Friday, October 21, 2005

Anatomy of Fusion

Wagyu beef Biryani with sweet potato, cashew, mint and jamsmine rice in filo cups and dressed with saffron rose water and served with pickled red onion and sundried tomato raita. (photo by Equalizer)

Fusion or Confusion? I guess it really depends on the composition of ingredients. Good food is like good music, every ingredient has a note that when put together can create a beautiful symphony of orchestrated flavors. Instead of hearing the note, we taste it. I can compare this dish with the musical composition of Nitin Sawhney's Prophesy. So what goes in this subliminal dish that I categorize as fusion? Lets take a look.

Wagyu Beef
- Wagyu is a breed of cattle that produces prime grade beef that is usually marblized with fat, to give that juicy flavor.

Sweet Potato -
The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a crop plant whose large, starchy, sweet-tasting tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato.

Cashew -
Sweet, buttery, kidney-shaped nuts that grow from the bottom of the tropical cashew apple. The shells are toxic and always removed before the nuts are marketed. They are sold blanched, plain or toasted and are eaten out of hand; a popular ingredient in many Chinese dishes. Originally spread from Brazil by the Portuguese, the cashew tree today can be found in all regions with a sufficiently warm and humid climate.

Mint -
The true Mints are perennial herbs in the family Lamiaceae.The distinctive aromas of Peppermint and Spearmint are believed to improve concentration, relieve headaches, and reduce mental fatigue.Mint was well known and highly esteemed in the ancient world. We read in the Bible that Pharisees paid tithes of mint, anise, and cumin. In Greece, crushed mint leaves were used as perfume for the arms and to scent the bath.

Jasmine Rice -
A fragrant long grain rice from Thailand that is distinctly aromatic, soft and sticky when cooked.

Filo - Filo dough is that wonderful tissue-paper thin pastry that is used in baklava and other fabulous dishes.

Saffron -
The world’s most expensive spice, used to flavour and tint food, it is made of threads from the centre of the crocus flower.If you have ever wondered why this spice is so expensive (a kilo of the finest saffron costs nearly $6000), it is because each crocus has only three stigmas, each of which must be picked by hand and it takes over 500,000 stigmas to make a kilo of spice. Originally from Persia, it was introduced by the Arabs in Spain and the Persians in India.

Rose Water -
a liquid flavored with the oil of rose petals. It is used to flavor desserts in Balkan, Indian and Middle Eastern cooking.

Sundried Tomato -
Before modern canning methods were available, Italians dried tomatoes on their tile roofs for use in winter when fresh tomatoes were not an option. Nowadays, sun-dried tomatoes (pomodori secchi in Italian) are not as popular in Italy as they are in America, where they are mostly relegated to antipasto or as a flavor-booster for sauce. These dried concentrated vessels of flavor have enjoyed a popularity boost in the United States in the past couple of decades, initially as a gourmet item but fast becoming a favorite of home cooks.


Blogger Jan6a said...

17,000 calorie! witha btgooly smaller portions i dont wanna hear it ! hehe

10/21/2005 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger MissCosmoKuwait said...

any news about that bastard girl getting married?! I still can't get over the story..what is she stupid?? ma3koola eb hal ziman fee nass etfaker chithee?? Sorry..not related to your latest post..but I thought I'd ask for an update on the story..:)..thanks..

10/22/2005 03:24:00 AM  
Blogger Equalizer said...

Jan6a: LOL you know if I serve you a small portion and never mention there is alot more left, you wouldn't ask for it!

Misscosmo: Well I have no idea, like I said it was a story we heard :)

10/22/2005 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Jewaira said...

Very intriguing combination of ingredients.

I remember seeing a purple field of saffron flowers on India once. Gorgeous. And yes, each flower only has 3 stigmas.

10/22/2005 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Mama Fusla said...

Perfect anology Equal
Prophesy is the perfect song

Rose water on top, doesn't it need somethin a bit tangier?

10/22/2005 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger hibbalicious said...

that pic does NOT look appetising to me madri leesh the sauce looks bad

do u take pics of all the food u eat or what lol

10/22/2005 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger Blossom said...

Ok I love Biryani it is my fave ... when I first tried to my cook my own Biryani I used Rajah's Paste I must say it made my dish really mouth-watering !!!

P.S I have the same green plate!!!

10/23/2005 01:06:00 AM  
Blogger Equalizer said...

Jewaira: I really regret not visiting the Mancha region of Spain were saffron is grown, and where one of my favorite cheeses are made the Manchego.

