Maggi Alternatives9:00 AM
If you are India based, and haven't been living under a rock, you know that Maggi's instant noodles have been banned in most of the country. Wether the claim of lead are legit or not, I salute the ban. As, let's not forget it, Nestlé has also been slapped with providing misleading information.
Something that the Swiss giant is no stranger to (they should have been slapped when they came up with that Taste Bhi, Health Bhi line)
Simply put, Nestlé is a highly unethical company. One that went as far as declaring that access to water is not a basic right people have...access to WATER, of all things!
A company that has for a long time weaselled its way into developing market creating products to target them specifically, proof being the infamous Noodles ( they do not exist in Switzerland, only in India and Malaysia). They made a history of weaselling their way into markets they consider third world country, my grand ma has a 50's promotional board game that will attest to that.
Now tell me that you aren't just a tiny bit happy to see them being under the earth and fire of one of the market they must have considered a third world nation, easy to exploit.
India, I applaud you, and please keep going at this fraudulent multinational with all you've got.
That this ban hurts the company is real good. The problem is at they sank their claws deep, so deep that in India, the noodles have become synonymous with a quick fix comfort food with no equal, a tiffin's favourite and a hungry student's staple with no perceived equal other than other brands of instant noodles.
So, what are your alternatives to a quick fix, comfort food, and tiffin options now that the Yellow Giant has been slayed?
Well, as I said, we don't have Maggi Noodles in Switzerland. Instant noodles were always imports from Asian brands. Tasty, but more expensive than a 500g pack of pasta that would make 5-6 meals.
The ultimate student's food in my homeland is good old fashioned Italian pasta, in all its avatar. And there are quite a few : macaroni, tagliatelle, spaghetti, penne, fusili, farfalle, tortelini...most of these are available in India and most small shapes of said pasta cook in 5-8 minutes (Maggi claims it takes 2 but let's face it they only taste good after 4-5 minutes of cooking).
Pasta is a super versatile food, pretty much as versatile as rice (with the same nutritional value). Pasta can be tossed with whatever fresh veggies you have on hand, the sky's the limit, you can boil them in a water flavoured with masala, or a good old chicken stock,mor a vegetable stock. They can be topped with tomato sauce, or any sauce you are willing to buy or make from scratch. You even have many "one pot pasta recipes"all over the Internet, where all you need is a large pan of water and 15 minutes of your time.
Heck, pasta can be eaten cold, as a pasta salad, which makes them a very good option for a tiffin meal. One of Ishita's favourite by the way.
Pasta not your thing? Well, it's not like noodles didn't exist before the instant variety came along. After all, Marco Polo has been rumoured to have brought back the recipe for pasta making from his travels to China.
Noodles have been an Asian staple for centuries. And, most cook faster than Italian pasta due to their small size.
Take your pick from the oh so popular Haka Noodle, Japanese udon and soba noodles, or the Thai rice noodles, or even the cellophane rice vermicelli. They are all available in India if you know where to look, and all of them cook in about 4-5 minutes (the same time it take for that Maggi crap to actually become tasty). In the case of the rice vermicelli, you don't even need to have them on the stove, place them in a bowl of hot water and soak for 2 minutes (Now THIS is a real two minute noodle people!)
Like Italian pasta, they are all versatile to a fault:
Steam them, toss veggies, add sauce, spice them up, stir fry them, add them to your soup, eat them hot, eat them cold, the only limit is your imagination.
Sure, none of these options will beat the 10-15 rupees a pack of Maggi. But, unlike them, are all much healthier, contain no insane amount of fat, and leave you in charge of the seasoning. When it comes to food, cheap stuff usually means unhealthy stuff. Rest assured of that.
And, if you still crave instant noodles, there are many other brands that haven't been banned just yet.