Vegetable balls fried or baked tossed in spicy, tangy Chinese sauces is one of the most popular Indo-Chinese starter(dry) or a main dish(gravy). Manchurian is now one of the most popular Indian Street food also. You can find the so many stalls all around in Mumbai selling Chinese Bhel and Vegetarian Manchurian with a spicy Szechwan sauce. If Delhi-NCR region has seen a rise in the Momos stalls apart from the native Chole Bhature and Matra Chaat Stalls/vendors, Mumbai now boosts of Manchurian and Chinese Bhel outlets, in addition to the all-time favorite Pav Bhaji and Vada Pav stalls. Recently in an article, I read about Hydrabadi Manchurian!! Such is the popularity of this Indian originated in Manchurian, which was accidentally discovered in Mumbai by a chef while making a chicken dish(Source Wikipedia).
Manchurian balls are made with grated cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, beans or any as per your preference. Grated veggies are added, in a batter of cornstarch and all-purpose flour. Many people use only cabbage, I use both cabbage and cauliflower, it’s upto you what you want to use.My food processor comes in handy here, if you want to make it quickly and in bulk.Put all the veggies in food processor, blitz and here you are ready with the veggies to make Manchurian balls. A few years back on a cookery show I saw the chef using besan(chickpea) flour along with rice flour since then I always use both flours instead of using all-purpose flour. I make it both ways in dry form for starters and in gravy to be had with Fried rice / Noodles. Also, I add garlic powder and fresh ginger to the balls, you can use fresh ginger garlic paste. If you think the fried version is too oily and heavy for you then you can bake Manchurian balls in the oven or use your appe pan (if you have) and there you have a lighter version. In this post I am giving the fried and oven baked version, soon will update the appe pan version.
Let’s see how I make it..
For Manchurian Balls
Cabbage– 1 cup
French Beans –2-3
Green Chillies—1-2( or more depending on your spice level)
Rice Four/Cornflour– 1/4 cup
Chickpea Flour–2 Tbsp
Oil for frying
For Manchurian Sauce
Onion Cubed- ½ medium
Bell Peppers–½ Cup
Soy Sauce–2 Tbsp
Chilli Sauce– 1 Tbsp(as per preference)
Tomato Ketchup–1 -2 Tsp
Black Pepper–1/2 Tsp
Brown Sugar– ½ Tsp
Finely Spring Onion Greens for garnish
Refer to the pics at the end of the method, click or scroll the cursor on the image for caption.
For Manchurian Balls
In a food processor, grate all the vegetables that you are using.. I used Cabbage, Cauliflower, Beans, Carrots. Also, add ginger.
Transfer the veggies to a bowl, add and mix with veggies garlic powder, rice flour/cornstarch, besan(chickpea flour) and salt. Don’t add water as veggies have enough water for binding the flour. Add very little if you want. Make balls. All-purpose flour can also be added to the batter for binding instead of besan(chickpea flour).
Heat oil in a kadhai or thick bottom pan.
Fry the balls on medium heat till golden brown, take out on a kitchen towel.
For Manchurian Sauce:
Mix together soy sauce, tomato ketchup, chilli sauce, brown sugar and vinegar in a bowl. Keep cornflour and water handy.
Heat oil in a pan, add garlic, and green chilli, saute for a minute till the aroma of garlic comes out. Take care that garlic should not turn brown. Add onion cubes and stir-fry for a few seconds.
Add the bell pepper cubes and stir for another few seconds. We need to keep our veggies crunchy.
Add the sauce mixture, and cook for a minute. Meanwhile in the same bowl mix together cornstarch and water*(pls see notes below) and add to the pan after a minute, let the whole thing come to a boil, add manchurian balls. You can make keep the cornstarch slurry ready in another bowl also, I am used to doing this way only.
Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Switch off the flame, garnish with spring onion greens and cilantro/coriander(optional) and serve hot.
For Dry Manchurian: Add around ½ cup of water for the slurry with cornstarch.
For Gravy: Add around 2 cups or more of water(as per the consistency required) to cornstarch. Also, the gravy thickens once it starts cooling down, so adjust the consistency of water accordingly. Add little water while reheating Manchurian before serving.
No need to add salt while making gravy as there is enough salt in sauces. Adjust the salt as per your taste.
For baked version, line the balls in a baking tray. Brush some oil in the manchurian balls and bake at 400°F or 200°C in a pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes.
Manchurian with gravy goes well with fried rice of any kind(Veg Fried Rice, Egg Fried Rice, Mushroom Fried Rice), Noodles and even with simple steamed rice. Related recipe… Veg. Fried Rice
This recipe is almost gluten free and vegan as the flours that I use in my recipe are gluten-free– Rice flour, Chickpea flour, and Cornstarch.To make the gluten-free version, you can use any gluten-free soy sauce and make sure that other sauces that you are using are free of any kind of gluten.
I am sure you and your loved ones are going to love this Manchurian recipe… Do give it a try and let me know your feedback.
Follow the blog for more such interesting and yumm recipes.
Thanks for stopping by!!