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What is Indo-Chinese Cuisine?

6 years ago 2180 Views No comments
Indo Chinese Cuisine

Indian food has been influenced by Chinese elements that date back to centuries ago. Today this popular fusion of Indo-Chinese cuisine is named Chinese chaat that is usually sold on road side stalls in the form of savoury snacks. The word chaat comes from Hindi origins.

Some of the popular dishes for Indo-Chinese cuisine include paneer which is an Indian based curd cheese served with sliced chillies, noodles and onions. Another type of Indo-Chinese cuisine is chicken drumsticks that have been marinated in soy and chilli sauce and the coated in a masala mixture before being deep fried.

Sichuan sauce is a popular addition to a lot of the Indo-Chinese cuisine meals. This sauce consists of ginger, garlic, chilli paste, tomato puree, sugar and vinegar. Indian dosas which are pancakes made from lentils and rice take an interesting twist when served Indo- Chinese style as they are served wrapped around Chinese noodles.

A popular Indian dish that is served and goes by the name of Aloo chaat is fried potato’s that have been cubed and served with chutney and spices. Chinese chat takes on a new version and the potato’s are cut into French fry shapes and then soaked in sweet, sour and spicy sauce before being fried.

The fusion of Indo-Chinese cuisine is not recommended for people that are health conscious as there are a lot of oils and spices added to the food. It is however very cheap and extremely tasty way of eating.

In India food is not as readily available on the streets as it is in China and street food is not as common. So Indo-Chinese cuisine takes inspiration from areas in Asia such as Hong Kong where food is easily available and affordable at the same time.

Some dishes that are served in Chinese restaurants in India take on more of an Indian taste and it is hard to taste the connection of Indian and Chinese fusion. Some of these dishes include chicken Manchurian or vegetarian dishes such as cauliflower Manchurian.

Indo-Chinese cuisine became popular back in 1975 a chef in Mumbai by the name of Nelson Wang produced a dish for a customer that was not present on the menu. He cut up chicken into cubes and then coated the chicken in corn flour and deep fried them. He then placed the chicken into a sauce made from garlic, green chillies and ginger.

The twist came in when he added vinegar and soy sauce and left out the traditional masala mix. Needless to say the customer raved about the dish and Indo- Chinese cuisine was born. This restaurant remains an institution in Mumbai and the dish is still synonymous in the combination of Chinese and Indian food.

This style of food also originated from an Indo- Chinese establishment in Calcutta in 1925. Calcutta was easily accessible to China and in this time many immigrants from China were attracted to this city.

A Chinatown soon developed and restaurants started creating and developing dishes that were combined with the two regions of India and China.

The immigrants that moved to India were marvellous restaurateurs and were able to capture the two flavours in a unique and authentic way.

The impact of Chinese food on Indian cuisine extends further back, from the coast of Kerlan were spices were transited from the area Indonesia through Kerala. This was the first introduction of spices that impacted Chinese settlers in the area of South India.

It is believed that the method of steam cooking was introduced to India by Chinese people. It is even believed that Kainoosh appachatti that was a small wok that made appams which is a batter made from rice and milk from coconuts used to make pancakes. These pancakes are made in South India and the wok was derived from people of Chinese descent that settled in India centuries ago.

The latest versions of Indo-Chinese cuisine may be a passing phase but it is believed that the cuisine will last a long time to come. The snacks on offer are greasy and glutinous and offer spicy, sweet and sour flavours. They are very tasty and at the same time cheap, it is advisable to enjoy these treats in moderation as the fat content is quiet high.

The ingredients mixed together are what are of importance when it comes to Indian Chinese meals. The cooking methods generally stay the same but the ingredients are totally different to the traditional way they are usually prepared.

Indo-Chinese cuisine is known for its spicy and robust flavours were usually corn flour, monosodium glutamate is used. The Chinese influence comes in when high doses of garlic, ginger, chilli and lots of soy sauce is added.

Established in the Indian milieu culinary dishes are defined as a Chinese Indian experience. In A lot of restaurants today you will be able to find these combinations on most menus.

Third generation Chinese Indians migrated to other places in the world and took along with them the knowledge of Indo-Chinese cuisine. This migration has seen many types of these restaurants popping up all over the world. When you choose a dish that packs an extra punch when ordering Chinese or Indian food it most probably came from the regions of Mumbai or Kolkata. The fusion of these types of foods has become increasingly popular to all types of palates in the world today.