Online Guide Lists Jaljeera, Thandai, Upma & More As ‘Worst-Rated’ Indian Food, Sparks Outrage

The backlash was swift and widespread

by Tejashee Kashyap
Online Guide Lists Jaljeera, Thandai, Upma & More As ‘Worst-Rated’ Indian Food, Sparks Outrage

In the age of digital globalisation, food and culinary traditions have transcended borders. Cuisines are now celebrated and critiqued on global platforms. Recently, an experiential online guide, Taste Atlas, rated some Indian food dishes as the worst-rated. The outrage was swift and widespread, with food enthusiasts, culinary experts, and everyday netizens voicing their discontent.

Which Are The Worst-Rated Food?


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Taste Atlas, known for its extensive user-generated reviews and ratings, released a list that ranked various foods from around the world. What caught the eye—and ire—of many was the inclusion of several beloved Indian dishes under the “worst-rated” category. Among these, there were dishes like Jaljeera, Aloo Baingan, Upma, Thandai, Panta Bhat, Malpua and more. The ratings vary from 2.7 to 3.2 stars. For the second time, Aloo Baingan was called the worst. Aloo baingan was named one of the world’s 100 worst dishes in January 2024. Foods like jaljeera, aloo baingan, and upma have stood the test of time. These time-tested recipes are being passed down through generations and enjoyed by millions.

Meanwhile, the “best-rated” dishes listed in the same Instagram post included mango lassi, masala chai, butter garlic naan, Amritsari kulcha, butter chicken, Hyderabadi biryani, shahi paneer, chole bhature, tandoori chicken, and korma, with ratings ranging from 4.4 to 4.6 stars.

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The Backlash Received

The online guide’s listing of these foods as “worst-rated” was met with immediate and intense backlash. Social media platforms were flooded with posts defending the honour of these dishes. Many felt that the ratings were not just about taste but were an affront to their cultural heritage.

One user commented, “Whoever put Achappam and Mirch ka Salan in that list needs to be fired”. Another wrote, “If there’s no dosa, I don’t rate it.” Well, don’t you think so? Many commented asking who had rated these lists.

Every day netizens, both from India and the global Indian diaspora, expressed their discontent. Many shared personal anecdotes about their love for jaljeera, aloo baingan, and upma. They highlighted how these dishes are integral to their daily lives and festive occasions. The sentiment was clear: these foods are far from being the “worst”. They are cherished elements of Indian culinary heritage.

Cover image credits: Canva