The Making of Indo Chinese

Indo Chinese cuisine is basically a blend of two culinary cultures. One can see it as Chinese food made adapted to Indian taste. It is basically made when Indian ingredients like garlic, ginger, chilli peppers and onions are seasoned with chinese sauces like soy sauce and vinegar to  make the rather raw chinese cuisine more flavourful and spicy.

This amalgamation has spread amongst Indians like wildfire, to the extent that it has become a favourite. It has also been adopted in street food and has become evergreen.

But, how was this cuisine born? 

Let’s explore its origin here.

Calcutta’s Chinatown

Our story begins in 1778 when Chinese tea trader, Yang Dazhao, moved to Calcutta (now Kolkata), then India’s capital, in search of better business opportunities. While Dazhao was the first, a lot of Chinese settlers followed in his footsteps and they collectively formed Chinatowns in the city. It was in Calcutta’s second Chinatown, located in Tangra, where Indian Chinese would be invented.

The Origin

The Hakka Chinese settled in Tangra opened up restaurants. In order to service the Indian clientele, they started making food with a lot more chilli to appeal to their palate. These were the first origins of Indo Chinese.This brought on a wave of the famous Hakka Chowmein/Hakka Noodles and Fried rice to India. 

Later, the second generation of Chinese settlers began migrating to other places in India and familiarised the places with Indo Chinese. In fact, the most famous dish, manchurian – cornflour coated balls that are deep fried and stirred in chinese sauces – is associated with Mumbai where Nelson Wang opened up China Garden and invented chicken Manchurian. Various vegetarian alternatives such as Gobi Manchurian, vegetable Manchurian and Paneer Manchurian were also made. This made for a perfect companion with drinks at bars and became very popular.

The Expansion

Indo Chinese cuisine is now a favourite. In fact, chowmein, fried rice and hakka noodles are common dishes sold by street vendors. So are more Indian variations like chinese bhel. It has achieved global recognition and is served in most countries of the world in restaurants set up by Indians.

Lala’s kitchen serves some amazing Indo Chinese dishes like Manchurian, paneer chilli, chicken chilli and many more too. So book a table and enjoy this mouth-watering mixed cuisine today.