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Western dishes, Hindi mein

I often scroll through peevish threads on social media about bastardizing food and (dis)honoring authenticity, often in semantics. A food blogger sighs over gratuitous descriptors like ‘Greek yogurt and Persian cucumber for a  Raita Sauce’.


While I am not going to brood over localizing recipes to convey essence of a foreign cuisine, I can’t deny the twitchy indignation in my gut when I see the ‘lentil stew, seasoned with turmeric and spices finished with a tempering of whole spices flash fried in oil’ byline for a Dal at an Indian restaurant, celebrating Indian cuisine, in an Indian city.



Contrast this with the sweeping assumptions that American fast food chains make about their prosaic Hamburgers and frothy Lattes. I confess to sheepishly spending a minute or two skimming images and pronunciations, before placing my order at fine dine Italian restaurants. Something seems amiss to me, if Indian restaurants and hotels are spending so much letter & ink highlighting the nuances between Ciabattas and Focaccias while relegating our array of Chapati, Phulka, Roti, Naan and Paranthas under Flatbread.











Just for kicks, I decided to turn the tables and see how do popular European/American dishes work out when translated for the Hindi reader.

Pizzas: मैदे की मोटी या पतली नान पे टमाटर की चटनी और चीज़. इसके ऊपर गोष्ट, और सब्ज़ियां भी डाल सकते
Mayde ki moti ya patli naan pe tamatar ki chutney aur cheese. Iske upar gosht, aur sabziyan bhi daal sakte hai. 

Pasta: सूजी की वादी विशेष प्रकार में. उबाल कर, टमाटर की चटनी और चीज़ या फिर माखन और ओलिव के तेल के साथ.
Sooji ki vadi vishesh prakar mein. Ubal kar, tamatar ki chutney aur cheese ya fir makhan aur olive ke Tel ke sath.

Burger: डॉ डबल रोटी के बीच में एक शमी कबाब या आलू टिक्की, टमाटर, सॉस, पत्ते और चीज़
Doa double roti ke beech me ek shami kabab ya aloo tikki, tamatar, sauce, patte aur cheese 

Risotto: चिपकीलये चावल की खिचड़ी
Chipkeelye chawal ki khichdi 

French Fries: लंबे कटे हुए आलू की भुजिया
Lambe katte hue aloo ki bhujiya 

Corn on the Cob: उबला हुआ भुट्टा
Ubla hua bhutta

Crisp Tacos: मक्की का मसाला पापड़
Makki ka masala papad

Steak, medium rare: बड़े का बड़ा बोती, ताव भुना. बीच में थोडा कच्चा.
Bade ka bada boti, tava bhuna. beech mein thoda kacha. 

Scrambled Eggs: गीला अंडा भुर्जी.
Geela Anda Bhurji 

Eggs Benedicts: माखन लगा के पो पे पानी में उबला हुआ हलफबोयल अंडा, उसके ऊपर पीले का सॉस.
Makhan laga ke pao pe paani mein ubla hua halfboil anda, uske upar peele ka sauce 

Crepes: कुट्टू के आटे का डोसा.
Kuttu ke aate ka Dosa 

Hindi script courtesy Google translate; a few words are off-center but you should get the meaning.

Do you think restaurants should start including (more apt) Hindi descriptors, or the idea is beyond the pale? Suggest more Western dishes, Hindi mein in comments section below.

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