McDonald’s unveils the mother of all localisation: the masala dosa burger

Paneer is passé.
Paneer is passé.
Image: EPA/Raminder Pal Singh
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Fancy a masala dosa-flavoured burger?

Yes, it’s true. McDonald’s in India will add the ultimate desi variation to its existing breakfast menu, in an attempt to sell more morning meals.

So now, along with the vegetarian and egg cheese McMuffin, waffles, and hash brown, the world’s largest fast-food chain will also serve a Masala Dosa Brioche. In other words, a burger laden with a grilled veg patty topped with molaga podi (chili powder) sauce, a flavour popular in Tamil Nadu, and anda bhurji i.e. scrambled eggs served with a bun.

McDonald’s, which first introduced Indians to its burgers two decades ago, launched its breakfast menu in India back in 2010. Six years later, the fast-food chain is smelling a big business opportunity.

“Breakfast convenience on the go will increase as more people enter the segment. As a western quick service restaurant, we are going to grow the Indian breakfast market dramatically,” Amit Jatia, vice-chairman of Westlife Development, which runs over 240 McDonald’s restaurants across west and south India told The Economic Times newspaper.

The expanded menu will roll out across 44 restaurants, starting with Mumbai from Jan. 13. Priced between Rs30 (44 cents) and Rs135 ($2 approx), McDonald’s will now also serve breakfast through McDelivery and takeaway kiosks. The menu will gradually be introduced pan-India.

This isn’t the first time the fast-food chain has turned to local flavours. In 1997, it added the Aloo Tikki (spicy potato patty) burger, later adding paneer (cottage-cheese) burgers and wraps. Yet, adding molaga podi to a burger is a whole different matter!