Chinese cuisine is based on the Ancient wisdom that there should be harmony in every aspect of life, including the preparation of food. The flavours of China are loved by people of all ages, all over the world, for their exhilarating aroma, composite taste, inviting appearance and healthy cooking techniques. Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, recommended that food be cut uniformly into bite sized pieces and enriched with the perfect blend of herbs and condiments to enhance flavour. The outstanding benefits of such sage advice are for all of us to appreciate today. 

The subject of the flavours of China brings back magical moments from my childhood. I would watch with bated breath as the town’s favourite Chinese cook handled the steel ladle, brandishing it like a sword, tossing and stirring the noodles or vegetables, adding magical herbs, sauces (red, green, brown), salt and pepper. I was transfixed, certain that any moment the fire would devour the food. In no time at all, my favourite dish would sweep in on a tray and be placed before me – yet another sleight of hand performed before my eyes! By then the wizard chef, wearing the same enigmatic smile, was applying himself to conjuring up another unique masterpiece ordered by next eager customer. 

Stir frying, similar to the Western sautéing, is a technique that is widely used in Chinese cooking. It allows many dishes to be cooked in a flash (within a minute) at high heat using very little oil. Timing and constant stirring ensures that the food is evenly heated on the inner surface of the wok. Because this method requires the shortest possible preparation time, it is also referred to as ‘blitz’ cooking. As you may have experienced, with blitz cooking vegetables remain bright, crisp and crunchy and, as you’d imagine, vitamins and minerals are helpfully locked in. Stir frying works its charms on every possible dish – including seafood, lamb, chicken and pork, not to mention a cornucopia of vegetables and staples. 

Sweet, sour, spicy, tangy, here’s your chance to indulge your taste buds in an authentic Oriental feast. 

The Mahjong Room at the ITC Mughal has a special treat of exquisite stir-fried food, Salt n’ Pepper, from April 15th to April 30th. 

For more information, please visit the Gourmet Guide.