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How Palak Paneer invaded Helsinki

Finland boasts of at least two dozen Indian restaurants that serve mouth-watering palak paneer, chole-naan, kadi-pakora, butter chicken and other delicacies.

Indian cuisine is a great hit with the Finns.

28 Jun 17:15 pm IST

     

Helsinki: When one thinks of this Land of the Midnight Sun, the first thing that comes to one's mind is reindeer meat. But this capital city of Finland boasts of at least two dozen Indian restaurants that serve mouth-watering palak paneer, chole-naan, kadi-pakora, butter chicken and other delicacies.

How come Indian food is a major hit with the Finns?

"People love Indian food here. From dal to curries to nans, you name it. It is very popular here," Rumon Rehman, a Bangladeshi national, who works in Namaskaar, told IANS. Namaskaar is among the first Indian restaurants that opened here.

Much has changed since then.

This city of one million people now has a Gandi, Maharaja, Samrat, Indian Taj and Mount Everest, to name just a few. But one interesting thing is most of these restaurants are run by either Nepalese or Bangladeshis.

Rasul claimed Namaskaar was first started with the help of an Indian and it soon became synonymous with authentic Indian food. Seeing its success, others took its franchise and opened new ones with the same name.

A walk down the capital city, known for its lakes and islands, reveals many Indian-sounding names of restaurants. It is easy to see their popularity with the Finns as well as with the international expat community. And the beautiful summer drives them to these roadside restaurants for what locals consider exotic cuisine.

"We love the breads and the lovely spicy curries. Basically, I love Indian food. They have so much to offer in both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu," Helina, a college student, told a visiting IANS correspondent.

She said India and its rich cultural tradition also created a buzz among them to try out Indian food.

"People here know about India. Some of my friends have been to India. I hope I also get a chance soon. My aim is to taste the hottest curry possible so I can boast about it," Helina said.

Keeping the tastes of the local people in mind,....
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#Indian cuisine #ThingsWeLike #Finland #Helsinki #Palak paneer #Dal Makhni