(Feature Image Credits: Miss India Menu Website)
Tracing the origin of food is always fun and an interesting way to look at history. Having said that, did you know chai’, one of the most favourite Indian beverages has its origins in China as a medicinal drink which is not as milky and sweet as ours. Surprised? Well, don’t we Indians have this amazing habit of claiming almost everything coming from anywhere as our own? But, honestly speaking there are actually a number of ‘Indian delicacies’ which are not at all Indian by origin that we consume almost everyday without knowing their actual origins.
Here’s a list of some of the most common and seemingly Indian delicacies which we proudly flaunt as Indian food but their origins are far away from India.
Chicken Tikka Masala is originally from Glasgow:
Glasgow, Scotland is actually the home to delicious chicken tikka masala, one such dish under the so called Indian delicacies which are not at all Indian by origin. Chicken tikka masala is a dish with rich combination of flavours with chunks of marinated and roasted chicken simmered in a creamy, and spiced gravy orange in colour. Though the origin of the dish is still disputed upon, but it is said that Ali Ahmed Aslam, a chef and proprietor of the Shish Mahal restaurant in the West end of Glasgow, invented chicken tikka masala by improvising a sauce made from yogurt, cream and spices in 1971.
Gulab Jamun is originally from Persia:
Gulab Jamun, one of the most favourite Indian dessert originated in the Mediterranean and Persia. A theory claims that it was accidentally prepared by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s personal chef. Gulab is derived from the Persian words gol (flower) and ab (water), referring to the rose water-scented syrup. Jamun or Jaman is the Hindi-Urdu word for Syzygium jambolanum, an Indian fruit with a similar size and shape. Original form of the dessert is called Luqmat Al-Qadi which is made of dough balls deep fried, soaked in honey syrup and sprinkled with sugar, quite similar to the Indian dessert which is a bit modified.
Dal Bhat (rice) is originally from Nepal:
Dal Bhat is the most common and classic Nepali dish which is the staple daily diet of majority of the population in Nepal. Dal bhat or dal rice is a comfort food all over India which has many variations. Though Dal bhat seems like an Indian dish, but it falls under the Indian delicacies which are not at all Indian by origin. Actually the dish entered Indian kitchens through North Indian influences spreading throughout the country.
Rajma is originally from Mexico:
Rajma (Kidney Beans), a popular North Indian staple was brought to India from Mexico. The initial preparation or soaking and boiling the beans and adding a few spices is adapted from Mexican recipes. The Indian variant of rajma which is accompanied with a rich and thick gravy prepared with chopped onions, garlic, tomatoes and other spices is very different from the Mexican preparations.
Biryani is originally from Turkey:
Biryani originates from Persia and the word is derived from the Persian word ‘birinj’ meaning rice. It originated in Persia and Arabia which has now come to be an essential part of the Mughal cuisine. Biryani has many variations throughout India and is one of the most preferred and liked dishes.
Samosa and Jalebi are originally from Middle East:
The two very common and delicious snacks that we usually munch on, samosa and jalebi are not at all Indian but two amazing gifts from the Middle East. The size may vary but the the distinct shapes and idea are constant. Samosa, originally known as ‘sambosa’, was brought in India sometime between the 13th and 14th century by traders of the Middle East. Jalebi, originally known as ‘zalabiya’ (Arabic) or the ‘zalibiya’ (Persian), was brought to India by Persian invaders.
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