Indian flavors infused into Dragon Boat Festival delicacy

Zongzi is a little pyramid of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves that is eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival. Depending on regional preferences, this beloved specialty can be savory and filled with pork belly and mushrooms; or sweet and stuffed with red beans and jujubes. 


The rivalry between sweet and savory zongzi is an ongoing debate that happens around the Dragon Boat Festival each year. For this holiday season, Chef Rabiul from Kolkata, India enriches this age-old discussion by presenting foodies with something new–Indian-flavored zongzi.

Chef Rabiul explains that curry chicken is a popular dish in China. Using it as fillings for savory zongzi, he hopes to bring an aromatic twist to this traditional treat. As for the sweet version, he wants to create a dessert-like dish. Mixing fresh mango, assorted nuts, and cardamom powder into plain zongzi, this culinary innovation packs this delicacy with a delightful punch. 

This gastronomic adventure that blends the rich heritage of Chinese cuisine with the vibrant flavors of India is not a new phenomenon. Back in the 1700s, when the Hakka Chinese people settled in Kolkata, they cooked their food using a medley of Indian spices. The result was a fusion cooking style known as Desi Chinese, which has now become a beloved culinary trend in India. And now centuries later, Chef Rabiul continues to enrich the rich heritage of delicate Chinese food with his own culinary creations. 

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