Cheese and Indian food
Cheese had made its way into Indian food one could say at the deep end. Chances are you have heard that cheese has made its way into the cornerstone of a healthy Punjabi breakfast, the Paratha. One would think that of it as the unlikeliest of combinations. But doesn’t this make absolute sense, cheese and bread isn’t it? However some other combinations are much more innovative and almost whacky. For example the cheese dosa, this is quite an unlikely combination. Though a much loved one, some say it is even inherently evil in its addictive taste. Of course these are combinations which have regional appeal to particular parts of the country. The well travelled Indian may appreciate both ends of the spectrum. A paratha stuffed with cheddar cheese appreciated with a nice “aam ka achar” by Indians, is a reality. The same paratha might be enjoyed by someone from England with a splash of ketchup or marmite. This is the beauty of food, ingredients from afar making something likeable in other countries. Another delicious and completely logical combination is the cheese vada pav, the staple snack of Mumbai with a twist. The vada pav in a Western context is a little potato burger, put together with a little cheese the flavours change quite noticeably. Purists may accuse the matchmakers of such partnerships of committing Blasphemy. The question is that shouldn’t we embrace change and innovation as a part of life.
Take for example the cheese pakora, which can be served in an Indian cocktail party alongside the traditional chicken tikka’s and seekh kebab’s. We don’t see a whole lot of people complaining here, this may perhaps also be because of the cocktail part of it. The transition of cheese to typically Indian food, is attributed in part to innovative chefs. Also a large aspect of this is the vast array of food that we make on the sub continent. The combinations will continue from cheese filled momo’s (now an Indian street food), to Kolkatta style chicken and egg rolls with cheese. Cheese has also made a sinful relationship with Bhatura’s and Puri’s, this is a combination for the strong hearted. Its definitely not for ones with a sedentary life style. Talking about combinations, is there such a thing as a cheese samosa or a Indo-Chinese stir fried cheese-vegetable thing? I am not sure but my guess is there is so much that goes on in the millions of kitchens across the country that anything is possible. So whilst there are all kinds of unreal combinations going around one can continue trying to innovate with the uses of cheese. The possibilities are as limited or as expansive as one’s imagination.
We would love to hear from you, please write into us with what you have been doing with cheese in your kitchen. What your favourite cheese is and how you use it. Send us recipes, we would only put it through a cheesy little test before publishing it here with your name.