The long history of Chinese cooking in America has evolved toward the sweet and syrupy.
By contrast, in India, where the fusion is known as "Indo-Chinese," the flavors that emerged over the last century from the Chinese community in eastern India have veered toward high-voltage spice and sour.
Take my new favorite vegetarian dish, which is becoming more common in Philadelphia-area Indian restaurants: Gobi Manchurian.
The cauliflower florets are crisped in a seasoned corn batter, then sauced in a mahogany slick that could be mistaken for General Tso's - until you take a bite. At the Dosa Hut in Eagleville, where I order mine "dry" (instead of in gravy), the soy- and tomato-based sauce also rings with powdered coriander and chiles, spicy sambal oelek paste, and a tangy undertow (vinegar?) that keeps your fork coming back, even if the spice on your tongue is glowing, "Stop!"
- Craig LaBan
Gobi Manchurian, $10.95, Dosa Hut, 2864 Ridge Pike, Eagleville, 610-631-2787.