Once upon a time, there existed chicken Manchurian that made its way to India from China. The dish went through the usual process of modification, to suit the palates of local denizens. Chefs decided to toss corn flour coated cauliflower florets in the Manchurian sauce to slake the vegetarians. This may be how the delectable Gobi Manchurian was born in incredible India. Till date, it remains a dish Indians swear by.
Other dishes like Paneer Momo, Chilli Dosa, Chinese Samosa and, fried rice blur or erase lines between the authentic dish, and its adaptation.
Food and Patriotism
Angry protests exploded across India, after 20 Indian soldiers were martyred in a skirmish between Indian and Chinese soldiers. The incident took place on June 16 at the Sino-Indian border near Ladakh.
Swadeshi Jagran Manch, affiliated with RSS, has launched a public campaign to boycott Chinese products and investment by Chinese companies in India. A confederation of traders in India too has launched a nation-wide movement to boycott Chinese products and promote Indian goods.
In the middle of this nation-wide rage against Chinese products, the Union Minister Ramdas Athawle opposed Chinese dishes served in Indian restaurants through his official twitter account.
Restaurants selling Chinese food should be banned. I appeal to people to boycott Chinese food: Union Minister Ramdas Athawale pic.twitter.com/PoY0Udfule— ANI (@ANI) June 18, 2020
Sumedh Kanade, a food blogger from Nagpur(Gourmet Musafir) said, “The Chinese food we eat in India does not retain the authentic taste or flavor. Dishes listed in the Chinese food section have evolved over the years to become Indo-Chinese food suited for Indian taste buds. Chilli Mushroom, Chili Paneer and other such dishes are not authentic. The veggies and ingredients used to prepare these dishes are grown by Indians and prepared by Indian cooks. Therefore, opposing these so-called Chinese dishes served in India is a bizarre idea.”
He added, “There lies a long chain of employment-related to Indo-Chinese cuisine in India. Even the small stalls are mostly dependent on Chinese cuisine with Indian spices and twists. We cannot discard them, neither in a wave we can abolish Chinese food that does not profit china in anyway. If we do so, many people’s employment would be at stake ”
Mehek, a food blogger from Saharapur, runs a page ,foodiesnaps6. Mehek says, “Food items are mostly manufactured in India. Everything you are making is from India. Rarely do we buy products manufactured from China. The knowledge we Indians have when it comes to the use of spices is centuries old, and vast. We just need to use that and create flavorful dishes to satisfy our taste buds.”