.
13 oz.369 gm.
14 oz.397 gm.
15 oz.425 gm.
1 lb.454 gm.
114 lb.624 gm.
112 lb.680 gm.
Metric to Imperial
10 gm.13 oz.
20 gm.23 oz.
30 gm.1 oz.
40 gm.112 oz.
50 gm.134 oz.
100 gm.312 oz.
200 gm.7 oz.
300 gm.1012 oz.
400 gm.14 oz.
500 gm.1 lb. 112 oz.
1 kg.2 lb. 3 oz.
112 kg.3 lb. 5 oz.
2 kg.4 lb. 612 oz.
5 kg.11 lb.

Metric & Imperial Volumes

Spoons and cups can vary slightly in size, but the ratios always remain the same. Therefore, it is a good idea to buy a set of measuring spoons. They are available from all good kitchen stores and often come on a chain, so that they do not get separated.

Buy a measuring jug that has litres, millilitres, pints and fluid ounces marked. Generally, rounding up a conversion to the nearest complete figure, e.g. 28.4 ml as 30 ml, is enough.

Note that here, a fluid ounce (fl. oz.) is considered to be the British version (28.4 ml.), rather than the US one (29.5 ml.) - the difference is minor enough for this not to make a significant difference. This does mean that some of the larger volumes don't quite add up, as errors accumulate - for example, a UK pint is 20 fl. oz., but is 568 ml. rather than 20*30 = 600 ml.

1.25 ml.14 teaspoon (tsp)
2.5 ml.12 teaspoon (tsp)
5 ml.1 teaspoon (tsp)
10 ml.1 dessertspoon (dsp) or 2 teaspoons (tsp)
15 ml. 12 fl. oz. 1 tablespoon (tbsp) or 3 teaspoons (tsp)
30 ml.1 fl. oz.
60 ml. 2 fl. oz. 14 cup (US)
62.5 ml. 14 cup (UK)
120 ml. 4 fl. oz. 12 cup (US)
125 ml. 12 cup (UK)
189 ml. 13 pint (UK)
240 ml.8 fl. oz.1 cup (US)
250 ml.1 cup (UK)
284 ml. 12 pint (UK)
426 ml. 34 pint (UK)
473 ml.16 fl. oz.1 pint (US)
568 ml.20 fl. oz.1 pint (UK)
1 litre (l.) 34 fl. oz. 134 pints (UK)
1.2 l.40 fl. oz.2 pints (UK)
3.8 l. 128 fl. oz. 1 gallon (8 pints) (US)
4.5 l. 160 fl. oz. 1 gallon (8 pints) (UK)

Old Indian Measures

These old Indian measures are from my dad's old recipe book. Some very old recipes still mention them.

Note that these are highly regional, and vary considerably - they can also have different meanings when dealing with weights and volumes; this makes translating very old recipes complicated!

Unit Metric
1 ratti 0.125 gram
1 masha 8 ratti 1 gram
1 tola 12 masha 12 grams
1 chatak 5 tola 60 grams
1 pav 4 chatak 250 grams
1 ser 4 pav 1 kilogram