Food sector innovates to suit 'desi' platter

International players in the food industry continue to innovate by adding local ingredients and flavours in order to entice Indian foodies, who are yet to fully embrace global cuisine in its original form.

“We (India and Singapore) share our food. I am absolutely fascinated by the Indian cabbage and spices. We are now experimenting with spices and ingredients available in other countries. Hence, sharing the cuisine," says Chef Benjamin Seck of Singapore based True Blue Cuisine restaurant, who was here on a short visit.

Several ‘cross-border’ cuisines seem to have emerged in the process. One such example is the 'Indo Chinese' that has items like 'gobi manchurian' on its menu.

So now, preparation of chicken tikka might as well be slightly changed to marinating the chicken pieces in a 'laksa' paste, made from the Singaporean herb 'laksa', to give it a Singaporean twist before finishing on the charcoal grill.

Similarly, 'laksa' might be used in the fragrant basmati rice, used for preparing Indian ‘pulao’, to make the 'laksa pulao'. ‘Laksa pulao’s’ creator Chef Rajkamal Chopra of Welcom Hotel Sheraton says it tastes best with 'raita' or spiced yoghurt.

"It is very important for a chef to break out of routine and experiment, says Chopra. Similar views are echoed by renowned chef Sanjeev Kapoor who feels "chefs by nature are experimental".

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