A Desi Twist on Foreign Flavours
We live in a curious time where we constantly create and innovate. This applies to any field really but it’s never been truer for the world of food. Chefs and restaurants are constantly battling and trying to push the envelope and in this frantic quest to build and invent ‘new’, we’ve subconsciously shifted into a culinary phase of fusion foods. At some stage this was bound to happen with our constant need to ‘ Indianise’ different cuisines. Take for example Chinese food, which I like to called Chin-dian, with the paneer and gobi Manchurian that are unheard of in any part of China or even the paneer and tandoori topped pizza that no Italian would make. These are all classic examples of how we’ve gone from innovating cuisines to marrying them to please our own unique palate.
Here are some very interesting dishes that seem to work and are quite popular:
Curry pasta – Pasta seems to have become a universal favourite. India has happily welcomed this dish in all its forms. From spaghetti to fusilli, thick sauces, tomato or cheese filled creamy ones, all these seem to sit well with our palate. However nothing gives us more joy than to Indianise even this. The best way to ‘spice’ up your pasta is to flavour it just like you would your curry. This innovative concoction was actually given to me by an Italian Chef who shared his love for India and his own country. This is extremely easy because you make the pasta exactly how you would normally except while making the sauce you add a bit of curry powder and in some cases even coconut milk depending on which flavours you enjoy. There is no hard and fast rule for this recipe but it works best with trial and error to see what flavours suit you best.
Paan icecream - Ice creams usually come in traditional flavours but a great way to make them is with Indian inspired flavours. The quintessential India ice cream would be a paan flavoured one which has suddenly become a rage over the last few years. A lot of home cooks and cooking enthusiasts have taken to making homemade ice creams with easy recipes readily available. The fun part is fusing the Indian flavours like pista, badaam and in this case of course beetal leaves, cardamom , fennel seeds, lime, rose petals or even rose syrup, dried dates and mint leaves to give you authentic paan flavoured ice cream!
Chinese Bhel or Chinese Dosa – These two Indianised Chinese food examples are delicious in their own odd way. The Chinese Dosa typically includes a lot of vegetables grated or thinly sliced like carrots, cabbage, onions, etc. with a fair amount of szechuan or soya sauce. You can even add hakka noodles to it to make it more Chinese. Chinese Bhel is similar, with the vegetables and szhechuan sauce, except that they are mixed with the noodles that are boiled and then fried in corn flour and oil. All the ingredients are stir-fried together into a very unusual but oddly tasty dish called Chinese Bhel!
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Roxanne is a pint sized girl who enjoys reading, movies, travel and is obsessed with food. She expresses her love for all things edible in her food blog - www.thetinytaster.com A freelancer in her profession, she is able to spend most of her time sampling the city's food offerings and reviews them as well as shares a few of her favourite recipes. More often known as The Tiny Taster, she's decided to take the world by storm - one plate a a time!
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