Are you a fan of Chinese cuisine? If so, you've probably indulged in the delectable dish of Manchurian at some point. Whether you prefer the vegetarian or non-vegetarian version, this dish of fried chicken, paneer, gobhi, or veg balls tossed in a flavourful Manchurian sauce is a favourite among many Indians. In fact, it's often considered the quintessential Indo-Chinese (desi Chinese) dish. However, a recent report in the New York Times (NYT) is challenging the conventional wisdom around the origins of this dish.
According to the NYT, chicken Manchurian is actually a "stalwart of Pakistani Chinese cooking" and is immensely popular across South Asia. The report even includes a detailed recipe for the dish as it was served at Hsin Kuang in Lahore, Pakistan, in the late '90s. So the next time you enjoy this delicious dish, you might want to give a nod to its Pakistani roots.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 26, 2023
The report quickly caught the attention of the online community, with many Indian Twitter users expressing their disagreement with the claim made by NYT.
Actor Ranvir Shorey too reacted to the post with a facepalm emoji and stated that NYT doesn't even do a proper fact-check.
"This is the real cultural appropriation. Serve anything to unaware Americans as your own," shared a Twitter user, along with a post regarding the origin of the dish.
Another person commented, "Hi, it was invented by an Indian Chinese chef called Nelson Wang, he was born in Calcutta. His restaurants are in Mumbai. This is an Indian Chinese recipe."
Hi, it was invented by an Indian Chinese chef called Nelson Wang, he was born in Calcutta. His restaurants are in Mumbai. This is an Indian Chinese recipe.— Nayanika (@nayanikaaa) March 27, 2023
A third comment reads, "@nytimes- I have been having Chicken Manchurian in India since the early 80s...do some research rather than just publishing what a PR agency sends you!"
History And Origin Of Chicken Manchurian: Who Invented Chicken Manchurian:
Amidst the dispute, we decided to fact-check on the origin of chicken Manchurian. According to a 2017 report, published in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the dish was apparently created by a chef named Nelson Wang - a third-generation Chinese chef born in India (the then Calcutta). The report also stated that Wang first prepared this dish in Mumbai, where he was working as a chef at the Cricket Club of India. He then went on to open his first restaurant in 1983, in China Garden, which currently has chains across India and Nepal.
The report in SCMP further mentioned that there is a little dispute over the origin as some media reports also call the dish to be an authentic Chinese recipe (not Indo-Chinese).
If you are like us, then all the talks about Chicken Manchurian have already made you hungry. If that's the case, then how about preparing your favourite Manchurian recipe at home? Sounds perfect, right? Here we bring you some popular Manchurian recipes that you can easily replicate at home. Click here to know more.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.