Indian cuisine: The soul food

Indian cuisine is among the most loved ones across the globe. The variety of taste, texture, fragrance and colours it offers makes it unique. And it is what has helped create a niche for itself on the global map, and is considered as the “soul food.”

Chef Davinder Kumar, president, Indian Culinary Forum (ICF), says, “Indian cuisine is one of the most sought after cuisines in the world. Over the past few decades there has been a paradigm shift in the culinary culture. Indian food because of its diversity, variety, spices, tradition has created a niche for itself on global platform, and provides a unique dining experience. It is healthy, and the spices that are used are of medicinal values and tasteful. This is the reason why Indian food is considered to be soul food. The beauty of our culinary culture is that the cuisine changes with every 250 kilometers, depending on the geographical, cultural, social and topographic nature of the place.”

In the past few decades, there has been a revolution in the traditional as well as innovative Indian cuisines. And still there is a great prospects in terms of innovation, platform, discourse when it comes to Indian food. It has already reached the international platform, and experts believe it will further grow in the years to come.

“One of the major changes in our food over the years is the designed element. From traditional serving styles to ethnic yet chic platings, Indian food has evolved and is now at par with any other modern cuisine. Due to the globalisation the exposure of Indian cuisine and chefs has been tremendous. They have got an international platform to prove their mettle and have done it with great success,” said Chef Kumar.

He added, “With so much health awareness one trend that is fast catching up is the healthy cuisine wherein focus is on fresh, seasonal and local produce. Over the years inspiring chefs through their progressive mind and innovation have taken Indian food to the next level.”

He points out that technology has played a key role in modernisation of Indian cuisine. Chefs these days have no boundaries as far as creativity is concerned.

“In fact, today you can go to any extent and play with ingredients to create a culinary masterpiece as there are no restrictions, but as a chef I feel one should not forget the root of that cuisine.”

Today, the food and beverage business is at Rs 3.09 lakh crore, which is likely to grow to Rs 5 lakh crore by 2020. The industry employs 5.8 million people, estimated to grow to 8.7 million people by 2021. The Food Preservation and Food Packaging industry was valued at about Rs 86,000 crore and is estimated to touch Rs 1,30,000 crore. It now employs 1.7 million people and will require an additional 9 million people by 2021, informs Anil Bhandari, chairman, organising committee, ICF. “In future, there will be lot of demand of chefs in industrial catering, educational institutes, hospitals, armed forces, religious places, and NGOs,” he said.

ICF is the Indian association of professional chefs, formed in 1987. The forum’s objective is to act as a link, a platform and an instrument for the national community of chefs.