Now who doesn’t know McDonald’s? That unmistakable red logo with its golden-yellow arches of the ‘M’ is a familiar sign to the world of fast food eaters in a lot of countries around the world…and India is no stranger to it. But for most Westerners, to whom McDonald’s may signify the familiar taste of the Big Mac or the Double Cheese Beef Burger, the McDonalds Menu in India may come as a bit of a surprise. Among other differences, the first thing an outsider will notice is that the signature snack and probably the most recognizable symbol of this Fast Food Giant is nowhere to be found in an Indian McDonald’s….I’m talking about the Hamburger! You heard me right- No Hamburgers. That’s not to say the Indian McDonald outlets don’t sell patties on buns…it’s just that…
While India is one of the biggest markets in the World, it is also the only Country in the World, where McDonald’s doesn’t serve any beef or pork in any form, in ANY of their 123 outlets (and counting) across the country!
Instead of ground beef and pork patties, the McDonald’s Menu in India features Indian burgers that are 100 percent vegetarian – burger look-a-likes of potatoes, peas, and carrots, with a little Indian spice thrown in. So what most Indian kids grow up to know as a hamburger, isn’t really a hamburger.
Diets in India have been impacted by the many different religions in India for centuries now. Hindus don’t eat beef. Hindu believers consider the cow sacred and holy, so harming a cow…let alone eating its meat is considered a grave sin. Since a majority of the population are followers of Hinduism, there is no beef on the McDonalds’ menu in India. Hindu’s and Muslims (also a prominent religion in India), don’t eat pork, so the McDonalds Corporation in India is quick to point out on their website (mcdonaldsinindia.com) that not only is there no beef, there is no pork or pork byproducts in any McDonalds restaurant in India.
That’s not to say that McDonald’s doesn’t serve any non-vegetarian products in their Indian restaurants. They do serve chicken burgers and still have the one Fish Burger…but if you’re a meat eater..then you’ll be outnumbered with their vegetarian options.
The international menus of McDonald’s offer some interesting and varied menu items, not found in the United States or any other countries with the food chain. With almost most half the menu, if not most of it vegetarian at McDonald’s in India, it makes a good choice for diners who want some healthy options – whether or not you are vegetarian!
Here’s a glimpse of what you can order at McDonald’s in India:
The McVeggie sandwich starts with the oh-so-familiar sesame seed bun. In between the bread, you’ll find a vegetarian patty that is made from peas, carrots, green beans, red bell pepper, potatoes, onions, rice, and seasoning. This vegetarian burger is garnished with lettuce, and has mayonnaise made without eggs spread thickly on the bread.
Potatoes (aloo in Hindi) are a popular filling food item in India. McDonald’s in India’s McAloo Tikki sandwich includes a patty made out of potatoes, peas, and spices. It also includes tomato slices, onions, and vegetarian mayonnaise.
Paneer is referred to as cottage cheese in India. McDonald’s Paneer Salsa Wrap starts with a small slab of paneer that has been dredged in a coating that is a cross between Mexican and Cajun in flavor. It is fried and the paneer patty is wrapped in flatbread and topped with a salad mixture that includes lettuce, red cabbage and celery and then is finished off with vegetarian mayonnaise, salsa and cheddar cheese.
McDonald’s in India’s Crispy Chinese sandwich is crispy, but very China. It’s more an Indianized Chinese. Nevertheless, this vegetarian patty is topped with a creamy Schezwan sauce and lettuce which makes it a nice addition to the Indian vegetarian menu.
If you are in the mood for something similar to pizza, but don’t want a tomato-based sauce, McDonald’s Veg McCurry Pan is a good choice. It starts with a rectangular shaped crust that is topped with a creamy sauce (made without eggs), and vegetables including broccoli, baby corn, mushrooms and red bell pepper. It is then baked until the crust is crisp and the toppings are hot and bubbly.
The vegetarian Pizza McPuff also starts with a rectangular shaped crust, but instead of a creamy sauce is flavored with a tomato-based sauce and then is topped with carrots, beans, bell peppers, onions, peas and mozzarella cheese.
The Indian version of the Big Mac at McDonalds in India, is the Chicken Maharaja Mac sandwich which is made with 2 grilled chicken patties and is topped with onions, tomatoes, cheese and a spicy mayonnaise.
The McChicken in India is almost the same as its cousin by the same name in other McDonalds around the world. It contains one breaded and fried chicken patty and is topped with lettuce and vegetarian mayonnaise. It is similar in size (but not taste) to the spicy chicken sandwich on the dollar menu at McDonalds restaurants in the U.S.
The Filet-O-Fish sandwich at McDonalds in India is the only sandwich item on the menu that is exactly the same as the Filet-O-Fish sandwich you might eat at a McDonalds in the U.S.
The Chicken McGrill sandwich starts off with a thin grilled chicken patty that is embellished with cilantro mayonnaise, onions and tomatoes and is served on a toasted bun.
Chicken McCurry Pan is the same as its vegetarian version. It starts off with a rectangle of dough and is topped with a tomato-curry sauce, spiced with thyme, basil, and oregano. It is finished off with chicken, bell peppers, and cheese and is baked till crisp and bubbly.
Apart from these specials that appear mainly in the Indian McDonald’s here there are a couple of things that are exactly the same in India as what you would consume at a McDonalds in the U.S. or anywhere else. And that’s McDonald’s famous fries, shakes, and soft-serve ice-cream, both sundaes and cones. And of course soft drinks are available as well!