Popular Indian dishes named after their place of origin.(Image Credit: Istock)
India is home to a wide variety of foods. From the northern parts of the country to the south, each region has distinct dishes to offer. Most of us relish the food while only laying emphasis on its flavour. However, wouldn’t it be fascinating if you knew the origins of the dish that you’re eating as well? Why is it that certain dishes are named after a city? Why do some include unique ingredients in it? These questions may not be of interest to everyone, but if you’re a true foodie, you must know your food well. And this also includes their history. In this article, we’ll be sharing some popular Indian dishes that are named after their place of origin. Let’s begin with the exploration.
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When we talk about poha, it’s impossible not to mention Indori poha. This quintessential dish is topped with Indori sev, pomegranate, jalebi, etc., which gives it a unique texture. It is believed that poha originated in Maharashtra under the regime of the Scindias and Holkars shortly after independence. But then how is this particular one known by the name of a city in Madhya Pradesh? As per food legends, Indori Poha was created when these rulers came to Indore. They brought along some recipes with them, including poha, and that’s how this unique poha came into existence. Interesting, right?
Made of moong dal and garnished with paneer, amchoor, and butter, this dal offers a burst of flavour in every bite. As delicious as it tastes, there’s also a fascinating story behind its origin. History says that this dal is named after Prince Murad Baksh, Shah Jahan’s third son, for whom it was first made in the city of Moradabad. The prince was fond of toor dal; however, this one was an accidental discovery by his cook, who ended up making this dal. It tasted just as flavorful as toor dal and was an instant hit. That’s how Moradabadi dal was born.
Another popular Indian dish that is named after its place of origin is Hyderabadi biryani. This dish is believed to have originated in the kitchens of the Nizams of Hyderabad. It offers a blend of Mughlai and Iranian flavours and is an absolute delight to indulge in. Hyderabadi biryani is full of exciting flavours and just has the right amount of spice to it. Its popularity is not just limited to South India; it has fans all across the country and even abroad. So, the credit goes to the Nizams of Hyderabad for introducing this wonderful dish to the world.
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If you’re an idli lover, you must’ve come across the name Ramassery Idli. It is said that these idlis are named after the Ramassery village in Kerala and are made of black gram, fenugreek, rice, and salt. This village is quite popular for their idlis. They are flatter than the usual idlis that we eat and are quite big in size as well. They resemble more like a dosa, but are only softer and fluffier. Their distinct texture is what makes them so unique. Ramassery Idli’s tastes best when paired with piping hot sambar, coconut chutney, or podi masala.
Agra is synonymous with the iconic Taj Mahal. But another thing that you cannot miss trying here is the quintessential petha. This translucent, soft candy is made from the winter melon and is something you’ll find in every nook and cranny of the city. But why is it called Agra Ka Petha? Well, history says that this sweet delight was, in fact, invented during the construction of the Taj Mahal. The workers got bored of eating the same food they were provided every day, and the petha was created to make a pleasant change. It is believed that petha also helped energise them during the construction process.
The origins of popular Indian dishes are equally fascinating as their flavours. Is there any other dish that you know of that is named after its place of origin? Tell us in the comments!