8 Dishes That Look Indian But Are Not
Image Credit: Image: This most loved snack is actually not Indian

India is quite synonymous with food. Whatever occasion it is, we have a special dish for it on our plates. The desi food actually brings a sense of satisfaction while keeping us close to the roots and rich history. From North to South, different cultures have different and unique sets of food and it is nearly impossible to believe that all these amazing dishes are Indian. 

But do you know that some dishes that are commonly eaten in India have not actually originated in India? Yes, it is hard to believe but it is true. Let us have a look at some dishes that look Indian but are not! 


Whenever someone comes over to a middle-class Indian household, the host often serves fresh and crispy samosas with chutney to the guests. Moreover, this most commonly eaten street food is celebrated all across the country but it is quite hard to believe that it is not Indian. Isn’t it? Actually, samosas originated before the 10th century in the Middle East.  Originally called ‘sambosa’, this dish was introduced to Indians in the 14th century. 

Gulab Jamun 

We cannot think of a happy occasion that does not has gulab jamuns in the dessert. Gulab jamun is the fantasy of those with a sweet tooth. But shockingly, this most loved dessert is actually not Indian but Persian. Originally named ‘luqmat at qadi’, this was prepared by soaking khoya balls in honey syrup and drizzled with sugar. 


I am a Punjabi and I cannot survive without rajma chawal. Every Punjabi household knows how important rajma chawal is but the truth is that this dish is not even Indian. Insane Isn’t it? Rajma was actually introduced by the Portuguese while the Mexicans introduced the concept of soaking and boiling it. However, adding spices and preparing thick rajma gravy is definitely an Indian thing.


Another heartbreak for Punjabis! Yes, you heard it right. Naan, that we have with a plethora of fancy chicken and panner dishes is not Indian. Actually, naan has its roots in Persia. But we can always love having Indian versions of naan like garlic naan, stuffed naan, etc. 


Biryani is love for most of us. Right from Lucknow to Kolkata, you can find its different versions. It turns out that biryani is actually not Indian. It originated in Persia and has its name from the Persian word ‘birian’ which means ‘fried before cooking’. 

Daal Bhat 

This comes as a shock that the daal-bhat that we eat every day is not Indian. How come? Daal-bhat actually originated in Nepal. This Indian dish is a part of every Indian food table and yet not Indian.  

Chicken Tikka Masala 

One of the most popular dishes chicken tikka masala has its roots back in Glasgow in Scotland. Chicken tikka masala was actually an improvisation of the dry chicken done by chef Ali Ahmed following the request of a customer in the year 1971.


First samosa, then gulab jamun, and now jalebi, the list is getting longer. Jalebi is yet another most commonly eaten dessert in India but it actually originated in the Middle East. It was originally named ‘zalabiya’ in Arabic and ‘zalibiya’ in Persian. But the idea of combing this delight with rabdi was totally Indian. 

No matter if these dishes are Indian or not, they hold a special place in our hearts. Isn't it?