“Elevate your Desi fusion cooking skills by mixing and matching simple ingredients.”
In many high-end dining spots, fusion food is like art.
In your average restaurants, fusion food is often used as a fancy tag to attract customers.
At home, it boils down to a lazy mixing of any ingredients that we can scour in our fridge and from our cupboards.
DESIblitz shows you how to elevate your Desi fusion cooking skills by mixing and matching simple ingredients, to create an innovatively different dish.
Indian-style Guacamole ~ Indo-Mexican
Adapted from Spice Up The Curry blog; Serves 2
- 1 medium avocado
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
- ½ tbsp oil
- 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp cumin powder
- ¼ tsp coriander powder
- ¼ tsp garam masala
- Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed.
- Slice each half into small cubes and scoop them out with a spoon.
- Mash it lightly using a fork, keeping it little chunky.
- Mix in salt and lemon juice.
- Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Sauté the garlic and chilli for 1 minute.
- Add onion with a pinch of salt. Cook until onions are soft and light brown.
- Mix all the spices and cook for 1 minute.
- Mix it with the mashed avocado.
Mango and Coconut Bhel ~ Indo-Thai
Adapted from Deena Kakaya, food writer; Serves 4-6
- 1 can of black chickpeas, drained
- 300g new potatoes, cut into small cubes and boiled
- 250g firm or underripe mango, cut into small cubes
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1 large red chilli, finely chopped
- 4 tbsp salted unshelled peanuts
- 30g coriander, finely chopped
- 30g mint, finely chopped
- 30g Thai basil, finely chopped
- 4-5 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 2 tsp chaat masala
- Juice of 2 limes
- 75g spiced puffed rice
- Plain yoghurt
- Tamarind chutney
- Mix the boiled potatoes, onions, mango cubes, chickpeas and chaat masala.
- Add and mix the lime juice, herbs, chilli, peanuts and desiccated coconut.
- Add and mix the rice. Dress each plate with yoghurt and tamarind chutney.
Vermicelli Chicken ~ Indo-Chinese
Adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor, ‘Best Chef of India’; Serves 4
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup of vermicelli
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 black cardamoms
- 4-5 green cardamoms
- 2 bay leaves
- 4-5 cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 12-15 black peppercorns
- ½ tsp black peppercorns, crushed
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp ginger paste
- 1 tbsp garlic paste
- 1 ½ tbsp coriander powder
- 1 ½ tbsp red chilli powder
- 1 ¼ tbsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp garam masala powder
- ½ tsp grated lemon zest
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tbsp oil
- Chilli flakes
- Heat the oil in a wok. Add all cardamoms, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns and cumin seeds. Sauté until fragrant.
- Add onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until they turn light brown.
- Add ginger paste and garlic paste. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Chop tomatoes and grind into a purée. Pour in and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
- Add all spice powders, crushed peppercorns and salt. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
- Mix in 5 cups of water and chicken breasts.
- Mix in lemon zest, lemon juice, vermicelli and coriander leaves. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the gravy thickens and chicken is thoroughly cooked.
- Serve in a bowl, sprinkle with some chilli flakes and garam masala powder.
Mango and Cardamom Syllabub ~ Indo-English
Adapted from Dhruv Baker, Masterchef winner 2010; Serves 8-10
- 4 ripe mangoes, peeled and seeds removed
- 6 green cardamom pods, seeds only
- 280 ml double cream
- 2 limes, zest and juice
- 50g icing sugar
- 100ml golden rum
- 1 small bunch fresh mint leaves
- Finely chop 1 mango. Blend other mangoes in a food processor until smooth.
- Grind cardamom seeds into fine powder.
- Whisk the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form.
- Fold in and mix well the lime zest, juice, sugar, rum and cardamom powder.
- Stir in the mango purée. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag.
- Pipe the mango and cardamom syllabub into teaspoons or small pots. Garnish with the chopped mango and mint leaves.
Fusion cooking adds flavour and adventure to our cuisines.
The idea is simple – mix up different ingredients from around the world. The trick lies in making it taste good.
Take a pointer from British Taiwanese chef and food writer, Ching-He Huang:
“Don’t mix too many flavours, and don’t get too hung up on authenticity. It has to be absolutely delicious. That’s the only rule.”
The recipes above are quick and easy enough to satisfy any palette. Remember to experiment with your favourite flavours and create some stunningly delicious fusion food! Happy Cooking!