Is ‘authentic’ Indian food becoming the victim of fancier fusion-food serving restaurants? We find it here.

Is ‘authentic’ Indian food becoming the victim of fancier
fusion-food serving restaurants? We find it here.
Did you know the first butter chicken was created in 1950 at Moti Mahal restaurant to make sure the leftover tikka and tandoori chicken is re-used? Well, that was the first time when a restaurant-made chicken entered the Punjabi household and gradually became a staple in Delhi. There was no magic on the part of Moti Mahal, they just used the same formula of black dal and a dollop of cream to get the job done.

Except for that, most of the time the Indian cuisine at restaurants have been judged on the basis of its homeliness. If a dal tastes mild and the curry reminds you of your childhood, the chef gets 10 on 10. If the tandoori chicken leaves stickiness on your palm, you start doubting the chef’s expertise. Well if that is the case, we find out how difficult it is to maintain authenticity of the dish. We got in touch with Chef Rajesh Variyath the dynamic Corporate Executive Chef at Radisson Blu MBD, Noida who comes with 23 years of experience in the culinary field.

In the age of Mango Salsa and Tandoori cream brulee, authentic Indian cuisine is not easy to find. Chef Rajesh believes, it’s the sudden rise in fusion food culture among the chefs that is taking a toll on the Indian ‘authentic’ taste. Besides, the unorganized setup of Indian cuisine is also to be blamed. He explains: “You see, European cuisine or for that matter Italian cuisine, be it 30 years ago or around the globe, it would taste the same. But this isn’t applicable to Indian food. A dal that your mother makes wouldn’t match your aunt’s. You see Sambar, the regular dal in the south of India is just so varied. You travel from one town of Tamil Nadu to another, you would easily find that the seasoning is different, so is the softness of the lentils. This means that the dal has changed its basic nature even in households. So you cannot really rely on authenticity of Indian cuisines.”

“Earlier, there used to be ustaads, who would cook biriyani and other Mughlai dishes. One thing that was common amongst them was to hide their recipes. And this breed of cooks has done enough damage to the authenticity. Indian cuisine has always been a tradition that went down from generation to generation through oral communication. Now hiding the recipe could have made them famous, but took a toll on the authenticity. In that way, many dishes got lost in the past.”

One way to keep Indian cuisine alive, Chef Rajesh says, is to make sure the chefs who specialize in this cuisine focus on the original ingredients. Moreover the people who eat this food need to appreciate the originality of the dishes.

Made in India, the Indian cuisine restaurant at Radisson Blu MBD in Noida has a selective menu. Some of the best sellers of the menu are Galouti Kebab, Fish tikka, Nahari and Dhani Murg. The galouti served with Ulta tawa paratha (fried bread on the back of pan) is something that tastes exactly like any Karachi street food shop. And the kulfi that Made in India serves is mild with an overpowering taste of home made cream. If you have a sweet tooth, you will definitely call for a repeat.