I know the comments about Islamicate Samosas vs. Indigenous Pakoras was made in jest however what is interesting that the “core Desi” food is carbo-hydrate heavy.
At least Samosa has some protein in comparison to the Pakora, which is basically fried batter (delicious as it is).
I tend to prefer Desi Khans above all else however I have actually taken to eating a steak or another grilled meat just to complement my meal.
This isn’t to revisit older tropes about vegetarian Hindus and meat-eating Muslims but the only protein source I can think of is daal and milk products.
A Pakistani on Instagram once remarked that his favourite cuisine is Arabic food. I immediately took offence since Mughlai cuisine is so much more complex. But his reasoning did make sense that in the balance of health and taste Arabic food was a clear winner.
Interestingly one of our young relatives (at the age of 6) has decided to go completely vegetarian. The family are completely Westernised and meat-eating but the young chap refuses to eat any meat (he wants to give up jelly beans because it has animal products).
It’s gotten to the point that he scolded his mum for buying a leather bag because it’s made from animal hide and while on a car journey he started to meditate. He’s naturally very rambunctious and mischievous but it’s just an interesting exercise in “spontaneous vegetarianism” (we were all eating lamb chops and chicken but he was just sticking to daal).
His mother had to pack all these “mithai”, full of ghee, just to make sure that he met his calorific intake. In a way Indian food is catered to meet calorific loads rather than nutritional values. Nomadic food on the other is just an exercise in how to cook different types of meat. Of course these cuisines are pared with occupational types and we aren’t nomads & farmers anymore.