Have we lost all self-esteem about our food? Or have our tongues and palates become ridiculously cosmopolitan in the globalised era?
Vishweshwar Bhat, the executive managing editor of Vijaya Karnataka, says that for his father’s tithi oota recently, the caterers said they would recommend a “fast-moving item”.
And what was that? Gobi Manchurian. Yes, Gobi Manchurian, or Gobi Manchuri as it is called on the streets.
Is there any hope for our food—the one component of our culture that touches everybody—in face of this relentless Punjabification of our cuisine?
Forget Kannada Rakshana Vedike, what we really need is a Kannada Thindi-Ooota Rakshana Vedike.
Gobi manchurian..is not Punjabi by any means ..its borrowed from chinese fast food… Did you know what Kongas ( People from TN ) call it ‘’KOPI Manchurian”
Our Idly sambhar, masale dose, uppittu etc. are equally relished in north nowadays. If some food item is tasty enough, why not include it in our oota, thindi. Still, food being a part of our culture, we must protect our heritage….
You should try the masala dosas made by the street vendors in New Delhi!
It has got P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C fried all over it. I guess when it comes to cooking the north-south divide is as wide as it can get
“Forget Kannada Rakshana Vedike, what we really need is a Kannada Thindi-Ooota Rakshana Vedike.”
DAT BE VERY TRUE.
SO TRUE!!! Kids of my generation dont even know the traditional dishes like haalbaai, gojjavalakki, etc … All they love are those yucky burgers, fries, cola, pizzas and cafe coffee day pastries….
Maybe parents are to blame for exposing kids to too much of junk food!
I really wonder what people ate a few centuries back; when Pampa sang of his beloved Banavasi.
Let’s not go that far back into the past. How about when there were no Tomatoes, Chilies, Hurali Kayi, Sime badane, alluGedde, etc….Sapota, Pineapple, Papaya, Guava, etc…. The complete list can be had by reading Dr. B.G.L. Swamy’s “Namma hotteyali Dakshina Amerika”.
All they eat in S.L. Bhyrappa’s “Parva” is haalinalli beysida anna and horiya mamsa. Milk Pudding and T- Bone Steak? Is there a research paper on the topic? Like Recipes from Vijayanagara times?
When I see French Pastries from a Vietnamese Bakery….remember the sponge cake and veg puffs from Bread Aiyengari or is it jiD Aiyengar Bakery? Our tastes are defined by not just who ruled us, but also who rules our hearts and minds.
I am responding to Shashi Rangarathna’s comment. Thank you Shashi for that reference to Dr. B.G.L. Swamy’s work.
It is quite rare to see an intelligent comment on the web these days with everyone wrapped around their perception of language, culture and history. I am quite sure that the food scene 50 years ago (I suppose that is what the writer of this bloig wants to preseve) is very foreign to someone who lived 500 years ago. As anyone who has ever spent any time reading up about the migration of species (both plant and animal) knows, things change and change a lot. Today’s self-proclaimed rescuer of X is fogetting that the very X he is trying to preseve was being opposed by older generation? Hasn’t it been the case that movies knocked down dramas as a major source of entertainment and today, movies are being threatened by more modern media? Can you imagine what changes took place when printed books became available? Surely, that displaced the resident village expert on literature irrelevant.
Stop being so shortsighted. Change is good! Bad things will get flushed out in due course of time.
In response to the last two comments, Vaddaradhane of the 10th century names Iddalige ( Idli ), Holige (Holige) and Sevige ( vermicelli). The 12th century encyclopedia Manasollaasa of Somashekhara Ballala III is a veritable treasure house of recipes and cooking styles. lets not forget that these were empires with catholic tastes and wide trading hinterlands.
In fact there are authorities who believe that particularly in South India our eating practices are practically unchanged ( till of course 10-15 years ago) from possibly 800 years- pre-Vijayanagar eras!
When one mourns the passing of a tradition it is not the same as defending something crass. But then one does not expect the dumbed down urban poulation to realise that.
hey and then the bad thing served as pizza in Bangalore’s malls, sadly that hasnt yet been flushed out by TIME!!!
