Is South American cuisine going to be the next big thing in India?
In light of cricketer Virat Kohli opening a new restaurant in Delhi that specialises in South American food, we ask chefs whether this is the flavour of the season
There is a lack of South American restaurants in the city as the operating cost is high for them NISHANT CHOUBEY, CHEF The culinary scene in the city is getting a bit stagnant. I think South American can help break the monotony KUNAL KAPUR, CHEF It’s not popular here, because the continent is not a popular tourist destination. It’s on the other side of the globe SABYASACHI GORAI, CHEF
If you thought that South American cuisine isn’t an option in Delhi–– well, that’s changed. Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli’s new restaurant in Delhi was opened to the public for the first time recently. The restaurant is helmed by chef Michael Swamy, who specialises in authentic South American cuisines such as Peruvian, Argentinian and Brazilian. It has also got Delhi’s armchair connoisseurs curious and wondering, “Will South American cuisine be the new flavour of the season?” “What’s the reason for the lack of awareness regarding South American cuisine in the city’? “Can Mexican be classified as South American” (We’ll answer this one for you. No it doesn’t, its Central American) “And is South American really that popular on the global culinary scene”? Well, yes it is. “Peruvian cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines right now in the world,” says Chef Sabyasachi Gorai. “It’s not popular here, because the continent is not a tourist destination for Indians. It’s on the other side of the globe, and travelling there is not easy. But hopefully, this [new restaurant] should change the scene,” he adds.
Another reason why the cuisine is not popular in India, is because some of the dishes require local produce. The raw materials need to be imported and are costly. “I’ve been trained in South American cuisine and I know first-hand that ingredients such as Jambalaya, Etouffee and crawfish are not easily available in the country,” says Chef Nishant Choubey. “Therefore, providing authentic Latin cuisine for restaurants is not easy. Hence, there is a lack of South American restaurants in the city as the operating cost is high.” The introduction of South American cuisine is a refreshing change, feels Chef Kunal Kapur. “Restaurants in the city usually provide fusion Indian and North American cuisine. The culinary scene in the city is getting a bit stagnant. I think South American can help break the monotony,” he says.