Vegetable Manchurian

This is a delicious Indo-Chinese dish. I am not even sure that such a dish exists in Chinese cuisine. But it is very popular in India. It contains various vegetables formed into dumplings and dropped into a sauce that is sweet, sour, hot and salty. An amazing dish. A meal at a Chinese restaurant in India is not complete without a manchurian dish.
As many of you probably know, Indians have managed to customise Chinese cuisine to suit local tastes – hence Indo-Chinese cuisine is very popular and is now a cuisine in its own right. My friend was brought up in Penang where there is a vibrant Chinese community and therefore, traditional Chinese cuisine. She grew up on such fare. When she visited me a few years ago, I took her to a typical Chinese restaurant – not the Indo-Chinese one. We had dinner, but she was disappointed. The next day, we went to an Indo-Chinese restaurant and she was delighted with the food.
This dish incorporates the best traditions of Indo-Chinese cuisine.

Vegetable Manchurian

For The Manchurian Balls
1/2 a cabbage (either green or purple)
2 medium sized carrots
1 medium sized onion
1 medium sized green bell pepper (capsicum)
2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
2-3 green chilis, minced (adjust according to taste)
Unrefined salt to taste
1/2 cup rice flour (I used brown rice flour)
1/4 cup corn starch (or tapioca starch)
For The Manchurian Sauce
12 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 small green bell pepper, cut into 3/4″ cubes
1 small onion, cut into 3/4″ cubes, petals separated
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1-2 tbsp hot chili sauce (adjust according to taste)
2-4 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari)
2 tbsp rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
3-4 tbsp date paste
1/2 tsp ginger paste
4 cups water
4 tbsp corn starch (or tapioca starch)
2 scallions, chopped fine
Unrefined salt to taste
Making The Manchurian Balls
Grate all the vegetables, including the onion
Place the grated vegetables and all other ingredients in a bowl
Mix until a ball is formed and the vegetables hold together
Shape the mixture into 3/4″ balls
Transfer to a steamer
Steam for 7-8 minutes
Then transfer to an air fryer
‘Fry’ for 10-12 minutes or till the balls are golden brown
Shake the air fryer tray occasionally to that all sides are equally browned
Remove from air fryer and set aside
Making The Manchurian Sauce|
Heat a wok and add the garlic
Sauté for about 10 seconds
Add the bell peppers and onion
Sauté for a minute
Add the sauces, one by one, in the middle of the wok – ketchup, soy sauce, chili sauce, vinegar, date paste and ginger paste
Mix together quickly and add 4 cups of water
Bring to a boil and taste to adjust any ingredient
Mix the corn starch in 4 tbsp of water
Add a little at a time till the sauce thickens (not necessary to use all the corn starch)
Bring to a boil until the sauce becomes glossy, about 2-4 minutes
Add the balls and turn off the heat
Garnish with scallions
Serve with fried rice

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Chitra says:

    How do you make wfpb tomato ketchup to use in this recipe


    1. Easy. Boil tomatoes. Transfer to blender and add date paste and a pinch of salt. Add any other seasoning you like – herbs, garam masala…
      Grind well sauce ready.


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