Sunday, May 7, 2017

My Favourite “Indian-Chinese” Combination – Mixed Fried Rice and American Chopsuey

This afternoon – my son wanted to order a home-delivery Lunch.

I want to eat Mixed Fried Rice and American Chopsuey... I said.

So – we ordered Mixed Fried Rice and American Chopsuey from a non-authentic Chinese Restaurant famous for its improvised “Indian-Chinese” cuisine.

And – after a long time – I enjoyed my favourite medley of Mixed Fried Rice and American Chopsuey. 

Here is a picture of my lunch plate: 

Mixed Fried Rice and American Chopsuey

This delicious lunch reminded me of a foodie post I had written some time ago on My Favourite Chinese Food.

Let me delve into my blog and pull it out for you...

MY FAVOURITE “CHINESE” FOOD
MIXED FRIED RICE AND AMERICAN CHOPSUEY
Irresistible Food Combination
Foodie Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE

CHOP-SUEY

I do not profess to be a culinary expert.

Nor do I claim to be “highfalutin” 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 while eating. 

Yes  I do not believe in drinking alcohol – especially before a delicious 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:

Mixed Fried Rice and American Chopsuey...

If Mixed Fried Rice is not available  then I may settle for Chicken Fried Rice and American Chopsuey...

But  if American Chopsuey is not on the menu  I prefer to walk out of the restaurant.


MOUTHWATERING MEMORIES OF KAMLING RESTAURANT PUNE

My first memory 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 – and  there were 3 iconic restaurants on East Street – Latif’s for Mughlai – Kwality for Continental – and – Kamling for Chinese.

Now – only Kwality is still going strong – and they have diversified into all kinds of cuisine – multi-cuisine  as they call it.

Kamling shut down a few years ago.

Later  there was a popular vegetarian thali restaurant called Mayur in its place.

(Someone told me that even Mayur has relocated).

As Pune transformed from a salubrious pensioner’s paradise into a cosmopolitan metropolis – the food scene has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis. 

Nowadays  there are many other eateries in Pune which serve Chinese Food.

But those days  as far as food was concerned  in Pune  Chinese Cuisine was synonymous with Kamling.

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

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

We got down to eating the main-course 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 Red 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.

Nowadays you don’t get the same high standard of Mixed Fried Rice anymore – so sometimes  I have to 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, seafood 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 the delicious Umami taste most irresistible  and American Chopsuey combines perfectly with Fried Rice.

Like I said  some people say that Chop-Suey is not “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 highbrow “gourmet” Chinese restaurants serving “authentic” Chinese Cuisine.

Many of these “highfalutin” 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.

American Chopsuey was the most popular dish  and  in fact  in those good old days – those nostalgic glorious unliberalized and unglobalized “Licence Permit Quota Raj” “socialist” days of the 1960’s and 1970’s  American Chopsuey was a “benchmark” or yardstick by which to evaluate a Chinese Restaurant.

Yes – we rated a Chinese restaurant based on the quality of the American Chopsuey they served.

Like I told you – sadly  the inimitable Kamling has shut down many years ago – and the so-called authentic” Chinese restaurants do not have this dish on their menus.

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.

Before I end – let me post a picture of the delicious combination of Mixed Fried Rice and American Chopsuey that I enjoyed eating...

Mixed Fried Rice and American Chopsuey

Happy Eating...!!! 

VIKRAM KARVE
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