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Now a jugalbandi in cuisine

By KG Suresh | Last Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 08:37
KG Suresh

The tradition of Jugalbandi has been in vogue in India for a long time. It’s essentially an on stage partnership when two skilled musicians, of more or less the same callibre, perform together. The word literally means “entwined twins”. This duet of Indian classical music could either be vocal or instrumental.

Performance of Jugalbandi in Carnatic and Hindustani styles of music is a regular feature in all major cities. Jugalbandi by artists of equal footing using different instruments, has received acclaim the world over. One of the most widely acclaimed jugalbandi concerts were of those between Sitar Maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar and sarod wizard Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Unlike in a solo performance where the accompanist plays the second fiddle, in jugalbandi, both musicians act as lead players, and a playful competition exists between the two performers.

Such is the popularity of Jugalbandis that the partnership now has been extended between dancers and musicians and even between painters and musicians.

In the West, fusion genre of music that combined two or more styles has become popular down the ages. Rock and Roll originally developed as a fusion of blues, gospel and country music. The salient features of fusion genres are variations in tempo and rhythm. In fact, Fusion music as a genre broadened the definitions of jazz, rock, and pop music.

Like music and dance, Fusion cuisine, a combination of various forms of cookery, is gaining prevalence in several forms across the globe. Regional fusion combines different cuisines of a region or sub-region into a single eating experience.

In many parts of the United States, United Kingdom and Australia with large immigrant populations, Asian fusion restaurants, which combine the various cuisines of different Asian countries, have become hugely popular. They feature South Asian, East Asian, and South-East Asian dishes alongside one another. Also on offer are dishes that are inspired combinations of such cuisines. Foods based on one culture, but prepared using ingredients and flavors inherent to another culture, are also considered a form of fusion cuisine.

Back home, in saddi Dilli, the avant garde menu, at eau de Monsoon, the contemporary Indian restaurant at Le Meridien, has become the talk of the town.

Designed by a Bangladesh born celebrity chef from Australia, Opel Khan, the avant garde cuisine features authentic India flavours in truly international style.

Avant-garde represents a pushing of the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo, primarily in the cultural realm.

In Avant Garde cuisine. Khans infuses Indian style of cooking, use of raw ingredients and spices with a very modern way of presentation thereby taking the dining experience to a whole new level.

From diverse starters, mains that cover both classic Indian curries and avant-garde palates, to scrumptious desserts- each dish is a culinary experience in itself.

Then, there is a wine tasting room where the restaurant’s sommelier guides the guest through a wide array of wines from across the world and the wines are paired with Indian food-a departure from the usual concept of Indian cuisine.

Starters, vegetarian, non-vegetarian and South Indian, have such mouth watering names such as ‘Chicken Tikka layered with poori bread and cucumber raita jelly’; Deconstructed Samosa, green peas, tomato churney and Dosa Millefeulle, coconut foam, curry leave.

The Avant Garde mains on offer include Tandoori Chicken, potato terrine, tomato and cucumber jelly; Madras curry, artichoke, asparagus, steamed snow pea; Palak paneer, potato terrine, tomato and cucumber jelly and vegetable korma, almond milk custard, flaky crostine.

Among the delectable desserts on the menu are chocolate pave, clove kulfi, pistachio snow; Pineapple jalebi, caramelita galeto, chocolate thandai et al.

In a gourmet country like India, where Punjabis have innovated and created a Paneer Dosa and Malayalees have made Parota out of the Northern Parathas, the Avant Garde cuisine is certain to get many followers.

First Published: Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 08:37

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