Indian cuisine strikes a chord with public
In order to get a true taste of Indian cuisine, natives may think that the only way to experience it is if they literally send money to India in return for a delicious home or restaurant-cooked warm meal. But because this usually isn't feasible, Indian food enthusiasts will turn to the U.S. to see what local restaurateurs are offering. And according to The Wall Street Journal, many business owners are entering the Indian food business.
Similar to how many people associate hamburgers and hot dogs with traditional American fare, the same can be said for Kati rolls. More formally known as the Kathi roll, this type of cuisine can be found on food trucks and street vendors in and around India, especially in Kolkata.
What the wrap sandwich is to America, the Kati roll is to India. In other words, no matter what's put inside of the bread – whether it's luncheon meat, vegetables, hummus or streak – anything that's within the Indian flatbread is described as a Kati roll.
These sandwiches have become to popular in the U.S., a business owner based in New York uses it as her company's name. The Wall Street Journal notes that in 2003, former Kolkata resident Payal Saha had the hardest time finding Indian cuisine in one of the country's largest cities. After much time and consideration, though, she decided to launch her own Indian cuisine restaurant, calling it The Kati Roll Company.
"I suppose I had a simplistic conviction that if I loved them so much, then others would too," said Saha. "All I had to do was make it good and make it available."
Her foresight ultimately paid off. Not only is her business thriving in New York City, but it's slowly becoming a franchise. In the 10 years that the company's been in operation, her restaurant now has locations in two other parts of New York City and one in London.
Indian food also popular in Massachusetts, California
But Saha isn't the only native of India who is bullish about Americans' desire for her home country's staple menu items. In Cambridge, Massachusetts – which is a suburb of Boston – a business called Chutneys has served New England area restaurant goers for several years. Many of those who visit the restaurant on a regular basis are college students, as Harvard Square – where Chutneys is located – is teeming with young adults attending the world-famous Harvard University.
Indian cuisine is also popular in the West, specifically within California. Entrepreneurs have been able to establish Indian fare through restaurant establishments as well as food trucks. Business owners who have the ability to move their eateries have the advantage of bringing the food to the people if business in a particular part of a city is slow. The Wall Street Journal points out that the San Francisco-based Indian restaurant Kasa has the best of both worlds – a brick and mortar restaurant as well as two food trucks.
"I personally take deep satisfaction when Kasa converts someone," Kasa founder Anamika Khanna told the newspaper. "Or better when I hear 'I never thought I would like Indian food, but I love your food.'"
According to multinational media company UBM, many people are investing in the Indian food industry. In fact, the country's food culture is growing at an annual rate of 17 percent. Global marketing research firm ACNielsen recently named Indian cuisine as a "hotspot" for food manufacturers, as its offerings combine healthy dishes as well as indulgences that food lovers crave.