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History of the ‘Samosa’

The SAMOSA probably travelled to India along ancient trade routes from Central Asia. Small, crisp mince-filled triangles that were easy to make around the campfire during night halts, then conveniently packed into saddlebags as snacks for the next day's journey.

 

According to the “The Oxford Companion to Food” the Indian samosa is merely the best known of an entire family of stuffed pastries or dumplings popular from Egypt and Zanzibar to Central Asia and West China.

 

By the early 14th Century, it was not only a part of Indian cuisine but also food fit for a king. Amir

Khusrao, prolific poet of Delhi royalty, observed in 1300 that the royal set seemed partial to the

"Samosa prepared from meat, ghee, onion and so on".

 

In 1334, the renowned traveller Ibn Battuta wrote about the sambusak: "minced meat cooked with almonds, pistachios, onions and spices placed inside a thin envelop of wheat and deep-fried in ghee".

 

And the samosa obtained a royal stamp with its inclusion in the Ain-i-Akbari which declared that among dishes cooked with wheat there is the Qutab, "which the people of Hind called the anbusa". The current day samosas are small, crispy, flaky pastries that are usually deep-fried.

 

They are stuffed with an assortment of fillings ranging from minced meat with herbs and spices to vegetables such as cauliflower and potatoes. Small snacks now consumed by millions around the world, and one of the most popular worldwide snacks--the perfect companion to a

cup of chai.

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24 March 2014: Excellence through innovation

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