These Popular Indian Dishes are not Indian at all


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If there is one thing that unites India, despite our diverse multitudes, it is our legendary love for food.  For every occasion, every mood, every gathering, there are some popular Indian dishes associated. Be it Chai-Samosa during rainy evenings, or Jalebi to celebrate Sunday mornings, there are quintessential Indian delicacies that we all swear by! But a lot of our own has global origins. Here are few 100% desi foods that are not so desi:

SAMOSA

Samosa is undoubtedly India’s favorite snack. This tiny pyramid-shaped pastry, stuffed with the goodness of potato and spices, is a guaranteed mood-lifter. Our memorable Samosa moments range from unattended college periods, to the rishta conversation before an arranged marriage. The beloved Samosa has traveled far and wide from Egypt, Libya, and Central Asia, to come to India and become ours. It was originally called Samsa, named after the pyramids of Central Asia! The rich Samosa has also a rich history in its wake.

CHAI

Chai tea kettles on the street, Varanasi Benares India

I don’t need to say anything about Chai. Even writing about chai makes me crave for one.  Personally, I share an intimate relationship with this beverage. Be it busy mornings or boring meetings, my tryst with chai started at an early age. And I think that is true for most Indians. According to a legend, in 2737 BC, the Chinese emperor Shen Nung was sitting beneath a tree, while his servant boiled drinking water when some leaves from the tree blew into the water. Shen Nung, a renowned herbalist, decided to try the infusion that his servant had accidentally created. The tree was a Camellia sinensis, and the resulting drink was what we now call tea. This beverage made its way to the lives of the exploring Brits, who brought it with them to India. We have never gotten over it since!

SHUKTO

This one is for the Bengalis. Check out any Bengali food blog. Most likely, there will be a Shukto recipe in there. This bitter sweet conglomeration of odd vegetables is deeply comforting to the Bengali soul. I am sure my grandma won’t believe it, but apparently, Shukto came from the Portuguese. They brought it with them, when they colonized in the country, and became a unique part of our culture.

Also Read: Bengal’s unique connection with the French, the Portuguese and the Dutch – Chandannagar

RAJMA

Pic courtesy: Yummy o Yummy via Flickr

If there is one food that defines a large part of north India, it is Rajma. The spicy, black, kidney bean curry has been mastered by us like no other! But rumor has it that Rajma came to India from the Taco land, Mexico. The bean itself has Mexican origins, and made its way to India through the trade routes. Indians have managed to make it their own though, standing out distinctively in the preparation from its Mexican origins.

NAAN

Giving Naan a global identity feels like the equivalent of telling my brother that he is adopted. Of course, that’s funny. But early travelogues suggest that the famous Naan originated in the Middle East – in Persia to be particular. And it probably gained entry in India along with the invasion of the kings and the warriors. 

GULABJAMUN

Pic courtesy: Soniya Goyal via Flickr

I saved the most shocking one for the last! Yes, be it Holi or Diwali, when Sharma Ji ka beta tops the class, or Kohli breaks a record, the vivacious Gulabjamun is the omnipresent celebratory food. Not just that ..it is one of our favorite desserts.

Also read: Do Indians love Jalebi more, or Gulabjamun? What does Google say?

The different parts of India often disagree on how to make Gulabjamun better. But like Naan, Gulabjamun also immigrated from Persia. “Gol” is a flower and “ab” is water, While Jamun (jaman) resembles a fruit. The Arab dessert luqmat al-qadi is believed to be the parent of Gulab jamun, although it uses a completely different batter now. According to the culinary historian Michael Krondl, both luqmat al-qadi and Gulabjamun may have derived from a Persian dish, with rose water syrup being a common connection between the two

Can you think of any other Indian favorites that are not Indian at all? Comment below or write to us at editor@blankslatechronicles.com

Source credits: Wikipedia.

 

 

About Moumita Chakraborty

Moumita is gritty and persevering, besides being a subject matter expert on anything she sets her heart to. Her writing style pins on her empathy for the subject and fluidity of thought. She is great with people, which makes her a fabulous feature author and a Partner Relations expert.

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Moumita Chakraborty

Moumita is gritty and persevering, besides being a subject matter expert on anything she sets her heart to. Her writing style pins on her empathy for the subject and fluidity of thought. She is great with people, which makes her a fabulous feature author and a Partner Relations expert.

5 thoughts on “These Popular Indian Dishes are not Indian at all

  • June 17, 2017 at 12:53 pm
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    Mouthwatering pictures of gulab jamun and naan….lively reading. Never knew these were of foreign origin

  • June 17, 2017 at 2:58 pm
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    Didn’t know so many of our favourites were “imported”. The samosa has so many variations of size & filling, it could occupy an entire column by itself. Nice writing.

  • June 18, 2017 at 8:34 am
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    Thanks for the kind words! please keep reading and sharing 🙂

  • June 18, 2017 at 8:34 am
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    Thank You!! 🙂

  • June 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm
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    How fascinating!

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