International desi food: Indian food items launched by global food chains

International food chains entered the Indian market, hoping to westernise the Indian palate.

desi food
Ever since it has opened, McDonald's has become synonymous with burgers in India.

International food chains entered the Indian market, hoping to westernise the Indian palate. But the opposite happened; they ended up selling popular Indian snacks. Here is a compilation of some such popular dishes that are uniquely sold in the Indian market.

Maharaja Mac

Ever since it has opened, McDonald’s has become synonymous with burgers in India and is massively popular in metro cities and small cities alike due to its affordable range of burgers. The veg and chicken Maharaja macs are one of the biggest burgers the chain has and is a part of its India menu. The veg Maharaja Mac is made up of three slices of sesame-topped buns, corn-and-cheese patties, jalapeños, onion shreds, lettuce, cocktail sauce and cheddar cheese, sourced from Baramati, Maharashtra. Its chicken counterpart is known as the Big Mac in other parts of the world but it becomes Chicken Maharaja Mac in India. It comprises chicken double patty, with habanero sauce, jalapenos, tomatoes and shredded onions, placed on cheddar cheese and a bed of iceberg lettuce.

Aloo Tikki Burger

McAloo Tikki burger was first launched in India in 1998 by McDonald’s when the localisation of menu was not very popular. The signature burger of the burger chain combined the familiarity of Indian cuisine and the novelty of the humble potato patty to create its iconic burger. The burger became so popular and successful that it became the face of McDonald’s menu innovation in the country. Its potato and peas patty coated with Indian spices and breadcrumbs, served with sweet tomato mayo, fresh onions, and tomatoes in a regular bun is still among its most popular burgers. Even the visitors from other countries have tried the burger on their visit to the country, according to the burger chain.

Biryani Bucket

KFC’s biryani bucket is the latest entrant to the list. The food chain has rolled out a bucket full of India’s favourite Hyderabadi biryani with an amalgamation of flavours. The highlight of the biryani bucket is the KFC’s signature chicken toppings and a side of spicy gravy. The biryani bucket has four different flavours to choose from, chicken biryani bucket, popcorn chicken biryani bucket, smoky grilled biryani bucket, and veg biryani bucket, and is available across KFC restaurants in the country.

Hara Bhara Kebab

Subway is the ultimate stop for lovers of healthy food as it offers a variety of subs, salads and wraps made with healthy ingredients. Like others, Subway, too, has a desi twist to its Indian menu. Its Signature Wrap comes in a variety of flavours and one of them is the Hara Bhara Kebab which is served on tortilla, spinach base with Indian spices and fillings of one’s choice. Subway also has other Indian styles of wraps and salads, including Aloo Patty, Paneer Tikka, Tandoori Chicken Tikka and more.

Starbucks Tea

Starbucks is one of the most popular coffee chains around the world. The American multinational chain of coffeehouses in India introduced an Indian tea a few years ago. In 2017, Tata Starbucks Pvt Ltd announced India Spice Majesty Blend, their collaborative effort with Starbucks Teavana to bring an entirely new & superlative tea experience in India. Tata announced the introduction of the beverage as a core offering across its 88 stores in India. Through this, 18 tea offerings, including an Indian signature tea, iced teas, brewed hot teas and tea lattes with layered flavours were launched.

Badam Thandai

Thandai is a popular Indian drink made with almonds, saffron, milk, sugar and other ingredients. It is usually had in summers and is a popular drink during the Holi festival as well. Seeing the demand of the drink in India, popular donut and coffee brand Dunkin’ Donuts India has introduced it on their beverage menu. The chain has actively been promoting its thandai during the Holi festival since a few years now.

Paratha Pizza

Domino’s’ Paratha Pizza is the latest entrant into the desi list of food items being launched by international food chains. The group launched the fusion of Italian and Indian as Paratha Pizza. The chain says the paratha pizza has been curated keeping local flavours in mind and is available in three flavours — corn & cheese paratha pizza, paneer paratha pizza and chicken keema paratha pizza. The first is a fusion of corn-stuffed paratha with flavours of cheese, the second is a combination of paneer along with the tangy cheesy pizza sauce blended with dough and the third is a flavourful meaty chicken keema paratha paired with hot cheesy pizza coming together. All the three pizzas have been affordably priced.

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