Monday, October 31, 2022

History of samosa

Originally named samsa, after the pyramids in Central Asia, historical accounts also refer to it as sanbusak, sanbusaq or even sanbusaj, all deriving from the Persian word, sanbosag.

The first mention of samosa can be found around the 10th or 11th century in the Middle East, in historian Abolfazl Beyhaqi's work Tarikh-e Beyhaghi, where it is referred to as sambosa. He describes a dainty delicacy, served as a snack in the great courts of the mighty Ghaznavid empire. The fine pastry was filled with minced meats, nuts and dried fruit and then deep fried till the pastry was crisp.

The Central Asian samsa was introduced to the Indian subcontinent in the 13th or 14th century by chefs from the Middle East and Central Asia who cooked in the royal kitchens for the rules of the Delhi Sultanate, although some accounts also credit merchants for bringing the fare to this part of the world.

In the older days, people would cook the mince-filled triangles over campfire and eat them as snacks during travel. And after having earned the blessings of the Indian royalty, the snack soon became food fit for the king.

Once the samosa was taken up and tailored to local tastes, it becoming the world's first fast food. Ibn Battuta, the medieval Moroccan traveler who visited India in the 14th century, has chronicled the glittering banquets at the court of Muhammad bin Tughlaq. According to his accounts, a dish called sambusak (aka samosa) made with minced meat, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and spices being served as part of a royal meal in the court of Muhammad bin Tughluq.

The samosa is endlessly adaptable and India introduced its own spices - adding coriander, pepper, caraway seeds, ginger and more.
History of samosa