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I love Indian food, specifically the following dishes that can be found in many Indian restaurants in America:

  • Kadai chicken (also known as karahi chicken)
  • Chicken jalfrezi
  • Chicken madras

Would I be able to find those dishes if I travel to India?

The reason I ask this question is because I've heard that Chinese food that you can find in America (such as kung pao chicken or General Tsao's chicken) cannot be found in China. I am wondering if the same applies to Indian food.

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    I don't much know about India itself and will let someone more knowledgeable answer but those name do not sound like dishes found in Indian restaurants in Europe ;-) Wikipedia suggests the first two are from Pakistan or Punjab. – Relaxed Mar 2 '15 at 17:05
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    @Relaxed: I can assure you that "chicken jalfrazi" (including similar spellings) can be found on the menu of almost every Indian ("Indian"?) restaurant in Germany. – O. R. Mapper Mar 2 '15 at 19:58
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    India is a huge, multicultural country. There are probably many different regional cuisines. – Ben Crowell Mar 2 '15 at 21:34
  • I've only ever eaten kung pao chicken in China. I didn't know it from Chinese restaurants in Australia. – hippietrail Mar 3 '15 at 8:41
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    @BenCrowell: Indeed, but that doesn't rule out diaspora Indians from inventing dishes in the countries they settle in that don't make it back in the old country. – hippietrail Mar 3 '15 at 8:43
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Kadhai chicken and Jalfrezi is normally on the menu in most decent Indian restaurants (In North India) but I cannot say the same for Madras chicken.

Source : I live in Delhi

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Many international dishes evolve to suit local tastes in ethnic restaurants outside their home country. Plus new dishes are created based on ethnic cuisine, but designed for the local market. And some dishes which are served in every "India" restaurant world wide, might only be served in a small district in their home country

Dishes, such as the Chinese ones you mention, are local creations that gained notoriety, thus becoming wide spread in their new home. But they will not be found in a traditional restaurant back in China (though you may see them in a hotel restaurant that caters to foreigners).

The India dishes you mentioned are regional, so you may find them as you travel around, but not on every menu in every restaurant.

You will discover that the flavors you enjoy at your local restaurant may not match what you taste in India. As I mentioned initially, most recipes are tweaked to local tastes, so the intensity may vary, plus local fresh ingredients will taste different then the dried versions your local restaurant has access to. One must learn, when traveling, to taste the dish as if it is a new experience, not as an expected flavor from home.

  • Absolutely Tom, I'd love to find out what the authentic versions taste like. – pacoverflow Mar 9 '15 at 5:51
  • Also, NAMING of dishes in european/british/american indian restaurants tends to follow a confusing mix of anglo-indian and indian standards... – rackandboneman Nov 2 '16 at 11:43

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