They say you should never judge a book by its cover. Obviously ‘they’ never knew what the samosa, gulab jamun and jalebi were up to! These edibles – among many others – have been masquerading as Indian snacks for the past many years but some serious Googling led us to their parent countries. Here are 7 foods that we have the world to thank for (and not our local street vendor).
Alright, close that mouth now because Rajma-chawal, the North Indian staple, is not getting anymore Indian than it already isn’t. Turns out, this extra member of every Punjabi household is an original from Mexico. Right from the way it is cooked to the beans itself, all are Mexican immigrants (with generous ghee and spice-like Indian touches, of course).
Ok, I almost dropped my tea at this one! Samosa not Indian? That’s like saying Malaysia not truly Asia! Samosa, originally known as Sambosa, originates from the Middle East and was introduced to the Indian subcontinent by traders during the 13th and 14th century.
What watered first? Your mouth or your eyes? These treacle infused sweets have been parading Indian sweet shops for decades but did you know that this too isn’t Indian? This russet ball of calories was originally known as Luqmat Al Qadi and was soaked in honey syrup.
We can almost feel a wave of shock take over the Bengali community and Bengali food lovers. Shukto, which is a dish loaded with veggies and little curry, can be traced back to Portuguese history.
Originally called Zalibiya or Zalabiya in Persian and Arabic respectively, this syrup oozing dessert was brought to India by the Persian invaders. A recent Bollywood song starring pretty Miss Kaif suddenly makes so much sense now!
Mughal food lovers might not be too surprised by this piece of information. But to simpletons who haven’t looked beyond dhabas when it comes to butter chicken, dal and naan will be blown over. Naan roots from Persian cuisine and was merged into the platter of Indians during the Mughal era.
Dal Chawal/Dal Bhaat
*gasps* With variants like khichdi, rice and dal happen to be the one staple that unites the Indian subcontinent and ironically enough it has originated from the neighboring country, Nepal. So even my comfort food is not an original from India? Ok, I don’t trust my food anymore.