• Sunday, March 03, 2024

Human Interest

Why this Indian town banned Gobi Manchurian, a popular dish

The reasons for the ban were varied, from hygiene to use of synthetic colours to substandard sauce to even powder used for washing clothes.

Gobi Manchurian (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Harsha K R)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE Indian state of Goa is a place where tourists often pursue food suiting their taste buds and Gobi Manchurian is one of them. The fast food containing fried cauliflower is something that is popular in several parts of India. But those visiting Goa were in for a shock as the municipal council in the state’s Mapusa town recently put a ban on the dish’s stalls and feasts.

Tarak Arolkar, a councillor in Mapusa, made the first move when he suggested the ban at the local Bodgeshwar Temple feast in January, the Times of India reported.

His suggestion was accepted by the council fast and the ban was put into effect.

This is not the first time that authorities in Goha have declared a war against Gobi Manchurian. It has been targeted quite a few times over the years, leaving food lovers and tourists in Goa baffled.

Read: Who invented butter chicken? India court may have a tricky case as 2 eateries dispute

In 2022, the Food and Drugs Administration asked the civic authorities in Mormugao in south Goa to restrict stalls selling Gobi Manchurian at a famous local fair. The body had raided such stalls at other fairs in the state for allegedly not following hygiene.

The reasons for the ban were varied, from hygiene to use of synthetic colours to substandard sauce to even powder used for washing clothes.

Mapusa Municipal Council chairperson Priya Mishra said the reasons were the unhygienic conditions and the use of synthetic colours.

“The councillors opined that such vendors operate in unhygienic conditions and use synthetic colours for making Gobi Manchurian and that is what has prompted us to ban the sale of this dish,” she was quoted as saying by the Times of India. She also said that at the time of granting them permission for stalls, the vendors are advised against selling Gobi Manchurian.

An official at the Food and Drugs Administration said it was the substandard sauce and powder used for washing clothes that are responsible for such a step.

The vendors were not happy with the move. Speaking to the Times, one said it was because of a few errant individuals that the civic authorities were targeting all of them.

The roots of Gobi Manchurian can be linked to its chicken variant. Nelson Wang, a pioneering figure in the Chinese culinary scene in the Indian city of Mumbai, is acknowledged for creating chicken Manchurian in the 1970s during his catering tenure at the Cricket Club of India. Gobi Manchurian is its vegetarian alternative.

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