Cashing on the popularity of Kylie Jenner’s ‘egg’ post on Instagram, a restaurant in Noida has introduced Kylie Jenner Egg Salad. Although Kylie isn’t the first one to have a dish named after her. An Italian joint in Delhi made news for a pizza called Kareena Kapoor Size-Zero Pizza, years ago. And Sunny Deol Parantha Thali, Deepika Padukone Parantha Thali and Chicken Sanju Baba are some of the ‘star’ dishes satiating food lovers all across the country. This craze isn’t just an Indian fad, restaurants all over the world have such dishes on the menu.
Recently, Deepika Padukone posted on Instagram about a dosa named after her in a food joint in Texas, USA. She shared a fan’s post about the dosa, saying, ‘What a great way to begin the year…Happy New Year!’ as her Insta story. Her husband, actor Ranveer Singh, too, reacted to the dish named after his wife, saying, “I’d eat that.”
Singh has a food item named after him,too, at the restaurant that has the Kylie salad. “The Kylie Jenner Egg salad was introduced on January 15 after an egg picture on Instagram surpassed [the popularity of] Kylie’s picture. We also have a very spicy soya seekh that is named after Ranveer Singh, because of how tadakta bhadakta he is, and the dish is a hot selling item,” says, Tushar Agarwal, owner, Mystery of Spice, Noida.
At Aaoji Khhaoji in Pune, take your pick from Sunny Deol Parantha Thali, Deepika Padukone Parantha Thali, Yo Yo Honey Singh Parantha Thali or Modi Ji Parantha Thali. The place has a host of thalis named after celebrities from various fields. Do these food items named after popular figures sell more? “Yes”, confirms Rajvirr Singhaaniya, the owner of Aaoji Khhaoji.
However, it is not just about sales; sometimes it is the fandom for such celebs, sometimes it is a tribute to their work for the nation. Singhaaniya says, “The sales are great for these thalis as the craze for Bollywood celebrities is world over and people love the idea of eating a food item named after a celeb. I am a huge fan of celebrities myself and I wanted ki jab bhi koi restaurant aaye dishes bhule nahin, besides giving them a variety. The dishes serve as reminder, too, of the vast amount of work they have done for India.”
The dishes also would have some feature that would help the foodie relate it to the celeb. “Sunny Deol thali’s parantha is heavier than a Deepika thali which has healthy ingredients such as palak, methi. While the Modi flavour has the essence of Gujarat, the Honey Singh thali has a big parantha made in Punjabi style and served with chaas,” Singhaaniya informs.
The Bollywood craze goes beyond dishes being named after celebs, and extends to decor and props of the eatery. For example, actor Salman Khan’s hairstyle photos grace the walls, and a chandelier made up of a bicycle rim,too, is a key decor piece at the Salman Khan-themed restaurant Bhaijaanz in Mumbai. This restaurant has a whole dessert category called As Sweet As Prem. “Fans are fans. They do order the dish named after Salman Khan,” says, Zafar Sayed, owner, adding, “People are intrigued and wonder why a dish is named a certain way. And they order just to see how it tastes. We have Dole Shole Kebab, that is a fusion of keema and cheese, and Anda Apna Apna named after Salman’s film Andaz Apna Apna (1994). We tell them bhai ke abs ke wajah se naam rakha hai.”
And for the popular Noor Mohammadi Hotel in Mumbai, a hot-seller is Chicken Sanju Baba, the recipe of which was passed to them by actor Sanjay Dutt himself. Ask him if the dish sells more vis-à-vis a regular chicken dish? “Yes. A lot of people want to try and like it as the dish is something different and made with whole garam masala. It’s his personal recipe and that makes a lot of difference,” says owner, Raashid Hakim. The dish has inspired a Delhi restaurant Verandah Moonshine to make their own version of Chicken Sanju Baba.
The food lovers agree that such dishes catch one’s fancy. Raman Bhalla, a student, says, “I think naming dishes after popular celebs is an interesting concept.If I had to choose between a regular dish and a dish named after my favourite celebrity, I’d definitely pick the latter because of how it’s custom-made to suits the celeb’s personality.” So, are you up for something like this?