While the Chinese have been visiting India for millennia in search of Buddhist teachings, Yang Tai Chow was the first recorded Chinese to migrate to India for better material prospects. In 1778, he put down roots in Kolkata. Known at the time as Calcutta, it was the then-capital of British India and the most easily accessible metropolitan area from China by land.
As all immigrant communities tend to do, the Chinese assimilated Indian sensibilities and beliefs. They even acknowledged one of our goddesses, Kali, as their own, and offered noodles, chopsuey, rice and vegetable dishes in rituals as a sign of unity. And so it was with food that the Sino-Indian cultural fusion began.
About 85 years ago, the Indian culinary world was affected by a new cuisine. The first Indo Chinese restaurant Eau Chew opened in Kolkata.
Indian Chinese food wasn’t just served by restaurants big and small, but also by handcart owners, highway food stalls and mobile Chow Mein vans boasting imaginative names like Hungry Eyes and Dancing Stomach. Classic Mumbai street food now even has Chinese versions with “Chinese bhel” and “Sichuan dosa.”
Why is it so popular?
Quick to figure out that Indians love spicy, oily preparations, the Chinese merely masala-fried and greased their cuisine into a glutinous, winning combination.
He popped the fried chicken dumplings back into the sauce and gave it a quick stir so that the flavors came together and served it with steamed or fried rice. The customers loved it. As Nelson says, “word of mouth” spread the acclaim of this dish and today it is found in almost every menu that serves Chinese food in the country.
असे ७ चायनीज पदार्थ कि जे भारतात खूप प्रसिद्ध आहेत कि जे चायना ने ऐकलेले सुद्धा नाहीत.
कॉन्टिनेंटल आणि मेक्सिकनला मागे टाकत चिनी खाद्य हे भारतातील सर्वात लोकप्रिय परदेशी पाककृती आहे जे दुसर्या स्थानावर येते. असे दिसते आहे की आम्ही त्यांच्या देशाचा सन्मान करण्यापेक्षा त्यांच्या अन्नावर अधिक प्रेम करतो. पण ही कहाणी राजकारणाकडे वळण्यापूर्वी आपण येथे खाणारे चिनी पदार्थ खरे आहेत काय? उत्तर नाही आहे.जेव्हा चीनी परप्रांतीय कलकत्ता येथे स्थायिक झाले आणि स्थानिक चव अनुरुप एक पाककृती विकसित केले तेव्हा भारतीय चीनी खाद्यपदार्थाचा जन्म झाला. हे फक्त भारतापुरते मर्यादित नव्हते; स्थानिक लोकांच्या अभिरुचीनुसार पारंपारिक पाककृतींचे हे पुनर्जागरण अमेरिका, युरोप आणि दक्षिणपूर्व आशियात घडले ज्यामध्ये गरीब लोकांच्या कम्युनिस्ट काळापासून चीनी लोकांचे प्रचंड स्थलांतर झाले.जेव्हा आपण भारतातील चायनीज रेस्टॉरंटमध्ये जेवताना सर्वात लोकप्रिय डिश नेहमीच तळलेले नूडल्स, तळलेले तांदूळ, कोंबडी किंवा भाजीपाला काही मसालेदार जाड सॉसमध्ये भाज्या असतात ज्या भाज्या देखील मरतात तळल्या जातात. या सर्वांमध्ये काय समान आहे? ते सर्व चवने भरलेले आहेत आणि कित्येक साहित्य एकत्र करतात. हे आपल्याला थोडीशी भारतीय पाककृतीची आठवण करून देते?
1. Vegetarian Hakka Noodles.
Stir-fried noodles with sliced vegetables, and sometimes, egg. We eat it mixed with spicy sauces just like we eat chappati with subzi. Believe it or not, this dish is eaten as street food in the mainland, and is a quick and simple dish for mothers to get rid of leftover vegetables and noodles. Noodles are not always eaten as a part of a meal but if it is, it is eaten in a bowl in broth or in dry form with a thick sauce or paste to add some flavour. Mind you, the noodles are not stir fried. It’s like a meal in a bowl with chunks of vegetables, tofu and meat that add as side dishes. Condiments of dried chilli paste, chillies soaked in soya sauce and sweet chillies are served on the side in case the diner would like to customize the intensity of the flavour.
2. Vegetarian Manchurian.
The Manchurian, a.k.a, a ball of smashed cauliflower and sliced cabbage coated in flour and deep fried to be finally dunked in a thickened concoction of soya sauce. The far eastern cousin of the beloved kofta. “I love Manchurian with noodles”, declares Rajarshi, as he orders the dish in question at a vendor’s stall. Little does he know that Manchurian are a people in China who hail from the north-eastern part of the country. Perhaps in a parallel universe, the Chinese have developed a cuisine where Indian food is suited to their tastes. I wouldn’t be surprised if they love sweet and spicy chicken skewers called ‘punjabi’.
3. Sweet corn chicken soup.
The classic favourite that is now available in sachets. Pour in some hot water and you’re good to go. This sweetened soup with corn egg and chunks of chicken is not the same in China. In the mainland, soups remain thin and hearty as herbs and meats are braised to perfection. They are generally eaten with rice and make up a wonderful meal for those who are watching their weight. In India, a soup must be a starter to a Chinese meal.
4. Chilli chicken.
Deep fried chicken nuggets tossed in a thick concoction of soya sauce and spices galore. What else can we expect from Indian-Chinese food? Chicken dishes in China rarely come dunked in sauce. Since the Chinese don’t like to waste, the offal of the bird are usually used to prepare dishes like chilli chicken and they are dirt cheap. Chicken is roasted, barbequed (char sieuw) with a sweet sauce or steamed. It is then neatly sliced and served with rice and condiments. This is a perfect example of how traditional food focuses on the main ingredient and doesn’t try to over power it with other flavours.
5. Chilli paneer.
The vegetarian substitute of chilli chicken, paneer is probably unheard of in China and is available as cottage cheese at fancy grocery stores. Tofu is popular in China and makes an appearance everywhere, even in dessert. The Sichuan province in China specialises in a dish called Mapo Tofu and it’s as simple as chilli paneer. The sauce is prepared from broad bean paste known as doubanjiang and Sichuan peppercorns.
6. Sweet and sour sauce.
Another popular gravy that is used for soups and sauces for chicken and vegetables. It’s made from tomato ketchup and chilli sauce. Sweet and sour sauce in china is dark and uses soya sauce as well as citrus fruits to get a sour taste. Agar and sugar are also added to get sweetness that is in perfect harmony with the tartness. It is best enjoyed with seafood.
7. American Chopsuey.
As kids we loved it! Crispy noodles with a thick sauce similar to sweet and sour and topped off with a fried egg. Crispy noodles are not foreign to China but make a rare appearance. To mark the lunar new year, families toss colourful and crispy noodles on a platter as a wish for prosperity. They also make an appearance in a hotpot of viscous soup that is filled with vegetables.
6 health issues Chinese food is giving you
We love Chinese food, especially the Indianised version! Noodles, rice, soups — name it and your mouth starts watering. But irrespective of its taste and how much we love eating it, you cannot neglect the fact that it can be unhealthy and can have adverse effects.