Saturday February 24, 2024

Why is Goa banning gobi manchurian?

Gobi manchurian, deep-fried cauliflower florets served in hot sauce, has stirred chaos in Goa

By Web Desk
February 06, 2024
Gobi Manchurian served on a plate. — Sharmis Passions
Gobi Manchurian served on a plate. — Sharmis Passions

In Goa, there is a dispute centred on gobi manchurian as several local governments have prohibited vendors from serving this hot food over rising health hazards.

Many Goan towns are witnessing a gastronomic uprising, with roadside stalls serving as the focal point of conflict. The simple gobi manchurian, which has become increasingly popular in this coastal state in recent years and caused several stalls to sprout up, is the focus of this battle.

The meal, which consists of deep-fried cauliflower florets served in a hot sauce, has generated controversy in Goa for the third year running.

The Goan town of Mapusa's municipal council last week banned vendors from selling gobi manchurian at fairs and along roadsides, closing a new chapter in the culinary war that started in 2022.

Councillor Tarak Arolkar of Mapusa made the initial request to outlaw the delicacy known as Indo-Chinese fusion during a "zatra" (feast) in January. The Konkani word "zatra" describes the pilgrimage festivities held at Goa's temples.

The dish was consigned to gastronomic obscurity when the Mapusa Municipal Council members affirmed the ban a few days later.

Food safety officials have been keeping an eye on the dish for some time due to worries about the use of artificial colouring and hygiene, even though no formal explanation has been provided for the move.

Before giving the sellers permission to put up their stalls, Mapusa Municipal Council Chairperson Priya Mishal said they were asked not to sell gobi manchurian.

Mishal refuted the claim that the action was conducted as a result of a cultural clash between regional cuisine and a well-known dish from northern India. She also drew attention to the extensive use of artificial colouring in gobi manchurian, pointing out that this poses a number of health risks, particularly for young children.

"We found that the vendors were using substandard materials, sauces and synthetic colours for making gobi manchurian and were not maintaining hygiene as well, prompting us to ban the sale of this dish," Mishal told IndiaToday.