Giving Global Dishes An Indian Twist
One of the most pleasurable parts of going out for dinner at one of London’s best Indian fine dining restaurants is experiencing the sheer talent and imagination that goes into creating modern Indian food. The reputation of this popular global cuisine has gone stratospheric in recent years, with inventive chefs putting creative spins on classic recipes to rival even the most sophisticated culinary traditions of the world. There’s no doubt Indian fare has come a long way from the stereotypical curry house offerings of yesteryear.
One of the most exciting things about Indian cuisine is the versatility of the spices and flavours used. A distinctively Indian spin can be put on nearly any dish, if tackled by the right chef. In fact, it is from this breed of experimental kitchen guru that a wide range of enticing fusion dishes has sprung.
Let’s take a look at how some of the iconic dishes of other countries can be given an Indian makeover…
• Italy — Ravioli
One of the leading favourites of global cuisine, Italian food has fans of all ages and all genders. Whether it is pizza, pasta, fresh salads drizzled with olive oil or decadent desserts and pastries that reel you in, this Mediterranean country will satisfy all manner of tastes and leave you wanting more.
It is hard to imagine many more dishes more quintessentially Italian than ravioli, but with a little bit of Indian inspiration it can cross culinary cultures. The general recipe tends to involve pasta parcels wrapped around succulent fillings — minced meat or ricotta cheese and spinach, to name two of the most popular. Why not try switching that filling to a traditional Asian kheema, and watch two culinary cultures combine? Kheema is an Indian favourite, consisting of minced mutton and peas spiced with ginger, garlic, chillies, turmeric and black pepper. Wrap it up in fresh home-made pasta, et voila! Kheema ravioli is served.
• France — Crepes
French cooking is one of the most respected of all the global cuisines. With an emphasis on quality over quantity and a subtle, less is more approach, the French have been pioneers on the fine dining scene for many years. Why not take one of their best loved recipes and see what India can do with it? After all, is the Chettinhad dosa all that different in concept?
Try filling your crepe with an assortment of vegetables seasoned with cumin, fennel, coriander and those all important red chillies. Grate in coconut and add crushed garlic, cloves and chopped onion for a delectable Indian inspired crepe.
• England — Roast chicken
Well, we couldn’t leave a British classic out of the equation, could we? A roast lunch is something of a weekend institution here in the UK, but perhaps we could spice up our Sundays with a little Indian innovation. Try marinating your chicken in a rub made up of garam masala, lemon juice, garlic, ginger and green chillies. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on the bird and season with plenty of black pepper and a little salt before roasting. If you’re feeling adventurous, cook your potatoes with coriander, cumin and turmeric, too. Add just a touch of chilli powder for some of that famous Indian heat.