Mama: You know I am open to your suggestions :p

Hibbalicious: mmmmm weird but I might understand why :S and yeah I try to take a pic of the stuff I create, coz I don't really remember :p

Blossom: I love biryani's too, it such a dynamic dish, its different in every region. I like it nice and rich. Are you sure its the same green plate? :p

10/23/2005 02:30:00 AM  
Blogger McArabian said...

I'm not a big fan of fusion food. Everytime some restuarant here ruins a good classic dish, they call it "fusion" :(

10/23/2005 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger Blossom said...

The point of mentioning the green plate that I never thought of using it as a Biryani dish ( Main dish)...ya3ni that was creative !

Anyway that was funny and u made me sound so... smart ?!:S

10/23/2005 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger hibbalicious said...

equalizer, please can u post a recipe of something nice i can cook for my dad tomorrow something nice n easy cos i cant cook lol i was reading through ur blog and half the stuff i dont even know wat the ingredients are lol im the worst cook ever

10/23/2005 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Mama Fusla said...

My main concern here is the consistency of the rose water which mite sepeate the flavours rather than bind them.
rose water in the sundried tomato raita..How about that?

I agree with McArabian, Fusion is used as a cover up for a lot of food. Sorry but food can never be misunderstood, no matter how weird the combination of ingredients!

10/23/2005 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger NYchick said...

great pic's
love the blog
may i ask what camera r u using plz

10/23/2005 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger NYchick said...

And Manchego? I think this is the beginning of a great friendship lol

10/23/2005 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger Erzulie said...

I don't read your blog now. I'm just here for the pictures. It's quite an ego-boost for you I suppose; everytime you check your blog, you have another drooling commentor praising your culinary skills :) Beware my friend, I'll be back soon...mission 'Kidnap the Cook' will be initiated in mid-December...

10/23/2005 11:14:00 PM  
Blogger Grandma Funk said...

It needs ketchup and mayo. Everything in this world needs ketchup and mayo.

Yeah I'm a simple person.

10/24/2005 01:40:00 AM  
Blogger Grandma Funk said...

Oh! Oh! Or I know! How about just the wagyu beef with ketchup and mayo?

Whoah... I'm good!

10/24/2005 01:44:00 AM  
Blogger Equalizer said...

McArabian: Unfortunately alot of chefs try to delve in the so called fusion foods, thus the confusion! I wasn;t aware of any fusion restaurants in Kuwait, except one with a failed attempt that for some reason choose to be running against unpopularity.

Blossom: That is the beauty of creative cooking, you use anything around you to serve your food. Thought of serving Tom Yum soup in a martini glass?

Hibbalicious: Ok, I hate doing this, but I will give you a quick idea that will taste mmmmm very good if you follow it well.

Fettucini pasta
1 Jar tomato sauce
1 250 ml single cream
4 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 sprig fresh rosemary
black pepper
grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta. cook all other ingredients for 10 minutes except parmesan. Mix with fettucine and sprinkle with parmesan. Go to dad. Serve dad.

Mama: you have great ideas you know that. Rose water unlike Eau de fleur (may zahar) is very strong if used without cooking, so in this case all we need is a trace of it. As for misunderstanding food it needs to speak to you in a universal language and not jibberish.

NYchick: Canon 300D. And I loooooove Manchego :p

Erzulie: LOL I better buy a taser gun!

10/24/2005 02:00:00 AM  
Blogger Equalizer said...

Grandmafunk: LOL I really need to take you to a nice French restaurant somewhere in Provence just too see the look on the maitre'ds face after you ask for the ketchup and mayo hahaha

10/24/2005 02:03:00 AM  
Blogger Mama Fusla said...


Perhaps great ideas but not much practice. Iskit, u don't wanna hear about my rack of lamb disaster last week! (I subtituted rose petal jam with fig jam, sarat 3aseeda..

wv: eggvn (How applicable)

10/24/2005 06:54:00 AM  
Blogger Peach said...

How come u never talk about things I like!! Like Mushrooms & bambooshoots & baby corn. Or at least Waraq 3inab bizzet!! ;/

baked potato & sour cream ;)))
mashed potato & gravy!
spagetti wid da meat balls!!
chicken fetochini!!!!
pasta & cheese!!!!!
cheese & cheese!!!!!!!
spanish unsalted olives! mmmm

Oh gosh I got myself so hungry!! on second thought! Don't talk about things I like! chithee o mo khalseen.. I Want Fooood!!!

10/24/2005 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger arooj said...

now this looks and sounds Goooodd...

what rest is this and where?

11/20/2005 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Equalizer said...

This is not a restaurant.....YET own creative cooking :)

11/20/2005 10:15:00 AM  

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