Fu­sion food, a cross-cul­tural cre­ative cel­e­bra­tion

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Region - Ritu Kamra Ku­mar rit­uku­[email protected]­hoo.com ■ The writer teaches at MLN Col­lege, Ya­mu­nana­gar


The other day, my son sent me a tempt­ing pic­ture of pa­neer tacos that he had cooked. He said he had not cooked it my way but added cap­sicum and corn with flavours such as fen­nel, star anise and mus­tard. True food is best made by in­stinct of one’s senses. It looks, smells and tastes good.

Food is a sig­nif­i­cant as­pect of any cul­ture and grad­u­ally some global dishes have found their way to the In­dian palate but with a dif­fer­ent form and flavour. Fu­sion food in­cludes idli burger, a fu­sion of south In­dian and Amer­i­can cui­sine; veg­etable Manchurian, an In­dian ver­sion of Chi­nese awe­some­ness; English cheese­cake topped with half-cut gu­lab ja­mun and sugar syrup; and cous­cous pu­lao, an Is­raeli In­dian fu­sion.

Chef San­jeev Kapoor says that fu­sion food is all about bring­ing to­gether the best of two cuisines to cre­ate a dish that is in true sense a new world cui­sine. It caters to the new gen­er­a­tion’s food choices as they are a more savvy and ed­u­cated group, con­scious of nu­tri­tion too.

To­day, peo­ple from In­dia are trav­el­ling to other coun­tries and back home, they use In­dian spices in dif­fer­ent ways.

Celebrity chef Wolf­gang Puck is said to be the father of modern fu­sion. In its broad­est sense, fu­sion has al­ways been there. We have been eat­ing it long be­fore the term was coined. I re­mem­ber as a young­ster, when I cooked a veg­etable, I added flavours and spices in it my mother never used and tried to give it my sig­na­ture style by sim­mer­ing and saute­ing it with a few aro­mat­ics with­out any fry­ing. Then I would taste a bit of the gravy while it was be­ing cooked and in­tro­duce an­other spice. I wish I had noted down those random ex­per­i­ments be­cause some of them were re­ally suc­cess­ful.

The new gen­er­a­tion is mak­ing max­i­mum use of fu­sion food. It is part of good evo­lu­tion in ur­ban ar­eas world­wide as with time, dif­fer­ent in­gre­di­ents are com­ing into the lo­cal mar­ket and peo­ple are open to ex­plor­ing their palate pref­er­ences, while chefs are con­fi­dent of fol­low­ing their culi­nary pas­sions.

We have noo­dles with the In­dian masala touch be­sides fast food chains that have given an In­dian flavour to their prepa­ra­tions but as peo­ple are be­com­ing health con­scious, these out­lets also of­fer only sal­ads for lunch. Ba­si­cally, in­ter­na­tional in­flu­ences mixed with In­dian flavours are get­ting pop­u­lar in In­dia.

Many of us are shift­ing to eat­ing mul­ti­ple smaller meals or snacks per day than the old stan­dard of break­fast, lunch and din­ner. We friends have fewer cheat days and re­strict our­selves to healthy fu­sion food nowa­days. It is like hav­ing scents of dif­fer­ent cul­tures and kitchens fused into one meal that is flavour­ful, colour­ful and health­ful.

We take time out to recce re­gions across the world on the in­ter­net and re­fer to cook­ery books to up­date our culi­nary skills.

Fu­sion food is a chal­lenge that has in­tro­duced In­dian dishes with a twist, mak­ing eat­ing a de­light­ful and de­lec­ta­ble ex­pe­ri­ence. Let’s raise a toast to fu­sion food, which is be­com­ing an epic story of cross-cul­tural cre­ativ­ity and cel­e­bra­tion by mil­len­nial choice. A recipe is only a roadmap to an in­di­vid­ual food jour­ney. Fol­low your in­stinct and add spice to your life. Happy food fu­sion!

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