When India Went Piri Piri

One first noticed McDonald’s Piri Piri fries when fellow customers at a restaurant walked around shaking paper bags, way back in 2013. You wondered what they were up to when you saw them wolfing down French fries out of the paper bag a while later. Then, when you discovered that they were enjoying fries flavoured by a sachet of piri piri spice powder – shaken but not stirred – you knew you just had to taste it yourself!

Of course, once you tasted it, there was no looking back. But tragic news awaited you: this was just a promotional serving, not a permanent fixture on the McDonald’s menu. But soon, in response to die-hard fans, McDonalds included it in its regular menu. Yippee!

So, what makes the country go ga-ga over piri-piri? Our guess is that French fries were always hard to resist, and with a topping of an exotic spice mix, the irresistible became unsharable.

Piri piri is a tweak of the word peri peri, of African Swahili origin. It’s a mix of many exotic spices, much like the Indian spice cabinet. It’s a blend of ground spices like salt, chilli, black pepper, garlic, tamarind, onion, sugar, citric acid and herbs.

What makes the spice even more enticing is that it is almost coarsely grounded and therefore coats the fries better than a finely ground spice would, giving it that authentic traditional flavor that Indians are used to and love.

So, what are you waiting for?

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