10 Desi Food Items That Actually Aren’t Indian

No matter how much we go gaga over pizza, burger, pasta, tacos or lasagna, the feel of food is complete only when we eat our desi food. What comes into your mind when I say ‘desi’? Perhaps biryani, rajma or jalebi? Well, I hate to break it you, but these food items are NOT Indian!

If you’re ready for some more heartbreak, here are food items that didn’t originate in India.


Who wouldn’t enjoy the potato filled samosas on a nice rainy day at roadside? Hostelers literally survive on it! But oops, they aren’t originally from India. Samosas actually originated in the Middle East and were called ‘Sambosa’. They were filled with meat, sounds odd, right? All thanks to traders from central Asia who introduced them to Indians.

Gulab Jamun

The yummy-tasty-chashni dipped gulab jamuns that we enjoy so passionately are actually credited to Persia. They were called ‘Lokma’ or ‘Luqmat-al-qadi’. Bet you would want to eat them now.


I was as surprised as you are, but I’m not kidding. This heavenly sweet is also the gift of Persia and Arab. All love to them!


Yes, your companion of every day, night, summer, rain and winter is not Indian. Although really popular in our country, tea actually came from Britain. Shocked? Have a cup of tea to calm yourself down.


The naan that pairs so well with any kind of curry, is also not ours. Naan originated in Iran and Persia. Later, it was popularised in India by the Mughals. Our cuisine is really a mixture of food from all over Asia.


Biryani that you thought would never betray you, just did. Your comfort food biryani was born in Turkey, and during the Mughal period took the form of biryani in India.


Rajma is quite known as the staple diet of Indians. However, they were originally from Mexico and Guatemala. The initial preparation is inspired from Mexican dishes. So yeah, next time when your friends wish to have Mexican food, just suggest Rajma.

Chicken Tikka Masala

The King of non-veg dishes chicken tikka is also not ours. It was first prepared by a chef in Glasgow, UK, after the customer complained about dry chicken. Whatever the reason may be, this humble dish now belongs in the heart of every Indian.


The spicy meat curry perfect for a nice dinner, especially popular in Goa, doesn’t belong to India. To your amusement, it has been adapted from a Portuguese dish. Isn’t Portugal amazing?


If you were asked before this that where does idli belong to, you’d very innocently answer South India. But no, idli is actually a cuisine from Indonesia which then made its way via Arabs to India.

Wherever these dishes may have come from, now they belong in our plates.