Foods like samosa, gulab jamun, a hot cup of filter coffee give you immense pleasure, but what if we tell you that some of the most popular Indian dishes aren’t originally Indian. Yes, some of your favourite snacks or street foods may not be desi. However, due to their popularity, they have become an integral part of our existence so much so that it’s hard to believe that they weren’t originated here. It was the constant foreign invasion that made these foreign dishes popular in India. Let us look at these popular Indian dishes which are not of Indian origin.
When it comes to Indian sweets, gulab jamun is the first thing that comes to our minds. But, this sweet has its origin in Persia. Even the name gulab jamun has Persian origins. Gol in Persian means flower and ab on the other hand means water. In Persian, gulab jamun was actually called, ‘luqmat al qadi’. So, if you were thinking that this festive special sweet is Indian, then you are wrong.
Recipe link: Gulab jamun
Rajma is one such dish that will make most of the North Indians go crazy about it. The rajma chawal combination is extremely popular in Punjab. However, rajma has its origin in Portugal. After the Portuguese, it was in Mexico where the concept of boiling and soaking rajma in the water came into place. Although, rajma may not be Indian or Punjabi, yet the Indian version of rajma is so popular that you can find rajma chawal almost everywhere in India.
Recipe link: Rajma
Filter coffee is also popularly called ‘kaaphi’. While most Indians are reminded of South India on hearing filter coffee. However, the truth is filter coffee is not even Indian. It is said that filter coffee was first introduced in India by the Sufi saint, Baba Budan. Babu Budan brought coffee beans for filter coffee from Yemen to India. And this is how we got our favourite, South Indian beverage, filter coffee.
Recipe link: Filter Coffee
Origin: Middle East
Our very own evening snack and street food, samosa, is also not Indian. Samosa-chai is one of the most popular duo dishes that one can think of. However, samosa came to India from the Middle East. It was called ‘sambosa’ in the Middle East and originally had a meat stuffing. Later, it was in the 14th century when it came to India. Nevertheless, we have made samosa an undeniable part of our lives. Isn’t it?
Recipe link: Samosa
Origin: Middle East
Wanna enjoy piping hot jalebis? If yes then we have listed a jalebi recipe for your satisfaction. Jalebi, a loved Indian sweet, is yet another food to have its origin in the Middle East. It was called ‘zalabiya’ in the Middle East. However, Indians have accepted it as their own and have made their own versions of it. So, do not forget to taste jalebi rabri and have a delectable time.
Recipe link: Jalebi
Chicken tikka masala is a favourite chicken dish of most chicken lovers. This popular dish is an obvious presence in most Punjabi households. However, did you know that chicken tikka masala has its origin in Glasgow, Scotland? This dish originated in 1971 when chef Ali Ahmed prepared a different version of dry chicken at the request of a customer. And, this is how all of us got our chicken tikka masala.
Recipe link: Chicken tikka masala
There is no other Indian bread that can match the taste of naan. Naan goes best with flavourful curries and is so crunchy that you can never have enough of it. But, it turns out that naan is not an Indian bread and has its origin in Persia. Although Indians have now been making a variety of naan like paneer naan, garlic naan and more. But, we should actually thank Persia for letting us know the taste of naan.
Recipe link: Naan
Every Goan home is filled with the aroma of the popular Goan dish, vindaloo. Vindaloo is a meat curry dish that is made especially during Easters. However, this dish, vindaloo, originally belongs to Portugal. It was the Portuguese presence in Goa that this dish has now become a part of Goa and its culture.
Recipe link: Vindaloo
Biryani is one of the most loved dishes of many Indians. This rice-based dish is now made in India using different types of ingredients. However, like the above-mentioned dishes, even biryani is not Indian. Biryani has its origin in Persia. The root word of biryani, ‘birian’ means ‘fried before cooking’ in Persian. So, thanks to Persia who made this dish.
Recipe link: Biryani
Irrespective of their non-Indian origins, all of these dishes have become a part and parcel of our lives.
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Saumya Srivastava is a passionate reader who likes writing poetry. She is an avid foodie who keeps exploring new types of cuisine. Besides, she also has a strong love for literature.