Shortening is simply "fat" used in making pastry, bread or cake. It could also mean the type of solid fat that is made from vegetable oils. Popular brand in the U.S is Crisco. I tend to use the Non-hydrogenated, Organic variety with 0 trans fats, that's made from palm oil. See this Apple Rosemary Pie Recipe
In India, you can use Dalda
, which is think is the same as Crisco brand Shortening. For a healthier choice, you are better off using Butter instead.