Saturday, February 9, 2013

CHINESE FRIED RICE AND AMERICAN CHOPSUEY


CHINESE FRIED RICE AND AMERICAN CHOPSUEY
Simply Irresistible Food Combination
By
VIKRAM KARVE


I do not profess to be a culinary expert.

Nor do I claim to be “high falutin” connoisseur or snooty gourmand.

I am no authority on the “finer” aspects of “fine dining”.

I am simple trencherman who loves eating.

I live to eat (and not eat merely to live).

I believe in the dictum: THERE IS NO GREATER LOVE THAN THE LOVE OF EATING 

I don’t believe in “starters”.

“Starters” ruin your appetite

I don’t believe in drinking alcohol. Especially before a meal.

Alcohol dulls the taste buds.

I believe in getting down to eating the main course of the meal straightaway.

That is why when I go to a Chinese Restaurant I don’t waste time looking at the menu card.

I just sit down and order right away: Chicken Fried Rice and American Chopsuey

My first memories of Chinese Food is in the Poona of the 1960’s when there was a famous quintessential Chinese Restaurant called KAMLING on East Street (General Thimayya Road) in Pune Camp (Those days Pune was called Poona).

Kamling shut down a few years ago.

Now there is the popular vegetarian thali restaurant called Mayur in its place.

Now-a-days there are many other eateries in Pune which serve Chinese Food, but those days, in Pune, as far as food was concerned, Chinese was synonymous with Kamling.

Whenever we were in a mood for Chinese we visited Kamling.

Those days there was no concept of “starters” which ruin your appetite.

We got down to eating straightaway.

The order was simple: MIXED FRIED RICE AND AMERICAN CHOP-SUEY.

As far as Chinese Food was concerned, this combination was matchless and the most popular too.

The “Mixed” Fried Rice was embellished with a variety of vegetables and meats – there were boneless pieces of stir fried read meats, white meats and an assortment of seafood – yes, there were delicious crisply fried pieces of tasty chicken, mutton, pork, fish, prawns – it had a bit of everything, and nourishing pieces of scrambled eggs too.

Now-a-days you don’t get the same standard of Mixed Fried Rice anymore, so I make do with Chicken Fried Rice.

And to combine with the Fried Rice there is nothing to beat American Chop-Suey.  

American Chopsuey is a delicious stew comprising a variety of stir fried meats and vegetables blended into a sweet and sour tasting tangy vegetable sauce and then spread over crispy fried noodles topped with a fried egg.

It is a spectacular looking colourful dish which whets your appetite and is truly scrumptious.  Just looking at the appealing dish and breathing in the appetizing aroma of its alluring flavours makes your mouth water in anticipation.

I love American Chopsuey.

I find irresistible its delicious Umami taste, and American Chopsuey combines perfectly with Fried Rice.

Like I said, some people say that Chop-Suey isn’t “authentic” Chinese Cuisine but it is actually an improvised Chinese-American Fusion Dish.

After liberalization and with the advent of globalization, there have opened in Pune a  number of “gourmet” Chinese restaurants  serving “authentic” Chinese Cuisine.

Many of these “high falutin” Eateries do not even feature American Chopsuey on the menu.

But let me tell you that way back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, in those good old “socialist” days of the “Licence Permit Quota Raj”, American Chopsuey featured prominently on the menu of every Chinese Restaurant.

It was the most popular dish and, in fact, American Chopsuey was a “benchmark” or yardstick by which to evaluate a Chinese Restaurant.

Like I told you, sadly, the inimitable Kamling has shut down many years ago.

Well, if you are a fine dining connoisseur, you may say that Chop Suey is “fake” Chinese Cuisine, but for a hungry trencherman like me there is nothing to beat a piping hot combination of Mixed Fried Rice and American Chopsuey.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@hotmail.com
      
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

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