I am not sure what made you think that Gobhi Manchurian is a part of the Punjabi cuisine. This dish is neither completely Indian nor Chinese. In fact Manchurian was invented by a Kolkata based Chinese resident Nelson Wang around three decades back. So the roots of this dish lie in West Bengal. This dish is an Indian concoction and has become famous now all over the country. Any way who cares as long as something tastes good. I am sure that the cuisine of Karnataka state is not going to vanish as long as the people continue to make it and eat it. Yes, a little bit of marketing of the local cuisine of Karnataka will surely help.
If the price of fast-food items like burger, pizza falls below Rs 20.00, then its good bye for the native food.
What we need is an entrepreneur, who will take the native food items and turn them into a profitable business.
Example: Samosa – nicely packaged and so people demand it. So the shops stock it.
Unless this happens quickly, I see no future for this.
Currently the business is in the hands of minuscule ‘Forward Castes’. Its a tightly guarded fierdom. So nearly 80% of the population left out the lucrative business field.
Govt should include subjects like ‘Entrepreneurship’, ‘Business’ in high school. By this business knowledge will spread among general populace.
Many among them will be entrepreneurs & find business proposition which is even unthinkable.
Then India will beat USA in Business, Entrepreneurship.
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God knows who came up with gobi manchurian, its definitely not Punjabi and for pete’s sake its not even close to what the Chinese call food. Its a dish with fried cauliflower balls with a blasphemous infusion of tomato sauce with chilly powder (the rest of the recipe is a secret of course!) which should be tasty only if u possess a palate which is similar to a donkey’s backside. But u cant deny the immense success of this dish in our nation for every street side pushcart selling gobi manchurian seems to be doing marvelously well.
I definitely feel that indigenous food is dying out due the invasion by so called “Chinese food”. There seems to be no place for long forgotten treats like “nuchhina hunde” or “holige”. There is nobody marketting these items for the fast selling gobi manchurian or gutter chicken (rightly called) seem to reap bigger and faster profits.
I totaly agree, people have lost their taste buds.
The fast moving items are fast moving because they use ajinomoto.
Health dangers aside, ajinomoto(MSG/tasting powder) is addictive.
It is like a drug(but legit name is excitotoxin) once you taste you want more of it in your mouth.
If you urinate in a bowl and add pepper salt and a tablespoon of ajinomoto/MSG it will taste good.
I think you know gobi is not punjabi food, but I understand the punjabification(btw gobi is an Indian dish invented in India).
The punjabi foods like “gutter chicken” do not contain any butter and no spice only color and ajinomoto/msg
The horror is that in many hotels they are putting ajinomoto for samhbar and fish curry. cause it is not “fast moving”
We surely need a annada Thindi-Ooota Rakshana Vedike
hmm curious take …
@Ekalavya, thanks a million for pointing to B.G.L. Swamy’s work, shall look for it.
Origin of food and languages of men and mice.
Manchuri – my take, place of origin: Manchu / Manchuria.
It was originally all meat, gobi / paneer manchuri is Indianized, to suit local tastes.
Samosa – Origin is Afgan, sambosa was a quick snack. Finely minced meat, fried more like our ‘menasina kai’ bonda.
Potato filling is indianized. coming to potato :), origin is Irish Potato Lumper
Gulkand – sounds persian, does it not ?. There are two kinds of Gulkand, gulkand -e-aftaabi, gulkand-e-mehtaabi. Rose petals are dried in the Sun for on kind and the other dried in the ‘moonlight’.
Ever wonder if your ancestors, 5 generations, say you and your great-great-great-grandfather and mother just come to your house just for a visit. They would have a hard time understanding each other and everyone would grumble over food.
Food and more so language and accepted dress-code change so fast in this third rock from the sun.
All of them would have plenty of points to argue and laugh about. Hopefully they all in the end would agree to disagree.
Karnataka tindi raskshana vedike, I would suggest let have one karnataka-shikshaNa- vedike.
@Mr Bhat, I would suggest keep your opinions to yourself, Please do not lampoon any set of people based on their food habits.
I myself am a Kannadiga from Mysore.