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Local is the new cool in the world of burgers, what with lentil-flavoured and jackfruit patties



Eateries are experimenting and diners are enjoying this new fusion of familiar flavours.

Two years ago, the honest meat and lettuce burger took the high street and became posh with fancy ingredients like black buns, foie gras and lobster patties. Come 2017, gourmet burgers are going desi.

Local is the new cool in Bengaluru’s burger vocabulary. Region-based and locally-sourced ingredients like poha, Kodagu’s pandi curry , buttermilk and Goan pork sausages are the new patty ingredients. Eateries are experimenting and diners are enjoying this new fusion of familiar flavours. Giving the example of kimchi burgers in South Korea, food blogger Nikhilesh Murthy backs this trend. “Sourcing local ingredients makes sense for the simple fact that it’s familiar. Chefs can experiment without having to worry about sourcing more. In South Korea, you get kimchi in all burgers. They also prefer using locally-available black pork for a whole new flavour. In India, eateries are now experimenting with lentils and quinoa,“ says Murthy .

Local is the new inspiration for celebrity chef Manu Chandra too, who has curated a burger festival around local ingredients at his restaurant Toast & Tonic. It has chicken burger with poha crust and North-Eastern Khasi style black sesame pork burger.

“Using locally-sourced ingredients is and should be the future. Dining today is about a great taste experience with integrity ,“ says Chandra, dismissing the myth that burger is junk food. “The QSR onslaught industrialised this essential artisan sandwich,“ he adds, noting that the Bengaluru market is far more ready for such culinary conquests than any other Indian city .

Probably the reason why many eateries are game for this trend now. Big Brewsky in Sarjapur has a jackfruit burger. Bundar in Koramangala has Goan pork sausage burger.

Between Social and Smoke House Deli eatery chain, the menu has chicken burger marinated with buttermilk, cheese lamb burger seasoned with Arabic kafka powder and Teriyaki mushroom burger. Saurabh Arora, city chef for the chain, says, “Like pizza, burger is undergoing renovation and innovation. Even the accompaniments have evolved. We serve masala fries to fries with skin. Spreads now include smoked ketchup and malt vinegar mayonnaise.“

Despite being well-known for meaty American burgers, restopub Plan B has a best-seller in Pandi burger which uses the famous pandi or pork curry from Kodagu as its filling. It sells about 150 of those every week, only 30% lesser than the top-seller in regular pork burger.

Co-owner Thashvin Muckatira says, “Our Pandi burger is made using ingredients sourced from Kodagu. We use only the local Kachampuli vinegar and the masala made by my mother who resides in Kodagu.“

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