Though Guyana is on the mainland of South America, it is also classed as part of the Caribbean due to its shared culture and heritage. It is a very ethnically diverse country after years of British colonial rule lead to immigration from Asia and Africa. Guyana has a huge Indian population after many Indian men moved to Guyana for work.
Before reading more into the history of Guyana, I was surprised to see so many Indian dishes mentioned when I researched the cuisine of Guyana; now I realise why. Despite the Chinese population being much lower in Guyana now, their presence in Guyana’s past has left a distinct mark on their food. A very popular dish is Guyana-style chow mein which features on so many Guyanese food pages – some even say the Guyanese version is better than the Chinese. The main difference between the two are the inclusion of local spices; green seasoning and scotch bonnet peppers.
I’ve debated for a while whether this actually constitutes traditional Guyanese food, but in a world which seems to be forgetting the importance of immigration on culture, I thought it was a good meal to cook. It was definitely tasty and distinctly different to Chinese chow mein – warmer and spicier.