• FlyingPepper Team

OMG: these 7 very popular Indian dishes did not actually originate in India. 

Updated: Sep 29

How you will feel when you get to know that the Indian restaurant in the U.S you proudly go for dining serves foods that are actually not Indian! Heartbreaking, right? We also got a sort of a mild heart attack on getting to know about our favourite Indian foods to be actually from other countries. 

Credit: Unplash

India has always been a prime attraction of tourists from all over the world. Indians have always been welcoming towards the tourists from foreign countries, their traditions and cultures. Many foreign dishes and food habits were accepted by Indians during the process. Majority of famous Indian dishes of today’s time are actually an adaptation of foreign dishes of that era. Be it the Chai, Coffee, Samosa or our favourite Biryani, all are foreign origins. Quite shocking, right? Be with us.

Prior to the British colonial era, many invaders like the Mughals, Afghans attacked India and eventually ruled us for many years. During that era, cultural exchanges also took place whether forcefully by the rulers or in a people to people brotherly manner. 

Foods are the first thing that is explored by someone on landing in a different city. Trying local traditional dishes is the best way to know about the food habits, traditions and cultural heritage of a country. Majority of Indian dishes are actually from Afghanistan, Persia, China and Europe. This indicates the adaptation of foreign food habits by Indians whether forcefully by its invaders or as the result of cultural exchanges between tourists and the locals.  

In this article, you will get to know about 7 famous Indian dishes that actually did not originate in India.

Bonus: You won't start hating Biryani.

7 very popular Indian dishes that are actually not Indian origins:

1. Biryani: The Hyderabadi and Moradabadi biryani are very famous all over India. But did you ever get to know that the biryani you love is actually not an Indian dish! As per stories, biryani originated in Persia and it travelled to India probably with the invaders or the traders resulting in the Indians accepting it as their favourite dish. The word biryani comes from ‘biryan’ which means ‘rice’.


Credit: Unplash

2.Samosa: Not kidding! The most loved snack in India is actually a middle eastern dish. It was called ‘Sambosa’ until the middle eastern traders brought this three cornered shaped snake to India in the 13th and 14th centuries. 


Credit: Unplash

3. Jalebi: Can’t believe? It's hard for us too. Our most favourite hot and crispy Jalebi is also not Indian. This sweet spiral dish originated in the Middle East. It was originally known as 'Zalabiya' in arabic. The next time you stop by a Jalebi shop, now you know whom to thank.


Credit: Wikipedia

4. Gulab Jamun: Indian weddings are incomplete without Gulab Jamun being proudly served at the corner. Quite heartbreaking to know that Indians’ most favourite dessert item 'gulab Jamun' is also not an Indian origin. Gulab Jamun is a Persian origin dish. The first name came from the Persian words ‘gol’( flower) and 'ab'( water). So, the next time you get an extra Gulab Jamun at a wedding, don't forget to give a thank you to the Persians.


Credit: thesaffronplatter.com

5. Naan: Naan is also not an Indian dish. Chicken butter masala with ‘naan’ is a great combination. From every roadside Indian dhaba to the fine dine high profile restaurants, Naan is a common item. Our favourite ‘Naan’ is from Persia and was brought to India by the Mughals.


Credit: receips.timesofindia.com

6. Chicken Tikka Masala: Don't blame us for this heartbreaking article. We also had to go through this pain. It's quite unbelievable to know that our favourite Chicken Tikka Masala is a dish from Scotland. It was invented in 1970 by a Bangladeshi chef in Scotland.


Credit: tasty.co

7. Tandoori Chicken: It's said that a Punjabi’s heart is filled more with Tandoori chicken, butter chicken and less blood. This heavenly dish of West Delhi was first seen in Pakistan. The credit of the present form of tandoori chicken goes to Kundal Lal Jaggi, Thakur Dass and Kundal Lal Gujral who made it at Moti Mahal in Peshawar. Kundal Lal Gujral later came to Delhi and invented ‘butter chicken’.


Credit: spicy world.in

Conclusion:  We are extremely sorry for all the pain you had to go through while reading this. But it's better to know the ‘bitter truth’ than to stay happily with the ‘false’. When you go to a restaurant next time, you now know which is an Indian dish and which one is not.

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