Vegetable Manchurian

September 13, 2016
Photo by Linda Xiao
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

  • Serves 4
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

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To some people's frustration, I like to talk about food before cooking, while cooking, while eating and of course after eating.