"You don't need a silver fork to eat good food." - Paul Prudhomme
India is a foodie paradise. People from across the globe come to India to taste the varieties of food which are unique in their own way. The exotic delicacies, recipes, and spices are the ingredients that make Indian food remarkable. If you're an Indian, you know quite well what I am talking about.
We Indians are so much indulged in the varieties of food in our country, that we have never even wondered where did they come from. But did you know that most of the dishes that we Indian are known for are not originally from India? Shocked? Well, I was too when I first realized about this fact.
So, how about we read about some of these dishes which are though famous in India but are not of Indian origin.
Biryani is a South Asian mixed rice dish with its origins among the Muslims of South Asia, but according to Wikipedia, the exact origin of the dish is uncertain. Indian restaurateur Kris Dhillon believes that the dish originated in Persia, and was brought to India by the Mughals. However, another theory claims that the dish was known in India before the first Mughal emperor Babur came to India.
As mentioned in Wikipedia, Gulab Jamun was first prepared in medieval India, derived from a pancake that Central Asian Turkic invaders brought to India. One theory also claims that it was accidentally prepared by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's personal chef.
It is said that the word 'Gulab' is derived from the Persian words gol (flower) and āb (water), referring to the rosewater-scented syrup. 'Jamun' or 'Jaman' is the Hindi-Urdu word for Syzygium jambolanum, an Indian fruit with a similar size and shape. According to the cooking historian, Michael Krondl, both luqmat al-qadi and Gulab Jamun may have derived from a Persian dish.
All tea comes originally from China. According to some sources, tea, in Mandarin, is called cha but the Dutch traders who first brought back tea in the early 1600s bought it from traders on junk ships from the port of Amoy in Fujian province. As Wikipedia says, in the 1830s, the British East India Company became concerned about the Chinese monopoly on tea, and so they began to cultivate tea plantations locally.
According to Wikipedia, Dal Bhat is a traditional meal from the Indian subcontinent, popular in many areas of Nepal, Bangladesh, and India. Now, every time you eat Dal Bhat don't forget to think about Himalayas and Nepal.
According to the sources, there are multiple claims about Chicken Tikka Masala's place of origin, including the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent or Glasgow in Scotland. You will be shocked to know that it is among the United Kingdom's most popular dishes, leading a government minister, Robin Cook, to claim in 2001 that it was 'A true British National Dish'.
The most savored street food among the non-vegetarians originated in the ancient Middle Eastern era during the 19th century in Ottoman Bursa (modern Bursa, Turkey). Their lip smacking Shawarmas is served up in different styles. Some places provide two or more meat selections and are usually served with a variety of Vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, cucumber and decorated with a halved lemon. Head over to Arsalan's Shawarma King in Malvani, Malad to try their Open Shawarma and Classic Chick Shawarma. The Shawarmas over here are their own creations and offer a variety of other Middle Eastern Delicacies. We bet you would be left asking for more.
Rajma is a popular South Asian dish made of red kidney beans in a thick gravy and is usually served with rice. According to Wikipedia, the dish developed after the red kidney bean was brought to the Indian subcontinent from Mexico. Although the kidney bean is not of South Asian origin, it is a part of regular diet in Northern India and Nepal.
According to Wikipedia, Bandel Cheese is an Asian cheese originated in a Portuguese colony, Bandel located in eastern India. To all those who are new to this name, Bandel Cheese is made by separating the curds from whey with lemon juice and then molded and drained in small baskets and smoked. Currently, it is produced in the towns of Tarakeswar and Bishnupur, Bankura, near Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Naan, as we know it today, originated from Central and South Asia with influence from the Middle-East. According to Indian Express, many believe Naan was developed by the Persians and the Mughals. While, it is also said that it was developed around 2,500 years ago, Naan originated by virtue of an experiment, after the arrival of yeast in India from Egypt.
Shukto is prepared from Karela or Bitter Gourd which is Indian in origin but was prepared by the Portuguese in olden days. According to India Times, slowly, Indian influences like multiple other vegetables and a touch of milk/sweet to cut the spice were added to the dish.
Jalebi is believed to be derived from a similar dish of West Asia. According to Hobson-Jobson, the word jalebi is derived from the word Arabic zulabiyaor the Persian zolbiya, the name for a similar dish. According to Wikipedia, the dish was brought to Medieval India by Persian-speaking Turkic invaders.
It is believed that on a journey to Mecca in the 16th century Baba Budan, a revered Sufi saint from Karnataka state, discovered the wonders of coffee. In his eagerness to grow coffee himself at home, he hid seven coffee beans out of the Yemeni port of Mocha wrapped within his garments. According to Wikipedia, then he planted the beans on the slopes of the Chandragiri Hills in Kadur district, Mysore, which was later named after him as the Baba Budan Hills.
The origins of Falooda go back to Persia, where a similar dessert faloodeh was popular. According to Wikipedia, the dessert came to India with many Muslim merchants and dynasties that settled in India in the 16th to 18th century.
Vindaloo is a standard element of Goan cuisine derived from the Portuguese carne de vinha d'alhos meaning meat in garlic wine marinade. According to Wikipedia, it is a dish of meat marinated in wine and garlic. Though the original recipe does not use potatoes, Indians modified the recipe further by using potatoes as the word 'Aloo' in Vindaloo means potato in Hindi.
That's all, folks. I hope now you know where your favorite dishes have come from.
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