Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jun 21, 2013 in Indian | 0 comments

The Fast Food Culture in India: Difference Between McDonald and Dhabas

The Fast Food Culture in India: Difference Between McDonald and Dhabas

Fast food in India is definitely an old concept, here talk about "McDonald and Dhabas" Eating at home was once a significant aspect of Indian culture.

Almost every time we think about Fast Food, American chain restaurants spring to mind. Fast food restaurants have been springing up around the globe for decades now and are a fundamental element of the culinary scene in many countries. In India, the fast food industry has already established a hard time getting going since most people had their own method of cooking and were not prepared to change their habits. But nowadays, the is growing rapidly as more and more people (especially one of the youth) become passionate about fast food.

Fast food in India is definitely an old concept long before MacDonald’s had dominated the world with its huge chain. The Indian version for fast food restaurants are known as dhaba. Naturally, most of the dhabas in India aren’t connected to any chain at all and it is disorganized in just about all aspects you can think off. Might be this is exactly what makes it so beautiful, colorful and delicious.

The fast food culture become early as the 19th century. Throughout the Industrial Revolution, a large workforce was forced to work for 10 to 12 hours each day. With so much work to be achieved, fast food was the idea of a quick and simple lunch.

In India, fast food culture emerged within the decades after independence, beginning with the 1950’s. Eating at home was once a significant aspect of Indian culture, therefore the change was gradual. During a period of time, with a growth in the amount of nuclear families, economic growth and increasing per capita income in addition to globalization, fast food culture gained prominence. Women were shifting using their conventional roles of handling the household and taking care of the kids. With growth in literacy, they started joining the workforce in good sized quantities. Fast food became a time-saving alternative to cooking on their behalf.



McDonald: Western-Style Fast Food in India

International chains for example McDonald’s, have adapted their menu towards the Indian populace’s taste in order to thrive. They spiced their dishes up, added more vegetarian options and adapted the prices to the population’s regular cost of living. Certainly, Indians allow us a taste for western-style fast food but they have different sensitivities therefore the chains have to “Indianise” themselves.

Doing this, McDonald’s took into account that Indians don’t eat beef or pork due to their religion or beliefs, therefore, the creation of special dishes such as the McSpicy (a spicy paneer burger), the McVeggie (speaks by itself) and Aloo Tikki (North Indian snack).

That’s ok and thoughtful but people might wonder why they ought to eat spiced up versions of western food whether they have Indian fast food offering Asian dishes. Indeed, reviews from the McSpicy suggest that it is not that spicy for that Indian palette.

Dhabas: Original Fast Food Indian Restaurant

The alterations India has been going through the last few years are certainly reflected in the whole idea of the dhabas especially those located in the big cities and metropolitans of India. The somewhat chaotic character from the Indian dhaba is gradually fading out and substituted with allegedly distinguished western style restaurants. Your meals are getting more and more expensive therefore the common people who are the core from the dhabas diners do not eat there anymore. It’s no longer the original fast food Indian restaurant and also the dishes that are being served are now being developed to become more clever, fancy and complicated.



It’s a whole different story whenever we move out of the cities into rural India. Dhabas are simply all over the place; on highways, on side roads, dirt roads, inside villages, on top of a mountain and on river banks. Dhabas would be the fast food option for most Indians all over the country. It’s a place for people to check if the roads are evident and traffic is running smoothly. It’s a place where farmers sit together following a long day on the field referring to the weather and crops. Locals are meeting people externally listening to news about locations that they have never heard before in some instances, but also news from the villages nearby.

The meals in the dhabas change from place to place, one state to another, region to region. Each dhaba serves different dishes in line with the regions cooking style and ingredients. Occasionally the food is so basic the way it is located for example far in the mountains totally disconnected because of poor road maintenance or no roads whatsoever. There you’d probably find food that is based on the local crops not to mention rice. Rice is the main traditional food in India and it is found everywhere whether it grows inside a certain region or not. The Indian government subsidizes rice therefore it can be available all over India.

In certain dhabas even in the most far flung destinations food could possibly get to a masterful level. It’s unbelievable what people can do once they possess tradition, deep knowledge along with a long food heritage to create food out of the most basic ingredients. For a lot of of the dhaba owners it is a family business. They keep recipes that have been perfected from one generation to another. I was lucky enough to have eaten somewhere in Uttarkhand, a simple dish of Chaaval and Rajma (Rice with beans) that I’ll always remember. It was perfection! It was cold outside and that i was sitting on the balcony waiting patiently in my ‘fast food’ order looking to the Nanda Devi (the best mountain in India 7800m) where beautiful smoking clouds rose from the peak. It must have been the most amazing settings befitting one of my favorite meals in India.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.