Out from the cupboard
Sitting at Azimuth, the chef’s studio at Blue Frog Delhi, I recently realised that some of the big trends that we have been talking about globally are making their way quietly into Indian restaurant kitchens as well. One of the highlights of the contemporary menu at the studio is bael (woodapple) soup that comes up as a cold appetiser to be spooned up in some very chic crockery. Bael was once the staple of Indian homes and streets during summer, as season specials.
The resurgence of traditional ingredients is a noteworthy trend in all the dining capitals of the world, what with greater emphasis now being paid to artisanal, slow foods and health diktats prompting consumers away from assembly-line, “fast” or obviously restaurantised stuff. Grass-fed meat, for instance, reared by small farmers is prized in the snobbiest of restaurants above mass-produced ingredients seen (sometimes rightly) as more unhealthy. Salt, too, is the “it” ingredient currently but not factory-made; strictly natural and gourmet—aka the Himalayan rock salt that we in India used to have in our kitchens till the generic stuff took over, or Black Hawaiian sea salt and so on. And ancient grains that had lost their supremacy to refined flour and polished white rice are all making a comeback as gourmet ingredients used by the best chefs—even in India. Look at your menus carefully the next time you eat out at a fancy
Be the first to comment.