Along my travels in the restaurant world, I was given a lesson by a chef, who told me, "steal with your eye's and your ears!" I tried to follow that strategy, all the while interepreting and evolving. One particular theft I took from him (using both eyes and ears) involved a condiment made from frying shallots for a fusion-inspired fish dish.
Flash-forward to my cooking life today and I'm still using this same method. Over time, I have come to embellish it with sliced garlic, and julienned ginger. More recently I have added chopped cashews, coconut and even curry to make a variation of vadouvan. Vadooo-what? Yeah, my same thoughts until I'd seen and heard of it from several chefs. So while making a meal at my mothers I made some vadouvan or a derivitive loosley interepreted. Which reminded me of that condiment.