Chef Kranthi works as a Chef Instructor at Culinary Academy Of India
What is Fusion?
In Wiktionary, the free dictionary, Fusion, or synthesis, is the process of combining two or more distinct entities into a new whole. So, what is Fusion Cooking?
When elements of various cooking styles, traditions, cultures are mixed with each other to form a dish we term this as fusion cooking. Since, there is no specific origin for this dish but each element in the dish has its own distinctive recipe and history, the common termed that started making rounds was Fusion Dish.
India is a vast country with much diversity in terms of culture tradition, history, caste, creed, languages, customs, climate, crops, agriculture, food habits, cuisines, etc. Each region boasts of its own cooking style, use of ingredients and authenticity. Over the last few decades there hasn’t been much change when it came to the food. The chefs didn’t experiment much when it came to food. Each community celebrated their rituals, functions more or less with the same kind of food available in their regions. When it came to the desserts it was the typical Indian style sweets or the Mithai’s as we often call it here. So it generally ended up with Halwas, Gulab Jamoon, Rasagulla, Bengaali sweets, or based on their region. payassam, shrikhand,double ka meetha, shahi tukra with the list going absolutely endless. The only European desserts that people were exposed to were probably the humble birthday cake with various flavors and the custard.
The Y2K era saw a lot of Indians travel abroad to various countries. The IT boom also saw many Indians make a decent amount of money for a living. With travel a lot got educated in terms of international food. When they came back after their travel they started looking for those cheese cakes or the mille feuilles, Apple pies in the local restaurants and Mithai Bhandaars. Unfortunately, none of them catered to these desserts and one had to rely on the five star hotels for quenching these sweet cravings.
Indian and European confectionery fusion
Indian food is popular all over the world and Indian desserts are equally loved. There is no getting around it; Indians have a very sweet tooth. In fact, the early visitors to India called it the land of sweets. However in Indian weddings at the dessert counter there is always an imbalance! On one side we have options ranging from cheese cakes to flavored truffles and the other side we have mithai, rasgulla, gulabjamun etc. We usually keep the European and Indian desserts separate on our plates and these don’t really go together.
Today’s New age Chefs have very intelligently caught this aspect well and have started creating fusion desserts – a combination between the European and Indian Sweets. Very surprisingly, the concept is very well being accepted by the customers and we see a new range of desserts coming into the market every other day with very unique and pleasant names.
One of best innovative and fusion dessert which I came across recently is Thousand Ragas- A combination of European and Indian dessert where the puff pastry is used as the main base in the middle of the layers of puff pastry the rasgullas are arranged, layered with rabdi first and the top layer of puff pastry is covered with fondant same as Millie Feuille (a classical French dessert). Indian and European fusion desserts and cakes are a marriage between comforting Indian flavors and European ingredients and techniques. These desserts add the perfect combination when you crave for something Indian but don’t want to compromise on your diet and health as these combination desserts are very light on the stomach and palate. They give a new experience in terms of flavor and texture as they are unique. Most such combinations will be new and gives a unique experience. These desserts themselves will make the guests differentiate the restaurant or wedding from the rest and remember the distinctive delight. In modern kitchens, chefs are putting their creativity to the test, experimenting with ingredients, marrying flavors, and presenting fusion Indian desserts like never before.
Below are a few examples of the various Euro- Indian Confectinery Fusions.
The classical creaminess of kulfi takes on a variety of bold flavors like Gulab Jamun, pomegranate, Kesar and chikoo. The paan kulfi is a complete show-stealer and topped spot on most dinner party menus.
This year is all about going fruity. Examples are shahi tukda layered with pineapple rounds. Fresh Strawberries have also gathered many fans. Apple jalebi has been making a highest-quality appearance in many a gathering. Batter apple rings are fried crisp and then dipped in fragrant rose syrup. Figs are fashionable again and well known to the good one as anjeer ki burfi. They can make any dessert which comes live from figs. Examples are ice creams, cheesecakes, and fig mousse to fig rolls and halwa. Fusion is elegantly and stylishly fashionable. This is one of the show-stopper desserts, ones that hold a sweet surprise and make you wonder at the creativity. The trend is timely, given a natural liking and access to global tastes. Jalebi caviar, mithai cheesecake, Zululand cupcakes, and pistachio pannacotta are some of the masterpieces which you have seen in this trend.
Miniature Mithai jars:
Desserts in a jar are all the vehement desire or passion. Some desserts just aren’t sharing and for those you have mithai jars. Quite recently I found myself putting into three-layer pistachio sponge, cardamom flavor cream, and strawberry chutney. Small portions are making big news like examples are mini gulab jamun, ras malai, and malpuas will make you feel awesome on desserts buffets display of miniatures so that u can have it on one bite. Seviyaan served in tiny shot glasses or served in edible cups.
Molecular desserts are pure genius. Familiar flavors are used with modern science. Diners will have more advantages to taste and review as the chefs do the special invention. Nitrogen phirni, bubbling kulfis, and Jalebi garnished with flavored foam can surprise you with tastes that are truly wild.
Advantages of having Fusion desserts on the Menu -
- Plays a major role for the new buyers as it gives a lot of variety.
- Provides new options of exploring that are healthy, organic, and not just extremely unpleasant sweet, and unhealthy.
- Fusion desserts is not just tasty but elegantly and fashionable as well.
- Our aim is to tap a whole new section of the society which has a more evolved palate.
Fusion Desserts are definitely here to stay for long. It’s a wonderful mix of the new and the old, the bold and the beautiful keeping in mind the eye appeal, varied experience, taste and new and crazy flavours.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 BrandCai
RAJESH GUPTA on April 10, 2021:
This is the most interesting article as it has the essence of Indian cuisine. This is what people want now...........something different. Hats off to the chef. Thank you for sharing knowledge.