Fusion dining is in! At my home, we have a mix of Punjabi preparations and Gujarati food at one meal…something like bharwan bhindi with thin rotlis and Gujarati Kadhi with pyaaz ke chawal. Fusion cuisine is a mix of two or more regional or international cuisines or it can also mean a perfect blend of variety of ingredients and cooking techniques to create a delicious fusion of tastes and flavours.
Fusion cooking is a delight! It creates magic and is fairly easy to do. When we combine a number of cuisines in one meal, we cater to the new generation of food choices and this is what the hospitality industry is capitalizing on right now. We have five star hotels giving a multi-cuisine buffet with a choice of fresh Italian pastas, Indian kababs and main courses, Chinese noodles and a mind boggling range of cakes, mithais and puddings. Take a look at Indian wedding menus – there is everything from live pastas and live Chinese stations to freshly made roomali rotis. These fusion meals are perfect for those who love to taste new foods and relish the different foods of the world. Well, it could also be a fusion menu taking different dishes from different states of India, giving the traditional foods a chance to be enjoyed in one single sitting.
Creating new tastes is the single most aim of fusion cuisine. There are immense number of possible combinations between culinary styles in terms of spices, sauces, fillings and recipe ingredients. Soy sauce is always linked to Chinese food, oregano to Italian food and tortillas to Mexican food. But now, all thanks to fusion cooking, there are no specific boundaries to typical recipes and there are holds barred for creating new sensational tastes. The best example is the Chinese food that is prepared in our country. The food is spicy, with sauces and vegetables that are not heard of in China. The final presentation is certainly not what authentic Chinese food looks like. But this Indo-Chinese cuisine is very popular simply because the fusion of ingredients caters perfectly to the Indian palate. Around the world, our Chicken Tikka is entering the European eateries and as you travel you could come across Chinese dimsums filled with a very English meat filling or even an Italian risotto strongly flavoured with ginger. Or cooking styles can be adapted: the French poaching method to cook a very Southeast Asian tofu.
The classic traditional recipes are being considered as ordinary by a big chunk of the hospitality industry hence the widespread choices of mixed cuisine. In order for the chefs to keep creating something novel and exciting for the patrons, it is essential to mix and match ingredients and come up with culinary wonders. A successful fusion is the one that can discover unheard of combinations and that can please most palates. Chefs who want to experiment with fusion cuisine need to research their ingredients carefully and think about how flavour and textures will combine for the patrons. Well, one could aim for novelty, but practicing a little restraint is also important because people’s likes and dislikes vary so widely.
Personally I enjoy making fusion foods. I have made a Gulab Jamun Cheesecake, Rasgulla Amrakhand, Chocolate Paan Rolls, Idli Satay, Uttappam Pizza, Shrimp Idli, Sichuan Parantha, Corn and Cheese Dosa, Tiramisu Ice-cream, Gajar Halwa and Sponge Cake Sizzler, Paan Kulfi, to name just a few. These are creative attempts to combine two textures, two flavours and present something new and exciting. When it comes to main courses, I have here for you some recipes to enjoy.
I strongly feel that fusion of two or more cuisines is New World Cuisine and it has encouraged culinary globalization and has increased cultural interaction through media and travel. Fusion cuisine has encouraged adaptation and has helped to expand the cookbook industry too. Furthermore, as people are becoming increasingly alert of healthier lifestyles, the idea of mixing the healthiest elements from a variety of cuisines has become appealing. I have authored a book on Indian cooking using olive oil as the medium.
Fusion food is on the rise and this is just the beginning and why not because combining the best elements of different food cultures would most likely produce a great dish, unless of course you decide to push the experimenting too far! Try some of these tried and tested fusion food recipes that should help you get into the flow of things.
|Aloo Kulcha Pizza|
|Black Forest Rasmalai Cake|
Happy fusion cooking!