Retrograde. Bamboozlement! More Bamboozlement!

Old Ad: "Maggi, I'm hungry"


"Mummy, I'm hungry..."


How often have you said this! Each time with 
delightfully mouth-watering results. Because mummy 
knows you love to eat Maggi Noodles, at any time of 
the day. be it after school, or after play.
Maggi 2 minute noodles come in four delicious
flavours - Chicken, Masala, Capsika, and Sweet Sour.
Try a different one each time.
Maggi times are fun times...always!
Maggi 2-minute noodles. Fast to cook! Good to eat!

Maggi Noodles was first launched in India in Delhi in January 1983 by Food Specialties Ltd (associated with Nestle). It was an instant hit thanks to ever overworked mothers and ever hungry kids. Maggi became a phenomena. The following year, only people in the world eating more Maggi than Indians, were the Malaysians. Some tried to imitate Maggi's Masala for success and its instant formula, some like a brand called Favvy instant noodles, but none succeeded and now no one even remembers them. (But yes, a decade later, on board Indian trains, cup-a-noodles were a rage)

Maggi's Magic Masala

It seemed, Maggi's Masala flavor, looking at its success, had a taste unlike anything else that Indian taste buds had ever known and yet it tasted completely Indian. If you opened up the masala sachet - the Tastemaker, inside, along with the spicy red stuff, there were sugar grains too. Strange, it seemed. And the reverse side of a Maggi pack offered recipies like: "How to make Maggi Pakoras?", "How to stuff samosas with Maggi?", "Maggi ki chatni " and similar fetish.

In the late 90s, probably because of the quick rise (thanks to some media blitz) of Nissin's Top Ramen noodles (I thought, it was good because of its flat noodles and because of it veggy taste), Maggi tried to reinvent it self. Maggi noodles became flatter and the flavour changed. Flatter was fine bit for flavour it went the dhaniya (coriander) way probably thinking why not completely Indianize the noodle. Terrible idea, weren't the Indian's already eating enough of green dhaniya. Now, no matter which flavor of Maggi you bought ( the popular Masala flavour seemed to have vanished from the market), Maggi tasted of dhaniya. They had recently launched Maggi Macaroni, and even that tasted of dhaniya. Yuck. That was probably the first time when I completely stopped eating Maggi. I didn't eat it for months at a stretch. Soon the wise guys  realized their mistake and the Masala was back. Farewell dhaniya. Nissin's Top Ramen was forgotten. Beloved Masala Maggi was back.

Maggi remains the staple diet of hostel dweller and college goers. I don't eat it much anymore. I ate so much Maggi - the kind with two double boiled eggs thrown on top) during college days that I don't have much taste left for it.

-0-

My little way of preparing Maggi: How not to make Maggi in 2 minutes or how to make Maggi in 20 minutes:

  • Take the noodle, do not break, put it in the container or pot or whatever, add water (more than normal amount) and boil. Don't add masala yet.
  • Once the noodle look ready, seperate the broth and the noodles. Pour out the noodle broth (only the broth) into another container.
  • Run cold tap water on the sides of the container or pot having the hot bland noodles. The point is to drastically reduce the temperature of the noodles so that they sort of solidify. Sort of look like chowmin. But do not make the noodles too solidified. You don't want it to look like 'School tiffin box Maggi' - cold solid maggi noodles that look and feel like yesterday's rice but just taste better. 
  • Wait for a few minutes. Now, start boiling the broth again, add the masala. Stir. Add the cold noodles, some butter, and Tomato puree. Put a lid. Boil for two minutes and done. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.
I used to make it with non-atta variety of Maggi - there was no healthy atta variety then. I don't know if it would work with the atta one. I remember, I got banned from kitchen for making it often, the reason: ' How can you stretch a simple 2 minute process of Maggi to a 20 minute culinary experiment.'

'Two-Minute' was the idea that really sold Maggi.

7 comments:

  1. Maggi noodles was also introduced in 'soup style' in red pack . Other flavours being 'sweet & sour' and 'chicken'.But magic masala tasted best ! There was also a 'maggi club' focussed on children whose punchline was "maggi clubbers,fun lovers"! All we had to do was to send 5 cut-outs of logo from maggi pack and send it to a particular address .... and they used to send some board-games , wrist bands and similar promotional stuff .... in typical brown envelopes ! There was also a membership card with a number issued , to be used for correspondence....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah, yes I remember the Maggi club...a cousin of mine was a member...he got some really fine stuff from them. Thanks for the comment!
    I also remember Maggi used to conduct quiz contests in schools... it was a state level and then a national affair.
    Thanks to the Maggi quiz contest, I won a 70 pound GK book called "Who, What, How" or something like that. The question that cost me and a friend of mine the state championship still lingers in my mind: Who is known as the `Alexander of India`?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amardeep BbhurjiMay 8, 2009, 9:02:00 PM

    I was also the member of maggiclub. It was awsomw and a real fun to get associated with it. there was a fortnightly magazine called "MAGGIZZINE" that contained good GK material and also nice funny stories... they also sent us gifts on our B'days... Enjoy "MAGGYING"~~~~~

    ReplyDelete
  4. A time they sent a colored card, a small metal piece shaped like a car and a small magnet. The card had a narrow road printed on it and you had to drive the small car steering it using the magnet kept under the card. Fun!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thats a nice review, 25 years and Maggi is still a hot favorite, particularly maggi masala, i was just going through their official site, www.meandmeri.in and the degree to which people like maggi is very apparent there..i think it rocks!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Although i have been a great FAN of Maggi over past 20 years but i dont eat in Much now a days..Maggi I remember was introduced in Masala flavour [The classic one].Slowly in late 80s new flavours were added "Sweet n Sour" , "chicken" and "Tomato". Surely they didnt do well so disappeared from market. Then in early 90s there were new avatars "Maggi Soup Style" in two flavours that had more of masala [ read more cornflour] and u had to add more water. Also i remember something called "maggie sweet" , I really craved for Maggie sweet but didnt have chance to eat it as it was not there in markets of the small city that i was living in. Simply like other non classic flavours "Sweet" and "Soup Style" also disappeared from market. Then in mid 90s as said the "Dhaniya" avatar appeared again to disapper in some time , along with "Dhaniya" avatar one "Chatt" falvour appeared. The "Tastemaker" appeared to be outsourced from MDH.The "Chatt" avatar again disappeared from market. Then for many years the Masala flavour was the only one dominating the market. Last two years have been seen Maggie lauching new avtars..one being Maggie Aata Noodles..made from Aata not maida...a healty diet...This one has dehydrated Peas and carrot bits added to masala. One more being Maggi "Rice Noodles" ..Many people dislike the rice avatar although i like it...The price of Maggi has seen many utar chadav... I remember the 1st packet i got was for Rs 3 only...then i saw a time when it was Rs 12.. then back to 10. It has been on 10 for a long time.... The recession has influenced the weight...90 grams from 100 grams.... And yes the chairman of Maggi club was namely Mr Doodle Dee.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dipen,
    Awesome recollection (Mr. Doodle Dee haha....)and a truly wonderful comment brother! I remember I tasted my first ever Maggi only at your place. It was addictive :)

    ReplyDelete

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