Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

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Indian Intel Contemporary touches are creating renewed interest in Indian cuisine

Paneer, a fresh cheese common in India, makes an easy appetizer or bar snack. These sweet and tangy bites get a spicy kick from jalapeño.

As Indian cuisine makes moves here, these culinary terms may help with translation:

CHAAT: Snacks or small dishes originating from street stalls, chaat can include a wide range of savory or sweet bites, from fried potato to stuffed breads.

KULFI: Similar to ice cream, kulfi is made by boiling then freezing milk that is often flavored with cardamom, pistachio, mango or other fragrant ingredients.

MASALA: Meaning “mixture of spices,” masala can be any blend of Indian spices, sometimes ground to a paste.

PURI: An unleavened deep-fried bread made from wheat flour, puri puffs up when fried; it’s often eaten for breakfast.

SABZI JALFREZI: This veg-centric dish packs robust spice flavors, but looks less like a curry and more like a stir-fry.

THALI: Literally “plate,” thali refers to a meal made up of many small meat or vegetable dishes, perhaps with bread, rice or sweets, often served on a platter.

UTTAPAM: A thick pancake cooked with ingredients such as tomato or onion in the batter, usually eaten with chutney.

About The Author

Robin Schempp

Robin Schempp has always had a proclivity for exploring and enjoying the many expressions of the table, bench and tablet. For 20 years, she has shared her discoveries as president and principal of Right Stuff Enterprises, based in Waterbury, Vt., specializing in creative culinary concept and in product, menu and market development for food and beverage solutions. Robin regularly writes, speaks and teaches about food and culinary R&D. She is chair of the Slow Food Ark of Taste, vice chair of Chefs Collaborative, president emeritus of the Vermont Fresh Network and an active member of Research Chefs Association and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.