non indian popular foods
Food Facts

Top 15 Indian Foods and Drinks That Aren't Actually Indian

The repeated colonisation of India has had a profound effect on Indian culture, influencing everything from how we speak to what we eat. As a result, we now consider some imported foods native to our country. Our country's cuisine owes a great deal to the Mughals, the Persians, the Mediterranean, and the Iranians. You may be surprised by how popular these foods are in India. Moreover, certain Indian spices aren't even indigenous to India.

Some may be taken aback by this and wonder how many other cultures have impacted your ancestors. Read more to enlighten yourself about some popular dishes of foreign origin. It's a good idea to relish these foods and drinks while taking a train ride in India. Some IRCTC e catering app services allow train passengers to easily book meals from a diverse online menu while on board.

15 Dishes of Foreign Origin Popular in India

Here are the top fifteen dishes of foreign origin that are highly popular in India:

Naan or flatbread


You were surprised by this, weren't you? This, however, is a fact. Naan, a regular bread variant at most Indian eateries, is not a traditional Indian meal. Foods from Iran and Persia are the likely inspiration for Naan, and perhaps these dishes were brought to India by Persians and Iranians. The tandoor used to bake this unleavened bread is also not indigenous to India. Naan is surprisingly more popular in India than it is in Iran. Regardless of its roots, Naan is an inevitable part of Indian culture. It goes well with the butter chicken gravy.

Chicken tikka masala


Did you get shocked? Many react in the same manner upon learning this fact. An Indian chef in the United Kingdom is credited with creating Chicken Tikka Masala. Considering how commonplace it is there, we attribute its inception to India. But no! Since it originated in another country, we classify it as an international dish. However, as Indians, we couldn't care less. You should continue to enjoy them in the same manner as before.



The fact that this is a globally popular meal is hardly surprising. Cooking like this can be traced back to the Middle East. And some people think it's just a modernised form of ancient cooking techniques. Skewering meat and grilling it over an open flame is a time-honoured custom. Therefore, Kebabs are one of the earliest foods modern humans still consume.



One of the most popular Indian drinks is not even from India. Do you feel disappointed right now? In reality, it was the Chinese who introduced Tea drinking to India. The custom originated in China, yet modern-day Indians consume more Tea than their Chinese counterparts. For the record, we also manufacture the most Tea of any nation.



Caffeine in coffee is essential to getting through a long, exhausting day, and some people won't leave their bed without devouring their morning cup. Although coffee is now cultivated and made in many different nations, you may find its first consumption records in the Yemeni Sufi shrines. Growing coffee has spread from its origins in Arabia and Africa to nearly 70 additional countries. It has such a wonderful perfume that you can almost taste it.



This staple of Indian tea time is a meal from the Middle East. Samosa, then known as Sambosa, was brought to India by a scholar from Iran. Now, it is more common in India and other parts of South and Southeast Asia than in Iran. This fried snack is delicious, and the filling makes it even better. You can now use an IRCTC e catering app to place an order for Samosa on the train.

Gulab Jamun


That food looks mouthwatering, right? Shah Jahan's chef accidentally came up with the Mediterranean delicacy gulab jamun. Gulab Jamun is a Persian name, yet this sweet treat originated in the Mediterranean. Whatever it is, it is essential to the Diwali feast, and we cannot fathom a festival of lights without it.



When it comes to Chinese food, the go-to dish for many Indians is momos. A lot of people's affection for the North Eastern people has been won over by these tiny savoury dumplings. In India, these dumplings are served with fiery Chilli Chutney or tomato sauce.

Hakka Noodles


Noodles, as is well known, originate in China. The fact that it contains alcohol doesn't stop us from enjoying this delicious meal. A monthly serving of this dish is required to satiate our desires. Hakka noodles are Chinese stir-fried noodles that are generally served with several complementary eatables. It has become a permanent component of our diets.



We enjoy this Chinese meal almost as much as our favourite noodle dish. The original source of this gravy dish can be traced back to Manchurian, a place in China. An essential feature of any Chinese meal is this fried veggie ball dish doused in soy sauce. This delectable dish is a good food order on the train so you can try it on your next train trip across India.

Chilli Chicken


It's another popular Chinese food that is much praised in India. Chicken is dipped in a corn flour and spice mixture before being cooked in soy sauce, onion, and spice gravy. It's excellent and common in India with noodles. You won't find a better chicken meal.



The combination of Rajma and Chawal is one of the most demanded meals in all of North India. However, the cherished kidney bean, "Rajma," does not belong to us. Mexico is the actual abode of the kidney bean that was later introduced to India. Furthermore, the meal acquired an Indian flavour long ago. People don't care what's the birthplace of the bean because it tastes so good, period.



Nothing can be claimed as our own when it comes to the swirly and delicious goodness observed on the streets of India. The origins of jalebi are in Persian cuisine. Its Arabic name masks the fact that it is known in Iran as Zalebiya. Add ice cream for the finest flavour. Strange pairing, right? But the flavour is fantastic. Give it a shot, and you'll surely agree.

Dal Bhat


This staple of the North Indian diet originated in Nepal. The rice and lentils in the Dal Bhat dish stand in for the north Indian 'Thali. These are the simplest of ingredients used to create an exquisite meal.



The popular Goan dish vindaloo has its roots in the cooking of the Portuguese. Meat and curry are the main ingredients in this curry recipe. It enjoys widespread renown as a Goan staple. It's prepared differently around the Mumbai area. The Vindaloo dish is indeed lip-smacking.

These are not our native cuisines, although they are very popular in India. You may consider these a standard fare that will stay the same for a while. You can even relish these foods on the train using an online food ordering app when riding on the Indian Railways.

The E Catering app is a reliable IRCTC e catering app service that lets you order food on train online from an extensive menu option and bring it to you at your seat on the train. Download this best app to order food on trains now!

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Q1. How do you order from the e catering app?

Ans: Following is the simplest method to place your food order in train:

  • Start the E Catering app on your smartphone.
  • Enter PNR to explore eateries for your journey.
  • Pick your food & book your order choosing online or COD modes.
  • Relish your meal brought to your seat.

Q2. What type of meals can you order from the E Catering app service?

Ans: Whether you're looking for non-veg meals, Jain food, pure vegetarian fare, or something more exotic, our FSSAI-certified restaurant partners deliver fresh, high-quality, and hygienic meals at over 450+ stations on Indian railway trains.