11 Popular Indian Food That Are Not Indian At All. . .

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of authentic Indian cuisine?
Samosa, jalebi, and rajma are some of the popular dishes that we all eat on a regular basis. We boast about the flawless amalgamation of different spices in these dishes. As hard as it might sound to believe, most of our staple dishes aren’t Indian at all. We have certainly given them an Indian flavor to treat our tastebuds, but they have a whole different origin.

  1. Samosa
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    I’m going to start with my favorite type of snacks – Samosa. These crispy brown triangular snacks were originally called “Sambosa” and were introduced in the 14th century to Indians by traders who came from the Middle East. Needless to say, they certainly gave India the best present ever!
  2. Dal Bhat
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    This simple pan India dish came from our neighbors in Nepal.
  3. Rajma
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    All the Rajma lovers are going to hate me for this, but kidney beans were first introduced by the Portuguese. Later, Mexicans came with a similar version after soaking and boiling kidney beans. We chopped our favorite veggies and added our tangy spices to it while evolving it to rajma!
  4. Gulab Jamun
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    Dipped in heaven, the original dish (luqmat al qadi) is a Persian dessert that is mixed with honey syrup and sprinkled with powder sugar. I certainly need to try the original version of my favorite dessert now!
  5. Jalebi
    5Source
    Don’t rub your eyes! According to historians, Jalebi’s original name is “zalibiya” and it came all the way from the Middle East. It is the thicker version of Jalebi and is served steaming hot.
  6. Chai
    6Source
    Most of you might already know that tea was originally brought to India by the British Government (East India Company) from China. It was originally grown to serve medicinal purposes and later became our beloved everyday drink.
  7. Filter Coffee
    Frothy South Indian coffee served in steel glasses
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    I also used to think that filter coffee originated from Madras! There has been a clear mention in the history of how a Sufi saint (Baba Budan) brought filter coffee from Yemen to India back in the 16th century.

  8. Chicken Tikka Masala
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    Just because we have added “masala” to the dish, it doesn’t mean that it is Indian. It was first made by a chef in Glasgow (Ali Ahmed) in 1971. In a matter of a few years, it won our hearts!
  9. Naan
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    Also goes by “Indian bread” these days, naan traces its origin all the way to Persia.
  10. Vindaloo
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    Most of us think that Vindaloo has been originated from Goa. Well, you are almost there. This scrumptious dish has a Portuguese origin and is cooked with wine and garlic. The native name of this dish is “Carne de vinha d’alhos”.
  11. Biryani
    11Source
    Another popular Persian dish, it came to India way back in the 16th century. It was originally named as “birian”, which means “fried before cooking” in Arabic. And no – there is no such thing as vegetarian biryani.

    Okay! My mouth is watering already. I’ll be right back after having a few Gulab Jamuns. Let me know if I have missed any dish in the comments!

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