Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Indian Chinese (for Lavanya)

The Chinese cuisine has become such an integral part of Indian food; though I wonder whether a Chinese would find the same food actually Chinese food, for it has become Indian-ised Chinese food. Visit any state and the distinct flavor is quite apparent. Prepare the recipe at home and you will find something missing.

Ask any college going student of his favorite food joints and you are sure to hear at least one Chinese hangout. The Chinese joint is quite varied in the ambiance, cost, preparations; higher the price, lesser the hot chilly and lesser the crowd and vice versa. Most of the upmarket Chinese food joints are frequented by IT Professionals or those rich brat types. Such joints keep the kitchen quite away from the customer's eyes, so what goes on inside is any body's guess. Most of the college students would prefer a low cost Chinese hand cart where the unhygienic conditions are before the customer ! This makes the whole experience of eating at such a place even more adventurous and exciting. Youngsters shout over the din with care a damn attitude.

Once I visited with my family an expensive Chinese restaurant with those prop ah attendants and dim lighting and greenery and all fashionable. Sitting there sipping on the Chinese soup, I recalled my college days where finding a place to sit and eat was next to impossible. But surely the food that I had tasted before was more tasty and spicy and best of all we all friends had enjoyed the food together, had cried for water together and had checked our purses for Rs 10s and 20s !

I can still vividly remember our whole class debating on which place to visit; was it Fatehgunj, Race Course circle or Sama Road ? All our girls' only parties happened near Race Course Circle, the sole reason being it near to our homes, but when it came to the class party, the unanimous decision would always be either Fatehgunj or Sama Road. As an exception, just for having 'Dry Manchurian', we would all go to Waghodia and eat as much as would take care of another month of craving for Chinese food.

Any venue, any menu, the discussion amongst the different groups at different times would always be of varied nature. Right from the exchange of ignorance to the suggestion of being in step, our class enjoyed the discussion with friends and classmates. No wonder the food tasted so good with added spices of discussion.

The delicious chinese food before me, brought me back to my present and I started to search for the mysterious ingredient that made chinese food so tasty. Now the discussion between friends has been replaced by a talk by my child and though there may not be the tangy taste; there sure is a likeness for the noodles and rice.
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