Culture, cuisine, and curiosity

Usha Raman

If there’s one term that makes my hackles rise when going out to eat, it’s “multi-cuisine”. Given that practically every restaurant makes this claim, my hackles can’t stay on end for too long, and I have to tolerate having my masala dosa in a place that also serves paneer butter masala and American chopsuey.

While one might celebrate the idea that we can walk down the street and find food that in earlier times was unheard of or thought of as exotic and beyond reach, there’s also a sense that we have lost something, that everything is reduced to the familiar and the everyday. There’s a certain sameness to the menu at wedding dinners and large parties across urban India – no matter whether one is in New Delhi or Ahmedabad or Bengaluru.

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