Whose chicken manchurian is it anyway? Pakistan's or India's?

Whose chicken manchurian is it anyway? Pakistan's or India's?

The SCMP report stated that the dish was believed to have been created in Mumbai by Wang, who was born in Kolkata (then known as Calcutta).

Chicken manchurian, a popular appetiser made of fried chicken in manchurian sauce, has a massive fan following. But conflicting media reports have given food for thought over its origin and history.

Those who love chicken manchurian can find themselves in a quandary and it may lead to a shift of focus from the mouth-watering dish to a burning question, which is - where was the dish invented, in Pakistan, or India? 

A recently published recipe by The New York Times referred to chicken manchurian as a "stalwart of Pakistani Chinese cooking". The NYT recipe mentions that the dish comes from "attempts at recreating the version served at Hsin Kuang in Lahore, Pakistan, in the late '90s". Although, there's no direct mention of the origin, but the recipe connects the dish to Pakistan. 

But was chicken manchurian really invested in Pakistan? There's definitely a dispute. When we follow the recipe, in an attempt to cook it, several media reports call it a Chinese recipe, some call it Indo-Chinese. 

A report published in 2017 by the South China Morning Post (SCMP) talks about how chicken manchurian found its place in Indian cuisine. It mentioned that chicken manchurian was apparently created by Nelson Wang, a third-generation Chinese chef born in India. But also admitted that there is little dispute over the origin as it is often difficult to trace the exact origins of a dish. 

Whose chicken manchurian is it anyway? Pakistan's or India's?
'100% Veg Butter Chicken'? Dish on restaurant's menu leaves Twitter in splits

The SCMP report stated that the dish was believed to have been created in Mumbai by Wang, who was born in Kolkata (then known as Calcutta). The report mentioned that the dish was invented by Wang when he was a chef at the Cricket Club of India, in Mumbai. He even opened his restaurant in 1983 in China Garden and it is now a chain with outlets throughout India and Nepal.

Chicken manchurian is prepared with pieces of chicken coated in a soy sauce mixture and pan-fried until crisp with a thick sauce of ginger, garlic and green chillies. It is then added to a soy sauce gravy and some­times vinegar and ketchup. It is mostly served with rice or noodles.

The debate may also include the vegetarian version like Gobi manchurian, veg manchurian, and paneer manchurian. So next time, when you gulp a bite of this luscious dish, do think about its origins rather than only enjoying the punchy flavours.

Related Stories

No stories found.
logo
Indians In Gulf
www.indiansingulf.in