If you thought noodle burgers and tandoori momos was as far as our bizarre appropriation of Chinese cuisine went – think again.
The Maharashtra government has recently made a rather absurd suggestion – that all restaurants under the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) include Maharashtrian fare on their menu! The suggestion was made by Ramdas Athawale, recently appointed Union Minster of State for Social Justice, apparently in a bid to promote local fare.
(Funny, this thought, given that vada pavs and misal pavs already sit pretty on Mumbaikars’ bellies.)
The famous 75-year-old Chinese restaurant, Ling’s Pavillion, has already incorporated a section titled ‘Maharashtrian Fare’ on its menu – its sabudana khichdi currently struggling to stay afloat its drunken chicken.
While social media is (correctly) decrying and making fun of the ‘food bullying’, we at The Quint had a thought: what if we went all out and imagined a whole marriage between the two fares? How does a misal pav spiced with ajinomoto sound to you? Or perhaps a Peking duck lined with sabudana?
We let our imagination run wild and cooked up a few interesting concoctions that should show the Maha government just how ridiculous their suggestion is!
Bharli Vangi or ‘Stuffed Eggplant’ is one of the most popular Marathi vegetarian dishes. What if we replaced the traditional stuffing with some bite-sized tofu?
Sabudana Khichdi is a faster’s delight. Think tapioca starch in a white mash. Think also, stir-fried bok choy, mushrooms and broccoli. We’re guessing you’d rather do without.
You couldn’t possibly call yourself a Mumbaikar without having sampled the delicious Misal Pav. The pav is usually accompanied by a water-based preparation of cooked sprouted lentils. What if the Maha govt dropped a big fat roasted Peking duck into it?
Very few desserts in Maharashtra beat the Puran Poli – a flatbread often served with a tangy dal water soup. We think we could replace the soup with a Chinese caramelised egg and no one would be the wiser!
The Vada Pav, to put it simply, defines Maharashtrian cuisine. Which is why it deserves a whopping Chinese wonton!