What Is It About Rourkela's Manchurian That Makes It So Special?
Image Credit: Instagram @rourkelafoodstories

Rourkela is the steel city of Odisha surrounded by a range of hills and encircled by the rivers Koel, Sankh, and Brahmini. The city has a very diverse culture and cuisine. Manchurian can be rightly considered the most popular and chosen street food in the town. While Manchurian is deemed to be Chinese, it was made by Nelson Wang in Mumbai, India. The word 'Manchurian' means inhabitants of Manchuria, where the Manchu people live. This cuisine is said to be made by adapting Chinese people's seasoning and cooking style to Indian Chinese Restaurants. It has little resemblance to the traditional Manchu cuisine.  

Rourkela is said to be mini-India by its residents. With an assortment of people here, you will taste a variety of cuisines in various parts of the city. But Manchurian is said to be one of the uniting forces for all the Rourkelalites. You will find this street food available in every other city street. It isn't challenging to find a variety of Manchurian that you like in Rourkela. However, the native residents of the city enjoy their Manchurian crisp, dry (less saucy), and served hot. Generally, the Chinese restaurants in India serve Manchurians as softballs of meat or veggies in a saucy bowl, but the scenario is entirely different in this steel city. Mostly you will find veg Manchurian being served in small or big food corners on a plate that is not very saucy and fried well to give a crispy bite. Manchurian is also used to make different rolls and served with Chowmein. A mix of Chowmein and Manchurian is another tasty twist to this dish that most Rourkelites can relate to.  

If you have a Rourkelite friend, you must be familiar with listening to their regular rants about how the Manchurian of the other city doesn't taste that well or how much they want to visit the town soon to relish their favourite plate of Manchurian. The taste of Manchurians gets doubled, especially during the winters. Holding a plate of Manchurian in the winters of Rourkela and enjoying it with your friends is one beautiful memory that this city has gifted all its residents.  

Next time you visit Odisha, do not forget to relish one of its best-kept secrets, the Manchurian of Rourkela. The ideal time to visit this city is during October or around January/February, when you can taste Manchurian at its best and enjoy the town's scenic beauty.