Constant experimentation is probably the single biggest characteristic of AR Rahman’s career. The 50-year-old music composer made his film debut with Roja (1992), and among his early earworms was Urvasi Urvasi from Shankar’s Tamil film Kadhalan (1994). Rahman has reinvented the popular hit by releasing a new version on MTV Unplugged. The lyrics have been crowdsourced from fans, resulting in a song that, in a first for a composer known for his political correctness, has loaded lines that comment on demonetisation and the American elections set to the original refrain “Take it easy policy”.
Here are some translations of Urvasi Urvasi 2017: “Ainooru ruba sellama pona, take it easy policy” (If the Rs 500 note becomes useless, take it easy policy).
“Donald Trump president aana, take it easy policy” (If Donald Trump becomes president, take it easy policy).
“Kadalai naduvil battery theerndha, take it easy policy” (If the phone battery dies while flirting, take it easy policy).
“Belt potum veshti avuntha, take it easy policy” (If the dhoti slips despite wearing a belt, take it easy policy).
Some movie fans will miss the images that accompanied Urvasi Urvasi, which featured lead actor Prabhudeva dancing with abandon on the streets of Chennai and stalking and pawing college and school girls. With its trendy and irreverent lyrics, Urvasi Urvasi was tailor-made for young crowds in the early 1990s, who rode green Pallavan Transport Corporation buses to college and wore baggy pants, just like the dancing hero. The new version misses out on the sexist images, but retains the edge of the original tune through its contemporary lyrics.
Young Indians now like their traditional food with a twist
Indian food with international influences is here to stay.
With twenty-nine states and over 50 ethnic groups, India’s diversity is mind-boggling to most foreigners. This diversity manifests itself across areas from clothing to art and especially to food. With globalisation, growth of international travel and availability of international ingredients, the culinary diversity of India has become progressively richer.
New trends in food are continuously introduced to the Indian palate and are mainly driven by the demands of generation Y. Take the example of schezwan idlis and dosas. These traditional South Indian snacks have been completely transformed by simply adding schezwan sauce to them – creating a dish that is distinctly Indian, but with an international twist. We also have the traditional thepla transformed into thepla tacos – combining the culinary flavours of India and Mexico! And cous cous and quinoa upma – where niche global ingredients are being used to recreate a beloved local dish. Millennials want a true fusion of foreign flavours and ingredients with Indian dishes to create something both Indian and international.
So, what is driving these changes? Is it just the growing need for versatility in the culinary experiences of millennials? Or is it greater exposure to varied cultures and their food habits? It’s a mix of both. Research points to the rising trend to seek out new cuisines that are not only healthy, but are also different and inspired by international flavours.
The global food trend of ‘deconstruction’ where a food item is broken down into its component flavours and then reconstructed using completely different ingredients is also catching on for Indian food. Restaurants like Masala Library (Mumbai), Farzi Café (Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru) and Pink Poppadum (Bengaluru) are pushing the boundaries of what traditional Indian food means. Things like a kulcha pizza, dal chaawal cutlet and chutney foam are no longer inconceivable. Food outlets that stock exotic ingredients and brands that sell traditional Indian packaged snacks in entirely new flavours are also becoming more common across cities.
When it comes to the flavours themselves, some have been embraced more than others. Schezwan sauce, as we’ve mentioned, is now so popular that it is sometimes even served with traditional chakna at Indian bars. Our fascination with the spicy red sauce is however slowly being challenged by other flavours. Wasabi introduced to Indian foodies in Japanese restaurants has become a hit among spice loving Indians with its unique kick. Peri Peri, known both for its heat and tanginess, on the other hand was popularised by the famous UK chain Nandos. And finally, there is the barbeque flavour – the condiment has been a big part of India’s love for American fast food.
Another Indian snack that has been infused with international flavours is the beloved aloo bhujia. While the traditional gram-flour bhujia was first produced in 1877 in the princely state of Bikaner in Rajasthan, aloo bhujia came into existence once manufacturers started experimenting with different flavours. Future Consumer Limited’s leading food brand Tasty Treat continues to experiment with the standard aloo bhujia to cater to the evolving consumer tastes. Keeping the popularity of international flavours in mind, Tasty Treat’s has come up with a range of Firangi Bhujia, an infusion of traditional aloo bhujia with four of the most craved international flavours – Wasabi, Peri Peri, Barbeque and Schezwan.
Tasty Treat’s range of Firangi Bhujia has increased the versatility of the traditional aloo bhujia. Many foodies are already trying out different ways to use it as a condiment to give their favourite dish an extra kick. Archana’s Kitchen recommends pairing the schezwan flavoured Firangi Bhujia with manchow soup to add some crunch. Kalyan Karmakar sprinkled the peri peri flavoured Firangi Bhujia over freshly made poha to give a unique taste to a regular breakfast item. Many others have picked a favourite amongst the four flavours, some admiring the smoky flavour of barbeque Firangi Bhujia and some enjoying the fiery taste of the peri peri flavour.
Be it the kick of wasabi in the crunch of bhujia, a bhujia sandwich with peri peri zing, maska pav spiced with schezwan bhujia or barbeque bhujia with a refreshing cold beverage - the new range of Firangi Bhujia manages to balance the novelty of exotic flavours with the familiarity of tradition. To try out Tasty Treat’s Firangi Bhujia, find a store near you.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Tasty Treat and not by the Scroll editorial team.