Fusion food, a cross-cultural creative celebration
DIFFERENT INGREDIENTS ARE COMING INTO THE LOCAL MARKET AND PEOPLE ARE OPEN TO EXPLORING THEIR PALATE PREFERENCES
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!
rituku[email protected]hoo.com ■
The writer teaches at MLN College, Yamunanagar