Chinese cuisine is ahighly popular one in India that surpasses Mexican or Continental which take the second place. This is no reflection of the political situation and no link to the foreign relations between the two countries.
The question is whether the Chinese food served in India is authentic Chinese or not. The answer is a flat no. Indian Chinese cuisine was created when Chinese immigrants who came to inhabit in Calcutta. They developed this cuisine to mix and match with local tastes.
This phenomenon is not unique to India. Even in other parts of the world like the USA and Europe which witnessed a high inflow of Chinese migrants fleeing Communist China, such local adaptations of Chinese cuisine became popular.
Chinese dishes popular in Chinese restaurants in India are mostly fried rice, noodles which is stir fried, vegetable or chicken nuggets served in thick, spicy sauce etc. The common element is that all of them are chock full of flavour and add several ingredients.
These dishes may be completelyunavailable in China. In authentic Chinese cuisine, focus is on a main ingredient and they serve condiments on the side to be used by the diner as per his discretion.
Here are some popular Indian Chinese dishes:
- Hakka noodles
These are stir fried noodles featuring egg or meat. It is eaten when combined in spicy sauces like eating Chapatti with curries.
This dish happens to be a popular street food of China and an ideal way used by mothers to make use of leftovers from another day. Here noodles are seldom deep fried. It comes like a bowl of meals containing chunks of meat, tofu and vegetables in form of side dishes. They also serve on the side condiments like sweet chillies, chillieswith soya sauce etc.
- Veg and Chicken Manchurian
The Manchurian is an orb of mashed cauliflower or diced chicken, smeared with flour and fried deeply to be soaked in a thick blend of soya sauce. It is similar to the Indian Kofta.
Served only in high end Chinese restaurants while another version, the momos can be found everywhere. There is a choice of meat for the filling.
- Sweet corn chicken soup
Most commonly the starter to a Chinese meal in India, it is nowadays marketed insachets where you can pour a little hot water and the soup is ready.
- Chilli chicken
These are deep fried nuggetsof chicken tossed in rich spices and soya sauce. But in China, chicken is mostly barbequed, roasted or steamed.
This is the vegetarian version of chili chicken, popular in India. Paneer or cottage cheese is rare in China.
- Sour and sweet sauce
It is popular gravy used for sauces and soups for vegetables and chicken. It contains chilli sauce and tomato ketchup.
- American Chop Suey
This is made of crispy noodles and thick sauce like sour and sweet. It also has a topping of fried egg.
A completely Western creation, it is a dessert made of pastry noodles which are deep fried, smeared with warm honey on which sesame seeds are sprinkled.
These are some popular Indian Chinese dishes.