Food and Drink

Famous Indian food that is not even Indian!

Are you aware that your favorite dish you have been eating for years and that is also famous Indian food can not be indian! Checkout here!

Eating food that belongs to our country is one of the most soul-soothing experiences. It makes us feel close to our tradition and roots in a genuine way. Indian cuisine is so diverse, each having a unique history. But to our surprise, there are many such dishes we eat that have origins in other countries. Yes, there are famous Indian food that is not Indian.

Unbelievable? Well, in history there was an era when the Indian subcontinent was often invaded and influenced by encircling nations. This food came and settled here so well that it is deep-rooted in India’s traditions. They are so mingled with our cuisines that even a foreigner would think and name it an Indian delicacy.

Let us have a look at such dishes that we have always thought were Indian but turns out, they aren’t!

1. Gulab Jamun

It is almost impossible to think that the gulab jamun, the very common sweet delicacy we always used to picture when Indian sweets are talked about, is not Indian. Feeling cheated? Well, the king of sweets, the very famous Indian food gulab jamun is not Indian but actually Persian and Mediterranean. Even the name has a derivation in Persian: gol(flower) ab(water). Its actual name was ‘luqmat al qadi’, or lomka a preparation that includes soaking the khoya balls in honey syrup and then having them drizzled with sugar

2. Dal Chawal

When it is about the simplest satisfying Indian food, dal chawal is the first name that pops up in everyone’s mind. There is no such person that doesn’t love this famous Indian food. But wait! Is it really Indian? No, it has its origin in Nepal! We must thank our neighbors for introducing this common Indian dish cooked in almost all Indian states.

3. Samosa

You will surely feel cheated when you will hear that your favorite Indian street food Samosa belongs to another country and not India. Samosa is also among the amazing street food in Jaipur to eat. Everyone’s favorite samosas actually originated in the Middle East before the 10th century. Originally named a ‘sambosa’, samosa was introduced by traders from central Asia. They used to carry ‘Sambosa’ with fillings of meat, nuts, and other delicious stuff for their meals during the trade process.

4. Tea

This would be even harder to digest, every Indian household’s morning addiction to keep going throughout the day Tea is also not Indian. The roots of this truly intriguing beverage running in our blood lie in China. Of all the things that happened during the British invasion, cultivating tea was the best thing. Since then tea has become an inseparable part of us ruling our hearts. From small kiosks to quaint cafes there are many restaurants in Jaipur that serves variety of flavors in tea

5. Rajma

Another most common and everyone’s favorite Rajma is also not Indian. This popular Punjabi dish belongs originally to Mexico. You might have seen stuffing of rajma inside tacos, and burritos and thought that they might have copied us. But it was us who copied! Mexicans acquainted us with the concept of soaking and boiling it. Later the dish was created in our Indian version with a thick gravy with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and spices.

6. Filter Coffee

Every time we smell it we crave it. The very popular filter coffee is not from south India, actually not even from India. This hot beverage has its origins in the Yemen region. Once a Sufi saint Baba Budan was on his way to Mecca for pilgrimage. He discovered this dish and introduced it to India. The saint had carried along seven coffee beans from Mocha, Yemen to India.

7. Chicken Tikka Masala

We have always been boasting chicken tikka masala as our own delicacy and roasting foreign cuisines for not having spicy dishes. But believe it or not, this super-rich dish has its roots going back to Glasgow, Scotland. This dish was discovered by chef Ali Ahmed in Glasgow in the year 1971 when on a customer’s demand. It was an improvised version of the dry chicken.

8. Jalebi

Jalebi is so much into us that we have even paired this sweet delicacy with our everyday favorite foods. It is a perfect partner whether it is Poha-jalebi, Dudh-jalebi, Rabdi-jalebi, Jalebi-fafda, etc. We even have age-old idioms associated with it. But the bitter truth is that this popular dessert is actually anything but Indian. Originally named ‘zalabiya’ (Arabic) or ‘zalibiya’ (Persian), it came all over from the Middle East.

9. Naan

Be it paneer, dal makhani, chole, or any Indian curry or gravy we literally need naan with it. When it’s about fine dining, everyone’s favorite is Naan. Despite us devouring naan and its varieties like butter naan, garlic naan, stuffed naan, etc do you know what we think of as an Indian bread item is not even Indian! The fact is that the naan’s roots lie with Persians. It was introduced in India when the Persians colonized India.

10. Biryani

This one would surely leave all biryani lovers in shock. Till now we have known biryani is the original dish of Hyderabad and we are ok with it. But this Indian delight is not Indian? No way! We have always related it with the streets of Kolkata to the Nawabi lanes of Lucknow. Biryani has its origin in Persia and not India and Biryani word came from the Persian word ‘birian’ which means ‘fried before cooking’.

11. Idli

Idli will make us doubt every famous Indian food on where its origins are from. Popularly loved as a south Indian dish, idli is the staple food of south Indian households. It is so famous in our country that it has become a favorite breakfast for Sundays and any Indian event or occasion. But we were kinda at fault too in this list. Idli is actually from Indonesia and came to India by the Arabs.

12. Momo

Everytime when you want something spicy and hot you go for a place of steaming hot Momos. Eating those piping hot dumplings would have always made you feel that they are from Ladakh, but it’s not the truth. Momos belong to our neighbouring country Nepal. Momos were originally brought from Nepal to India by the Newar merchants during their trade process.

13. Pav

Ask any Mumbaikar what pav is and you will get to know the height of love for pav in their every dish Vada pav, Misal pav, pav bhaji. These are among their famous street food people usually start their day with as breakfast. But is Pav from their city? For your information this famous Indian food is not Indian but has Portuguese roots. The first Portuguese sailor to land in India was Vasco Da Gama at Calicut, Kerala. They soon conquered Goa, and Mumbai. They used to consume ‘Pão’ in Portuguese as their breakfast and soon the bread spread as a staple food for Mumbaikars and also most of us.

14. Chillies

You have to thank the Portuguese for your daily ingredient chilly. Yes, chillies too were introduced by the Portuguese. However, it was the Spanish sailors who first discovered chillies in Mexico. From Spain, it spread to other parts of Europe and this is when the Portuguese found out
of its flavor. When the Portuguese landed in India, they brought chillies in their baggage. Since then chillies have been added to our daily food. Today, chillies are such a popular ingredient in
Indian cuisine it’s hard to believe it’s not originally Indian.

Don’t be heartbroken! No matter if these dishes are not Indian, we still can proudly eat them anytime, as now they have so well meshed that we own them like a pro!

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