The Perils of Opening an Indian Restaurant—in India

Pan-Indian cuisine struggles to curry favor with regional tastes
By Paul Stinson,  Newser User
Posted Jun 12, 2008 3:10 PM CDT
The exterior of the Masala Klub restaurant of the Taj West End Hotel in Bangalore is shown here in this photo provided by Taj Hotel Resorts.    (Taj Hotel Resorts and Palaces)
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(Newser) – Modern Indian restaurants bent on messing with millennia-old recipes must "coax Indians into accepting the changes they make with beloved dishes," or continue to face the wrath of the "Authenticity Police," writes Shoba Narayan in Gourmet after an evening spent analyzing the paneer at Bangalore's upscale Masala Klub.    

"Opening an Indian restaurant in India isn’t easy," says Narayan, especially if haute cuisine is the goal. Amid a culture "famously possessive" of its food, creative young chefs must battle diners who view pan-Indian food "with deep suspicion." Regional variations in spice tolerance don't help the problem, whose solution, writes Narayan, is to shift the paradigm, rendering diners "too taste-struck to complain."