During the course of his speech at the White House on Thursday, the Prime Minister applauded the presence of Indian-origin Americans in the US Congress, using the term ‘samosa caucus’. Here’s a closer look into its origins.
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his speech at the House of Representatives in the White House this Thursday, he said, “The foundation of America was inspired by the vision of a nation of equal people. Throughout your history, you have embraced people from around the world. And, you have made them equal partners in the American dream. There are millions here, who have roots in India. Some of them sit proudly in this chamber. There is one behind me, who has made history! I am told that the Samosa Caucus is now the flavour of the House. I hope it grows and brings the full diversity of Indian cuisine here.”
His intriguing and playful words sent the internet in a frenzy to understand what the term ‘samosa caucus’ meant. Coined by the Indian businessman representative for Illinois’ 8th Congressional District, Raja Krishnamoorthi, it refers to the group of Indian-American lawmakers in the US who work towards the advocacy of legislative common interests like easier immigration policies. Apart from vice president Kamala Harris, who is of Indian origin, the House also includes five other members – Shri Thanedar from the House of Representatives and four others in the chamber of US Congress – namely Pramila Jaypal, Ami Bera, Ro Khanna and Raja Krishnamoorthi himself.
Modi’s speech and reference to his Indian-origin lawmakers left the members of the White House in splits and gained thundering applause. Bringing a reference to Indian cuisine in his speech, the Prime Minister also reminds us of the Persian pastry that was served as a dainty snack in the courts of the Ghaznavid empire. Thanks to the waves of migrants who reached Indian shores, where the samosa underwent a transformation as the street-side snack we know today. Filled with spiced potatoes, green peas and encased within a flaky pastry – when Portuguese traders brought these ingredients back in the 16th century, it has also evolved into a snack that now comes with a range of fillings.
Depending on the geographical and cultural influences, the samosa has metamorphosized from being a vegetarian pastry snack to one that now has sweet and savoury variations – filled with dry fruits and milk solids, cottage cheese, minced and spiced lamb as well as contemporary fillings like stir fried vegetables and slow-cooked onions. Tell us what your favourite samosa is in the comments below and where to eat the best samosas in your city!