We take it for granted that Chinese food comprises of gobi Manchurian, hakka noodles, sweet corn soup and even American/Chinese chopsuey.
But this is quintessentially Indian Chinese; the real deal does not have anything even which goes by the name of ‘manchurian.’ In fact Manchurian is a region in NE China, not a food dish at all!
So then how did we come up with this Indian Chinese fusion dish which so much a part of our diet now?
The story dates back to the 1970s. A man named Nelson Wang, the son of Chinese immigrants in Kolkata, was working in Bombay as an assistant cook at another Taj restaurant, Frederick’s. One day, he happened to experiment with mixing garlic, ginger, and green chillies—quintessentially Indian ingredients—with soy sauce and cornstarch to thicken the gravy. The result was the now ubiquitous chicken manchurian. That later got its vegetarian version and now even has a paneer version.
Talk about adapting global cuisine to Indian palate!