Is Finger Food the New Main Course?

Is Finger Food the New Main Course?

Ajay Chopra
Chef Ajay Chopra
Master Chef Ajay Chopra

Even though the existence of tapas (finger food) is 200 years old, it’s phenomenal to see the gaining popularity of this form of food. Convincing, appetizing, appealing, and most importantly, I feel finger food is proportional to variety. Finger food is more fun and convenient and in today’s time, given the rush people are in, the lifestyle they have makes no space for an elaborate, time-consuming spread.

Masala greem pea and missi mille feuille
Masala greem pea and missi mille feuille

Lounges and bars are more in today than fine dining restaurants, owing to the typical after-work party and socializing culture. It’s finger food that gives you the option to have a mixed spread of hot or chilled appetisers made from popular ingredients like cheeses, salad or meats. Smart restaurant entrepreneurs are realizing that having more options for tapas in the menu helps them to sustain the crowd more than having a typical main course menu. The little nibbles help them to gratify their hunger and sit for longer, relax and take the stress off. This definitely means more business.

Lotus stem shammy with chutney marinated pears
Lotus stem shammy with chutney marinated pears

More variety with a tapas menu definitely stimulates the customer’s palate and for the market that we are in, what can be better than infusing the Indian flavor in international culture. So where are we in India? With more and more gastro pubs opening, the after work drinking culture is really picking up. During my travels to the West and my stint in London, I saw that this is very common. The bars are flocked at 6 pm and then finger foods flow in and keep flowing in in the form of small or large portions.

Matar paneer ki tikki
Matar paneer ki tikki

I want to take Indian food to the next level. Many fellow chefs are successfully doing it as well. Indian food has progressed over a period and even Indians want to stay away from the unhealthy and stodgy Indian curries and biryanis. My search is to make Indian food delicately delectable. I have noticed that giving touches of the East to my food is an interesting approach. For instance, Kaffir lime chicken tikka, Naga spiced lamb chops, Staranise duck springrolls and many more…

Food is changing and changing every day… my thoughts are to keep it interesting, keep it small, keep it delicate, and keep it delectable.