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Murg Tikka, Chatpata Paratha Wrap: Starbucks adapts to North Indian tastes

Dailybhaskar.com   |  Oct 19, 2012, 20:37PM IST
Mumbai: With Starbucks opening its first store in India, we take a look at its mouth-watering menu.  
 
The drinks menu doesn’t feel particularly Indian, although the coffee itself is sourced and roasted locally. Prices range from Rs 80 for a plain espresso shot to Rs 200 for fancier concoctions like Starbucks’ “Caramel Frappuccino”, a blended coffee-based drink. The trademark “Chai Tea Latte” is in the menu although, as we noted earlier, to Indian ears this sounds like “tea tea latte.”
 
The food menu is where Starbucks made a real effort to adapt its offerings to local tastes. So their “panini,” Italian for sandwiches, are filled with a North Indian staple: murg tikka, chicken cooked in a tandoor oven. Made with soft focaccia bread and served warm, this is priced at Rs 140.
 
More daring fusion experiments include the “Tamarind Peanut Chicken Calzone” (Rs 120). This may be the first time that the calzone, Italian folded over dough, meets the tamarind, a favourite southern Indian spice.
 
Other baked goods include the “Konkani Twist” (Rs 90) which looks like a cheese puff, but longer. It’s basically flaky croissant pastry filled with spicy mutton and twisted. Konkani, in case you were wondering, is a regional language spoken in the state of Goa and elsewhere on the western coast of India’s south.
 
The menu has no trace of beef or pork, which are taboo for many Hindus and Muslims, respectively.
 
To cater to the country’s many vegetarians, there are plenty of meat-free options, too. They include the “Chatpata Paratha Wrap” (Rs 130), Indian flat bread filled with spring onions, cheese, pepper and chaat masala, the ubiquitous Indian spice mix. But it doesn’t look as greasy as this description may suggest, The Wall Street Journal reported.
 
The menu includes a char-grilled sliced potato and pepper in a ciabatta sandwich (Rs 130). Potatoes are an Indian favorite and the main ingredient of a staple Mumbai street food: “vada pav”, a potato fritter in a bun.
 
Other options include the classic double chocolate muffin as well as a croissant with a desi twist: it has cardamom and mawa, a milk-based sweet (Elaichi Mawa Croissant, Rs 130)
 
The food is segregated into vegetarian and non-vegetarian counters. There also are separate ovens for the two, The Wall Street Journal added.
 
Starbucks is the latest in a string of global food retailers, including McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, that have adapted their menus to Indian tastes.
 
(With inputs from The Wall Street Journal)
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