Did you know the malpua has its roots in a grain pancake made by early Indians, which went by the name ‘apupa’?

Or that the modern-day kadhi was the result of a dialogue between a Buddhist sage and a king who demanded a sauce made of a set of specific ingredients?

Meanwhile, for chaat we have Emperor Shah Jahan to thank.

An excerpt from Mumbai-based author Sonal Ved’s book notes, “Once when Emperor Shah Jahan fell ill, a royal hakim advised him to eat food loaded with spices to strengthen his immunity.”

“The palace khansama came up with chaat, a dish that was light on the stomach but tasty at the same time.”

Meanwhile, the humble sambhar was discovered out of pure serendipity. ‘Whose Samosa Is It Anyway?’ tells the story of its inception.

Sambhaji, Shivaji’s eldest son was an ardent cook and was fond of a Marathi dish called aamti, which is a lentil-based stew soured with hints of kokum.

One day, the regular stash of kokum did not reach the Tanjore palace’s kitchen on time and the sous chef improvised by adding a dash of tamarind pulp.

The dish became such a hit in the court kitchen that it was named sambhar after Sambhaji.

As Sonal researched to discover how the samosa was born, she learnt about the cookbook Ni’matnama, which was written in Naskh, a cursive Arabic script.

It bore mentions of how fried flour pasties resembling the current-day samosas were stuffed with a variety of meats, like beef and venison.

Nasir Shah, the ruler of the Malwa Sultanate, had his own version, with an elaborate preparation of minced meat mashed with fennel, cumin, salt, cloves, coriander seeds, musk, rose water, ginger root and onions, folded into a triangular parcel, skewered and fried in sweet-tasting ghee.

Mentions of the samosa have also been found in the cookbooks of Asian, Islamic and Iranian lineage, called ‘the sanbusa.’

The name changed through the centuries, as did the recipe.

So, the next time you order a plate of hot samosas, or have yourself some malpuas with rabdi, or even the simple kanji, it would do well to remember that the dish set in front of you is the product of a story as old as time itself.