Being an Indian we go through many emotional, cultural, and personal changes throughout our likes and dislikes, but believe it or not, Samosa is the only dish love, adore, and consumed by all. The history of samosa is also very interesting. The relation between the Indian Samosa and The Indians is somewhat inseparable. No matters how much we shift our taste to pizza or burgers, but samosa will always be our favorite.
What is the Indian Samosa?
A crispy flaky pastry, full of potato and peas (mostly) fillings, deep-fried in oil or ghee, served with chilies or chutney and tastes great with a cup of milk tea. It’s all about Indian Samosa we can say, I bet! At first, I thought Samosa is quintessential of Indian Delicacy until I read the History of Samosa. want an easy recipe click here.
Origin of Samosa:
According to the history of Samos, The samosa is originated in the Middle East and Central Asia, the praise of samosa as “ Sambuusa” can be found in a 9th-century poem by the Persian poet Ishaq al- Mawsili. The recipes for the dish can be found in the 10th – 13th century in the Arab cookery book, under the name, Sanbhusak, Sunbhusaq, and sanbusaj. All are Persian words for Sanbosag. Until the 16th century, the dish was popular in Iran. But by the 20th century, its popularity was restricted to certain provinces. Abulfaizal Beyhaqi (995-1077), an Iranian historian, mentioned it in his history, Trikh-e-Beyhaghi.
- The central Asian Samsa was introduced to Indian continent in the 13th and 14th centuries by traders from central Asia.
samsa, pic credit Wikipedia
- Amir Khusro, (1253-1325) a scholar and the royal poet of the Delhi sultanate, wrote about it around 1300 CE that the princes and the nobles enjoyed the “samosa prepared from Meat, Ghee, Onion and so on”
- Ibn Battuta, a 14th-century traveler, and explorer, describes a meal at the court of Muhammad Bin Tughluk where “the Samosa or Sambusak, a small pie stuffed with minced meat, almond pistachios and spices, were several before the third course of pulao.”
- Nimmathnama- i- Nasiruddin- shahi, a medieval Indian cookbook started for Ghiyath al – Din Khalji. The Rural of Malva Sultanat in Central India mentions the art of making Samosa.
- The Ain- i- Akbar, a 16th century Mugal Document, mention the recipes for Qutab, which says, “the people of Hindustan call Sanbusah…”
Variety of Samosa:
There are a number of varieties in India itself, all of them served with chutneys. According to samosa aficionados, a samosa is deemed perfect when crispy-crunch of the lightly golden casing contrasts beautifully with the soft texture and spicy taste of the filling. The most popular and common filling is made of boiled potatoes, green peas, onions, green chillies, ginger, and spices.
While the north Indian version of samosa is large, the version called the singhara (popular in West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand), is smaller and has trickier folds. Also, the potatoes are cut fine (not boiled but cooked) and at times mixed with peanuts, the occasional raisin or the odd cashew nut. The Hyderabadi luqmi, on the other hand, is strictly meat-filled and far flakier than the regular samosa consumed elsewhere in India.
Bengali singhara (left) and Hyderabadi luqmi (right)
In Karnataka, onion samosas are a big hit, as is keema samosa, made popular by some of the local bakeries. In Delhi, apart from the potato samosa, the one with keema, khova, or even moong dal is quite popular. The Punjabi samosa is dominated by potatoes and peas, with raisins and cashews added in to enhance the flavour, while in Gujarat, the patti samosa with a cabbage filling is quite popular.
There is also the samosa chaat, served with spicy chickpeas, sev and chopped onions. Another popular version is the mini cocktail samosa – dainty little things that are the perfect finger food to tuck into before dinner. The adventurous few have even forayed into seafood, pizza, and chowmein samosas.
Then, there are those who like their samosas sweet. Labong latika (a Bengali sweet) is nothing but a mawa-packed samosa sealed with a clove. And, finally there are the baked samosas for the calorie-conscious. (Note: The baked versions are yummy but one keep yearning for a fried one while eating them!)
However it is filled and wherever it is prepared, the ubiquitous samosa embodies the essence of India – adaptable, inventive, tolerant and heterogeneous. Today, after centuries of evolution and adaptation, it has become arguably the most popular, plebian snack available in India.
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