Indian cuisine can become No.1 cuisine of the world

The unending quest for easy Indian recipes just shows that the world is awakening to the goodness of Indian food. As this year of 2011 wraps up, we are more determined to work harder in promoting Indian recipes across the world.

It would be appropriate if we sit back now and analyse as to where India stands today in terms of its cuisine. It may seem to be a distant dream in today’s context but soon a new year begins, and it may or can become a reality. India may not earn the slot at the Olympics but it sure has a cuisine that is rich in its true sense. We have offered to the world a cuisine that has in a short span of time, caught the fancy of quite a large number of people with a spicy palate.
In last so many decades, the immigrants from India have successfully given a unique taste to the world—hot curries. Over a period of time this taste has been getting more and more popular worldwide. During this period the real and the actual taste of Hot Curry has gone through a metamorphosis. The tastes have been changed at times to suit the needs of the residents of those areas and on quite a few occasions because of lack of knowledge about the right taste. This ignorance on the part of the enterprising restaurateur has impeded the growth of Indian food to some extent as the consumer, i.e., the diner has at times been served with a taste that he or she is least expecting. Satisfaction has lots to do with expectation. Whenever we have served Indian food the way it is expected to be, we have succeeded.
Now the time has come when we have to exceed expectations of the diners. On a global platform, we have to evolve ways and means of cooking Indian food to the expectations of a wide variety and range of people. It has been well established that most people eat food that they can relate to or at least the tastes they are familiar with. By no means are we insinuating that we cook food or change food to suit the taste buds of people. With the given diversity of our land, we have been blessed with unique and totally different tastes and flavours. From Meerut to Madras, from Ahmedabad to Agartala we have an array of dishes that probably would send even the most discerning of palate on a journey that can be termed as nothing but delicious. People eat food that they can relate to; for fast growth of Indian food it is imperative that we first find out the needs of the people of each International food zone and export tastes similar to what they have grown with. This way we would not only encourage regional Indian cuisine but also at the same time find right pegs for right holes.
Gone are the days when one could impress everyone with Butter chicken or Vindaloo, now International diner expects in his home territory, a kind of taste that is completely Indian and suits his taste buds also. We are not using words as Authentic Indian Food because have yet to come across a large group of people or professionals agreeing to a common taste platform. Some traditional recipes for New Years Eve….Kesari BhaatKachori ChaatTandoori Chicken.

Butter chicken – In masterchef style

Delhi is a haven for gourmets. So when in Dilli, eat like the Dilliwala does! Go to any affordable roadside eatery or to the elite five star restaurants or be absolutely ‘in’ and visit the India Habitat Centre or Delhi Haat. There is this speciality about puppies- the Prosperous Urban Punjabi – great show offs, whether it be clothes, the home, the car or the food. And what better place than Delhi to experience the food that is ‘in’! But mind you, there are some ingrained food habits that will never change – begin the morning with loads of tea and biskut or rusk, slip out for a hearty plate of chole bhature (let the world eat the fruits, cereals and egg white omelette!), leisurely lunch on gheewali roti, butter chicken, matar paneer, aloo gobhi, dal makhani, pulao and something meetha; evening snack could be a hot samosa sandwiched in bread and then dinner: something heavy too preceded by some chicken tikka and drinks (the favourite is whisky – the joke goes that Scotland does not make as much Scotch as is sold in Delhi!). And, herein lies our case. All this does not deter (and will not deter) the resident to look at options too because tasty food is a big attraction in Delhi. They love eating out and more so, food is available round the clock! Check out Cumsums at Hazrat Nizamuddin at 2 am one early morning!
As we take a brief look at the makings of butter chicken, know that Dilliwale love other chicken preparations too: tariwala chicken, tandoori murgh are eternal favourites. This love for chicken is phenomenal and will never diminish. The climate of Delhi allows the residents to indulge in foods that could otherwise prove heavy for digestion. To make butter chicken, first make the Tandoori Chicken. Shred it. Then prepare a makhani gravy. Serve the butter chicken with naan or parantha.

Traditional Indian recipes – They do help in popularizing Indian cuisine

Friends, Indian food abroad is no longer confined to chicken tikka masala and naan. It would surprise you to know that Indian restaurants abroad are doing spectacular business. Our experiences with Khazana and Options in Dubai are very pleasant. In fact Dubai is flourishing because of Indian corporates too. As the demand for Indian food goes up simultaneously so does the popularity of the Indian restaurants! Lulla Mussa Dal, Dal Makhni, Nalli Gosht and many such typically Indian preparations served at Khazana in Dubai are much loved!
Let us look at some of the factors that make Indian food so popular outside the country.
Indian diaspora
That’s a special lot! Some years ago an Indian would settle abroad occupied as a taxi driver or a gas station attendant. Now we have our people in the IT sector big time, medical research and practicing doctors, there are space scientists too…these people might be residing in distant lands but have succeeded because of their single minded and focused hard work. This enhances the respectability of the country and of course, the awareness about Indian food goes up. As these residents crave for home cooked food specially the popular dishes like Murgh Makhni, Palak Paneer and the ubiquitous Naan there are establishments that provide them and the locals too get interested generally. There is a demand for Indian restaurants and hence they are mushrooming.
MNCs look at India for business. And as they set foot here and make India their base their palates get accustomed to our style of cooking. They appreciate it, in fact it is easy to get addicted to Indian food. Among this breed the most sought after dishes are the Tandoori Chicken and Biryani. As a result over the past few years, there has been tremendous global interest in Indian cuisine and eateries.
With the sort of influx of tourists that our country attracts there are open channels for food likings to go out into foreign kitchens too. This is a well-accepted and simple fact that a well-traveled person knows a lot about foreign foods. Well, there are exceptions, but as you will see there is a positive aspect of these exceptions too. When our Gujaratis and Jains travel out of the country they carry their own food like Chhunda, Thepla, Aloo ki Sukhi Sabzi, Murmura Chiwda and being the ever hospitable people that they are offer them to their newly made friends in the foreign lands. Hence they qualify as messengers propagating the cause of Indian cuisine. Their diet choices are looked after by the travel companies and they in turn set up kitchens abroad. So there is a lot of Indian food being cooked out there!
Research and publicity
Indian food is a topic for researchers and anthropologists. And the deeper one digs, more and more facts come to the fore. This adds to the riches of Indian culture. When it comes to publicity, Indian movies do a great job! They have a tremendous impact on foreign audiences and are the perfect showcase for our culture and cuisine. In fact, Indian marriages abroad surpass the feasting arranged here! And the wonderful news is that so many non-Indians fly down especially to have their elaborate ceremonies in India. Do you think Indian food is the magnet? Yes it is.
Information era
Websites on food thrive. Ours has ninety percent of its subscribers who are not residing in India. Then we have food shows abroad and also well accepted cookery books. All this, in a slow trickle, add to the ocean of the greatness of Indian cuisine.
Food exports
Ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat ranges from India, be it simple home recipes of dals and vegetables, be it pickles, chutneys or snacks are in the foreign market. And the demand is growing. The variety offered sticks to traditional Indian recipes and this adds to the intrigue!
New generation of Indian chefs
It is also enlightening to know that some experimental cooking headed by a new generation of Indian Chefs abroad have created new dishes that are so good that they are appearing on menus here at home! The tastes of the customers have changed with more and more people steering away from the korma and masala dishes, eating more savoury dishes like Garlic Chicken or Rogan Josh.
Ethnic is exotic, ethnic is in! Indian is hot, Indian is in!