Influx of Indian Flavors

January 2018

With more and more diners looking for new tastes and food experiences, chefs are finding ways to innovate their staple dishes and introduce new flavors to the menu. Interestingly, Indian spices and flavors that have existed for centuries are still new to many diners, which opens the doors for chefs to innovate their menus and even new businesses.

While some restaurateurs will look to stake a claim in the Indian fast-casual market, the greatest opportunity lies in developing recipes that bring in different flavors. And although curry is one of the most recognizable of these spices, consumers are looking beyond curry dishes to explore more of what Indian cuisine has to offer, giving chefs a wider profile to create new menu favorites.

According to Datassential, Indian spices have been on the rise for the past four years. Cumin has grown on menus by 44%, cardamom increased by 14% and turmeric’s incidence went up by 93%. The challenge for chefs is to introduce these new flavor profiles without overwhelming their customers with something too unfamiliar. The balance works best with staple ingredients, such as turkey, infused with Indian inspiration.

Here are ways you can do just that:

  • Turkey Shawarma: Cardamom and cumin give this roasted turkey bold flavor. Wrap in a pita, drizzle with tzatziki, toss on some red cabbage slaw and serve for lunch or dinner.
  • Curried Turkey with Roasted Vegetables: With curry, cardamom and cinnamon, this hearty dish is a perfect way to introduce Indian cuisine to diners who want to experience something new without venturing too far from their comfort zone.
  • White Turkey Burger with Cranberry Chili Chutney: This entrée brings all the familiarity of turkey and cranberry with a delicious twist of spices that make each bite a new experience.

Browse our Culinary Center to find even more ways to bring unique flavors to your menu, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn to stay up to date on our latest culinary creations.


Global Cuisines Study, Datassential, 2017.

Consultants Predict 11 Hottest Food & Beverage Trends in Restaurant & Hotel Dining for 2018, Baum + Whiteman, 2017.

Glazer, Fern. Indian flavors gradually gain favor on menus, Nation’s Restaurant News, September 2015.

Mehrotara, Manish. What Works, What Doesn’t When it Comes to Indian Food, FSR, January 2017.

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