It’s no secret that almost all Indians are foodies! On this Cooking day, let’s explore how some of your favourite dishes have made their way from history on to your plate.
1. If legends are to be believed, the Turkish conqueror Tirmur brought the mouth-watering Biryani from Persia to India. The name Biryani is derived from the Persian word Birian, which means ‘fried before cooking’ and Birinj, the Persian word for rice.
2. The iconic South Indian dish Idli is relished in almost every city of India. It has its origins in Indonesia, a country with a long tradition of fermentation as a cooking method. It is said that the cooks of Hindu Kings brought the recipe along with them on the shores of India.
3. An ingredient in almost every delicious treat, Paneer was accidently discovered by Mongols who used to carry milk on their long trips, on their horses. During one such trip, the heat of the desert combined with residue from the leather bags turning the milk to paneer. Later, it came to India courtesy of Mughals.
4. A snack of almost every Indian, the Samosa was brought in by traders from Central Asia . Termed as ‘Sambhosa’, it entered during the 13th Century through these traders who preferred a light snack over meals during their journeys.
5. What’s North Indian cuisine without Rajma Chawal, eh? The key ingredient of this delicacy, Kidney Beans are native to Guatemala which were brought to India by Spanish sailors as a valuable source of protein in their long voyages.
6. India’s first love, Chai was developed by King Harshwardhana to remain alert during his courtly affairs. As per another legend, 5000 years ago a Chinese Emperor one day found tea leaves in his pot of boiling water which were mistakenly put in by his servants. Upon trying, he loved it and it became a staple of Chinese culture.
7. One of the oldest delicacies in the Indian subcontinent, Kadhi was an integral part of Indus Valley Civilization as early as 5th Century B.C. Having true Indian origins, Kadhi is now made in different styles in different regions within India.
8. Satisfying the sweet tooth of millions of Indians, the Gulab Jamun originated in the Mediterranean region and Persian continent. Brought by Persians, it was known as luqmat al qadi and came to India at the time of Emperor Babur in 1526 AD.
9. Star of India’s culinary inventions, the Rasgulla changed the perception of Indian sweets. History reveals its origin 700 years ago in Odisha where Lord Jagannath offered the sweet to his consort Lakshmi.
10. The delicious curry brimming with lentils, Sambhar was invented by a Maratha ruler. The legend speaks of Sambhaji, a ruler who attempted to cook daal rice when his wife was away and mistakenly added tamarind to it, giving it a different taste. His mistake is today loved by millions of Indians.