Who is not familiar with quesadilla, tortilla, burrito or tacos? It has been years now, when different cuisines have satiated our taste buds. The generation , who is now in early to late thirties were the first Indian generation exposed to world cuisines at a very young age. I am of the generation, who were parenting them. :) That means we were exposed to new tastes in our late twenties or early thirties. Our food exposure was mainly the Indian cuisines of different regions. Chinese cuisine was off-course an exception. The chinese cuisine was made popular by people of chinese origin who were settled in Kolkata during British raj. We have learnt to love Domino's pizza or pasta with our children. Through my children's taste preferences, I have learnt that the cheese was the magic potion. In India, it was Amul which has introduces processed cheese, which has entered our household. With more cuisines entering the Indian food scene, I find Mexican cuisine to be nearest to our desi foods.
I had adapted the Mexican food with ease. The two cuisines have many similarities . Being a die hard desi food lover, the spicy Mexican food satiate my taste buds. Quesadilla, tortillas, burritos and tacos are some of the popular Mexican dishes in India. They are popular as they are spicy like Indian foods, chillies being the most loud and common. Isn't it fascinating to see that two cuisines separated by many oceans and thousands of kilometer are so much similar ? Let's explore together the popular Mexican foods.
These are the most popular of the mexican food. No one can ignore it's resemblance with our own humble roti. The only difference is that tortillas are much thinner and bigger. Actually what we get here are machine made tortillas but if you happen to see a homemade tortilla , they look very similar to our roti albeit thinner. They use finer versions of corn and wheat flour, similar to our makki ka atta and gehun ka atta. The tortillas are soft and do not break while rolling as few additional ingredients are added in the flour. The flour they use is refined. The main reason is that roti dough is kneaded till 40% of gluten is developed while tortilla's dough is kneaded till 90 % gluten is developed. That's the reason that tortillas do not break while rolling and do not gets messy with sauces. My favourite mexican tortilla dish is cheesy tortilla. The piping hot corn tortilla with melted cheese with spicy garnishing has my heart. Tortilla is the basic ingredient to create many mexican dishes like quesadillas, burritos or tacos.
I had my first quesadilla very recently when I had organized my kitty in a local upcoming Mexican restaurant. I was invited as a food blogger to taste their menu. I fell in love with the positivity of the place and service of the eatery. Another soft corner was that it was run by a very enterprising woman, with whom I clicked a chord immediately. I like Mexican food because of the generous use of spices and I find it very similar to our Indian cuisine. I love Indian food any day. The lady at the restaurant suggested me to try quesadilla and we all waited for this "tongue twister" dish eagerly. :) When it came, it looked more like a cheesy prantha. They served it with fresh salsa. It was good. It prompted me to find out more about this dish which looks and tastes much like our stuffed parantha or roti.
Burrito is an "on the go meal". It's a wrapped tortilla, having variety of sauces, meat, beans and boiled vegetables. Sometimes tortilla is grilled or steamed to make it softer and pliable so that it keeps it's cylindrical shape. Burritos is mainly eaten by hand as it tightly wraps its filling and easy to have a bite. :) I do not like food items like burgers or hotdogs with too much of filling and sauces which make eating messy as filling tend to fall down when one picks it up to eat. Opening mouth too wide to take a bite also puts me off. :(
Burritos usually have savoury filling which may include beef , chicken, pork or an array of vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes,onion, cheese. These are combined with rice and beans ( our own rajmah ) and many spicy condiments ( dips / chutneys) like salsa, guacamole, crema or pico de gallo . All in all, it's like a complete meal on the go, which has chapati , rice, lentil ( beans) and vegetables or meat as per one's preferences. :P . This is the innate " mommy" inside me to see if it's a healthy food. :)
If I tell you what does Burrito means in Spanish, you will die laughing. Burrito in Spanish means "Little Donkey". It possibly derives from the tendency of burrito to contain a lot of different things similar to how a donkey would be able to carry a lot.
Taco is a popular street food in Mexico, which has spread to the world. It's also made with small tortilla which is topped with fillings. Tortilla is then folded around the filling and is eaten with hands. Vegetables, meat, seafoods and cheese gives vast variation and versatility. They are garnished with various condiments like salsa, guacamole , sour cream, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, chillies etc.
In USA, National Taco Day is celebrated on October 4, every year.
Some Pic are from Google.