India is a melting pot of diverse cultures, traditions, and culinary delights. With each region offering its own unique flavours and culinary techniques, the food scene in India is an endless exploration of epicurean treasures. In 2023, the country’s culinary landscape is set to witness an exciting array of regional food trends that celebrate the heritage and authenticity of each region’s cuisine.
Let’s embark on a journey through India’s regional flavors and uncover the tantalizing food trends of 2023.
1. Reviving Ancient Recipes And Techniques
India’s culinary heritage is undergoing a remarkable revival as chefs and food enthusiasts passionately delve into centuries-old recipes and cooking techniques. This rekindled interest reflects a profound appreciation for the distinct flavours that once graced the royal kitchens of India.
Royal Indian cuisine is an exquisite blend of traditional Indian flavours, aromatic spices, and indigenous ingredients. It is a testament to the rich culinary legacies of Mughal emperors, Rajput rulers, and various regional dynasties. The intricate cooking techniques used and complex flavours made it the centrepiece of grand feasts in bygone eras.
Restaurants such as Indian Accent in Delhi, have garnered acclaim for their innovative interpretations of classic recipes. The likes of Dal Moradabadi, transformed into a savory doughnut-shaped snack, demonstrate the chef’s creativity while staying true to the dish’s essence.
As India’s culinary landscape flourishes, events like Grub Fest in New Delhi have also become platforms for showcasing royal-era delicacies. At the fest, Chicken Chapli Kebabs to Royal Rampur kebabs by Chef Osama Jalali and Nawab Kazim Ali Khan and delicacies from Mewar cuisine by Thakur Prem Singh Rathore captivated attendees, evoking nostalgia for the grandeur of the past.
The resurgence of interest in India’s culinary heritage throws light on the timeless appeal of centuries-old recipes and cooking techniques. With restaurants and chefs at the forefront of this revival, the nation celebrates its rich gastronomic legacy, tantalising taste buds with remarkable flavours and traditions of its royal kitchens.
2. Hyper-Local Ingredients: Celebrating Regional Bounties
India’s diverse geography provides an abundance of locally sourced ingredients that vary from region to region. In 2023, there is a heightened focus on using hyper-local ingredients to showcase the unique flavours of each region. Restaurants exemplify this trend by utilising regional ingredients in their dishes, adding a distinct local touch to their contemporary menu .Chefs are recognising the importance of supporting local farmers while highlighting the unique flavours and traditional techniques of each region. By incorporating hyper-local ingredients, this trend promotes sustainability, preserves regional biodiversity, and offers a immersive dining experience. All of these reflect the vibrant flavors of India’s diverse culinary heritage.
In December 2022, an extraordinary culinary affair took place at Novotel Shamshabad in Hyderabad orchestrated by renowned chef,Chef Vicky Ratnani. The culinary maestro masterfully crafted an event using exclusively homegrown vegetables and aromatic herbs procured from the hotel’s own flourishing kitchen garden.
At home, people are growing herbs and vegetables in their own pots and gardens. Staying at home during the pandemic, many inculcated the hobby of kitchen gardening and information and techniques available online enabled them to have one in their own backyard and terraces. The emphasis is on eating fresh, seasonal food.
3. Cross-Regional Fusion: Blurring Culinary Boundaries
In a country as diverse as India, where each region boasts its own distinct cuisine, 2023 sees a fascinating trend of blending flavors and techniques from different parts of the country. This cross-regional fusion adds a delightful twist to traditional dishes, creating an entirely new culinary experience. The fusion of regional cuisines allows us to explore exciting new flavor combinations and create unique dishes that tantalise the taste buds.
Restaurants like O Pedro in Mumbai brilliantly blend Goan and Portuguese flavours, presenting dishes like Goan chorizo pro sliders with a contemporary twist, highlighting the fusion of culinary traditions.
4. Modern Interpretations of Street Food: Elevating Street Designs
Street food holds a special place in Indian cuisine, known for its vibrant flavours and bustling culinary scenes. This year trends the elevation of street food to gourmet levels by reimagining traditional favourites with modern techniques and presentation. Chefs are taking popular street food dishes and giving them a creative twist while preserving their authentic essence.
At the Indian accent, Chef Manish Mehrotra presents aloo-tiki as potato sphere chaat with white pea ragda. Mister Chai in Shangrila Eros serves a ‘petit raj kachori’ aloo chaat made with baby potatoes, kale pasta chaat (instead of the palak pasta chaat) and bread pakora stuffed with cottage cheese. Their butter chicken samosas are greatly appreciated too.
