The chaat trolley at Tresind is an example of molecular gastronomy and innovation within Indian cuisine in fine dining restaurants. The chaat trolley at Tresind is an example of molecular gastronomy and innovation within Indian cuisine in fine dining restaurants.

How popular is Indian cuisine in the Middle East?

Wassim Issa, food & beverage manager, Maharaja by Vineet, Mövenpick Hotel Al Khobar: The Indian culinary scene is popular due to the large influx of Indian expatriates in these countries.

Bhupender Nath, CEO and owner, Tresind: Indian food over the decades has travelled far and wide, and is available at most international destinations and the Middle East is one of them. Also the UAE has an estimated population of two million Indians — 42% of the total UAE population.

Jitin Joshi, executive chef, Taj Dubai: Indian cuisine is not only popular in the Middle East, but globally well established. In the Middle East, one can discover a lot of common ground in the cultures and cuisines. Turkish, Lebanese, Emirati have many ingredients that connect them to the Indian subcontinent; probably owing to the Spice Trail or the Silk Route that runs through the region.

Are there any trends in Indian cuisine you are seeing emerge? What are they?

Feroz Khan, head chef, Claypot: Indian street food, also referred to as ‘chaat’, has always been popular among Dubai residents, nationality notwithstanding. There are so many different dishes to try and a variety of flavours to experience.

Vishal Rane, head chef, La Porte des Indes: There has been an increased focus on healthy food and this can be seen across all cuisines. Indian cuisine is not conventionally associated with health and wellness, but chefs today are working on creating dishes that strike the balance between being healthy and flavourful.

Joshi: “Evolved gastronomy” as I call it; has made its way into Indian dining scene; these restaurants are definitely standing out and making waves. Creativity, deconstructing and reconstructing is a trend which is here to stay.

Gaurav Singh, brand chef, Zafran Dubai: The recent trend in the UAE is molecular gastronomy which has been used as a tool to present the food in a different and modern way. This is a very interesting and a newer form of presentation as it presents Indian food in different textures.

Nath: Amongst the oldest in the world, Indian cuisine is known for its taste and texture using traditional forms of cooking. But with the passage of time, various new cooking methods, techniques and styles have been incorporated.

Many guests as well as industry professionals have commented that it is hard to find “fine dining” Indian restaurants that are popular...

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