India’s distinctive blend of cuisines has evolved through large-scale cultural interactions with neighbouring Persia, ancient Greece, Mongols and West Asia. Ingredients introduced by Arab and Portuguese traders during the sixteenth century have largely added to the diversity of Indian cuisine. Here are some historical facts about some ancient Indian dishes.
According to ancient legends, the Turkish-Mongol conqueror, Timur brought the precursor of Biryani with him when he reached the frontiers of India. According to a famous historian and traveller, Timur ordered his royal chef to cook a balanced proportion of meat, rice and some spices, which would satisfy the appetite of his vast army.
However, Biryani was made popular in India by the Nizams of Hyderabad and Lucknow, as their royal chefs were famous across the world for infusing the old signature biryani dishes with modern twists and Asian spices.
Misal Pav is a spicy Indian curry, which originates from the western Indian state of Maharashtra, precisely from Nashik. The much-popular dish is mostly eaten for breakfast or a snack. Misal Pav remains a favourite dish since it is easy to make with affordable ingredients and has a good nutritional value. The spicy Misal curry is often served with some deep-fried Farsan Chips and some freshly-baked pav.
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the Indian word jalebi is derived from the Arabic word Zulabiya or the Persian Zolbiya. This recipe was brought to Medieval India by Persian-speaking Turkic invaders. Traditionally, Jalebi is a deep-fried spiral sweet-dish which is soaked in a thick sugar-syrup with mixed with some cardamom powder and rose water.
Daal Baati Churma is a popular three-in-one treat dish, which is not only revered for its simplicity but also for its delicious taste. Baati is basically a deep-fried flour ball, which is infused with some herbs and Rajasthani spices and served with a ghee-filled Daal. Locals also serve a huge proportion of Churma with the dish, to provide the dish with a balancing flavour of sweet and spicy.