Veg Manchurian is an Indochinese dish consisting of fried vegetarian balls in a spicy, sweet and tangy sauce. There are 2 popular variations of making Manchurian vegetables.
- Veg Manchurian Sauce (with Gravy) – Makes for a delicious Chinese main course. Goes best with any type of fried rice, or steamed rice.
- Veg Manchurian Dry – A great starter snack or as a side dish with hakka noodles or a chowmein.
Both recipes taste great. You can do either as per your choice. Example: You can prepare Manchurian pulses as a starter or a Manchurian vegetable sauce for a Chinese main course.
About this recipe
The manchurian veg sauce recipe has a sauce or gravy in which the fried vegetable balls are tossed and soaked.
The sauce has a mix of eclectic flavors and tastes like salty, sour, spicy, sweet, and umami. The recipe is also vegan.
Manchurian in Indian jargon is a term for fried vegetables or fried meat (fish or shrimp or chicken) in this spicy-umami sauce.
You can also call the sauce as a Manchurian sauce. Manchuria and many other Indian Chinese recipes were an invention of the Chinese community living in Calcutta.
This Chinese style of cooking has been widely adapted to suit the Indian palate and also to have more vegetarian options in the kitchen.
I love Indo-Chinese cuisine. I loved making Chinese food at home so much that in my teenage years I often made three of my favorite Indo Chinese recipes – Chili Paneer, Corn Soup, and Vegetable Manchuria.
The Manchu recipe presented here is a proven recipe, like all of my recipes. the result was a delicious vegetarian manchurian which was excellent with steamed rice.
How to make manchurian veg sauce
For ease of reading, I have divided this article into 3 main parts.
- Step 1 – Make vegetarian Manchurian balls
- Step 2 – Fry Manchurian Vegetable Balls
- Step 3 – Make a Manchurian sauce or gravy
Let’s start with step 1 – Make vegetable balls
1. Take the finely chopped or grated vegetables in a bowl. you will need ½ cup finely chopped red cabbage, ½ cup grated carrot, ¼ cup finely chopped bell pepper (green pepper), ¼ cup finely chopped green beans and ¼ cup finely chopped spring onions. You can also add regular collard greens instead of red or purple cabbage.
2. Then add the dry ingredients – 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour (maida), ½ teaspoon of black pepper and ½ teaspoon of salt or add as needed.
3. Mix and collect all the mixture. Then mix and knead so that the vegetables leave the water and you have a dough-like mixture. But don’t knead bread or roast dough like that. Gluten strands can form and give a dense chewy texture to fried vegetarian dumplings. So mix very well and squeeze so that the vegetables release their juice.
4. Then in your hands take a small portion of the mixture.
5. Press and roll it in your palm to make a round veggie ball.
6. Prepare all the vegetable balls this way and keep them aside. You can spread the oil on your palms while making the vegetable balls.
Step 2 – fry vegetable balls
7. In a kadai or pan, heat oil for frying. Add a small piece of scoop to the hot oil. If the balls do not stick or settle to the bottom of the pan, but come up steadily, the oil is ready to fry these veggie balls. If the beads break, a little more binder is needed. So you can add 2-3 teaspoons of a little more all-purpose flour (maida).
8. Gently place the balls into the hot oil. The oil should be moderately hot. Too much heat and the Manchurian balls will be golden on the top and uncooked on the inside. Less hot oil will cause the balls to absorb too much oil.
9. When cooked on one side, twist the balls with a slotted spoon.
10. Fry the balls until crisp and golden, turning them several times. Remove them with a slotted or perforated spoon and drain as much of the oil as possible.
Also Read: Veg Manchurian, Chinese Dry Manchurian
11. Place the fried Manchurian balls on paper towels. For a low-fat version, you can cook the vegetable balls in an appe-appam pan or æbleskiver pan. Fry the vegetable balls in this way in batches and keep them aside.
Step 3: Prepare the sauce
12. In a small bowl, take the following three sauces – ½ tbsp soy sauce (or 1.5 teaspoon soy sauce), 1 tbsp tomato ketchup, 2-3 teaspoons sauce Red pepper. The red chili sauce is spicy and unsweetened.
13. Mix the sauces very well and set aside.
14. In another small bowl, take 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (corn starch) and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix very well and set aside.
15. Heat 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan or wok. Add 4 tablespoons of chopped green onions (scallions), 1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic, 2 green chilies (finely chopped) and ¼ cup of finely chopped bell pepper (bell pepper green).
Adding capsicum is optional. You can use toasted sesame oil or sunflower oil or any cooking oil.
16. Sauté over medium heat until the onions become translucent.
17. Now add the mixed sauces.
18. Stir and mix very well.
19. Add 1 to 1.25 cups of water.
20. Let the mixture boil.
21. Mix the cornmeal dough in the bowl again (while the cornmeal settles to the bottom), then add it to the pan.
22. As soon as you add the cornmeal paste, mix very well so that there are no lumps.
23. Keep stirring and mixing while the Manchurian sauce cooks. Simmer until the Manchurian sauce thickens and you see a frosting in it. There should be no raw taste of cornstarch in the sauce.
Cooking the sauce or gravy takes about 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat. If the sauce is too thick, add water. If it is too thin, you can add cornstarch.
24. When the Manchurian sauce thickens, add ½ teaspoon of black pepper powder.
25. Season with a little salt. Remember that soy sauce, chili sauce, and tomato ketchup already contain salt. So add less salt and according to your taste preferences.
26. Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of sugar or more if needed. Mix very well.
27. Then add the fried vegetable balls. Also add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or regular vinegar or rice vinegar.
28. Gently stir and coat the fried vegetable balls in the sauce.
29. Turn off the flame and add the greens of chopped green onions.
30. Serve hot Manchurian vegetable sauce garnished with some scallion greens (scallion greens). It pairs well with vegetable fried rice or schezwan fried rice or steamed rice or noodles and even bread or roti.
- Grated or Chopped Vegetables: To make Manchurian vegetables, you need grated or chopped vegetables like cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, beans, and spring onions (green onions). So you can chop the vegetables in a food processor or chop them with a knife. But using a food processor will save you time.
- Soy Sauce: It is best to use naturally brewed soy sauce. You can also use bragg liquid aminos or tamari. While making a recipe with soy sauce, I would suggest using naturally brewed soy sauce or Bragg liquid aminos or tamari.
- Tomato Ketchup – Use good quality or homemade ketchup.
- Red Chilli Sauce – To add a little heat and spiciness, a red chili sauce is added. Note that you can use sriracha sauce instead of red chili sauce.
- Gluten-free options – To bind the flour, use potato starch or tapioca starch in place of cornstarch (corn flour). Use rice flour or chickpea flour (besan or chickpea flour) instead of all-purpose flour (maida).
- No MSG (Ajinomoto) – I don’t add msg or ajinomoto in any of the recipes I make. If you want, you can add a pinch to this recipe.
- Serving Suggestions – Veg Manchurian sauce pairs well with fried rice, Schezwan fried rice or steamed rice or noodles or vegetable noodles. You can also serve him bread or soft rolls or naan or roti.