Author: Lily Swarn

With a Pinch of Salt: Pickles are in the Indian Cuisines for Four Thousand Years

Pickles are an almost essential part of a complete meal in the sub-continent. Cucumbers that are native to India were first pickled in the Tigris valley in BE 2030. These grew in the foothills of the Himalayas. Indians were eating pickles 4000 years ago. Lily tells us about the antiquity of pickles, its history, and […]

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The Many Legends, Tales and Travels of Coffee

Dating back to the 10th century or even earlier, coffee has legends and stories galore surrounding its origin. The undomesticated nativity of coffee seems to be of Ethiopia. Evidence of drinking coffee dates back to 15th century in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen. By the 16th century, this wonder drink had reached Coorg in South […]

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A Bowl of Kheer Loaded with Legends, Myths, Rituals, Traditions and History

The first mention of Kheer may be found as the Sanskrit word Kshirika, meaning a dish prepared with milk, in the fourteenth-century Padmavat of Gujarat. Known by various names as Payesh, Payasam, Gil-e-Firdaus, Firni, Kheer is a pan-Indian dessert that’s loaded with legends, myths, rituals, traditions, and history. Lily traces the antiquity of this delicacy, […]

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The Story of Dosa and its Antiquity

Lily tells us about Dosas and its antiquity. She says that the recipe of Dosa dates back to 1500 years, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths. A walk through Sector 17 shopping plaza in Chandigarh always makes me stop and sniff at the aromas wafting out of the Indian Coffee House. The reason […]

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Bengalis, the Opium Seed Eaters, and their Cuisine, Alu Posto, and Other Dishes

The British had set up their base in Bengal, soon after the Battle of Plassey, in 1757, realised that there was a gigantic market for illegal opium in China. Undulating poppy fields replaced agricultural tracts of land, suddenly. The starving families of farmers were in a pathetic state. Human brains are experimental and innovative. The […]

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Haleem: Popularised by the Nizams of Hyderabad has its Origin in Arab

Haleem, literally meaning patient and merciful (Daleem) is a stew popular in Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent. Although its ingredients vary from region to region, it always includes wheat or barley, meat and sometimes lentils. Popular variations are Keskek in Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan and Northern Iraq. In the Arab world and Armenia it […]

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Vindaloo: A Delightful Marriage of Eastern and Western Cuisines in Goa

Vindaloo is a garbled pronunciation of the original Portuguese dish ‘carne de Vinha d’alhos,’ which means, meat marinated in wine vinegar and garlic. The local conditions tweaked the dish since there was no wine vinegar in India. The dish got its unique Goan taste with the blending of locally available ingredients like tamarind, cinnamon, cardamom […]

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Did the French Fries Originate in Belgium?

It’s believed that the French Fries was invented either by the Belgians or the French. Surprisingly, potatoes were introduced to Europe by the Spanish. In 1537, Jimenez de Quesada and his Spanish forces found potatoes in the food stuff that the natives left behind when they fled from their Columbian village. They were initially called […]

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Healthy and Nutritious Panjiri, a Panacea, Prasad and Post-natal Care

Panjiri is meaningful ritualistically, as it has been consumed for thousands of years by the ancient Hindus and much later by the Sikhs. It has its origins in Ayurvedic medicine. It helps promote circulatory and lymphatic flow. It is offered as Prasad and for new mothers, as post-natal care. Popular in Punjab, in India and Pakistan, […]

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Exotic Gushtaba a Must-eat Dish of the Kashmiri Cuisine

The origin of Kashmiri cuisine dates back to the 15th century when India was invaded by Emperor Timur. He brought skilled people for various professions, along with cooks from Samarkand. The exotic, lip smacking dishes use yogurt, saffron, and turmeric in ample measures. Mild in taste and rich in flavour, Kashmiri cuisine is also influenced by […]

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