Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kebabs and KFC- The Indian Palate Transition

Our treat, usually on birthdays, was a meal at the local South Indian joint called Malabar.
Or , at Ming Room, a chinese restaurant.

Chinese cuisine had tickles Indian palates for decades.
So much so that noodles, or chow chow as my mother said, was dished up quite often at home.
Now the way it was cooked was simply stir frying sliced carrots, cabbage, onions and green peppers, dousing it in some soya sauce and tomato ketchup and then adding the boiled noodles wobbling in the colander, as the water seeped out through the holes. Served with more tomato ketchup.

Chilli chicken or paneer was the other dish made at home. Occasionally.

Then entered Maggi with instant noodles and our childhood changed.

The Ming rooms and Malabars holding fort in small towns were shaken out of their reverie by a new breed of fast food chains serving burgers and coffees and pizzas, with logos people had only seen in english movies and a promise of fun within the budget.

Soon this food made its appearance on the dining table.
Home cooked pizzas, grilled sandwiches, pastas are often sunday dinners served with pride by housewives to husbands and in laws. Who relish it with equal pride.

There is a sense of celebration over these non Indian origin meals.
A sense of casualness... the steel dishes may have given way to the melamine ones, forks replaced bare fingers, ketchup made its appearance again.

Grihashobha and Women's Era recipe sections now boasts of grilled aubergine and lettuce, paneer dumplings in white sauce and exotic desserts.

TV shows have shows with chefs dishing up such " conti" dishes.

Truly, our palates are changing.
Like we are.

Embracing cuisines so comfortably reflect a mindset which is open and liberal.
Signals confidence and security to move along the journey instead of staying rooted.

The fact that this change is being led by the woman of the house is also reflective of how women are equally welcoming change and donning global aprons wth elan.

As for me, I enjoy both my kebabs and KFCs .
Like most Indian families.

Shows that even when we are rooted, we can still fly.

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