While many foreign cuisines have made their mark in India, none of them have been as successful and popular as Chinese cuisine. Chinese cuisine is the most popular in the world and beats its rivals Continental and Mexican cuisine by a very large margin. This explains why it has become successful in India too.
But did you know that the Chinese cuisine that we eat in India is totally different from the one that is available in China? This is because its origins started in Kolkata where Chinese migrants settled and started their restaurant businesses that were located near Tiretta Bazaar in Tangra. Here the Chinese adapted their native cuisine to suit local tastes and they developed a wide variety of dishes that form part of the current Indian Chinese cuisine.
This article helps you with these Chinese dishes that have become a favorite in India. Here we tell you not just about the names of the most popular dishes in India but we also tell you how they are different from their original versions in China. In this way, you can compare and contrast the similarities and differences that are present in the way these dishes are served to customers in these two countries. Sanjay Jhunjhunwala is a passionate foodie at heart-based in Kolkata and makes people aware of its joys through food blogging.
I am Sanjay Jhunjhunwala, a passionate foodie at heart. I love to taste cuisines from different parts of the world and help in making people aware about the same through the medium of food blogging. I am the CEO of sanjayjhunjhunwala.in based in Kolkata and am an avid food blogger. It is my cherished dream to help people know about foreign cuisines.
Read on to know the different Chinese dishes that has become a favorite in India. Also, learn how these dishes are served in China.
Vegetarian or Chicken Hakka Noodles
Hakka noodles get their name from the Southeastern part of China that has a province by the same name. There is even a distinct Chinese language called Hakka. Hakka cuisine has a wide variety of dishes. However, Hakka noodles are the most popular dish around the world perhaps because of its simplicity and adaptability to suit local tastes.
In India, this dish basically has heavily fried noodles that come with a combination of fried vegetables or chicken coupled with a combination of sauces and spices. However, in Mainland China, the dish is eaten as street food that is sold primarily sold in stalls all around the country.
Even if it is eaten as a meal, it is mainly served like soupy noodles and contains many side accompaniments served in separate bowls that need to be picked up with chopsticks and eaten. The main sauces that they use are chili paste and soy sauce that make for a classic hot and sour taste to tingle the taste buds. The wide varieties of side dishes that are available make it easy for you to customize your meal according to your needs and desires. It is used by mothers all over China to whip up a meal using leftover vegetables and meats and then combining it with noodles to make for a wholesome snack, especially for children. In this way, this dish is served differently in these two countries.
Vegetable or Chicken Manchurian
Vegetable or Chicken Manchurian is another dish that is very popular all over India. This dish basically involves making balls that resemble koftas and are filled with a combination of cabbage and cauliflower for the vegetarian variety and chicken meatballs for the chicken variety.
The entire dish is soaked in a thick gravy that is made of a combination of soya sauce and corn flour thickened to perfection. This gives a Far Eastern touch to a predominantly Indian dish. The name Manchurian has been derived from the Northeastern part of China that is reminiscent of the last empire of China, the Manchu Empire. It is indeed surprising that a dish has emerged that is named after a province of China and an Empire. This definitely gives it a regal touch!
Momos and Dimsums
Momos and dimsums are basically one and the same dish. The only difference is that momos originated in Tibet whereas dimsums are native to China. These are actually steam dumplings that contain a variety of fillings like vegetables, chicken, and pork. They come with soup and a number of sauces.
The variety of sauces ensures that there is something for everyone. The vegetarian variety even has red bean paste and lotus paste as choices that can help you give an authentic taste and flavor to your dimsums. Dimsums come in both hot and sweet flavors so you can take your pick from the choices that are available for a hearty meal. The best things about this dish are the intricate folds of the dimsums and its high flexibility that enables you to pick it with a chopstick without breaking. The dish is best enjoyed with a cup of fragrant jasmine tea.
Sweet Corn Chicken Soup
Sweet corn chicken soup is one of the most popular Chinese dishes that are served in India. This consists of sweetened corn served with eggs and boiled vegetables or chicken. However, this is a signature Indian Chinese dish that does not exist in China.
In Mainland China, soups are power packed with herbs and meats that have been boiled intensely. They are generally eaten with a full plate of rice and make for a handy meal for those who want to manage their weight.
Chilly Fish or Chilly Chicken
Chilly fish or chilly chicken is another famous dish that has gained widespread popularity in India. This dish consists of fish filets or chicken nuggets that have been deep fried and then dipped into a thick concoction of soy sauce mixed with corn flour. It is then mixed with a combination of hot sauces and spices that make for great Indian Chinese food.
On the other hand in China, chicken offal and fish leftovers are used to make this dish. They don’t like to waste any part of food, so they use this to make chilly fish and chilly chicken. The use of leftovers makes this dish very cheap in China making it easy for those who cannot afford to buy better varieties of the dish.
Chilly fish or chilly chicken is another famous dish that has gained widespread popularity in India. This dish consists of fish filets or chicken nuggets that have been deep fried and then dipped into a thick concoction of soy sauce mixed with corn flour. It is then mixed with a combination of hot sauces and spices that make for great Indian Chinese food. This clearly shows that the Chinese love to keep the original flavor of the dish and don’t have the tendency to dunk it in spices and condiments like the Indians. This fully highlights the difference between the two culinary styles. For more information, you can visit sanjayjhunjhunwala.in to learning more about Chinese dishes in India.
From the above, we get a glimpse of the favorite Chinese dishes in India. You have also seen how they differ from their original versions in Mainland China. This will help you select the best dish that completely suits your tastes and palate.