Samosas vs. Pakoras

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.

37 thoughts on “Samosas vs. Pakoras”

  1. Not sure if some of these claims (ALL desi cuisines are carb heavy; that vegetarian food is protein-deficient) will stand critical scrutiny.

    So yes, this does fall under the veggie Hindus vs. meat-eating Muslims trope. Indian diets tend to be dictated by class and caste, not so much by religion.

  2. I much prefer cheese with croissant, butter too: homemade with freshly squeezed Valencia oranges nectar.

  3. The only point I can see for this post is to emphasize that most Indians have bad food habits. Improving diet and exercising more are a thousand times more important for Indians than worrying about all the below:
    —white supremacy
    —white privilege
    —Islamaphobia and other types of sectarianism
    —the rest of the alphabet soup

    1. Who u calling indian

      Am From Panjab, full-stop. r family and friends r Fit, full-stop.

      During peace v prepare for war: be on notice, v r no longer cannon fodder for fugly chindians.

      Death to chindian kakistocracy.

  4. I avoid afroasiatic beverages such as coffee and tea. Actual GauMataMother Cow milk with bit of honey and some saffron, plus a bit of pistachios for strength. Preferably milk from humped vedic Cow. This warm beverage just described is pure Gold.
    But I also love Jersey Cow milk.
    Let animals live out natural life span!

    I avoid terms like carbohydrates protein- boring terms. Milkveg4eva: extirpation of Raksh who harm animals is good, pious. I also like buffalo milk.

    Spinach mixes well with paneer. Homemade of course.
    Once I made Khoa at home from two percent milk, took over 8 hours, but well worth it.

    Homemade delights are in mode of a Truth satogun.

      1. No and I never will.

        But allopathic English medical system is mostly worthless. It is like going to a bad car mechanic. Whole is greater than sum of parts. I feel for persons of vegetarian heritage, it is best to rely upon Natural Systems of health care such as Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Sikhpathy etc.
        Main thing is never think of disease. If mind is pure and deeds r noble and one is of good intentions and prior lives karma is good, there is no reason for anyone to get ill in the first place. Swami Sivananda of Bengal from previous century explains that disease only strikes when Divine Law has been transgressed. Living in accordance with Divine Law will make one healthy and blissful.

        I have read that if child under 8 years of age gets ill, the fault is with mother’s bad karma. And ‘ til age 15 disease of child caused by father’s bad karma. After 15 ones karma cannot be blamed on parents misdeeds.

        Wifi signals, microwaves, digital devices , surveillance cameras, internet, tv all this is bad for sound health. 5G is horrid for health. Honeybee population is being harmed. Without honeybees people can’t exist.

        The American surveillance/torture state is utterly wretched and must b challenged. The Fuehrer was right when he stated the following about America: “one half negrified and one half judaified”
        The old world is chinkyfying alarmingly quickly.
        It really is kaljug.

  5. I could write a book on this, but to will keep this short…

    Here is me as a 27 year old meat eater, vs. currently as a 32 year old plant eater…

    I work at a computer all day, and train 3 days a week for an hour each.

    It is 2019, I think anyone serious about nutrition or fitness should get an idea of calories and nutrients in the foods they eat regularly via an app like cronometer / myfitnesspal.

    The body doesn’t really know or care what culinary tradition the nutrients come from or whether they come from a sentient being.

    1. Sumit, that’s an awesome transformation. If you can share any details of your diet and workout routine that would be quite helpful.

      1. Thanks! Don’t know if there is a magic formula.

        I think most of the stuff out there works, its important to find something you can do consistently, and is aligned with your goals, since that’s where most people fail.

        I would say the basics are as follows:

        Weight loss is simple mostly just need to create a net energy deficit. The easiest way is by eating fewer calories. There are strategies or dieting styles to manage hunger (I do intermittent fasting).

        Muscle gain it is important to progressively overload your muscles without getting injured. Then allow them to recover, while supplying your body with enough amino acids to build new muscles. (I mostly train to maximize strength relative to my bodyweight on compound lifts).

        Tracking: I like to track everything, so Myfitnesspal for calories, Strong for strength training. I also use an app called habits for consistency. Tracking helps to keep you accountable, and generate motivation.

        There are all kinds of caveats, optimizations, refinements, and strategies. But I think the basics + consistency is more important.

        1. Very good

          I use Noom (it’s like fitness pal but a bit more focus on type of nutrition)

          Fitbod for working out

          Peak for brain training

          A water app to track water..

  6. Your young relative, at the age of 6, really shouldn’t be allowed to choose to be a vegetarian. Adults don’t let kids choose their diets, whether it’s candy and Twinkies for dinner, or vegetarian/vegan diets. Usually they don’t make good decisions on diets. Sure enough, the boy is pumping himself full of sugar with mithai instead of eating a nice steak.

      1. Fair. There are multiple paths to health, wellness and environmental sustainability. Also true for the opposite. ?

        Pakora, Samosa, Bhai, Bhai.

    1. \Your young relative, at the age of 6, really shouldn’t be allowed to choose to be a vegetarian.\
      ?? Authoritarianism at – or nannyism – it’s peak, 6 year old should not choose their diet. A school girl of 14 has touched off a mass environment protest movement – by many other school children.

