These crisp pillows of deep-fried dough are one of India’s most famous street foods and are making their way onto mainstream menus. They are packed with flavour, often vegan and cheap to make. Traditionally, they are filled with
a curry made from chickpeas or a spicy potato salad. They are then topped with different watery sauces and finished with sweet chutney, often made with date and tamarind. Chefs are making the most of the snap and crunch and balancing this with smooth fillings that include ice cream and chocolate or guacamole and salsa. Look out for fillings like cold, creamy vegetable mousse topped with crunchy deep-fried coconut and chilli. Try serving panipuri with small bowls of different fillings and condiments so diners can DIY their own snacks at the table.
By combining top-quality ingredients with old-fashioned pastry techniques, chefs are turning out pies made from lamb, lobster, prime beef and subcontinental-inspired pies are very popular, especially butter chicken and veggie korma. The secret to popular posh pies is in the name. It should be double barrelled and simply sound tasty. Examples include duck and pinot, beef and red wine, pork, sage and apple, truffle egg and bacon, and prawn mornay.
Pandan or pandanus is a tropical plant with aromatic leaves used to flavour dishes from Sri Lanka to Malaysia. The long, green, strap-like leaves are used in many different ways to add layers of flavour to both savoury and sweet dishes. A classic Thai dish is pandan chicken, where seasoned chicken pieces are wrapped in the leaves, skewered, then deep-fried. Pieces of leaves are simmered in coconut milk, imparting their sweet, heady aroma. The milk is then used in desserts and curries.
OCTOPUS & LOBSTER
Lobster risotto, lobster rolls, lobster soup and lobster salad are all ways of putting the enticing name of this luxurious seafood on the menu in an economical way. Chefs are also using octopus tentacles and stuffing the head with offcuts and breadcrumbs to make octopus terrine.
Source: Bidfood AU (appetiser magazine)