5 Famous Indian Delicacies That Didn’t Originate in India!

Dishes That Didn't Originate in India

There is no food that matches the flavours of home food. All people living away from their hometown would admit to it. But did you know that many of the food items we claim to be ours are not actually so? Many of the present day Indian dishes do not have an Indian origin.

Here are some of our favourite Indian delicacies that did not even originate in India (be ready for some surprises):



Yes! Our staple dish of rajma isn’t actually Indian! Long before it was an Indian household dish, it was a Mexican favourite. It came to India via Portugal, while the cooking methods were borrowed from Mexico and Guatemala. A little twist with Indian flavours and we landed up with our favourite rajma. Thinking of your mom’s rajma-chawal yet?

Gulab Jamun

Gulab jamun

Sorry to break your hearts, but this piece of heaven is also not Indian. ‘Luqmat al qadi’ was brought to India by the Persian invaders. It is said to have been originated in the Mediterranean region. We fell in love with these golden dough balls soaked in honey syrup and christened it ‘gulab jamun’. Over time, the recipe has been modified multiple times, but the undying love for it has remained.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicke tikka masala

Nope. Chicken Tikka Masala is not Punjabi. It was first prepared in Glasgow! The debatable origin of the dish dates back to the 1970s and is credited to a UK based chef Ali Ahmed. He apparently added a little soupy mix to a chicken preparation rejected by a customer, who claimed it was too dry. The rest is history – soup, spices, cream/ yogurt added to the chicken tikka gave rise to the yummy chicken tikka masala we savour now. Interestingly, it is a popular ‘Indian’ dish in UK till date.



This favourite Indian snack does not have an Indian ethnicity to claim either! Having originated in the Middle East before the 10th century, it was initially known as a ‘sambosa’. It was brought to India from the Middle East by traders in the 14th century and its meat filling was replaced by potato fillings. Of course, a variety of fillings have been successfully tried in samosas since then to suit the taste of the different parts of the country. And samosas with chai became an irreplaceable teatime snack!

Filter Coffee

Filter coffee

Not a dish, but this ‘traditional beverage’ isn’t ours to claim either. How many times have your ordered steaming filter coffee with your dosas from a South Indian joint thinking that’s where it came from. We did not have coffee in our country till as late as the 16th century when it was brought in by a Sufi Saint. And guess where it came from? The seven coffee beans that started our coffee culture came in from Yemen! While you digest these facts… 1 filterrr kaafii pleesse!

Indian origin or not, we have accepted them with open hearts and now these delicacies are part of our culture and cuisine. Uber Eats has all your favourite ‘Indian’ dishes on their menu. Whichever city you belong to, you will find restaurants that will deliver these delicacies to your doorsteps via Uber Eats food delivery.

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Devika is an architect with a passion for writing. Her zest for exploring life, makes her a travel enthusiast with a whopping bucket list that she yearns to complete on the go. Apart from being an avid reader, she loves dancing away to her favorite tunes. An ardent believer of doing what she loves and loving what she does.


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