The recently released OTT series Modern Love showcases a lot of passion for love and food that cuts across classes, castes and genders.
Did you know about Mumbai’s bustling Chinese-Indian community until now? Well, this new show on Amazon Prime throws light on the existence of this niche community in the crowded lanes of Mumbai. Modern Love Mumbai, a culmination of six distinct stories, showcases how food can be a source of empowerment, fulfillment, love and stronger bonds. Inspired by the American series Modern Love, all the stories are located in the heart of the city and capture the essence of Mumbai really well. Be it the first story that begins with a motivating tale of how the protagonist, a Kashmiri woman, becomes financially independent by selling the famous Kashmiri drink called Kahwa on the streets of the city after her husband leaves her estranged.
There are plenty of other tales, one which talks about delicious niharis and kormas where Chef Ranveer Brar plays the role of a chef. However, what caught our attention was the story about Chinese family in Mumbai called Mumbai Dragon. A Cantonese woman whose ancestors fled their native land to settle in Mumbai, Sui Mai is a mother of two children and a great chef. Her dimsums and noodles as well as a special stir-fry eggplant dish wooes over her son’s girlfriend. In quest to dig deeper into the existence of a small Chinese-Indian community in the city, the son’s girlfriend interviews Sui Mai to know more about their food and culture. It is during one of these scenes that she narrates the story of the invention of sweet corn soup.
According to Sui Mai, her great grandfather is the inventor of this delicious dish. She exclaims how some whites had invaded their house late at night and handed them a can of sweet corn. The white lady asked her grandfather to cook something with this and in a hurry, he whipped up a bowl of soup. Stunned by the taste, the lady seemed quite pleased with the dish and that’s how sweet corn soup came into being.
Source: The cast of Mumbai Dragon, Pritish Nandy Communications/Instagram
While it is partially true, the origins were definitely dramatized in the flashback scene. The actually trajectory of sweet corn soup suggests that the soup that we drink today isn’t a Chinese creation. Although you’d find people slurping on sweet corn soup in parts of China, the popularized version is actually an Americanized dish. When Chinese immigrants moved to US, they opened up small restaurants as a source of living where they utilized sweet corn, an inexpensive ingredient easily accessible in US. That’s how Americans were introduced to the sweet corn soup.
While the Americans enjoyed this dish a lot, it landed in India through an indirect route since corn wasn’t a native crop. Cans of corn were added to the soup American-Chinese recipe and the Cantonese version took a third twist in India when people started sprucing up the bland dish with chilli sauce, soy sauce and more. Looks like sweet corn soup has had quite journey but like they say that the route to the heart is through the stomach, so here’s a quick sweet corn soup recipe that you can try at home.