“I knew I wanted to serve food that would taste authentic,” said Mr. Kansagra, who opened three franchised sandwich shops before turning his attention to Indian fast food in 2009. “I also knew that if I wanted to get American customers, the food did not necessarily have to be authentic.”
Some inspiration for these chains-in-the-making came from the subcontinent. Jumbo King, based in Mumbai, now serves potato croquettes on hamburger-style buns at more than 40 fast-food outlets. Kati Zone, based in Bangalore, dishes up variants on Mexican quesadillas called “cheeserias” as well as masala-dusted French fries.
Many ... newfangled foods are being built on bases of relatively authentic Indian flatbreads.
Merzi, one of these nascent chains, serves roti wraps, stuffed with “tandisserie” chicken, at its Washington prototype. (The menu translates the term as “tandoori-seasoned chicken cooked rotisserie style.”) Veda, with three locations in Toronto, recently introduced rice-and-butter-chicken-stuffed “curritos,” which translate as curried burrito-style wraps.
The images of Zimmerman — not just his face, but the words used to describe him — can confound and confuse. Why are they calling him white, wondered Paul Ebert, the Prince William County commonwealth’s attorney who knew Zimmerman’s mother, Gladys, from her days as an interpreter at the county courthouse. Zimmerman’s mother, Ebert knew, was Peruvian, and he thought of her as Hispanic.
Looking at Zimmerman’s photograph made Darren Soto, a Florida state legislator, think he might be Latino. But he just as easily might have been Italian or French, he thought. “It’s all over the place in Florida,” said Soto, who represents a statehouse district in Orlando, a 20-minute drive from the gated subdivision in Sanford where Martin died. “You have people with Anglo first and last names who speak perfect Spanish and are from Puerto Rico. And you’ve got a third- or fourth-generation Joey Gonzalez from Tampa who can’t speak a word of Spanish.”