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Beyond Butter Chicken: Regional Indian Cuisine Makes a Global Splash

Filter coffee, rasmalai, and vada pav top international food lists – how does this impact the Indian food landscape? Experts weigh in.
Regional Indian Cuisine vada pav

For years, Indian fine dining has captivated international palates with its vibrant flavours and intricate techniques. But what about the everyday heroes – the regional Indian cuisine that fuel our streets and homes? This year, the global food scene took a delicious turn as Indian staples like vada pav, filter coffee, and rasmalai landed top spots on Taste Atlas’ prestigious food ranking lists. Vada pav, the humble potato patty in a pav bun, claimed the 19th spot on the 50 best sandwiches list, while the energising filter coffee secured the coveted second place on the Top 38 Coffees list. And for those with a sweet tooth, rasmalai, the delicate cheese dumplings in creamy milk, was crowned the world’s second-best cheese dessert!

But what does global recognition of regional Indian cuisine mean for the Indian food industry as a whole? We sat down with industry experts to delve into the impact this has on the future of Indian cuisine. Scroll down to hear their insights on how these regional stars are changing the culinary landscape, both within India and beyond.

Aditi Dugar, CEO & Owner, Masque and Sage & Saffron

Regional Indian Cuisine Aditi Dugar

Photo: Aditi Dugar

“I think there’s a newfound appreciation for the complexity and dexterity that goes into Indian cooking. We cook with a lot of layered flavours and nuance, even if that was overlooked for too long on the international stage. As a result, there is renewed pride in cooking and celebrating regional cuisines. I think this will translate into diversity and experimentation on our plates when we go out to eat.”

Chef Manish Mehrotra, Culinary Director, Indian Accent

Indian regional cuisine

Photo: Chef Manish Mehrotra

“Indian food was always popular in certain pockets of the world, but the knowledge was limited to just a handful of dishes like a chicken tikka masala or a vindaloo. The current shift is aiding a more nuanced understanding of Indian cuisine. It is bringing to the forefront regional variants, which in turn opens the door to a lot more avenues for the Indian food industry.”

Chef Rahul Rana, Avatara

Regional Indian Cuisine

Photo: Chef Rahul Rana

“I have observed a change in the understanding and appreciation of Indian cuisine given the amount of
creativity that Indian chefs have brought to the industry globally. In the years to come, I anticipate an international trend of Indian food taking over, similar to the rise in popularity of Japanese, Lebanese, and Peruvian cuisine.”

Chef Diptii Jadhav, Head Chef, Avartana

Chef Diptii Jadhav

Photo: Chef Diptii Jadhav

“The allure of Indian cuisine lies in its intricate use of spices that change at every 10kms through the landscape. Also, Indian cuisine, with its extensive array of vegetarian dishes, is at the forefront of the growing global movement towards plant-based diets.

Indian cuisine’s versatility is evident in the growing trend of fusion cuisine, where chefs blend traditional Indian flavours, local favourites with other culinary traditions.”