Chinese Hakka noodles, veg-manchurian, egg-soft noodles – almost like a staple diet, Chinese food is readily available in most of India’s busy street corners. The truth in the recipe and use of authentic ingredients in these ‘Chinese’ delights however, is highly questionable. The street vendor adds a quick dash of spice and chilli to suit local tastes. What we eat is usually a localised version of the original recipe, so distorted and far away from the original that the only similarity is perhaps just the name.
Makes me wonder, is it really possible to stick to the original recipe, when catering to a diverse local customer base?
Forget the street vendor who is looking for brisk business, what about the hugely successful chef at a five start hotel. Does he not personalise cuisine just a tad .. a swig of cilantro or any another local herb, a drizzle of secret sauce perhaps.
Personal touch, regional influence or business sense – you can never tell the original unless you chase the treat in its own land.