7 popular dishes with interesting origin story

by Sanjeev Kapoor

One of the many reasons for why we love food is because it is known to bring together people despite how vividly different they may be. Whether it is a different country, continent or city, food is something that we all celebrate and appreciate. In fact often when we travel, the favorite part for many is trying food from different cuisines and cultures. However often we end up doing this without knowing about some really interesting trivia about it, which would probably make eating it even more fun! So step into our time machine and buckle up for we are going to take you back in time and tell you about 7 popular dishes that have very interesting and surprising origins.

1 – Bunny Chow – A South African delicacy, this dish was supposedly created by the Indians residing in Durban. According to the tales, back then the popular dish at restaurants was bean curry served alongside slices of bread. However due to apartheid laws, black customers were not allowed inside restaurants and so the owner began selling quarter loaves of bread filled with curry and this gave birth to bunny chow. Other stories suggest that, Indian laborers didn’t have time to make roti or naan for the curry and found it inconvenient to carry containers. Hence they would take bread loaves, hollow the center and fill it with curry to take to work.

Check out this Bunny Chow Recipe.

2 – Sandwich – Considering that this is a dish with infinite variations it is only fitting that it had a unique origin story. As the story goes, Lord John Montagu aka the Fourth Earl of Sandwich was known for being quite a gambling enthusiast. In the late 1700s Montagu realized that eating took too much time away from his gambling and that he could not eat with his hands while doing so. Therefore he used two slices of bread to hold the meat while he played cards. This creation soon started catching on and became a very popular sensation. In fact as homage to Montagu an American fast food chain by the name of Earl of Sandwich was also opened.

Take a look at 5 delicious Sandwich Recipes -

3 – Popsicles – A summertime favorite, who doesn’t love a refreshing fruity Popsicle, however not many know the true story behind their origin. Well for starters its creation was a mistake. Initially called the Eppsicle it all began on a cold winter night in Oakland, California when 11 year old Frank Epperson left a mixture of soda, water and a stick outside overnight. In the morning he was treated to this icy delight and decided to make it again for his friends therefore making what we know now as the Popsicle.

Take a look at these delicious Popsicle Recipes

 

4 – MLA Pesarattu – Originating from the culturally rich Andhra Pradesh this variation of pesarattu dosa gets its name because it was invented in the MLA headquarters in Hyderabad. A simple moong dosa, called pesarattu is stuffed with upma, making the dish not just more delicious, but also more filling. This is what a good breakfast is made of!

Here’s a fool proof MLA Dosa Recipe for you l

 

5 – Vindaloo – A delicacy that is found in almost every Indian restaurant and one that is celebrated for its rich flavors was actually not of Indian origin but rather Portuguese. When the Portuguese came to India they introduced Goans to Portuguese cuisine and along with it Vindaloo. However later on it was us Indians who further developed the dish into what it has become today.

Try these Chicken Vindaloo Tacos at your next party!

6 – French Fries – Contrary to popular belief, French fries are not actually French but rather Belgian. As the story goes there used to be a village along the River Meuse where their staple diet consisted of fried fish however when winter came the river would freeze causing there to be no fresh fish for the villagers. As an alternative the villagers began frying potatoes and ate those. As for why they are called “French Fries”, Well during World War 1 American soldiers in Belgium discovered these crispy treats and since the language spoken in Southern Belgium is French they began calling them “French Fries”.

Here is the recipe to make perfectly Crisp French Fries at home

 

7 – Samosa – A staple part of the Indian Cuisine, the Samosa is a dish that has forever been associated with India’s rich flavors and aromatic cuisine which is why it comes as a shock that the Samosa didn’t actually originate in India but rather in the Middle East. In fact it was around the 13th or 14th century that traders from Central Asia came and introduced the Samosa to the Indian Subcontinent .However according to the tales the Middle Eastern Samosa was actually stuffed with a spicy meat mince and it was after its introduction to the Indian Subcontinent that we received the traditional Indian version of the samosa that is stuffed with potatoes.

So many ways to make a samosa! Take a look at a few recipe ideas to make Delicious Samosas!

 

 

 

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.