The current regional food trends in India are setting the stage for an exciting future in Indian cuisine. By reviving forgotten recipes and techniques, these trends ensure the preservation of culinary heritage. The emphasis on hyper-local ingredients promotes sustainability and supports local communities. The innovation and creativity displayed by chefs in reimagining traditional dishes open up new avenues for culinary exploration. Additionally, these trends contribute to cultural exchange and tourism, attracting visitors to experience the diverse flavors of different regions. With increased culinary education and awareness, future generations will have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the rich regional culinary traditions of India, ensuring their continued growth and evolution.
This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with Monidipa Dutta.
Thank you for your feedback.
I love these food trends since they allow us to go back our roots and enjoy the recipes that have been handed down through generations. And yes, going local is the best way forward since it’s healthy, easily available and fresh.
I personally believe that Indian cuisine is too rich! A person who loves cooking, Indian dishes are way more complicated than the Western counterparts. Sometimes our heritage really stuns me. We are incredibly blessed!
You have encapsulated the food trends so well. I think the food industry has really integrated the cuisines in many ways, from regional to seasonal, it now offers a wider variety.
wow, food is one thing that is so pleasing that different cuisine speaks about different places.
I agree with your views that we are witnessing a great variety of regional food trends in the foodscape nowadays with the focus being on local and traditional foods and cooking techniques. A fortunate time for foodies!
Well researched post. Totally agree with you that our India has multiple flavours. Each state has its own speciality and happy to know that food industry preserving the traditional foods.
What a captivating post! India’s culinary landscape truly showcases the country’s rich diversity and cultural tapestry. It’s fascinating to see how in 2023, regional food trends are set to take center stage, celebrating the heritage and authenticity of each region’s cuisine.I’m excited to embark on this culinary journey through India’s regional flavors and discover the tantalizing food trends, It’s sure to be an adventure filled with incredible tastes and captivating stories.
You presented the Indian food industry so beautifully through your pen and I just loved you style of writing. I myself is a choosy foodie and an absolute lover of traditional food. I love traveling and so wherever I travel I ensure that I taste the traditional dishes of that place. Indian spices are the magic ingredients which helped Indian Cuisines to gain international reputation. I love Indian food and love cooking them too.
Your research is impressive Dipali… what an outstanding effort to highlight the Forrest food trends of India. I was watching the latest master chef india n I realized how chefs are transforming regular/streetfood into fine dining recipes. I was impressed by their passion n creativity esp. chef Manish Mehrotra’s.
We are lucky to witness a variety of culinary merges within our country. Fusions do take place, merging the boundaries. The future of food is bright in India 🙂
This a very good step to revive the forgotten flavors and to incorporate in to the future so that the generations to come will also know the excellent standards of olden times recipes.
I totally agree with your post, OLD is GOLD! Not just in the culinary cuisine, but in our daily way of life everything Old is making a comeback, be it our ingredients, recipes, clothing, thoughts etc. and it surely is for the better.
A very informative post. We need to save the old recipes. The dishes we had as kids are not even there anymore. A couple of generations down the line and they would be completely lost.
It always makes me laugh how chefs alway come up with an exotic name for some really simple dishes one such example that you have mentioned here is for aloo tikki.
India has such a rich culinary heritage. It is great to see recipes and street food being revived. I recall my grandmother’s gobhi meat and even bhindi meat. Rarely see them anymore.
Wow, thank you for sharing the latest food trends in India. I have been meaning to revive my food blog for months now and I believe this is the right motivation I needed. I love cooking traditional recipes with locally sourced veggies, so it should be a good start for me. 🙂
I agree with the sustainability and local economic growth by emphasizing on usage of local ingredients. I love Thalis and almost all regional Thalis, be it Rajasthani, Bihari, Bengoli, Gujrati or Thalis of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh. 🙂
I guess one may say how diverse their cuisine is but how diverse Indian cuisine is comes in a different level. From the use of different spices, to the ingredients you use, one can’t deny that Indian cuisine is really a special one.
I agree, Dipali. I like this going back to our old kitchens and recipes. Fusion recipes are a result of that and youngsters are lapping it up as they present with a contemporary twist. Did you go to Daboo Ratnani’s event? Let us catch up sometime if you are free.
Old is gold there is a lot said in these words. I totally agree with you that we need to revive our traditional recipes to preserve our culinary heritage.
Interesting observations. I love your research and the post that is inspired by it.
Very well written article. Food is such a big part of us Indians. And as people are moving cities and regions, they are looking for flavours that will tickle their taste buds. Presentations and combinations are now a big part of making the food unique and determines the popularity of place too.
Wonderfully written. I am so glad that old recipes and processes are being revived. I think the trend will soon come in a big way in home kitchens also. I hope it does.
Thank you so much for your feedback, Sangeet.Yes, we can already see the trend seeping into our kitchens where we are documenting and using making heirloom family recipes for making food.