The New York Times recently published an article in which the writer recreated a Pakistani version of Chicken Manchurian, a popular Chinese dish. The article referred to it as “a stalwart of Pakistani Chinese cuisine,” which triggered a Twitter war between Pakistanis and Indians over the dish’s origin. While some claimed that it was an Indian creation by a Kolkata-born chef of Chinese descent named Nelson Wang in the 70s, others argued that it was a Pakistani invention. The article’s writer later edited her description, calling it “a stalwart of desi Chinese cooking” and crediting Wang for its creation.
Despite the article’s clarification, the debate continued on Twitter, with many sharing memes and theories about the dish’s origins. However, it’s worth noting that the NYT never claimed that the dish originated in Pakistan, but rather the writer was recreating a Pakistani version of the dish. The online war over a misunderstood tweet showcased the intense cultural rivalry between Pakistan and India.
The incident highlights how social media platforms can sometimes magnify small issues, leading to larger controversies. Nonetheless, the online debate was amusing and harmless and ultimately highlighted the shared love for Chicken Manchurian across both borders.