There are days when we crave Chinese food and other days when we crave Indian food. However, there is a unique void that can only ever be truly filled by Indo-Chinese food. Born on the streets of India, this street food quickly became a mainstream culinary choice for many people. It’s spicy, it’s desi, but it’s also a lot of that Chinese technique and soul.
The Beginning of Chinese Indian Fusion
What started in the 1700s with the settlement of the Hakka Chinese traders in Kolkata has now become a food empire of its own right. The settlers sold their food in India, and slowly, to accommodate the flavour preferences of the Indians, the Indo-Chinese cuisine was birthed. It uses Indian spices but retains Chinese ingredients like soy sauce and vinegar.
Finding common ground
With Indo-Chinese flavours, there’s a common ground made. Spices are traded, and ingredients are added to appeal to the broader preference. Sichuan flavour, known as the schezwan flavour, is achieved using red chillies instead of Sichuan peppercorns. In dishes like Manchurian, ingredients such as garlic, ginger and green chillies are added abundantly due to their availability and popularity.
How close is it to home?
Chinese Indian fusion cuisine is unique and leans on the preference of the Indian crowd. For this very reason, it might be hard to find that it doesn’t resemble Chinese cuisine too closely. An authentic Chinese place would fit best for those searching for Chinese food. However, this could prove to be a task due to the immense popularity of Chinese-Indian cuisine. While flavourful and unique, Chinese cuisine isn’t as spicy as what Indians are used to.
A list of Chinese Indian Fusion food
- Manchow soup – is a soy-based soup, spicy and loaded with a generous scoop of ginger garlic.
- Spring rolls are authentically steamed with fresh vegetables. But in India, they’re popularly fried. The stuffings can vary depending on what’s seasonally available.
- Chowmein – the Indian chowmein is pan-fried and super spicy. In contrast, the Chinese version is a simple bowl of boiled noodles with scrambled eggs and soy sauce.
- Manchurian – this was born on Indian soil by a Chinese chef. This brings the goodness of Chinese flavours along with Indian spices such as garam masala, red chillies, and the infamous – ginger garlic pasta.
Final thoughts :
Indo-Chinese is where two rich culinary traditions merge to create something truly spectacular. The Chinese cooking technique and flavours are married to the Indian spices to create a spicy version of the famous Chinese dishes. They’re spicy, flavourful, and equal parts Chinese and Indian. To enjoy Chinese food with the spicy blast of Indian flavours, try Chinese-Indian fusion cuisine at your nearest restaurant.
A food enthusiast and a blogger – someone who likes to eat and write about it. I’m passionate about exploring different cuisines and challenging my palette. I give into my food craving regularly and am often on the hunt to find my new favorite food place in town.