Saturday, July 23, 2011


Love for Desi foods does not ebb for Indians in foreign countries in spite of their stay in there for years together and this had spawned thousands of Indian restaurants in many parts of the world where immigrant population from India have settled down. While Chinese foods happen to be most frequently patronized by non-Chinese population, Indian foods closely follow them in popularity. What prevents Indian restaurants from becoming more popular is the scant attention paid to the cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation by the owners, most of them not highly educated. Besides the ambiance of the eating set up plays an important role in attracting local customers and very little attention is paid to this aspect by most ethnic restaurants abroad. Lately things seem to be changing, albeit slowly but definitely with young, modern, IT- savy, management trained, catering qualified entrepreneurs entering this field providing an image make over to Indian foods. Here is an expose on the subject by an accomplished entrepreneur of Indian origin who tasted success against all odds in promoting ethnic foods in the UK.

"So my question is this: why do so many owners of Indian restaurants turn a unique culinary heritage into a bastardized abomination? I believe there are several contributory factors. These include using low-quality ingredients, employing staff with low skill levels and staying open nearly all night for customers who have consumed far too much alcohol. It is no wonder that the public shows no respect for the cuisine. I blame those involved in the restaurant industry. I know what I am talking about, too, because I am self-taught and have become chef and director of a great restaurant against considerable odds. There's no denying the racism I and others have had to fight. I suffered from regular bullying in both schools I attended, which is why I left, barely educated, at 16, much to my parents' displeasure".

There is a point in the statement above and that is about the attitude on the part of most of the owners of Indian eateries regarding the foods they serve, a cocktail of preparations which looks alike, tastes alike and provide low level of sensory satisfaction. Probably they consider changing the recipe or appearance of commonly known Indian preparations too risky for the business as they are not sure about customer reaction to changes. It is forgotten that Indian food preparations are so versatile that they are amenable to thousand variations with varying taste profiles. All that is required is imagination and willingness to try out and take reasonable risk!


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