A top chef and an Indian restaurant have accused M&S of cultural appropriation its new vegan sweet potato biryani wrap.
They claim the retailer is taking advantage of Indian food to make money while not providing an authentic and traditional meal.
Biryani, a popular curry all-in-one dish is traditionally made with chicken or mutton and always contains rice.
But the £2.80 vegan wrap – spelt ‘biriyani’ by M&S, has attracted backlash, with critics calling for the product to be pulled from shelves.
The meat-free wrap, made out of sweet potato, spiced basmati rice and buckwheat with roasted red pepper, was launched on December 28 as part of the M&S Plant Kitchen line.
Chef and author of Indian Kitchen Maunika Gowardhan tweeted a photo of the wrap to express her disappointment.
She wrote: ‘Thanks but I like my Biryani with rice in a bowl not a wrap. Seriously M&S!?
‘In India firstly there is no such thing as a veg Biryani. Most places will serve mutton or chicken or even fish.
‘It’s wrong on many levels when people will assume this is what a Biryani looks like!’
Top restaurant Darjeeling Express shared Maunika’s tweet and accused M&S of failing to do its research.
The restaurant is run by chef Asma Khan, who is the first British chef to feature in the hit Netflix show Chef’s Table.
The Soho haunt opened in 2016 with an all women-workforce and amateur chefs turned professional in the kitchen.
The restaurant tweeted: ‘This is so wrong at so many levels – who are you paying to design your wraps Marks and Spencer?
‘You seriously need to rethink your “exotic” wrap selection.
‘That is not Biryani -you do not appropriate names from a cuisine without even bothering to do any research on that dish.’
Ashley John Ó Gallchobhair added: ‘Biryani – how is this a biryani?
‘How have @marksandspencer managed not only to mess up the spelling, but make a biryani without rice and meat?’
“IT NEEDS MEAT! Just because you put a sauce in it that maybe tastes like a ‘generic curry’, doesn’t mean you can call it what you like!”
An M&S spokeswoman said: ‘M&S is famous for its food innovation and our developers use a fusion of different flavours and ingredients to create an exciting range of products to appeal to customers’ tastes.’