India is the land of diversity not just in people but in land too. Indian soil is capable of producing almost all kinds of fruits, vegetables and spices. They support a large form of vegetation throughout the country. But what if i Tell that the most used vegetables in India were not from this country but were imported for other countries many-many years ago. In this article you will know about 5 such plants which did not originate in India.
Yes, the most popular vegetable in the world did not originate in India. However, its name itself tells you that it is not India because you might have noticed that its hindi name “टमाटर” is similar to its english name Tomato.
Let’s talk some history now , you might not know but the Tomato came to India by the way of Portuguese explorers in the 16th century. It was grown in India for the British in the 18th Century. Even today in Bengal Tomato is called “biliti begun” which means “foreign eggplant”. It was adopted by India because the Indian climate suited Tomato and one Utarakhand is one of the main producers of Tomatoes.
Yes, your everyday “alu” did not originate in India and it was also introduced to us by Portuguese explorers. If you would have noticed you must have heard that the Potato is also called “Batata” which is also similar to the English word Potato.
Portuguese introduced potatoes to India in the 17th Century which they called Batata along the western coast of India. British traders introduced potatoes to Bengal as a root crop, ‘Alu’. By the end of the 18th century, it was cultivated across northern hill areas of India.
Right now India is the second largest potato producer of the world after China. India produced 53.03 million tonnes of potato from 2.16 million ha area with an average yield of 24.55 t/ha in the year 2018-19.
The same chili pepper you might use in your daily life cooking was not native to India before the 16th century. You might think that a country famous for its spicy food did not have chili before the 16th century. How is that possible? But before you think otherwise just recall the dishes eaten in our mythologies or culture. The Saatvik Bhojan was the normal food at that time so there was no need for chilies in them. This is enough to prove my point.
In history, Portuguese explorers introduced chili in India at the end of the 16th century. In 21st-century Asian cuisine, chili peppers are commonly used across many regions. India is the largest producer with 1.98 million tonnes and contributes 43% of world chili production, followed by China, Ethiopia, Thailand, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Guava commonly called “amrud” is also one of the fruits which did not originate from India. They were introduced in India in the 17th century. It originated in tropical America where it occurred in the wild.
Guava was adopted as a crop in subtropical and tropical Asia, parts of the United States, tropical Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Guavas were introduced to Florida, US in the 19th century and are grown there as far north as Sarasota, Chipley, Waldo and Fort Pierce. However, they are a primary host of the Caribbean fruit fly and must be protected against infestation in areas of Florida where this pest is present.
Peanuts or the “मूंगफली” is not a native nut of India. Yes Oilseeds -particularly coconut, sesame, mustard, cottonseed, linseed, castor, niger, safflower have
been grown or used in India for many millennia. For example, archaeological excavations of cities
of the great Indus Valley culture which spanned the period 2500 to 1500 BC have yielded charred
seeds of sesame and mustard.
But the peanuts or groundnut was never cultivated in India before the first half of the sixteenth
Century. The groundnut was introduced into India by the Magellan expedition around 1519. This is very unlikely as its introduction even into the Philippines by this
agency is discounted. In Buchanan’s travels through Mysore, South Canara and Malabar written in
1800, the plant is referred to as being cultivated together with turmeric in Mysore