Images of India : Fusion food inundates India…

fusionfoodRelations between the world’s two most populous countries are scrappy at the best of times, and the most generous way to describe Indian-Chinese relations would be suspicious incomprehension. Yet, the ubiquitous presence of the Schezwan dosa across India reveals an aspect of Chinese culture that Indians have enthusiastically adopted, albeit in a form no self-respecting Chinese would recognise, such as the word “Schezwan”. No one really knows how Schezwan sauce and the dosa met, but of that meeting there are myriad manifestations, such as the Schezwan butter dosa, the Schezwan masala dosa, and the Schezwan noodle dosa. As you travel across India, you will also find (on the western, or Konkan, coast) Konkan-Chinese with a preponderance of coconut; Telugu-Chinese which is laced with super-spicy chillies from the southeast; and paneer (or cottage-cheese) heavy Sino-Ludhianvi. Street carts with cheap “gobhi (cauliflower) manchurian” proliferate in the dustiest small towns. Newer, wilder interpretations of foreign fusions include spiced chicken tikkas wrapped in tortillas (with tandoori salad and garlic aioli), samosas – savoury puffs – stuffed with pizza, and Punjabi butter chicken gravy stuffed into a bao, a Chinese steamed bun.