Food is a powerful way of communication and often used by migrants to create a connection back home. This was the case with the first Turkish restaurants in Germany and the introduction of the turkish cuisine into everyday life on the streets of Berlin gave birth to the Döner Kebab.
Today, when Germans travel the world, Döner Kebab is for some that vessel that gives them their feeling of being home. It’s the comforting taste they miss on their adventure throughout the world. Milan, a German-Indian born in Germany moved with his work to India and missed “gutes Deutsches Essen” like Döner and Currywurst. Acting on his desires Milan opened Mahlzeit India and started selling Döner Kebab in the city of Mumbai. While Döner is popular, it is not the only item on the menu and from the looks of it, Mahlzeit India looks like a culinary embassy to Germany in the Indian metropolis. Take a look at this great instagram post where Mahlzeit India is celebrating the Indian Independence day.
It’s a collage of German cliches, happy guests eating something that looks like a samosa or döner? and drinking beer wearing lederhosen and dirndl. It’s a German/Turkish/Indian cultural mashup and according to Milan, it’s been well received by the locals.
While Milan might have been the first to sell Berlin Döner Kebab in India, he will be facing competition in the future. The Dubai based Döner & Gyros are opening stores across India selling their version of the Berlin snack and have made great marketing efforts at openings with local celebrities eating up the Berlin inspired snack. Also the UK based German Döner Kebab have plans on expanding their franchise to India. With a growing population and vast street food culture, India might be the next big thing in the world of döner.