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Potato (Aloo)
Potato (Aloo)
Tomato (Tamatar)
Tomato (Tamatar)
Okra (Bhindi)
Okra (Bhindi)
Cauliflower (Phool Gobhi)
Cauliflower (Phool Gobhi)
Taro (Arbi)
Taro (Arbi)

Most of the food items which define modern North Indian and Subcontinental cooking have origins inside the Indian subcontinent though many foods that are now a part of them are based on fruits and vegetables that originated outside the Indian subcontinent.

Vegetable origins

Vegetable Hindi name Tamil name Telugu name Origin Likely time of introduction Notes
Bitter Melon karela Paavarkai Kaakara kaaya Africa[1]
Cabbage Patta Gobhi Muṭṭaikkōs Possibly European During colonial times[2] Derived from Wild Mustard
Calabash Lauki/Pankaj Curaikkāy Anapukaya,sorakaya China/Japan[3]
Cauliflower Phool Gobhi kosu puvvu Cyprus[4][5] 1822 CE[6]
Chili pepper Mirch Miḷakāy mirapakaya Mesoamerica [7] 1550 CE[7] india
Coriander Dhaniya Kottamalli kotthimeera North Africa [8] or Mediterranean 1000 AD [9] by Arabs Mentioned in ancient Egypt
Brinjal Baingan Kattirikkāy vankaya India/China[10]
Fenugreek Methi Ventayam menthi koora Near East [11] 326 BC [12] Alexander's campaign to India
Garlic Lahsoon Pūṇṭu Velluli/Elligadda possibly Middle East [13] Unknown
Lemon Neembú Elumiccai nimmakaya South China or Northeastern India[14] 2000-1000 BC[14] Lemon seeds found in the Harappan Bara culture excavations indicate time of spread[14]
Moringa Muruṅkai Munakkaada India
Okra Bhindi Veṇṭaikkāy Bendakaaya Highlands of Ethiopia and india[15] 100-500 CE[15]
Onion Pyaaz Veṅkāyam Ulligadda,ullipaya,erragadda India[citation needed] Unknown, but present by 500 BCE[16] Mentioned in the Charaka Samhita
Potato Aloo Uruḷaikkiḻaṅku Bangala Dumpa/Aloo Gadda South America (Peru/Bolivia) [17] 1600 CE Likely introduced by Portuguese traders
Sweet Potato Shakarkand Iṉippu uruḷaikkiḻaṅku Chilagada dumpa South America [18] 1600 CE) Via Portugal
Taro Arbi / Arwi/ Guhiyaan Seppankizhangu Chaamadumpa, chaamagadda Unknown (India, Polynesia or SE Asia) Unknown
Tomato Tamatar Takkāḷi Tamata / rama phalam Latin America (Mexico to Peru) [19] 1600 CE Likely introduced by Portuguese traders
Turnip Shalgham Ṭarṉip West Asia or Eastern Europe[citation needed] 1500 BC Very early presence in the South Asia
Yam Zimikand/Suran/kachalu/banda Kanda Africa/Asia[citation needed] 7000 BCE Different types of yams by taste, colour, size, skin, acidity

Fruit origins

Fruit Hindi Name Telugu Name Tamil Name Origin Likely time of introduction Notes
Apple Seb Āppiḷ Central Asia (Kazakhstan) [20] Unknown A healthy fruit liked by everyone , the fruit which is important for establish the idea for newton to find gravitiy
Mango Aam Mamidi Pandu Māṅkaṉi India Unknown Mango is mentioned by Hendrik van Rheede, the Dutch commander of the Malabar region in his 1678 book
Mulberry Shehtoot/Toot Malperi China/Japan Unknown Its white type is toxic whereas red is very sweet
Orange Santara[citation needed] Kamalapandu Ārañcu India Unknown A sweeter Indian variety was introduced by the Portuguese in Europe (ca. 15th century)
Plum Aloo Bokhara Piḷam Armenia Unknown
Tamarind Hunase Hannu/ Imli Chintakaya/Chintapandu Puḷi Africa Unknown Known for savourish taste, the fruit has mention since Harappan times
Tangerine Narangi Narinja Pandu Ṭēṅkariṉ China Unknown

