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  • Writer's pictureTeam Bombay

5 Indian Foods That Aren't Even From India

Updated: Jan 8, 2021

The world of Indian cooking has become one of the fastest growing segments within the ethnic food scene in recent years. More Americans have had some sort of exposure to the cuisine known for its diverse range of ingredients; tongue tickling flavors, health benefits, and levels of spiciness.

From London to Dubai, Bangkok to Brunswick, you can find an Indian restaurant just about anywhere these days. Bombay Mahal in Brunswick, Maine has been cooking up some of India's most spicy dishes for its customers for over 30 years.

Many of the dishes we all have come to love actually don’t even find their origins in India. Here is a list of 5 popular items on an Indian menu not native to the region:

1) Chicken Tikka Masala

The most popular Indian dish around the world, this dish was a creative improvisation by Chef Ali Ahmed in a Scottish restaurant in 1971. It was believed that the dish was created after a guest complained their chicken dish was too dry, followed by Chef Ahmed adding in a blend of spices, cream and yoghurt to create a flavorful gravy.

2) Samosa

Samosas are an incredibly popular Indian appetizer and street food snack. Originally called “sambosa” this savory snack made its way to India in the 13th & 14th century via Middle Eastern & Arab traders.

3) Khichdi

Known as dal-chawal, this simple dish is often consumed when someone is having an upset stomach or simply wants a light meal. With plenty of variations across various regions of India, Khichdi arrived in India from next-door neighbor Nepal.

4) Jalebi

This super sweet and colorful dessert is synonyms with Indian festivals, weddings and street food vendors. Originally named Zalabiya (Arabic) or Zalibiya (Persian), it was brought to India via the Persian invades and is now enjoyed all over the country.

5) Naan

One of the most popular flatbreads in Indian cuisine, no Indian curry is complete without a fresh piece of naan bread straight from a tandoor oven. Naan was brought into modern day India via the Persians and the lavish ruling Mogul Empire.

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