We Indians are foodies! From eating pani-puri at a nearby local vendor to having a heavy buffet at leading restaurant chains, we crave for different tastes in food. And, there are some popular dishes, that we believe, belong to Indian tradition only. But the question is ‘Do they?’.
It is hard for us to imagine the food that we consume, either daily or every other day, had been derived from a foreign recipe. Keep reading this blog to unfold the original story of some famous Indian items of food.
We all Indians literally live on 3-4 cups of tea a day, but our beloved Chai is not from India. Turns out! Our life savior Chai was a medicinal drink in South-West China. British introduced chá (the original pronunciation) to India, only to break the monopoly of China in the tea market. Soon the tribals of North-East Indian learned the cultivation techniques and Chai became a morning energy drink for Indians to kick-start their day. Use the latest Chai Point coupons to order steaming hot tea and savor it with some biscuits.
Any Indian can relate to the feeling of having a bite of hot and crispy Jalebi on a rainy day. Well, this toothsome dish is not truly Indian, but Persian. Initially, it was known as Zalibiya or Zalabiya (in Arabic) and was brought to our lands by the invaders from West Asia. It was believed, people used to distribute Jalebi among the poor during Ramadan. And now, different forms of Jalebis, including Imertee and Jangiri, are available at every sweet corner.
Whenever we have guests at our home, Samosa is the first item on our food list. But Samosa, the best companion of Tea, is not originally from India. This stuffed-with-potato guest now has become a part of Indian food family but was introduced by the traders of Middle East between 13th and 14th Century and its real name was ‘Sambosa’. But who cares about the name when you have this yummy dish on your plate.
Shukto is a famous Bitter-sweet Bengali dish which is full of veggies and served with rice. However, this tempting Bengali dish is not from Indian horizons. It was a Portuguese cuisine which was prepared using bitter gourd (Karela) as the main ingredient. Slowly different vegetables were added, along with milk/sweet, to the recipe and finally, Shukto became one of the favorite dishes among the Bengali community.
Remember your childhood days when you used to come back from school, and your mother served you hot & mouth-watering Dal-bhaat (Dal-Chawal)? Nostalgic…Huh?? But the heartbreaking reality is the origin of Dal-Bhaat is not Indian. This staple dish is the National food of our neighboring country, Nepal. Gradually, this plate full of delights spread throughout the country, giving rise to variants like Khichdi and becoming an essential meal of our daily diet.
6. Gulab Jamun
The fun of any good news is incomplete without gulping a whole Gulab Jamun in a go. But there is a bad news folks! This king of sweets isn’t Indian. The roots of Gulab Jamun belong to Persia, and originally, it was known as luqmat al-qadi. During the Mughal period, these rose-scented syrup balls were prepared in a different way. Deep-fried dough balls were soaked in honey syrup, and sugar was sprinkled over before presenting them to the emperor. In due course, the batter was modified and so, the name of this delicious dessert. Use the latest Swiggy Coupons to order your favorite sweets from Swiggy.
Rajma is a really popular dish in India especially in the Northern States of the country. But did you know rajma, also known as kidney beans is not an Indian dish at all. It is actually Portuguese and was brought to India by them. In fact, even the cooking method, i.e. soaking the beans overnight and then boiling them with spices, is not Indian. Its actually Mexican. Although, people in India have changed the combination of spices and amped it up to suit their taste buds.
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8. Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala, a dish that’s prepared by cooking boneless pieces of marinated chicken in a tandoor and then combining it in a subtly spiced tomato-cream sauce, is not an Indian invention. The dish is believed to have been invented in the 1970s by a British Bangladeshi chef, Ali Ahmed Aslam, owner of the Shish Mahal restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland. He created it to please a customer to had ordered Chicken Curry but returned the dish because it was too dry. So, the chef mixed some tomato soup into the curry with some spices and returned it back to the table. The dish became a success overnight.
9. Filter Coffee
Filter Coffee, a popular South Indian beverage, is also not an Indian invention. There are 2 stories actually about how filter coffee became popular in India. The first attributes the origin of filter coffee to the French during India’s colonial past. It is rumored that in the early 17th century, there was a shortage in the supply of coffee because of which the French started blending chicory with coffee and thus filter coffee was born. According to the second story, Baba Budan, a Muslim saint from Chikmagalur, smuggled seven coffee beans from present-day Yemen while returning from the Hajj pilgrimage in the 17th century. He then planted them in the Chandragiri Hills of the Chikmagalur district, where they soon flourished.
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India’s most loved bread – the naan is actually not an Indian dish. It is believed Naan, like kebabs that came from Persia, was developed by the Persians and the Mughals. However, the first recorded history of Naan can be found in 1300 AD in the notes of the Indo-Persian poet Amir Kushrau. It was cooked at the Imperial Court in Delhi as naan-e-tunuk (light bread) and naan-e-tanuri (cooked in a tandoor oven) and was usually served with keema or kebab as a breakfast meal. Now, Naan is without a doubt one of the most integral parts of authentic Indian & Mughlai cuisine around the world and a must-have at restaurants.