    1. What are you talking about?

      The head of a camel roasted in the fires of Jahannam, a side of dates, and a glass of zamzam water, all served on a still bloody scimitar (used to behead the camel), with a shisha on standby. A classic Arabic dish.

      1. there is no ‘lebanese arab’ food. there’s ‘lebanese food.’ there’s also ‘moroccan food.’ and ‘yemeni food.’

  7. Pakoras can have whatever you want inside them, including protein-rich stuff. (Paneer pakoras are ubiquitous in India.) Not sure what the frying process does to the filling though.

  8. I am with you on this. Most Indian food is garbage.
    (By Indian food, I do not mean some meat dishes or expensive kebabs but the stuff most people have on a day to day basis).

    Indians stuff themselves with starch and balloon like buffaloes before they reach middle age.

    I think diet is one of the reasons for India’s under-performance with respect to its potential.

  9. The samosa vs pakora duality of muslims vs hindus makes sense if the latter are north indian baniyas or some such. Hindu Bengalis, Oriyas, Tamils, Telugu people ect eat a greater variety of meats than your typical Pakistani. Shark, manta ray, pig , buffalo, turtle, peacock and monitor lizards….its all on the menu. One of the interesting developments in the culinary scene here is the proliferation of casual eateries serving authentic regional cuisine, something that was a great unknown a generation ago. People generally didn’t know what people from other communities were eating at home. Moreover many meat eating communities were sort of coy about talking about what got cooked at home, like sheep head soup for breakfast or whatever. Its all out in the open now.

    1. Shark, manta ray, pig , buffalo, turtle, peacock and monitor lizards….its all on the menu.

      All are against the law now in Sri Lanka. Fines can range from LKR 50,000-100,000 (USD 285- 570). Wildlife conservation.

      Does not mean not eaten, not in public and very circumspect.
      Wild pig, Wild Boar ambiguous re law. Say its allowed, but in this village at least two have been fined for having cooked wild boar.

      1. India has a grey area for hunting wherein its permitted for crop protection. Most wild boar is explained that way. Shark is absolutely ordinary, i’d imagine it is in sri lanka as well. Peacock is officially protected, but i think for symbolic reasons and not due to it being endangered. Monitor lizard surprised me when i first encountered folks talking about culinarily, although it seems that its mainly consumed for medicinal reasons, supposed to cure arthritis or something, lol. Anyways, true jungle bunnies like variety, can’t live on chickpeas.

        1. Between 1990 and 2013, India’s per capita gdp (PPP) increased 7 times. Meat consumption per capita decreased from 4.1 kgs per capita to 3.7 kgs.

          And while meat consumption in India varies by state (lowest in NW area, Punjab, Haryana, West UP, highest on East Coast and Kerala), the amount of meat consumed is uniformly low and does not tend to correlate to income in any region.

          1. Especially the discordance between the border. The NW of India borders on PAK so best like for like comparison.

            Vegetarianism May also be a way to express “Hinduness” in the more Muslim section of South Asia..

          2. Vikram, i think you are making a macro point about income increasing and consumption decreasing. Inflation across all sectors is not in step. I’ve noticed incredible inflation in the price of mutton that outpaces wages over the years, and its led to all sorts of schemes and even financial instruments being created around sheep rearing. Certain types of fish that were common for all have now become out of reach for even urban middle class families.
            My impression is just that when a meat eating family becomes relatively affluent (not the average family as pegged by economic growth figures), then they start eating meat more frequently. Your general point about decreased consumption, to me suggests that india’s economic growth has been uneven, and the figures and benchmark indices for prosperity are biased towards certain attributes and don’t reflect prosperity on the terms that the rural masses may have defined for themselves, at least when it comes to food consumption. The talking point about how expensive meat and fresh vegetables have become has persisted for quite some time. Grain, sugar, electric appliances, and data plans have gotten relatively cheaper of course. Eggs and milk may have as well.

    2. “Hindu Bengalis, Oriyas, Tamils, Telugu people ect eat a greater variety of meats than your typical Pakistani. ”

      Most of these people do not have meat very frequently.
      Even if some of them do, the diet has a huge component of rice and sugar, which is not very healthy.

      1. Variety of meat is different to meat consumption per se.

        I do think it’s good to eat different forms of meat fwiw

        I try to spruce with different types of meat

      2. That might have a lot to do with financial means. Given the choice, there isn’t a taboo on the many varieties of meat, but yeah, they will eat huge amounts of rice along with it. I’m speaking more to the point of hindus being meat averse in contrast muslims.
        I don’t think the ethos of healthy eating is completely lost in the rural masses. I’ve been told so many times by people in villages that the urban diet is bad and causes diabetes. Know families that only eat millets or unpolished rice as their daily starch, and still get their cold pressed oil from the neighborhood guy because they don’t trust the branded refined stuff. Labourers, rural athletes and others in that mileau have their received notions about what foods give you sustained energy, and a lot of it interestingly conforms to a lot of the popular diet trends in the west, like paleo.

  10. I think Sajid Javid is a little uncharismatic. I prefer BoJo.

    PS: Both pakoras & samosas are passé in India. Indians increasingly prefer momos. #LookEast

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