India is a diverse nation with myriad food items that form a profound part of people’s life. There are food items that have been considered Indian however, they are really not Indian. These food items have been popularized and still hold a significant place as part of diverse Indian cuisine.
Vindaloo is a popular Easter food item that forms an essential part of Goan homes and is a true favourite among so many people. However, Vindaloo as a meat curry recipe has its roots in Portuguese cuisine. The origin of the name is from ‘carne de vinha d’alhos’ which is a Portuguese meat dish of pork made by marinating with wine and garlic. The recipe found several ramifications with the addition of palm vinegar, Kashmiri chillies and Indian spice for the rich aroma and taste. The food items continue to be relished in Christian households and enjoyed as an authentic Goan recipe.
Gulab Jamun is a popular dessert that is an absolute favourite in every household. The dense golden brown Gulab Jamuns made from Khoya, sweetened syrup, cardamom, rose water and saffron are scrumptious and drool worthy. This dessert is not Indian but has Persian roots. The origin of the word is derived from ‘gol’ a Persian word for flower and ‘ab’ for rose water. The original food item was known as ‘luqmat al qadi’ and was made by drizzling the balls in honey syrup.
Jalebi is a delightful food item that is relished by children and adults. It is a sugary delight that has its origin in the Middle East as ‘zalabia’ in Arabic and ‘zilabiya’ in Persian. The Persian invaders introduced the dessert to India. It became an absolutely essential part of important celebrations in India as a crisp fried sugar dessert. There are two separate versions of the crisp dessert; thin one is a popular version but thicker jalebis are relished in the South part of India. Imarti is also a popular variety of jalebis.
Rajma has always been such an important part of the North Indian delicacy. It instantly evokes emotions as a staple diet, especially in the North. However, Rajma which is called Kidney beans was introduced to India by the Portuguese. The technique of soaking and boiling the beans is a Mexican style of cooking that forms their staple diet too. The Indian version of Rajma is prepared with rich Indian spices, onions, garlic and tomatoes which differ from the Mexican preparations.
Samosa is everyone’s favourite snacks which are a must have food item during tea time. This food item originates from the Middle East before the 10th century and was called as ‘Samosa’ before the traders from Central Asia introduced it to India. It is a crispy golden snack relished with chutney and has different versions throughout India. It is enjoyed with crispy fillings in North India while Bengali version is daintier and contains dry fruits, Bihar and neighbouring states relish it with fillings of potato, fish, mutton and sweetened coconut. The Hyderabadi version is called ‘Lukmi’ which contains thicker crust with minced fillings. The non-Indian origin food items have been adapted in every state of India.