Origin of Indian delicacies


Tunday Kabab

The legend goes that Nawab Asa-ud-Daula relished eating delicious food and had appointed some of the best Khansamas. But, as the Nawab started getting old, he began losing his teeth and chewing Kababs became a problem. Therefore, he ordered his chefs to make softest kebabs that would require no chewing without compromising on the flavors.

He supposedly setup a contest where the maker of the softest and most juicy kababs would enjoy royal patronage. The chefs rose to the challenge and came up with tender and succulent kebabs hoping for a favorable response from the King.

Haji Murad Ali who only had one working arm came with the juiciest kabab which melted instantly inside the mouth of the Nawab. He gave royal patronage to the ‘Tunday Kebabi’, which gave birth to the legendary tunday kebab, softest kebab releasing all the flavors of 160 masalas.


Biryani, a modern day delicacy, was a simple nutrient rich food, perfect source of carbohydrates and protein for marching and battling soldiers of the medieval time. The recipe was simple, mixing rice, water and meat in a mud vessel and boiling it with few species. The result was a culinary delight and also a nutrient rich food.

This recipe was made more delectable by the royal chefs of kings, giving the birth to Biryani, where gravy was cooked separately and was poured in boiled rice, giving birth to Biryani (from  ‘Birian’, which means ‘fried before cooking’ in Persian language.

Butter Chicken

Mokha Singh owned a shop in Peshawar called Mukhey da Dhaba, owned by an elderly gentleman called Mokha Singh. Kundan Lal Gujral used to work with him and eventutally inherited the ‘Dhaba’ from Mokha Singh after his death.

KL  Gujral renamed the ‘Dhabha’ as Moti Mahal and soon their delicious tandoori chicken became a legend. However, the unsold Tandoori Chicken hanging on the seekhs above the tandoor would dry out if unsold. Therefore, KL Gujral came up with an incredible idea and mixed the dried chicken in to gravy with tomatoes, butter, cream and the leftover marinade juices thus helping them regain moisture and become edible again. Thus was born the butter chicken, an internationally-loved delicacy.


Kadhi was the ideal meal for Rajasthani travellers, since water was scarce, food was mostly milk, yogurt or ghee-based. Water and fresh greens were usually substituted with dairy. Lentils, gram flour and beans obtained from native plants were used extensively giving evolution of kadhi which could last for many days without getting rotten and was highly nutritious.


Sambar did not originate in South India but was invented in the kitchen of Thanjavur Marathas ruler Shahuji, who had an immense liking for a dish called amti. The dish was special because it had kokum as one of its main ingredients. However, catastrophe struck when during one particular season, the kokum (which was imported from the Maratha homeland) ran out of supply. However, some brilliant adviser in this court suggested that they try tamarind pulp for the sourness–an ingredients locals swore by. Shahuji experimented with the dish with tuvar dal, vegetables, spices and the tamarind pulp and served his cousin, Sambhaji, who was visiting him. The court loved the dish so much that they created a whole new supply of tamarind, and named the dish sambhar after their guest, Sambhaji.

Another theory goes to Maratha ruler Shivaji’s son Sambhaji, who attempted to make daal himself when his head chef was away. “He added a little tamarind to the dal that he made an the royal kitchen dared to correct him on the fact that tamarind was not used in dal,” says S Suresh, Tamil Nadu state convener of Intach, who gave a lecture on Tanjore Maratha history earlier this week. “He loved his own concoction, which was then referred to as sambar.”

Source – homegrown.co.in


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