India in pictures

Anything Maggi eatery

8:29 AM

An eatery specialising in all things Maggi Noodles has cme with a very inventive menu to say the least...Magizza anyone?

A couple of weeks back, I got this gem of a menu wedged in my door handle. If you follow me on my social media outlets, you probably saw that picture already. If you don't, this is a menu of all things Maggi. And by Maggi I mean the ramen type instant noodle that has become a household name all over Indian. You know, the packaged junk that promise you to be as tasty as it is healthy, or more recently guaranteed happiness in two minutes. Yes THAT Maggi, the ultimate lazy day comfort food item that everybody knows how to cook.

I was unaware that there were other ways of eating it to be fair. But apparently judging by this eatery, you can have Maggi burgers, Maggi subs, and Maggi pizza among other equally crazy fare. In the case of a Pizza it seems the base is made of Maggi noodles instead of bread. I googled it, there is no way I would attempt eating that thing at the said outlet, I am too much of a purist when it comes to noodles.

One of my friend pointed out that one has to be a teenager to really enjoy that place. I must have been an extra special kind of teenager myself, because I would still have gone for a real burger or a real pizza instead.

And...a Chinese MagBhel? Really?

11 comments

  1. Anonymous2:49 PM

    Apple

    I remember maggy was introduced sometimes in the early 1980s and it remained the only noodles known to Indians for a long time. I mean very long time. Kind of an exciting foreign food. It was a revolutionary concept, a precursor for fast food. Before that there was nothing like two minutes food. The masala for maggy remained the same for a long time, the basic ginger garlic type tangy masala. I used to eat the masala raw as it was so tasty. Later on other types and flavours were introduced. It still remains the most popular noodle brand in india. Maggi is edible when hot otherwise it is awful. It also remains a popular dish at roadside dhabas of colder places like Ladakh.

    There is man called tom who has made a career out of selling different types of maggy noodles to delhi university students of North campus. Generations of Students vouch for the taste of his maggy. He has turned the simple maggy into gourmet food. It is popularly known as uncle tom's maggy point.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yEtuXRq0-JI

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    Replies
    1. In Switzerland, Maggi has been synonymous for generation with stock powders, sauces, and soups, the noodles in question never made an appearance in local store. I think we started seeing instant type noodles in the 90's, they were all imported from China and Japan that I remember of but they never really took off the way instant noodles have cornered the Indian market, they are still costlier per serving than a pack of regular Italian pasta that will make 4-5 meals. Needless to say that Swiss students go for pasta and a jar of pasta sauce instead. These instant noodles were that kind of thing we did when we wanted a change. And the instant one in a cup was that thing we took on a camping trip, or on my dad's boat when something warm on a stormy lake just about felt right.
      I remember being amazed at all the types of noodles there were in India when I came in 2003.

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    2. Anonymous3:41 PM

      I think maggy was so different from anything that Indians have seen that it became an instant hit. Indian cooking is so time consuming that maggy came as welcome and tasty relief to most people. This was the time when modern amenities like two in one or vcr were trickling into india. Choice was less so anything different was lapped up. Maggy was widely popular ever since it was introduced.

      There was nothing like a instant soup or noodles in those days. Maggy introduced the concept of instant food. Indians warmed up to the idea of packaged food since then since they were suspicious of the freshness of packaged food. Also heard stories about how our grandmas spend hours cooking delicious food that anything instant was like cheating the time honoured traditions and therefore not good enough. In the west there is a long tradition of packaged food. In india packaged food for a long time meant only pickles and jams not a full meal.

      Apple

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  2. "Maggi noodles" are called ramen in the US.
    You can buy like 10 packs of ramen for as little as a dollar so they are quite popular with people on a budget like students.
    Nepal has it's own popular brand of instant noodles called 'Wai Wai', they come in various flavors just like Maggi noodles.
    Nepalis have an interesting way of snacking on Wai Wai - they crush the noodles in the bag, mix the flavor packet & crunch away on the uncooked mix (I think it tastes like salty sawdust but it is one of the most popular snacks in Nepal.)
    You will also see Wai Wai noodles on menus in some of the cheaper Nepali restaurants - the noodles will be cooked as per package instructions but to make them more 'homely' Nepalis will typically add in some chopped vegetables like carrots or spring onions.
    No way in hell would I ever eat instant noodles at a restaurant!
    I guess I'm a snob?

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    Replies
    1. Wai Wai is available in India, it was already there when I arrived in 2003. And no I would not order instant noodles at a restaurant either, so count me among the snobs :-)
      The only time I got noodles prepared by someone else was on a snow slope in Manali, served in a paper plate, that doesn't count as a restaurant.

      In Switzerland the bundle of 5 packs of ramen came at 5 CHF back in the days, the pack of 500g pasta of your choice came at 2 CHF in the non branded packs and you could get far more out of that in matter of meals. I think most of my friends and I used to go to a Chinese take out place if we craved Chinese noodles, it tasted better than ramen, not cheap, but then cheaper than a Mc D meal too and tastier as far as fast food was concerned.

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  3. Anonymous10:44 AM

    Happy Republic day to you and family. Are u watching the parade? It is raining in Delhi but people have gathered to watch the parade with their children. It is heartening to see that the enthusiasm of the people have not waned after all these years. Growing up it was the sacred ritual to get up early and watch the live telecast.

    Apple

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    Replies
    1. Happy Republic day to you too.
      Yes we watched a little bit of the parade this morning :-) we then spent the remaining of the day lazing around. We are still at it. Our bed is full. We are all in it including the dog and the cat.

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    2. Anonymous10:45 PM

      Im a food purist, and I hate when companies mess with a good thing for no apparent reason. For example Pizza Hut has a pizza crust with cheese in it as if the cheese on top isn't enough. Also a burger place near me puts fries on top of the meat, between the buns. That's weird! We have ramen noodles here and use the noodles but not the spice packet because of the high sodium. Susan

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    3. I'm food purist too, and Yep I know that pizza crust you are talking about, it isn't even tasting good. In India they also made a kebab stuffed crust at one point...WTH??? Last year they came up with a Brizza which is a Biryani covered with a pizza crust. Because yeah the first place I would go to eat Indian food is Pizza Hut!

      French fries inside the bun? Wow...just wow, is there any limit to junk food insanity?

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:23 AM

      I ate a curious mixture of rice and chicken nuggets in KFC, which is their version of something close to biryani. They actually figured out that many Indians would like to eat something familiar like a full meal consisting of rice. It was actually pulao with chicken nuggets. A hastily done dish. Rice was a little undone. The same is the case with brizza. They need more practice, I guess. Mcdonald's replaced beef patty with allo patty which worked well. But that was cultural, they had to. Beef won't work in India. This is exactly the point, these chains need to indianize but their USP is what they have been selling all over the world, burger, pizzas, rolls and what not.

      Apple

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    5. Burger King just entered the market and replaced the beef with Mutton, the serve chicken and veg options. Mc D has only one veg option in Europe, everything else is either beef, fish or chicken.
      I actually prefer ordering a mutton burger when the option is available, usually in small non brand outlets. I haven't tried Burger King in India yet.

      Indianizing a menu is one thing, creating KFC pullao or Brizza is on the other hand a bit ridiculous and rarely works.

      Delete

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