See also


  1. ^ Renner, Susanne S. (2020-10-06). "Bitter gourd from Africa expanded to Southeast Asia and was domesticated there: A new insight from parallel studies". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117 (40): 24630–24631. doi:10.1073/pnas.2014454117. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 7547224. PMID 32994347.
  2. ^ Dabholkar, A. R. (2006). General Plant Breeding. Concept Publishing Company. ISBN 978-81-8069-242-0.
  3. ^ Erickson, David L.; Smith, Bruce D.; Clarke, Andrew C.; Sandweiss, Daniel H.; Tuross, Noreen (2005-12-20). "An Asian origin for a 10,000-year-old domesticated plant in the Americas". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102 (51): 18315–18320. doi:10.1073/pnas.0509279102. PMC 1311910. PMID 16352716.
  4. ^ Fenwick, G. Roger; Heaney, Robert K.; Mullin, W. John; VanEtten, Cecil H. (1983-01-01). "Glucosinolates and their breakdown products in food and food plants". C R C Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 18 (2): 123–201. doi:10.1080/10408398209527361. ISSN 0099-0248. PMID 6337782.
  5. ^ "Cabbage Flowers for Food | Archives | Aggie Horticulture". Retrieved 2021-09-09.
  6. ^ Gopalakrishnan, T. R. (2007). Vegetable Crops. New India Publishing. ISBN 978-81-89422-41-7.
  7. ^ a b 75 Exciting Vegetables For Your Garden, Jack E. Staub, Ellen Buchert, Gibbs Smith, 2005, pp. 126, ISBN 9781586852504, .India, hot peppers were dispersed by the earliest explorers to the Iberian Peninsula ... being cultivated in India by the sixteenth century, with three varieties growing in India by 1542 ...
  8. ^ "Book sources", Wikipedia, retrieved 2021-09-09
  9. ^ "Cuisine and Diplomacy". Retrieved 2021-09-09.
  10. ^ "Solanum melongena L. GRIN-Global". Retrieved 2021-09-09.
  11. ^ Zohary, Daniel; Hopf, Maria; Weiss, Ehud (2012). Domestication of Plants in the Old World: The Origin and Spread of Domesticated Plants in Southwest Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean Basin (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 122.
  12. ^ "Fennel, Fenugreek and Coriander: 3 Spices that You Thought Were Indian but Aren't". NDTV Food. Retrieved 2021-09-09.
  13. ^ Zohary, Daniel (2000). Domestication of plants in the old world : the origin and spread of cultivated plants in West Asia, Europe, and the Nile Valley (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-19-850357-6.
  14. ^ a b c Indian Archaeology in Retrospect: Protohistory, archaeology of the Harappan civilization, Shadaksharappa Settar, Ravi Korisettar, Indian Council of Historical Research, 2002, ISBN 978-81-7304-320-8, ... The only early archaeobotanical evidence for Citrus fruits comes from the Late Harappan (Bara phase) site of Sanghol in Punjab where seeds of lemon (C. limon (L.) Burm. f.) have been reported (Saraswat and Chanchala 1997). This is of great interest as these fruits are thought to have been domesticated somewhere in the area spanning from north-eastern India to south China and South-East Asia, although there remains no firm evidence for precisely where or when ... suggests that lemons diffused westwards, presumably along the Ganga Valley in the early second millennium BC. Further west, in South-West Asia, the citron (C. medical L.) occurs as early as c. 1200 BC, while the lemon arrives later in the first millennium AD ...
  15. ^ a b 75 Exciting Vegetables For Your Garden, Jack E. Staub, Ellen Buchert, Gibbs Smith, 2005, ISBN 9781586852504, ... Ancient varieties of okra can still be found growing wild from Ethiopia to the White Nile in Egypt, and this interesting food plant is believed to have originated in Ethiopia. In the absence of any ancient Indian names for it, modern botanists believe it found its way to India ... about AD 200 ...
  16. ^ 75 Exciting Vegetables For Your Garden, Jack E. Staub, Ellen Buchert, Gibbs Smith, 2005, pp. 84, ISBN 9781586852504, ... In India, as early as the sixth century BC, the famous herbal treatise Charaka-Sanhita celebrates the onion as good for the heart, the eyes, and the joints ...
  17. ^ "Finding rewrites the evolutionary history of the origin of potatoes". Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  18. ^ Geneflow 2009. Bioversity International. ISBN 978-92-9043-813-7.
  19. ^ Smith, Andrew F. (1994). The tomato in America : early history, culture, and cookery. Internet Archive. Columbia, S.C. : University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1-57003-000-0.
  20. ^ Duan, Naibin; Bai, Yang; Sun, Honghe; Wang, Nan; Ma, Yumin; Li, Mingjun; Wang, Xin; Jiao, Chen; Legall, Noah; Mao, Linyong; Wan, Sibao (August 2017). "Genome re-sequencing reveals the history of apple and supports a two-stage model for fruit enlargement". Nature Communications. 8 (1): 249. Bibcode:2017NatCo...8..249D. doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00336-7. ISSN 2041-1723. PMC 5557836. PMID 28811498.

Further reading