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Chindian food

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Hi everyone

Helen Pidd here. I'm a journalist with the Guardian in London (www.guardian.co.uk). I'm writing a feature about what "foreign" foods are most popular in various countries in the world (eg in Britain we eat Indian, in Spain they eat Turkish, in Russia they eat Georgian...) and wondered whether anyone in India would be able to talk to me about "Chindian" food, which I hear is very popular.

My deadline is the end of Friday 14th June, so any responses very welcome before then. My email address is helen.pidd@guardian.co.uk

I'm happy to call you if you email a number and a time to call.

Hope to hear from you soon


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Not in India, but recent trip to India proved that Chinese food is on every indian menu and whenever my Indian friends in Delhi or Jaipur goes out, they go for chinese food. If you ask the peripetetic ones in the states, they usually tell you that the best Chinese food they ever had was in a little restaurant outside of Delhi/Bombay/Calcutta/Bangalore etc. Everyone talks about the hot and sour soup made with tamarind and the Manchurian cauliflower that has become part of Indian food in its own right. As far as I know of Indian Chinese food are typically Hakka food, but these days the range has been expanded. The Chinese have been in India since the 1600, so the cuisine is bound to be widely available.

I pitched a similar article to Gourmet earlier this year, but they didn't go for it. I would love to read your piece when it is out.

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Guess I'm a bit late now, but I was in India early this year and Indo-Chinese food seemed to be all the rage. I never went to a specifically Chinese restaurant but most places we ate at had a Indo Chinese menu section, although the labelling of items as Chinese seemed quite arbitrary. The food I did try, the 'Manchurian' soups and various chicken dishes were basically indian style dishes with maybe more of a touch of sweet and sour and soy sauce added to them with crunchy vegetables. It's probably not too hard to adapt chinese food to suit indian palates as they contain the same kind of spices etc but I think they ended as a bastardisation of chinese food much like Chicken Tikka masala is of Indian food.

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Sorry, couldn't see your post earlier - else I would have been more than glad to help.

But its not really bastardization - but rather more of evaluation and fusion.

There's a popular restaurant by the name of 'Hot Wok' in suburbs of Chicago which tries to explain this kind of food as the one that evolved when Chinese immigrants settled in India and adapted their cuisine to what was at hand.

I wish you success Helen in whatever you are doing!

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