Traditional Pakistani Foods & Their Origins

October 26, 2022

Besides bringing water in your mouth, what do the words ‘biryani’, ‘tikka’, ‘gulab jamun’ and ‘jalebi’ bring into your mind? Scrumptious Pakistani food, right? But have you ever wondered whether these delicacies are really of Pakistani origin? To your surprise, they aren’t! Today, we let you in on the origins of famous delicacies that you always thought were Pakistani but aren’t.

  1. Biryani

The Persian word for rice is ‘Birinj’. Also, in Persian, the term ‘Birian’ means ‘fried before cooking’. And that’s how the word ‘biryani’ came into existence. It is widely accepted that biryani originated in West Asia. Legend has it that Timur, the Turk-Mongol conqueror who arrived at the frontiers of India in 1398, brought the precursor to the biryani with him. It is believed that biryani was the war campaign diet of his army.

  1. Samosa

It is believed that samosa originated in the Middle East before the 10th century. There it is known as sambosa. An Iranian historian named Abolfazl Beyhaqi had made a mention of this fact in his history, Tarikh-e Beyhaghi. It is believed that traders from Central Asia first introduced this deep-fried food to the Indian subcontinent in the 13th or 14th century.

  1. Chai

‘Chai’ is the Hindi word for ‘tea’. The word ‘chai’ is derived from ‘cha’, the Chinese word for ‘tea’. The origins of this thick sweet beverage are steeped in legend, according to which, a Buddhist monk, who was on his way to China, developed chai by accident. He observed the local ritual of chewing on a few wild leaves. He tried it himself and felt rejuvenated. Thereafter, he decided to bring it back to India with him.

  1. Naan

Naan is believed to have originated from India. The earliest recorded history of Naan can be found in the notes of the Indo-Persian poet Amir Kushrau in 1300 AD. Originally, naan was cooked at the Imperial Court in Delhi and it was called naan-e-tunuk (light bread) and naan-e-tanuri (cooked in a tandoor oven).

That was quite a lot of info on the origin of popular Pakistani dishes. If you crave for the best Indo Pak food and mouth-watering cuisines more than info on their origin, you’ve got to visit Savoy Restaurant; a place where you’ll find the best Pakistani food in Houston. If you happen to be in Houston, Texas, just Google ‘halal food near me’ and you’ll surely find the name of Savoy Restaurant. Tickle your taste buds with the best Indo-Pak delicacies offered by Savoys.

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