While Kerala food needs no introduction, the food there is predominantly non-vegetarian.
Pork, beef, fish, chicken-- it's a paradise for meat lovers.
So when India's top chef Sanjeev Kapoor cooked up a vegetarian Malabar dish, food lovers were rattled.
"Malabar Paneer - A wonderful Malabar dish that has the flavors spicies and offers several gastronomic opportunities. The food is generally fresh, aromatic and flavored," Kapoor tweeted.
Malabar Paneer - A wonderful Malabar dish that has the flavors spicies and offers several gastronomic opportunities. The food is generally fresh, aromatic and flavored. For more such interesting recipes click on https://t.co/c2rBBuz4LW#foodlover pic.twitter.com/M0RMhpPyRl— Sanjeev Kapoor (@SanjeevKapoor) April 18, 2018
While Kapoor's heart was in the right place, his experimental dish didn't go down the throats of several Twitter users, especially the ones hailing from Kerala.
"We Malabaries don't have paneer and we actually don't make it..Malabar is known for its special non-veg items such as Beef biriyaani,beef fry etc.Pls don't fall in his foolish idea," wrote one upset user.
"There is no dish called Malabar Paneer. Only Malabar beef or Malabar chicken," wrote another.
Soon, all hell broke loose as people from southern India started responding to chef's tweet with oxymoron dishes while completely disassociating themselves from "North Indian" dish paneer.
There is no dish called Malabar Paneer. Only Malabar beef or Malabar chicken.— Myopiclenses (@myopiclenses) April 18, 2018
Sir Please make Bengali Theplas!!— Vivaan Hilal (@HilalVivaan) April 18, 2018
Adding Malabar prefix to a dish does not make it a Malabar dish. I dare you to find a Malabar dish that use paneer.— ivansikorsky (@ivan_sikorsky) April 18, 2018
Malabar Paneer? That’s very insulting.— Deviprasad (@deviprasadv) April 19, 2018
This relentless paneerification of all Indian dishes must be stopped!— Venkat Viswanathan (@east_zephyr) April 18, 2018
Oh god, we add beef to everything the way you add Paneer to every dish out there.— Hashin Jithu (@HashinJithu) April 19, 2018
We Malabaries don't have paneer and we actually don't make it..Malabar is known for its special non-veg items such as Beef biriyaani,beef fry etc.Pls don't fall in his foolish idea.— Anagha Harithavayal (@AnaghaNr) April 19, 2018
As a malabari, Iam hearing about such a dish for first time. What does North Indian paneer had to do with malabar's traditional dishes— Sanjay C (@Raging_Ottayaan) April 18, 2018
Please, next time post the recipe of Gujarati beef roast.— Chacko George (@chackog) April 18, 2018
However, several came in chef's defense.
"Why can’t we have Malabar Paneer? Cooking is all about invention and mix n match. Why do ppl take everything so personally?" wrote one user.
To all :- Nobody owns the rights to any cuisine, its a free world out there and fusion cuisine has been in for almost a century now. So its ridiculous to see people getting worked up over a fusion dish when in other developed Nations people are already onto molecular cuisine.— Vijay Siwach™ (@HHSiwachTheVII) April 19, 2018
Response from some malabarians are silly. Well, why North Indian Paneer cannot be cooked Malabar style? Chill guys , acculturation makes you richer— Anurag Saxena (@doctoricuanurag) April 19, 2018
Actually it is not, the dish was named so because the way dish is cooked, the ingredients all are like Malabar dish. Just the meat was replaced with paneer. It made me happy to see such a renowned chef recognizing a place in Kerala.— Jacob B (@Jacobji) April 18, 2018
Well, at least you cannot deny one thing-- there's always something cooking up on Twitter.