Care for a Pav bhaji fondue or Pani Puri served with a syringe and a test tube? Or perhaps a Blue Cheese naan or a Dodha barfi treacle tart? Confused with these absurd pairings? Say Hello to Molecular Gastronomy!
Pav Bhaji Fondue at SpiceKlub
Pani Puri at SpiceKlub
Dodha Barfi Treacle Tart with Daulat ki Chaat at Indian Accent
That’s the reaction I got from most of my friends when I asked them to describe Molecular Gastronomy. When asked what they associate with Molecular Gastronomy, here’s what they had to say!
Molecular Gastronomy in simple words is using new tools and methods to play around with the textures of food and give a contemporary spin to conventional recipes. It’s a science where culinary experts experiment with the impact of physical and chemical processes on ingredients to whip up innovative dishes. Like the sinful Jalebi Caviar at Masala Library where the jalebi (a batter fried, coil shaped India sweet steeped in sugar syrup) is served in the form of caviar immersed in rabri (condensed milk based sweet) and topped with saffron foam. Or the Farzified Vada Pav (a patty made of spicy potato deep fried in gram flour batter served inside a small bread) at Farzi Cafe which is paav stuffed inside the vada! Being a Jalebi fan, I absolutely love the texture when it takes the form of caviar. And, the pairing with the rabri is delicious. *drools*
Jalebi Caviar at Masala Library
Farzified Vada Pav at Farzi Cafe
What’s the big deal?
This is a trend that has taken all of us by storm and the long queues outside restaurants and the advance bookings required bear testimony to this! I remember we didn’t end up going to Spice Klub in Lower Parel for months at end, because there was no table availability. Apart from the novelty factor of an innovative modern cuisine, aesthetics also play an important role. At a time when food not only needs to be tasty but Instagram worthy, chefs have toyed around with different plating styles and the appearance of food. Imagine the joy when your baigan bharta appears in a little cone topped with goat cheese or you are served a pot of bubbling kulfi with a dry ice bottom to be paired with dips like blueberry, chocolate and caramel! It is this visual treat that is luring diners to restaurants dishing up experimental cuisine.
L to R: Baigan Bharta with goat cheese mousse at Indian Accent and Bubbling Kulfi at SpiceKlub
Global twist to desi food
In India, molecular gastronomy has helped revive Indian cuisine on the dining out front. Whenever I go out with friends or family, the general mindset is to go to a restaurant serving an international cuisine like Asian or European. Because, Indian food is readily available at home. But, I feel this is changing with the global twist to Indian dishes. The Khandvi Ravioli at Indian Accent is outstanding where khandvi sheets are used instead of ravioli sheets. And so is the wasabi and cucumber raita; it may seem like a bizarre amalgamation but the flavours go together very beautifully. At Farzi Cafe, I had the most delicious cheesecake- it was a chunky layer between two Parle G biscuits dunked in saffron rabri and sprinkled with gems. So much nostalgia 🙂
Khandvi Ravioli at Indian Accent
Parle G Cheesecake at Farzi cafe
Today eating out is no longer about putting together a delicious meal appealing to one sensory organ i.e your taste buds. Food is transcending to a holistic sensory experience where chefs are going all out to whip up fresh dishes that can arouse your curiosity. Also, there is an emphasis on palette cleansers that can help you open up your senses and truly relish the flavours of the dish. And diners and food enthusiasts are welcoming this trend with open arms! So here’s to more experimental culinary adventures!
Amuse Bouche- Misti Doi shots at Farzi Cafe
A pomegranate sorbet as a palette cleanser at Indian Accent
Top Molecular Gastronomy Restaurants in India you ought to try!
- Indian Accent, Delhi– Is on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants List (Chef- Manish Mehrotra). Opt for the Tasting Menu
- Farzi Cafe, Delhi, Mumbai (Chef Zorawar Kalra). Must haves- Vada Pav Farzified, Spaghetti Aglio Olio e cocco, Parle G Cheesecake
- Masala Library, Mumbai (Chef Jiggs Kalra). Opt for the Tasting Menu
- SpiceKlub, Mumbai. Must haves- Pav Bhaji Fondue, Naanza, Kala Khatta Mojito, Chocolate Cake Soap
Which is the best molecular gastronomy restaurant you’ve been to?