Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Problem With Indian Food

That you get in restaurants outside India and also with most generic North Indian restaurants in India is that in all probabilty the chefs (if one can call them that) are prize jackasses. Most Indian restaurants abroad would have this standard menu - gobhi aloo, chana masala (or chole masala), naan, baingan bharta, palak paneer, chicken tandoori, mutton seekh kebab, biryanis, bhindi masala and raita.

The food NEVER tastes like home-cooked food and that is just the beginning of my rant. Why do Indian restaurants suck so much? When every state in India has a distinct cuisine why is it that Indian restaurants abroad only seem to have this one generic Punjabi-north Indian menu, and that too of the Dhaba kinds? In India, I find things gradually changing. In Calcutta we now have bengali restaurants becoming popular. You can now get south Indian food that is not just Idli-sambar-dosa. I knew this one place in Calcutta that did pretty accurate Goan food. So why do Indians opening restaurants abroad only stick to dhaba menus?

I also could never understand why Indian chefs get so obssessed with our obsolete royalty. Why is every dal a maharani? Why is every generic mixed vegetable a vegetable korma or subz bahar or a navratani qorma? Why can't Indian restaurants serve food that tastes even close to home-cooked Indian food? Why can we not learn to serve more authentic Indian food in our restaurants? Why? I always find Indian home-cooked meals much, much more appealing than anything in retaurants. So why can't our chefs figure this one out?

1 Comments:

At 9:03 PM, Blogger Gia said...

You forgot the biggest menace of all - Chicken Tikka!!!

I don't get it either. I guess these guys are just happy playing to the galleries. And I don't buy the bull about supplying to demand and serving just what people want. A clever chef will make sure he has people salivating at the most unpopular or unheard of dishes. The trick probably lies in the packaging. Masoor dal could be titled "Home style egyptian lentils garnished with roasted garlic and cilantro" or some such!!!

 

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