As the fourth most popular takeaway in the UK, we all know Indian cuisine is a key player on the British food scene. But it’s not just classics such as Korma and Tikka Masala that are capturing the hearts of the nation, Indian cuisine is evolving to meet the demands of a much wider consumer demographic.
Gemma Young, senior customer marketing manager at food wholesaler Bidfood suggests that Indian cuisine has huge potential ready to be unlocked by caterers.
“Current innovations in Indian cuisine are seeing chefs moving away from more traditional dishes to fresh, lighter styles. In fact, this contemporary form of Indian cooking is expected to be one of the top five fastest growing cuisines within the eating out sector in the next three to five years. It’s an extremely versatile concept, enabling caterers to infuse punchy Indian flavours into areas of the menu previously underexplored, such as breakfast, desserts and handheld options for on the go.”
“English dishes with an Indian twist are increasingly coming to the fore with consumers looking for unusual food choices that they can easily identify with. For example, our Eggs Kejriwal (eggs on toast with spices and cheese), Lamb Mughlai Sliders (an innovative take on the traditional burger) and Cinnamon and Sultana Bread & Butter pudding take classic and familiar dishes and transport them to new levels of intrigue, by adding bold tastes and new flavour profiles.”
Ensuring on-the-go stays on-trend
“We all know that B&I caterers need to provide a host of enticing grab and go options to keep up with workers’ busy schedules and street food is perfect for this.
“Caterers would be missing a trick by not incorporating Indian into their offer. Exploring spiced chargrilled meat and vegetables as part of a salad or street food wrap for example, is a great way to include an enticing healthier option on the menu. This concept can also be easily adapted into interesting and fresh options for buffets, as well as event and conference catering.”
Giving vegan options a modern Indian feel
“When it comes to vegan and dairy-free, offering one or two options simply won’t cut it on menus today. Driven by the rising proportion of people living as vegans – which has increased by 360% in the past decade – operators need to enable those with dietary requirements or preferences to enjoy the latest trends with a selection of strong and tempting menu choices.
“To achieve this, it can be helpful to strip back a dish to start from a vegan or vegetarian base and then offer diners the choice to add meat, fish or cheese to suit their preference. For example, B&I caterers could create a vegetable curry using the Holy Cow! Kashmir Rogan Josh Curry Sauce and offer the chance to add lamb or paneer. Working in this way not only allows everyone to feel included – regardless of food preference or dietary requirement – but it taps into the increasing consumer desire to customise.”
By Gemma Young, senior customer marketing manager at food wholesaler Bidfood