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Jun 8, 2009 10:33 AM

Chinese-Indian Food?

We've just had a Chinese Indian restaurant opened where I live. I understand this is supposed to be Chinese food as it's cooked in India. Has anyone had any experience chowing on this? Details, please.

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  1. I'd say it's more Chinese-influenced Indian food. Here's a pretty good writeup.

    1. I think the only way to find out would be asking the restaurant staff. I've never heard of anything like that...maybe its fusion food...
      There's a new restaurant where I lved called Chino-Latino, and its just fusion cuisine...

      1. I think things like Pulao (fried rice,)

        'X' Manchurian (fried 'X' sauteed in a sauce after it's fried - usually chicken, or cauliflower)

        Chicken Tawa (very sim to a sweet&sour chicken)

        are somewhat standard examples of Indo-Chinese foods avail in a decent amt of Indo-Pak restaurants where I live.

        1. I heard that Indians like to appropriate the form of foreign food, but tend to keep the spicing familiar.

          1. Does not appear to be fusion food - and I'd seen the Wiki entry before I asked. There are apparently several places like this across the country, not chains, but seemingly the equivalent of American Chinese (the chop suey/chow mein strain) but Indian. Has anyone else eaten it?

            6 Replies
            1. re: lemons

              Yes, I've eaten this type of food on several occasions, in Toronto and oddly enough, in North Carolina.

              This is a type of fusion cuisine, as it combines elements of Chinese cuisine and Indian Cuisine. It is very popular with some of my East Indian friends. I suspect it has similar appeal as American-Chinese for North Americans. It is different from your usual cuisine, but it has enough familiar flavour elements that it is easy to get accustomed to it.

              Some people have argued that this cuisine can be a little excessively oily and greasy, but I personally love it. I love the combination of Indian spicing and Chinese ingredients and cooking techniques. I wish I had more opportunity to eat this food, it is a nice change from pure Chinese and Indian cuisine.

              1. re: moh

                We have a number of these restuarants here as well (this city has a sizeable Indian population). To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the cuisine as I find it often too greasy, too sweet and too starch thickened for my tastes. I have also had it in India a number of years ago.

                FWIW, one of the old-school Szechuan restaurants here is really popular with the Indian community...I guess it is the chili-heat they are seeking in that case.

                1. re: fmed

                  I'm a little surprised to read that Vancouver has a number of Hakka places- yes Vancouver has an Indian population that eclipses that of any city in North America (per capita) but it's also overwhelmingly Punjab. This is a pleasant surprise.

                  Toronto has lots of Hakka places. I can't say I care for it. Among all the vernacular Chinese I've had I have to say that I like the Trinidadian spin the best!

                  1. re: John Manzo

                    It is more commonly known here as "Desi" Chinese food. Here, the term "Hakka" is reserved for a variant of southern Chinese food. (The roots are the same - the term came from migrant Hakka who moved to Calcutta as labourers in the 18th century).

                    Here is a fairly recent article on Vancouver's Indian-Chinese food:

                2. re: moh

                  "I suspect it has similar appeal as American-Chinese for North Americans."

                  Yes, I think that's exactly it. I have had Chinese food in Calcutta (chicken manchurian is the classic Indo-Chinese dish) and I get excited when I see it here -- it's like if you were living in another country and you saw an Americanized Chinese restaurant and you ran in to order General Tso's Chicken.

                  Although probably because I'm Indian and the flavors are familiar to me, I much prefer Indian Chinese.

                  1. re: Pia

                    " I get excited when I see it here"

                    Pia, that is exactly the reaction some of my East Indian friends had when a place opened up in North Carolina! They were incredibly excited, and it really seemed like it was a homecoming. They talked about the food they used to eat at home, and they were very nostalgic and grateful to have this place open up.

                    I'm not Indian, but I also think I prefer Indian Chinese to most American Chinese.