All was swell on desi Twitter — and then Chicken Manchurian entered the chat

All was swell on desi Twitter — and then Chicken Manchurian entered the chat

Speak, oh beloved Chinese dish, what side of the Indo-Pak border doth thou emerge from?
29 Mar, 2023

If you thought that cultural bilateral relations between Pakistan and India were sailing smoother than before, all you had to do was say the magic word — Manchurian — and witness the chaos that unfolds.

The neighbouring nations acted very much like siblings — both launching into defensive mode, trying to claim rights over the popular dish. All of this was triggered by a recently published New York Times article in which the writer recreated a Pakistani version of the dish.

In the now edited piece, she had called it “a stalwart of Pakistani Chinese cuisine”, saying her recipe came from “attempts at recreating the version served at Hsin Kuang in Lahore, Pakistan, in the late ’90s”. Then ensued a whole Manchurian discourse on Twitter that involved bemused Pakistanis and enraged Indians who claimed that the origins of Manchurian are Indian — created by a Kolkata-born chef of Chinese descent named Nelson Wang in the 70s.

The writer has since then made alterations in her dish description, calling it “a stalwart of desi Chinese cooking” and crediting Wang for its creation.

But what’s really interesting (and kind of whack) is how heated things got on desi Twitter over a bowl of some chicken.

There were some insane theories.

Of course, Pakistanis love their memes so there was some leg-pulling involved by many, even by the likes of comedian Ali Gul Pir.

As we all know, Wikipedia is the most reliable source of information.

Double standards, eh?

A diplomatic approach?

Meanwhile in Pakistan.

That would be epic!

It might be intended as a burn but that’s kind of funny.

It’s not an Oxford comma issue but she’s got the idea right — the NYT never said the dish originated in Pakistan. The article just said the writer was recreating a Pakistani version of the dish but who cares about semantics on Twitter, right?

It’s peak Pakistan versus India to launch a virtual war over a misunderstood tweet. It goes without saying that desi Twitter is very unhinged and quick to bite when it comes to believing what is theirs. What followed was ridiculous but hilarious, so we guess it’s all chill.