Shared by, Tahir Mahmood.

Named samsa after the triangular pyramids of Central Asia, the samsosa came to the subcontinent on ancient trade routes. —Photo by Fawad Ahmed

How is one to capture the essence of a samosa through the written word?

Growing up my favourite samosa had to be the one sold at my school tuck shop owned by Mr. Wellows. Anyone who went to the missionary schools in Karachi has had to have tasted the legendary alloo ka samosa sold at their canteens.

It was golden brown, crisp, flaky, delicious all at 40 paisas only! And if the school samosa wasn’t enough our chowkidar used to make the best homemade samosas, hence I’ve literally grown up on samosas.

But does the samosa really belong to the subcontinent?

No, it does not, to our utmost chagrin it migrated from Central Asia. Yes, yet another immigrant food on the desi plate that has adjusted so well to its adoptive land.

The immigrant samosa travelled the length and breath of the region and came to the subcontinent along the ancient trade routes of Central Asia.

The Oxford Companion To Food by Alan Davidson says;

The Indian [subcontinent] samosa is merely the best known of an entire family of stuffed pastries or dumplings popular from Egypt and Zanzibar to Central Asia and West China. Arab cookery books of the 10th and 13th centuries refer to the pastries as sanbusak (the pronunciation still current in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon), sanbusaq or sanbusaj, all reflecting the early medieval form of the Persian word sanbosag, though originally it was named samsa, after the triangular pyramids of Central Asia.