Decoding Indian charcuterie boards with an international accent - Hindustan Times
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Decoding Indian charcuterie boards with an international accent

May 25, 2023 12:13 AM IST

Some of the busiest have been crafting charcuterie boards, overflowing from samosas to parippu vadas hailing from southern India. Take a look.

Since the start of this decade, the desification of international dishes has sprung up a new food culture of localisation—a term commonly used for food items that are modified or adapted to suit a specific country’s flavour profile. Long adapted by multinational corporation to align food products with the cultural demands of a target market, the trend has now swiftly embedded itself among home chefs and food content creators who are personalising global food concepts for Indian tastebuds. Some of the busiest have been crafting charcuterie boards, overflowing from samosas to parippu vadas hailing from southern India.

Decoding Indian charcuterie boards with an international accent
Decoding Indian charcuterie boards with an international accent

With love, from Kerala

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Mumbai-based chef Marina Balakrishnan brings a slice of Malabar on her snacking board with bite-sized orottis (rice-coconut rotis), Malabar parottas, parippu vadas (daal vadas) seasonal veggies, banana stem cutlets and more. She uses chutneys such as the spicy coconut chammanthi and puli inji (tangy tamarind dip) to celebrate traditional flavours. “Charcuterie boards always inspired me with their vibrant aesthetics. I thought why not reinvent and do something around your own food instead of copying something that already exists. I added the essence of my region to a European concept,” says the chef who does grazing boards for weddings, birthday celebrations and corporate gatherings.

Decoding Indian charcuterie boards with an international accent
Decoding Indian charcuterie boards with an international accent

Luxury platters helmed by ingredients from local artisans

Putting together platters that showcase homegrown flavours ranging from Bombay sandwiches to an assortment of paans, Delhi-based Aakriti Todi’s expertise lies in preparing gourmet boards and platters done up with flavours from all across India. Her celebratory Naashta platters feature items like Vada Pao, Surti sev khamani, Galouti kabab, Podi idli skewers, Matra kachori, Kesariya phirni and Boondi pista rabri bake. “The concept of charcuterie or plattering up different dishes to create a gourmet experience allows you to not only be creative with what you put up but also allows for an opportunity to showcase unique Indian flavours,” says the entrepreneur who co-founded The Lemon Bowl, a bespoke pre-platter service that offers multi-cuisine boards for events and weddings.

Tea time with a Chai-cuterie board?

Food content creator Kamana Bhaskaran is taking the internet by storm with her themed Indian charcuterie platters all the way from San Francisco in California. Her platters cater to special occasions, festivities and even the time of the day like her Chai-cuterie board which features your preferred chai, cookies, biscuits, samosas and flavorful bhel puri cups. It is further layered with a variety of chaat crispies and any remaining space is filled with jeera puffs, mithai (Indian sweets), and spicy makhana (lotus seeds). “I thought there are cheese boards, there are hot cocoa boards, so why not create a Chaat board! The first Chaat-cuterie Board went viral with over 1 million views and since then I have created Desi Date Night board, Friendsgiving Chaat-cuterie, Holiday Chaat-cuterie, and more,” says Bhaskaran.

A desi charcuterie board with modern dips and an international accent

Blogger and food content creator Chhavi Vashisht embraced the trend of creating desi charcuterie boards or Indian grazing platters by taking the innovative concept on a modern, festive spin. From cheese elements such as hung yoghurt dip and baked Brie with mango chutney to an array of delectable dips and chutneys like green chutney, mango chutney, and tamarind chutney, her “giant platter of all things Indian” are perfect for any celebratory occasion. Crispy treats like chakli, nuts, khakra, and pickles add a delightful crunch, while samosas, tikkis, or kebabs serve as substantial fillers. For a refreshing touch, palate cleansers like cucumbers and carrots make an appearance. To add a fruity flair, she adds grapes, mangoes, and guavas to bring a burst of natural sweetness.

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