Green chillies are a staple in Indian food, and it is the entirety of the country that uses them in its cooking.
Whether it is the North, West, South or East, this small and spicy pepper is often added during the cooking process to add some heat and spice and enhance the overall flavour of the dish.
They are also had raw in a salad with onions, tomatoes, and cucumber along with the prepared food.
The green chilli sauce is also widely used across the country and besides used during and after the cooking, it also makes a good condiment to go along with Indian snacks like samosa, kachori and more.
However, this tweet revealed how there is an interesting India and Chinese connection between the origin of this sauce.
The Chinese-Indian community has a unique history in #India. Not many people would know , but the green chilli sauce, is an unique Indian product. It was invented by Lee Shih Cheung in 1954 in #Kolkata using fresh green chillies : https://t.co/I9IO755Z3x— Amitangshu Acharya (@amitangshu) April 3, 2019
What Is The Origin To This Sauce?
Apparently, the origins to the green chilly sauce can be traced back to the last remaining Chinatowns in Kolkata.
Where the Sino-Indian war of 1962 created a big divide among the two countries and thus reduced the former’s population from India by quite a big chunk, some 2000 Chinese-Indians still remained in Kolkata.
Working mainly in the Tiretta Bazaar and Tangra, this community still abides by their traditions with sauce originating from the Tiretta Bazaar.
Pou Chong, the sauce manufacturing company in Kolkata that created the sauce originally is headed by Dominic Lee, a fourth generation Hakka Chinese.
In a report by Khaleej Times, he revealed how his father Lee Shih Cheung had first created the now popular green chilly sauce using fresh green chillies.
This was done due to the recently implemented Prevention of Food Adulteration Act of 1954 which prohibited the use of colouring agents in food.
This Is Not The First Fusion
To be honest, though it does not come as a surprise considering how deeply intertwined the Chinese cuisine is into the Indian cuisine.
Besides this many Chinese dishes have been adapted to the Indian tastes the best examples being the Hakka noodles and Manchurian dishes.
These are perhaps the most commonly available and easy to afford dishes with practically every second roadside vendor selling them to a hungry crowd.
The demand for Chinese cuisine here is so high that pretty much every restaurant or eatery will have a Chinese section beside the main one.
And it’s not just this particular sauce or the food, but China has had long relation with India spanning back to almost 18th century.
With Kolkata acting as the colonial capital of India set by the East India Company and the trade route of China and Britain, many Chinese workers migrated to the city.
From working in sugar mills, because cow bone char was used to bleach sugar and in turn Hindu workers refusing to do it, to working in the leather industry, these Chinese Indians quickly set up their own community in the city of culture.
From 1778, when the first Chinese migrant, Yang Dazhao or Yang Atchew arrived in India, their number just continued to rise as by 1945 their count was almost 26,250 as per reports.
These migrants living in Chinatown would prepare their traditional food and peddlers sold it around the area slowly spreading the cuisine. And it would be in Kolkata itself where the cuisine started to evolve to a more Indo-Chinese version that we know today.
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