Indian history consists of a vast geographical and cultural background and if we talk about the Indian food we can see that history behind various Indian foods were very amazing. Some dishes are created to solve the time issue, some are invented to bring something new, etc. Let’s just witness some of the unheard history of famous dishes of Indian:
“Petha” & “Taj Mahal” Age are same!
Agra is only famous for two things one is none another than TAJ MAHAL and another thing is Agra’s Petha . The invention of Agra’s Petha is linked to the construction of the Taj Mahal in the Mughal Empire. When the colossal monument was under construction, some 21,000 workers were bored of the daily meal comprising only dal and roti. Then the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan shared his concern with master architect Ustad Isa Effendi, who requested Pir Naqshbandi Sahib for a solution to the Emperor’s worries. It is believed that the Pir went into a trance during prayers one day and received the recipe of Petha from the Almighty. Then, some 500 cooks made Petha for the workers.
“Dal Bati Churma” was invented to survive in war!
One of the famous dishes of Rajasthan is “DAL BHATI CHURMA”. How the recipe of Dal Bati Churma was invented is a story worth sharing. The origin of this Rajasthani food is the famous Chittorgarh Fort in Mewar. “Bati” is dough of wheat dipped in ghee, a long-lasting food which the Rajput kings of Mewar required for survival in adverse conditions during wars. Bati could be made with the few ingredients and the little water available in the barren lands of Rajasthan. This invention really gives us a great dish for ages.
Story of Mysore Pak from palace to public!
Mysore Pak, a signature sweetmeat of South India. The Mysore Pak history is traced to the kitchen of the Mysore Palace in the early 20th century when “Nalawadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar” was the king in power. Kakasura Madappa, the royal cook in the Mysore Palace, used to please the King with different dishes. One day he made new sweet dish with the mix of chickpea flour, ghee and sugar. When the King tasted it, it melted at the tip of his tongue. On being asked the name of the dish, the cook invented the name ‘Mysore Paka’ in a split of second. ‘Paka’ is a Kannada word meaning a sweet mixture of various things.
Jalebi is global in many manners!
Jalebi, one of the most popular Indian sweet dishes, owes its origin to West Asia. The Persian-speaking invaders introduced Jalebi to India in the medieval era. This sweetmeat was called ‘Kundalika’, and ‘Jalavallika’ in India in the 15th century. The poor were offered platefuls of Jalebi during Ramadan in Iran. It is called ‘Zalabia’ in the Arabian countries, ‘Zilebi’ in the Maldives, ‘Zlebia’ in Tunisia, Libya and Algeria, and ‘Jeri’ in Nepal. References to the Indian version of Jalebi are found in “Priyamkarnrpakatha” by Jinasura, a Jain author of the mid-15th century.
Dum Biryani initially, a dish for poor in Awadh!
According to many history sources, Biryani background was attached with “Nizami” state Hyderabad and the history of biryani is as old as Mughal history in India. Some debate that Biryani was introduced during Timur’s invasion of India in the early medieval era. Though the origin of Biryani is debated, Dum Biryani or Biryani of Awadh was originated in Lucknow. The Nawab of Awadh ordered to cook a meal in huge “handis” or “DEG” (round-shaped brass pots) for all the poor people of his region when there was scarcity of daily meals. A huge amount of food was cooked with minimum resources in covered and sealed pots. This art of cooking became known as ‘dum’.
Every History has its own legacy and some interesting stories. Stay tuned to Lopscoop for more interesting updates.
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Image credit – Vikas Kakkar.