Nostalgic Deconstrution of Biriyani
Creating a menu which triggers Nostalgia is something beyond just taste, it would need more than just one sensory gland to justify memories; Sights, smells, sounds and textures have a huge influence in our enjoyment of food.
There are, however, limits to what one can do in the kitchen- improvisation by using various techniques which are new and acceptable gives the edge in recreating memories; I believe this is where Molecular Gastronomy proves it is here to stay in this ever evolving industry of culinary arts.
So when I got the opportunity to dream up a twelve course menu which was inspired by memories of my childhood; I needed to teleport back in time and pick a few out of the infinite number of possible variants, Not only all were comfort food but easy preparation manuals, Replicating a recipe is easy but to bring back a memory when the first bite hits the palate is a tricky affair.
Reverse Spherefication: It is submerging of a calcium rich content in an alginate bath to form a sphere- Raitha which has calcium content is submerged on sodium alginate to form a sphere, created a sphere using raitha with a touch of gluco without hampering the taste.
Dehydration: A process where any food substance is dried on low temperatures, until all the moisture is removed without hampering the colors and keeping most of the flavor intact, A dehydrator is an apt tool to get 100% of the desired results- I dehydrated green chillies and cucumber to obtain a dust similarity.
Metil gel -Gelifier extracted from the cellulose of vegetables. Unlike other gelifies, Metil (with a metilcellulose base) gelifies when heat is applied. When cold it acts as a thickener. There is a wide range of viscosity in metilcellulose, which affects the final result of the gelification, I created an amalgamation of sorts and added metil to Salan gravy, and heating it in front of the guest using a blow torch, and to top it fried a Shimla Mirch and topped it.
Infusion- A new technique recently applied by some chefs and bartenders is the rapid infusion with the ISI Whip, The most interesting feature about this technique is that, It proves that drastic cooling of an ingredient too will infuse flavours, Heat was the general factor in infusions but here the opposite just works better, This technique is not only simple, inexpensive and fast but it also captures the delicate fresh aroma compounds of the solid ingredient as it doesn’t require heat. Just put the solid flavourful ingredient in the ISI Whip, fill with the liquid to be infused, charge it with N2O, swirl, and wait for a minute or so, vent the gas out of the whippier and strain the infused liquid, I used this to create a Gram masala & saffron Oil with a touch of dehydrated tomato and onion powder, which are all the necessary culprits of a biryani and used this fat as a medium for Confit….Confit????