Yes, it’s true that we might not know the history of the food we eat and as long as it tastes good, who cares? Isn’t it?
But here is the heartbreaking truth about Indian foods which you thought they were Indian but are not.
1. Gulab Jamuns
The very thought of Gulab Jamuns will surely cause the mouth- watering. This calorie-filled dough balls, deep-fried and then soaked in honey syrup and sprinkled with sugar is sufficient to send anyone to food heaven.
This dish is so versatile that you can enjoy it cold, hot, or simply at room temperature.
But your favorite Indian dessert originated in the Persia and Mediterranean.
Though the original form of Gulab Jamuns is called ‘luqmat al qadi’ and once it reached India, the recipe was modified.
The most popular drink all over the world
Tea has its origins in China. While the Chinese people used chai as a medicinal drink, the Britains soon discovered it and loved its versatile nature.
Now, the British being British wanted to cut China’s control over trade in the tea market. So, they brought ‘chai’ to India (by teaching cultivation techniques to the North-East Indian tribals and offering incentives to Britons who wanted to grow in India).
And it has been a part of India ever since! It was only in the 1950s that chai became so famous.
3. Dal Bhaat
Dal Bhaat (Dal-rice) is another popular food all over India. This food has also any variations like the ‘Khichdi’ which is very famous among Indians. Though Dal Bhaat seems like a very simple, Indian dish, it is not Indian at all.
Dal Bhaat is actually originated from Nepal and it was via North Indian influences that the dish came to India and spread all over the region.
Rajma Chawal or the kidney bean has spread quickly from being a North Indian standard to being loved by a lot of Indian people.
The dish which is as famous as ‘chole-bhature’ is a wholesome meal in itself. However, Rajma or kidney beans in Rajma Chawal is not Indian.
The bean was brought to India through Guatemala and Central Mexico. The initial preparation i.e. soaking, boiling the kidney beans and adding a few spices is restyled from Mexican recipes.
Rajma is the important in Mexican diet even today though it’s Indian variants are quite unique from the Mexican preparations.
The kidney bean and recipes prepared using Rajma are popular in Northern India and the natives often add vegetables like tomatoes and onions and Indian spices to make it tasty.
How can this delicious sweet not be Indian? But it isn’t. At present, this dessert is popular all over the country in different forms.
And there are so many variations of this just one sweet including Jaangiri and Imartee. While North India loves their crispy and thin jalebis, the South Indian version is of slightly different shape and thicker.
Jalebi is actually from the Middle East which was brought to India by Persian invaders. Though it’s different variations were found across different Asian regions. Originally Jalebi is known as ‘zalabiya (Arabic)’ or the ‘zalibiya (Persian)’.
The soft, melt-in-the-mouth bread, Naan is loved all over the world. This dish is available in almost all North Indian restaurants all over the country.
The Europeans and Americans have recently discovered the joys of this leavened bread and love pairing it with their ‘chicken tikka.’
However, naan was brought to India during the Mughal era. Naan has its origin in ‘Persian cuisine’ although the leavened bread is actually ‘Iranian’.
But its variations with khus, rose-water, or stuffed naan might actually tingle your taste buds!
7. Filter Coffee or ‘kaapi’
Filter coffee became famous in India quite late, in the 1950s, around the same time when ‘Chai’ started to get traction.
Actually, coffee was not a part of India till the 16th century when it was smuggled into India by Baba Budan, on his trip to Mecca.
On returning, he grew coffee and the drink soon became famous. Indians would drink coffee without sugar or milk in place of liqueur.
Filter coffee was made popular by ‘Coffee Cess Committee’ when they set up their first Coffee House in Bombay in 1936.
ORIGIN: Middle East
Most Indian households favorite tea time snacks, Samosa has its origins in the Middle East, where it is known as ‘Sambosa.’ Traders brought it to India in the 14th century, and it has become famous ever since.
A classic dish Biryani is served up for Sunday lunches and celebratory festivals.
The proof of its popularity is the unique varieties you find all over the India with almost every state having its own version.
This rice and meat dish came from Persia via the Mughal invaders.
10. Chicken Tikka Masala
Popularly known as the ‘national dish of the UK’, this dish that traveled back to its mother land in an ‘altered version’. It’s the ‘NRI of Indian food.’
No doubt, chicken tikka is Indian, but the version with ‘masala’ suffixed originated in Scotland.