3A, Ho Chi Minh Sarani, Kolkata, India
Piri piri also called African bird's eye chili, is a cultivar of Capsicum frutescence, one of the sources of chili pepper that grows both wild and domesticated.It is a small member of the Capsicum genus. It grows in Uganda, Malawi, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and the tropical forests of South Sudan & the southern half of Ethiopia. It was brought to Goa by the Portuguese.
Piri piri is the spelling of the name as used in the Portuguese language, namely in the Portuguese-speaking Mozambican community. While the Chinese have been visiting India for millennia in search of Buddhist teachings, Yang Tai Chow was the first recorded Chinese to migrate to India for better material prospects. In 1778 he put down roots in Kolkata, or Calcutta, the then capital of British India and the easiest accessible metropolitan area from China by land.
Over the years, many like him came, mostly Hakkas, and by the early part of the 20th century a Chinatown had developed in Kolkata and it thrived and buzzed with enterprise. Chinese served with distinction as dentists, tannery owners, sauce manufacturers, beauticians and shoe shop owners but it was as r As all immigrant communities tend to do, the Chinese assimilated Indian sensibilities and beliefs. They even acknowledged one of our goddesses, Kali, as their own, and offered noodles, chop suey, rice and vegetable dishes in rituals as a sign of unity. And so it was with food that the Sino-Indian cultural fusion began.
About 85 years ago, the Indian culinary world was affected by a new cuisine. The first Indo Chinese restaurant Eau Chew opened in Kolkata. Presumably hordes came out satiated and impressed, beaming their approval to the next lot of people who hadn't tried this new fangled cuisine of foreign origin, yet spicy and tasty like their own.
New restaurants mushroomed all over Kolkata, and legends like Fat Mama and Kim Fa were born, offering newer dishes with fancier combinations and names like August Moon Rolls and Fiery Dragon Chicken. Before you knew it 'Indian Chinese' had tickled the taste buds of folk in every small town and city across India. No small feat for a foreign cuisine. Indian Chinese food wasn't just served by restaurants big and small, but also by handcart owners, highway food stalls and mobile Chow Mein vans boasting imaginative names like Hungry Eyes and Dancing Stomach. Classic Mumbai street food now even has Chinese versions with 'Chinese bhel' and 'Sichuan dosa'. What is it that makes Chinese food so spectacularly popular? The answer lies with Indian food. Quick to figure out that Indians love spicy, oily preparations, the Chinese merely masala-fied and greased their cuisine into a glutinous, winning combination. Restaurateurs that the Chinese found their fame and glory in India. Pepper chicken reminded people of south Indian style fried chicken.
Not all chili pepper chicken plate lunches were made equal, but at least two of them offered in Jane Esaki - The Garden Island are simply worth.
Both establishments are not too far from each other – one is in the Ching Young Village shopping center in Hanalei and the other is in the Kojima's store parking in Kapa'a town. If you're a surfer with a hungry appetite or an inveterate connoisseur of local plate lunches, it's no secret to you that the Village Snack Shop and Bakery in the Ching Young Village is the hotspot for chili pepper chicken on the North Shore. The boned chicken thighs are deep-fried crisp on the outside, skin intact, yet juicy on the inside.
It is bursting with an intense sweet-salty teriyaki marinade spiced with just enough chili pepper and a few secret ingredients to incite you to take just one more bite. You might even find a flake or two of the authentic red Hawaiian chili pepper on the chicken, proof that it's a homegrown recipe. The recipe is the joint creation of Michael Ching and one of the snack shop's original workers, Narcine Concepcion. Concepcion and her husband Dan bought the snack shop from the Larry Ching family seven years ago, said Jeff Culverhouse, Ching Young Village manager. The plate comes with a choice of a lively seasonal green salad sometimes enhanced with bell pepper, cucumber and tomato or a scoop of macaroni salad and a scoop of brown or white rice.
Today, restaurant menus also offer a selection of dishes from different regions of China -- steamed and delicate like the original, but there's always the Indian Chinese touch sitting on the same page. As the second and third generation of Chinese Indians grew up they migrated to other parts of the world. And they did what they knew best. Cook Indian Chinese food. Even in Europe and America these days, if you want that extra punch from your home delivery boxes, the recipe probably originated in Mumbai or Kolkata. Blame it on Yang Tai Chow. Or thank him. Depending on how much you like your mouth breathing chili garlic fire.