India in pictures
Food Deliveries8:33 AM
Today, the picture of India is again not a landscape. It is something we see every Sunday in our newspaper here in Mumbai : take away restaurant menus. We get between 3 and 5 any given Sunday, and they usually aren't the ones from the regular franchises everyone know. In fact, thinking about it, I don't see the Pizza Giants bothering to send their menus around via paper regularly anymore. and I know for a fact they are all having a presence in my neighbourhood...every single one of them.
The menus I get are for smaller establishment that seem to be mushrooming in my area, every weeks I get new. Ends from different places. But, they might all be different joints, they are ALL serving the exact same fare, give or take a few items.
These are serving a hodgepodge of dishes from continental cuisine ( basically pasta, sandwich and pizza), to basic North Indian fare (Butter chicken, dal fry...) and Chinese (something Manchurian, something sechuan and Hakka noodles). The food is basic, chicken dishes come in two gravies with many variants "red gravy" and "white gravy", which means that basically almost every single meat dish is made with a butter chicken gravy to which they added more or less onions, and garnish. DH and I refer to it as a "Whatever Chicken" because it truly doesn't matter, the Butter Chicken taste the exact same as the Chicken 65 or Chicken Kadai or Chicken Do Piaza. These outlets are not doing in the gourmet cuisine. they cater to the hunger pang of stressed out Mumbaikars in need of a quick and reasonably priced meal.
And to be fair, none of the dishes we ordered from one place or another even really tasted bad at all, it is just that if you are into discovering the subtelties of Indian cuisine, these are definitely not the place to turn to. They totally do the trick when you are having a totally informal gathering of friends at home though. Any of these dishes usually feed 3-4 for people, especially since we end up ordering at least two different items ( not counting the naans we anyway will order). DH and I usually do one chicken dish, and one mutton dish, because as stated before, these places have a one size fit all gravy base, and if you want to have a different taste from one dish to the other, it is the type of meat that goes into it that need to change.
These menus are also something I haven't seen. I have outside Mumbai. In Navi Mumbai we used to get none, in Bangalore we only really got Pizza Hut and Dominos Pizza. Not that people don't order that kind of food at all, but the advertising used to go by word of mouth more than it went in prints.