for the day when
India’s most popular
available as fast food
all over America
Nothing can beat the soft, Indian pastry called the Samosa. You have not truly lived if you have not tasted its gently fried, spicy filling of
potato and tomato or dipped it into a fresh-ly-opened box of chutney with a gulp of
Mango Lassi or hot tea. It is probably the
only dish that is very spicy and hot and still
gets no complaints.
Triangular or conical in shape, and fried
to perfection, the Samosa’s inventor must
have been not only a great cook, but also a
mathematical genius. Interestingly, most
great tasting sweets have perfect geometrical structures (Laddu – sphere; Barfi –
rhombus; doughnut – torus shape). The
Samosa’s unique structure does not conform to any known standard geometrical
shape and is a term all by itself.
Metaphorically speaking, what is there in a
shape? The Samosa is a three-dimensional
culinary delight, which in any other shape
or form would still taste just as great.
A quick Internet search reveals it wasn’t
first made in India but in Central Asia and
was introduced to India in the 14th century. As early as 1334 the renowned
Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta visited Delhi
and mentioned the existence of the Samosa
in Indian society in his book The Rihla.
Since that time, the Samosa has remained
the epitome of Indian haute cuisine.
Centuries later the British came to India
in search of spices. During two centuries of
their occupation, they left us a varied legacy including a good grasp of the English
DANISH SIDDIQUI / REUTERS
Samosas sold at a roadside stall in India
language. And they carried home a love of
Samosas. The Samosa, today is common in
many shops and restaurants in Great
To Indians, the Samosa is an enticing
snack and can be eaten in its various, elaborate manifestations. One can pick from
Aloo Samosas, Dal Samosas, Kheema
Samosas, Spinach Samosas or Paneer
Samosas. The Samosa can serve as an appetizer, a main course, a side dish, or a
favorite lunch snack.
I once asked a few non-Indian Americans
what their favorite snack was. The verdict
was unanimous. The doughnut was their
favorite (and for some, the only snack they
had ever eaten). On the other hand, for
Indians, the Samosa is their favorite snack.
Only two passions beat eating Samosas:
Playing cricket and watching Bollywood
Ankoor Talwar is a ninth grader from New York.
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