Vegetable Manchurian

September 13, 2016
3 Ratings
Photo by Linda Xiao
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Described by many fans as foundation of Indian Chinese cooking, Vegetable Manchurian is a spicy, hot, sour, intensely satisfying dish. Probably one of the rare, sumptuous dishes that leaves me so satiated and content, I crave for a dessert. —Annada Rathi

What You'll Need
  • For the Manchurian balls:
  • 2 cups grated cabbage
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded green beans (in a food processor)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • For the Manchurian sauce:
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha or Thai chile sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced scallions
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar or rice wine vinegar (optional if the chile sauce is tart, too)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. For the Manchurian balls:
  2. Mix all the vegetables in a big bowl. Add salt and mix well. Set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Take a handful of the vegetable mixture and squeeze out the liquid between the palms of your two hands. Discard the liquid.
  4. Add cornstarch, all-purpose flour, and ginger to the vegetable mix and mix well. Roll them into Key lime-sized balls. You will get about 13 to 15 balls.
  5. Heat oil at medium heat and deep-fry manchurian balls in vegetable oil. Make sure you fry at medium heat, as frying on high heat will brown the outside of the vegetable balls super fast while the interior remains uncooked. After frying, the Manchurian balls should turn dark brown.
  6. Set aside to cool.
  1. For the Manchurian sauce:
  2. Mix soy sauce, ketchup and Sriracha in a bowl and set aside. Mix cornstarch in 1/4 cup water in a separate bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat sesame oil in a pan. Add garlic and scallions. Saute for 5 to 10 minutes. Add 2 cups water and let boil.
  4. Add soy sauce, ketchup, and Sriracha mixture and let it come to a rolling boil. Add vinegar, cornstarch mixture, and black pepper, and watch the sauce thicken. Turn the heat off after 5 minutes.
  5. Add Manchurian balls to the sauce and leave for 15 minutes. Serve warm with white rice or brown rice.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cheryl
  • Courtney C
    Courtney C
  • Sania
  • Jeffrey Bowen
    Jeffrey Bowen
  • Annada Rathi
    Annada Rathi
To some people's frustration, I like to talk about food before cooking, while cooking, while eating and of course after eating.

12 Reviews

DocSharc April 9, 2019
We made this for dinner last night and were quite pleased. Shredding the veggies in a food processor made prep easy. Definitely follow the directions about letting the veggies sit for 30 minutes. We were astounded by the amount of water that came out! Next time, we plan to make a double batch as this only made 2 servings for us (husband and I both worked out yesterday, so that might have played into it). I think the balls would freeze nicely.
Annada R. April 9, 2019
Thank you for trying this recipe and your feedback, Definitely, the manchurian balls freeze well. Just make the sauce fresh for from-the-scratch-made-just-now feel.
Cheryl March 3, 2018
This was good...and a lot of work I may double the recipe next time. I used chickpea flour instead of standard flour and it was fine. Sriracha was used.
Annada R. March 3, 2018
Thank you for your feedback, Cheryl, and thank you for trying them with chickpea flour. Freezing a couple of batches of manchurian balls would work too. Just make the sauce fresh.
Courtney C. December 6, 2016
Can I bake the balls instead of frying them?
Annada R. December 6, 2016
It's definitely worth a try, Courtney, though I must confess, I have not done it. Just ensure that the Manchurian balls get a brown, crunchy exterior.
Courtney C. December 6, 2016
Thanks so much! I will definitely try and let you know if it works out.
Sania November 6, 2016
Can this be done without the AP flour? Or is there any substitute?
Annada R. November 6, 2016
Hi Sania,
Though I have not tried this recipe without AP flour, I think you can substitute it with equal proportion cornstarch or chickpea flour. Good Luck!
Sania December 27, 2016
Besan sounds like a great idea; thank you!
Jeffrey B. October 12, 2016
So what is "medium heat" 350F, 300f?
Annada R. October 12, 2016
Hi Jeffrey,
Medium heat translates to 325F-375F and between number 3-5 on the stove burner dial.