Chutnification of Chinese Food in India

Written By Aditi Dasgupta, Food Story

An old Cantonese proverb goes something like this:"Anything that walks, swims, crawls, or flies with its back to heaven is edible". Well, the Chinese food in China has indeed been true to its sayings. But some extreme and spicy food fusion has been a welcoming change for us Indians!


Indeed, Indians clearly do not like it bland and we being the curry kings desire our Chinese with a little tadka (tempering), a little spice and truck full of chilli. Did you know that the chāu-mèing(originally spelt like this) we devour in India was first introduced by China Town in Calcutta? The Indian variant unashamedly introduces vegetarian ingredients in it such as cabbage, paneer, bamboo shots, pea pods and carrots. Original Chinese chowmein has no space for the veggies to settle in and is only consumed with pork and shrimp.

So, most people from India who visit China for work or for leisure cannot eat Chinese food! We tell you why:

  • All Chinese food cooked in China follow three cooking methods- heating, boiling, steaming and in some cases fried. So very little use of oil, as is evident. Phew!

  • Chinese noodles are made of wheat which we consume in the form of breads and tortillas. Noodles in India are made of flour. Shocked???

  • Rice is used for seasoning in China. And all rice seasoning is sauce based.

  • Chinese mostly use animal fat such as the lard or peanut oil for cooking unlike us Indians who use mustard oil, sunflower oil, clarified butter or sesame oil.

  • You will simply find no traces of curd or milk products in China’s gastronomy.

So the food art gets simple: The Chinese use seasonings, the Indians use spices and seasonings for a more elevated experience of food indulgence.


  • People in China are fierce loyalists to their noodle preferences. How come we Indians go easy on that? Good that we are not Chinese enough in our consumption, eh?

  • Well, the China versus America did not leave the food plate out of their purview it seems. America’s famous turkey has not been embraced by the Chinese at all! And funnily enough many Chinese bloggers call the turkey as “the big bird”!!! The reason? Turkey meat is bland and coarse for the Chinese folks.

  • Chinese have a weird way of consuming fish. Dipped in boiled water and brushed with oil and salt, they usually swallow the whole fish at one go and pull out the cleaned skeleton with the head and the tail hanging on it.

Also, here is what we feel about this food fusion. Read on for some interesting inputs:

  • The Chowmein: A lot has been said about it. Let us leave it at that.

  • Chilli Chicken: Crucial dish to help you gobble some steamed rice.

  • Pork and dried shrimp dumplings: You cannot find this in India. Visit a Chinese lady for some lessons at home.

  • Chicken fried rice: This is the best thing that has happened to the Indian Chinese platter!

We Indians sure do have our way of quick fixing food to suit our taste buds. Hail Chinese food, the Indian way of course!

WE RECOMMEND: Asia 7. Heard of this one?

People living in Delhi NCR now have the most ultimate Chinese dining experience just a drive away. They are known to serve some of the finest and authentic Japanese, Asian and Chinese dishes. Fine eating and good living, eh? The cooks not only give you plenty of options to choose from but also keep you informed with the history of the dishes you order! They claim that each dish enlisted in their menu has been handpicked after several years of scrutiny of Indian tastes and the bests that the Chinese culture can offer to the Indian table. Also visit Bercos for an astounding indo-chinese fiesta.

Bon appetite, monsieur!

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