Tracing The Origins Of India’s Favourite Snack, Samosa
- Yash Lakhan
Updated : January 24, 2023 14:01 IST
If you believe that the triangular samosa, which is packed with mashed potatoes, is the only style of samosa that can be enjoyed, you should know that there are more than 15 desi variations of samosa that are enjoyed all across India.
Every Indian has a favourite snack that brings back memories: the samosa. You'll be surprised to learn that the samosa, long thought to be an Indian delicacy, actually originated elsewhere. The samosa originated in the Middle East during the 10th century, according to reports and facts. The word "samosa" was originally used to refer to the dish in Tarikh-e Beyhaghi, a book by Iranian historian Abolfazl Beyhaqi. Because of their small size, they were popular as a snack among travellers; they were easy to pack in saddle bags and eat on the go.
To start, the first reference to samosa in the reign of the kings dates back to the notable poet and scholar of the Delhi Sultanate, Amir Khusro, who spoke about samosas made of meat, ghee, and onion that aristocrats at the time enjoyed. Ibn Battuta, a traveller from the 14th century, later wrote about sambusak (also known as samosa), which was served as part of a royal banquet at Muhammad ibn Tughluq's court and was cooked with minced meat, nuts, and spices. The recipe for samosas known as "Sanbsah" was mentioned even during the Mughal Empire by Ain-i-Akbari.
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If you believe that the triangular samosa, which is packed with mashed potatoes, is the only style of samosa that can be enjoyed, you should know that there are more than 15 desi variations of samosa that are enjoyed all across India. It is known as "Lukhmi" in Hyderabad and is loaded with minced beef and has a thicker crust.
While in South India, cabbage, carrots, and curry leaves are used as the filling for samosas. It is known as "Shingaras" in the Bengal region and comes in both savoury and sweet flavours. Gujarat has a smaller version of the traditional samosa that is stuffed with sweet peas and French beans. Additionally, the samosa is known as "chamuças" in Goa and is made with ground beef, chicken, or pork.