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Tea Leaves

Why Chinese cuisine is a comfort food in India

'Chindian' remains popular despite fatal border clashes with China

Spicy chili paneer (Photo by Charukesi Ramadurai).

What do you get when you marry the flavors of dark soy sauce and vinegar with ginger garlic paste and garam masala? If you are in India you get the base for the local adaptation of Chinese food known as "Chindian."

Indian-Chinese has become one of the most popular cuisines in India, although there is very little about it that is Chinese. Not many Chinese would recognize the origins of chili paneer in their national cuisine, and the spicy sauce known to lovers of Chindian as "Schezwan" has barely any relationship with the Chinese Sichuan sauce on which it is notionally based.

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