For more then two decades Chinese have been residents of India. Kolkata, one of the most populous cities in eastern India has the largest Chinese population. Early settlers from southern China, namely Hakka, brought with them the traditional styles of Cantonese cooking and ingested that into the Indian culture, and their cooking took on local Indian flavors. The end result was a satisfying hybrid cuisine, created from two very different communities and food cultures.
Indian Chinese food is still popular in Kolkata and currently the Chinese population in Kolkata constitute about odd 20,000. Most of the people of Chinese origin reside in the one and the only Chinatown in India located around Tereti Bazar and Bowbazar area which has since been relocated to Tangra, Calcutta. Basically, Indian Chinese cuisine is the adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to Indian tastes. The scheming mixture of Indian ingredients such as garam masala (warm spice mix), cilantro and tamarind with Chinese soy sauce, ginger, garlic and even ketchup produces dishes that are rich in its taste, high in flavor and always leave you wanting more.
Generally Indian Chinese foods is rich in its taste and tend to be flavored with spices that are traditionally not associated with genuine Chinese cuisine, for example, cumin, coriander, and turmeric and adding to that hot chili, ginger, garlic and yoghurt can also be found in dishes. All these aspects makes the Indian Chinese cuisine similar in taste to many ethnic dishes in Southeast Asian countries that have substantial Chinese and Indian cultural influences such as Singapore and Malaysia.
The culinary styles that can be found in the Indian Chinese dishes include chili (implying hot and batter-fried), Manchurian (implying a sweet and salty brown sauce), and Szechwan (Sichuan, implying a spicy red sauce) which more or less corresponds to the authentic Chinese preparation.
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