The History of the Samosa


Here at Royal Nawaab, we try to provide our diners with an authentic menu overflowing with dishes they will love and recognise. The samosa is a favourite amongst the Indian people and a popular side in Western countries, however it also has a rich and symbolic history too. Read on as the team here at Royal Nawaab briefly look at the history of the samosa and what makes it such a popular street snack…

Although history would have us think otherwise, the humble Indian samosa actually originates from Central Asia! In fact, early medieval texts from Persia mention the sanbosag and the samsa, which are thought to be early relatives of the popular street food we know so well in the 21st century. In addition to this, further accounts refer to small, triangular mince-filled snacks eaten by travellers as sanbusak, sanbusaj and sanbusaq. During the Delhi Sultanate rule, many Middle Eastern chefs migrated to India in search of work and brought the samosa with them. The snack later earned the blessing of Indian royalty and gradually became synonymous with Indian culture and cuisine.

Upon their arrival in India, British colonisers adored the samosa and decided to take the snack with them on their travels. As a result, there are now many different versions that exist depending on the region and country it is prepared in. For example, Middle Eastern samosas are semi-circular and filled with cheese, onions, minced meat and spices whereas Israeli samosas tend to opt for chickpeas and pine nuts instead.

In India, the country that is most often associated with the samosa, the snack is often served with chutney, shaped into a triangle and deemed perfect for consumption when it is crispy and lightly golden. The most common fillings for Indian samosas are boiled potatoes, peas, green chillies and a hearty supply of spices. If there is one thing that is certain, the samosa is a representation of adaptability, tolerance and invention as even after centuries of interpretation, it remains one of the most popular street snacks in India today.

Although traditional variations tend to be triangular, there are dozens of different ways to interpret a samosa. In fact, many traditional chefs will combine the snack with other dishes in order to make exciting new fillings, such as the samosa chaat. Here at Royal Nawaab, our menu consists of two spicy samosa options that are both suitable for vegetarians.

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