Interest in Indian cuisine grew due to its many medicinal kitchen ingredients during the Covid pandemic
For any cuisine in the world to get a mainstay on the global gourmet map, it has to undergo many reincarnations. Every popular cuisine from Japanese to Chinese underwent some revamps to find wider acceptance among the food aficionados.
Often these changes are about amalgamating a popular ingredient or food habit into the cultural inlay of the cuisine or reimagining the existing staples with newer challenging ingredients from other popular fare.
It can be interesting to note that Indian cuisine after adapting to modern presentations is now on its way to evolve into a health based cuisine too. Some of the modern culinary thinkers are elevating Indian cuisine to be accepted as a healthy and restorative food option.
For instance, Vishal Jindal, co-founder and co-CEO of Indian food chain Biryani by Kilo, recently introduced a new, unheard re-invention to his robust Indian menu – brown rice biryani.
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Talking about the new health based Indian cuisine, he tells the American Bazaar, “Interestingly, Indian cuisine is undergoing an interesting and very important exchange.”
“While our food philosophy was always based on immunity boosting food and self-healing diet – somewhere the message got diluted in the din of quick curries and greasy kormas,” he says. “Today, this change is the need of the hour and is bound to get Indian food a wider acceptance.”
Chicago based home chef and Indian food chronicler Asha Shah says, “Most Indians today are well-aware of how healthy cuisines like Japanese or Mediterranean work towards holistic wellness and equipped with the knowledge of how Indian ingredients are power houses of health, they are rightly demanding more from their cuisine.”
Jindal agrees. “Our annual food consumer research found that during pandemic interest grew in Indian cuisine due to its many medicinal kitchen ingredients.
“While in the West people began looking at Indian curries as they came laced with potent antioxidant turmeric, Indians back home began craving the simplicity of raw goodness in the food to boost up immunity.”
“Our brown rice biryani is a phenomenal success mainly because it marries the ancient elements into a newer healthier option,” Jindal says. “It is our star product and health freaks are now beginning to look at how Indian food does not necessarily mean refined fats or rich curries.”
Most modern Indian food experts believe that feasting on good Indian food does not have to be equated with bingeing on guilty pleasures. It can be a feast with the goodness of health.
A clear nod to the global trend of going towards simpler, unrefined sugars and unpolished, cleaner ingredients are the new additions in Indian food.Brown rice instead of the staple white basmati or going easy on garam masala while diving more into haldi are taking Indian cuisine towards a more global appeal.
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But the most important thing according to Jindal is that the essence of the ancient Indian cooking and its tradition is kept intact.
“We are not leaning on global acceptance by renaming our dishes into say an Indian brown rice risotto,” he says.
“We are proud to call it the age-old dum biryani or murg biryani with a healthy, global twist and this confidence of presenting our traditional fare is happening everywhere in India.”