How healthy is the Indian version of Chinese food being served as a street food?

Most of the Chinese food dishes sold in India have different tastes and looks than that of authentic Chinese cuisine. This is because Indians have transformed Chinese food as per their likes and taste.

Food is important for life. It is very much important for living as it provides the nutrients, energy to do our daily job. Nowadays more than a need, it has become a want. We love to eat wherever we go because we find it very pleasing to our senses. As food is very important for our daily living, we find ways of getting it wherever we are and whenever we need it. This is how street food comes into the scene. Street food is available almost everywhere and is prepared so fast, ready to eat, and cheaper too.

3A’s which makes street food so popular

Affordability – Street foods are sold so cheaply which helps a lot of people especially lower-income groups who can’t afford to buy expensive food all the time.

Availability – These are available wherever you go. The vendors are so fast in their service as their products are half cooked already and just need little heat for final cooking.

Accessibility – One can easily access their nearby food stall as these are everywhere.

Indian version of Chinese food

There are different types of street food available especially Chinese, Italian, South Indian, North Indian, etc. Among all this, Chinese food is getting very much popular these days.

Indians have evolved the Indian version of Chinese food. This version is very much famous on Indian streets, especially in Mumbai. Indians like to use more spices as we have their richness. Most of the Chinese food sold in India is altered for Indian tastes which are spicier than the authentic version of Chinese food. Indian version of Chinese food is fattier because of extra spices and oils added to it. The authentic version of Chinese food is less spicy and simple.

Authentic Chinese food is not cheaper at all. It’s just the Indian version of Chinese food available on the streets are cheaper where the expensive and rare available products are replaced with their substitute.

The crowd at the street vendor can attract you, not because the food is good or safe, it is because the food is too cheap in the name of Chinese cuisine. The vendors keep their prices low to attract that group of community which cannot afford restaurant. And they do so by compromising the quality of food.

How street food affects your health

They use cheese and mayo of low-grade quality.

They use local and bad ketchup, noodles, and vinegar to make chowmein.

They use paneer of pathetic condition to make chili paneer. They use anything to make their food tasty. This is only to attract customers.

Hygiene doesn’t exist.

Generally, many food products are kept open. Heavy traffic, dust, and smoke of vehicles pollute the food.

They usually wash utensils at end of the day, don’t know how the water is. Big pots in which they make food are not properly washed.

Some of them are using steel or melamine utensils to serve and not disposables.

Ajinomoto – It is the essential ingredient of the majority of Chinese food. It is a chemical called monosodium glutamate. It is very harmful to our bodies. Chemical increases the secretion of insulin. Increased insulin secretion increases your appetite. More eating makes you obese. This chemical is also not good for children and pregnant women.

The red color in Chinese food

Most of the Indian Chinese food is bound to prepare with red color. The red color is the characteristic of the Indian version of Chinese food. The red or brown color is attained by the use of chili sauce, soya sauce, and coloring agent which is not of standard quality. Because a large amount of chili extract is being used, it tastes pungent and spicy which is very much liked by Indians. Whether it is fried rice, momo’s sauce, noodles, Manchurians, every food item is red or brown.

Health problems 

Sanitation – smoke, dust flies, cockroaches are some of the things that can affect the quality of food products and may result in food poisoning.

Diseases – consuming street food for a long period of time could lead to problems like Hepatitis Infection, typhoid fever, diarrhea, stomach pain, gastroenteritis, etc.

Points to consider while having street food

Make sure it's freshly cooked and is hot.

Raw materials being used, especially the oil.

Wash facilities.


Amount of salt and sugar added.

It is true that street food is lacking nutrition and health benefits, but some dishes are there which may not fall into the list of food one must avoid.

Tags : #medicircle #smitakumar #chinesefood #indianversion #streetfood

About the Author

Renu Gupta

With a background in Pharmacy which is the clinical health science that links medical science with chemistry, I had the desire to mix creativity to these fields. Medicircle provides me an avenue to apply my training in science and interest in creativity together.

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