In many ways, the Indian palate is completely bizarre. On one hand we find it hard to resist the deep fried, crispy-crunchy American fast food, and on the other, we’re constantly searching for the familiar whenever we go out to eat. The Indian obsession with our classic, undoubtedly cliched, and much-adored flavors follows us even as we open a pack of Lay’s Magic Masala; so don’t think that the fast food chains haven’t noticed.
They definitely have, which is why a simple glance into the menus in our favorite joints reveals variants that really can’t be found, (or even dreamt of) anywhere else in the world. These are blends of all that we hold dear – mangoes, curry, paneer and even Chinese ingredients!
Here’s a guide to 5 of our most popular fast-food chains and their hybrid options for your reading (and drooling) pleasure:
Yes, we all have tried the McAloo Tikki, McVeggie, and Maharaja Mac, but there are tons of other fusion variants that have been wonderfully Indianised by this burger chain.
Around the release of Kung Fu Panda 3, McDonald’s introduced their Snackilicious Chinese Menu. This offers the McVeggie and McChicken Schezwan burgers – these are succulent, fiery, and layered with spicy schezwan sauce, dotted with black sesame and topped with red onions, bell peppers and iceberg lettuce.
You can also go for the Chilli Paneer Pockets, a creation that has its roots in the chilli potatoes you can find with almost any street vendor in North India.
More Tadka: Masala Grill burger (both veg and non-veg), McSpicy Chicken, McSpicy Paneer, Spicy Paneer Wrap, and Fanta McFloat.
Mixing Italian pizzas with Indian ingredients is no joke, and this is why Dominos has set up a whole pizza lab dedicated to trying new recipes in the country.
The Peppy Paneer pizza is not as popular as the Veggie Supreme or the Margherita, but it isn’t funny . With spiced, large chunks of paneer and capsicum, a slice of this pizza is sure to give you paneer tikka flashbacks. There’s also the extremely hot Keema Do Pyaza which has toppings of fresh keema, jalepenos, and crisp onions.
More Tadka: A while back, Dominos rolled out its weirdest innovation – Spicy Banana Pizza, a south Indian alternative to the pineapple loaded Hawaiian pizzas. Later declared too unusual for the Indian market, this pizza got the boot.
3. Dunkin Donuts & More
The foodie favorites are Kesar Badam Donut with saffron cream, blanched almonds, and crushed pistachios, Milk Cake Donut with rice pudding filling, and Soan Papdi Donut coated with chickpea flour.
More Tadka: Even when the festive season is not around, Indians can rejoice in the Too Much Double Mutton Burger. Completely loaded with mutton, this burger is confident, non-show-offy, and with the eater’s enjoyment in mind at all times.
The Aloo Patty Sub is quite good, but the true star for vegetarians at this sandwich joint is the Chatpata Chana Patty with its crunch filled chana filling, chaat masala dressing, and ridiculously tasty coating.
Non vegetarians have the luxury of choosing from Subway’s amazing chicken options – Chicken Tikka Sub, Chicken Seekh Sub, and Chicken Tandoori Sub. All of these have the textural combo of creaminess from the meat and crunch from the perfectly toasted bread.
More Tadka: Paneer Tikka, Hara Bhara Sub, Green Peas Patty, Veg Shammi Sub – it has an authentically made dal kebab, and intense flavors of garlic and onion.