Most of the taste in food lies in its visuals. Adding a little bit of garnishing to your dish makes it far more appetizing and increases its overall appeal. Usually consisting of an edible component, garnishes brighten the plate, give a clue of the flavour of the meal, complement the taste of the dish or fill empty space on the plate.

Food photographers, take note: Garnishing your dish the right way is really important for food photography. It brings life to the dish and will make the dish way more photogenic.

Here are three basic rules for garnishing your dish:

  • Garnishes should be edible. If it is not then there is no point putting it on the plate as it could prove hazardous if consumed by mistake. Even if you decide to put a non edible garnishing on your dish, make sure it is easily distinguishable like a colourful cocktail umbrella.
  • Garnishes should enhance the flavour of the dish. If it doesn’t enhance the flavour then there isn’t much use of adding it to your dish. A different flavoured garnish will simply change the overall taste of the dish. For example, sweet garnishes will go best with desserts.
  • Garnishes should add colour and texture to the dish it will accompany. Choose garnishes that do not break the first two rules. For example, use a bright coloured garnish for a light coloured dish or a crisp garnish for a soft textured dish.

Finding a perfect garnish for your dish may take some time since it is mostly about trial and error. Do not worry! We give you a few quick ideas for garnishing your favourite dish.

  • Pickled Onions are onions mixed with spices and dipped in vinegar. They go best with tandoori chicken and kebabs.
  • A single sprig of mint broken fresh from the plant is a very suave way to present your soups. It adds a bit of flavour to the soup too!
  • Delicately sprinkling some chopped coriander leaves on your curry is one of the most basic ways to garnish a dish. Goes well with Mughlai cuisine and Indian curries.
  • Fried onions are an amazing garnish for any dish! Just fry your thinly sliced onions for 10 minutes and you get your delicately flavoured garnish. Perfect for biryanis!
  • Fried dry fruits can be used to garnish desserts, pulao and many Indian curries. Just soak them in water and fry them in ghee!

Though underappreciated, garnishes are extremely important for food presentation since it’s not only about eating but also feasting your eyes with the food. Follow these simple rules and start off with these simple ideas to garnish your dishes and surprise your friends and family with your new found culinary skills!