31 January, 2012

Veg Manchurian or Vegetable Manchurian Recipe

Veg Manchurian

Nature is beautiful. Nature is inspiring…. And sometimes, it can be deceitful!

Don’t take it wrong, as my intentions are not bad… It’s just an observation from my end when I actually saw that little, delicate crocus buds blooming in our garden. Yes, Crocus blooms in mid-Jan! Who would have thunk?!

Veg Manchurians in Hot 'n Sour Sauce

Mother Nature almost deceived me in to unpacking my light jackets stored in large carton in attic! There was the promise of early spring in the air when the temperature stayed steady at double figure. The cherry blossom tree in front of our home showed the sign of life and so did the daffodil and tulip bulbs that started to sprout in our garden and every where. The fact that I was home sick and missing all the warm weather and sunshine back in India didn’t help me either! Any promise of spring was enough for me to pick my gloomy mood that matched the colour of grey skies! Oh yes, I was fooled!

Veg Manchurians in Hot 'n Sour Sauce

Soon there was a change in the air! The nip in the air, almost the biting chill that threatened to bite into the layers of cloths, was soon followed by thick layer of frost that made it difficult to walk on the footpath without sliding once or twice (well, at least a dozen times in my case!). The walk way was painted with white layer of frost and so were the skeletons of tree branches. I was forced to wear another layer of clothing along with gloves, cap and a woolly scarf! The days of wearing light jacket started to feel like something to come in distant future… Oh, well…

But now when I sit back and think about it, it is not all that bad! Not at all bad… While sipping on my favourite bowl of soup with freshly baked bread, I feel quite content. As the temperature dropped, I resorted to my favourite winter warmers. My kitchen became a wrm place to churn bowls after bowls of soups, stews, freshly baked breads, and lot of comfort foods. And to top it all, I treated myself to trendy fur lined jacket! Who says winter is bad?!

Veg Manchurians in Hot 'n Sour Sauce

This winter has been little different in cooking terms. We have been enjoying fresh home baked bread dunked in big bowl full of soups and stews. We also have been eating a lot of hot Rice and Broken Wheat Kichidi and spicy rice preparations. And how can I forget to mention about all those wonderful stuffed Paratas and spicy curries that never fail to lift even the gloomiest moods?! But with all these delicious goodies spreading their warmth, we have also been indulging in some deep fried sins. Yes, the Monsoon Spice household has been indulging on some deep fried goodies that come out of our kitchen at least once a week in cold ‘burrrr….’ winter months! And do you the best part of it? We don’t feel guilty about indulging in these deep fried ‘sins’! Not even an ounce of guilt! It may be because we have developed a thick skin overnight or the taste of these deep fried lovelies is worth committing these sins! :) And I would love to go with the latter.

Crisp and delightful ~ Veg Manchurians

So here is one of the deep fried lovelies we indulged in, Veg Manchurian, a happy end result of fusion cooking. Veg Manchurian or Vegetable Manchurian is a classic Indo-Chinese or Chindise dish of deep fried mixed vegetable fritters served in hot ‘n sour sauce. A selection of mixed vegetables are finely chopped and dusted with plain flour and corn flour and generously sprinkled with bread crumbs. A dash of soya sauce and a sprinkle of peppercorn powder add spicy kick to the otherwise plain and boring fritters. And then there is this thick, utterly delicious gravy sweetened with tomato sauce, a hint of sourness by soya sauce and green chillies and crushed peppercorns giving it all that fiery heat. The vegetables used not only add splash of colour but also give it a crunch and body to the sauce.

Vegetable Manchurians in Hot 'n Sour Sauce

Although the ingredients used are same as that in Chinese cooking, the taste is very much different from authentic Chinese cuisine. This Veg Manchurian is my dear friends are made to please the Indian palate that just can’t survive without spicy food that will leave our taste buds set on fire. Well, literally! So here it is, Vegetable Manchurian, authentic Indo-Chinese recipe! Make it when you feel low and just watch it lift your spirit as soon as your taste buds get the taste of this sweet, sour and spicy delight! Please stop being a sissy and indulge in some deep fried lovelies!

Finely chopped mixed vegetables for Veg Manchurian

Mixed vegetables, flour, bread crumbs and soya sauce forms a base for deep fried veg balls

Veg Manchurian ~ Before deep frying

Veg Manchurian ~ After deep frying

Veg Manchurian (Indo-Chinese dish of deep fried vegetable balls and sweet and sour sauce/gravy)
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Recipe Level: Beginner to Intermediary
Spice Level: Low to Medium
Serves: 4-5 people
Shelf Life: Best served fresh but can be refrigerated for 2-3 days
Serving Suggestion: As a starter/appetizer or as a side dish with Veg Fried Rice or Schezwan Fried Rice or Noodles

For Veg Balls:
½ cup Carrot, peeled and finely chopped (about ½ cm cubes)
¼ cup French Beans, finely chopped (1/2 cm pieces)
½ cup Cabbage, thinly shredded
¼ cup Sweet Corn, fresh/frozen/canned
½ cup Capsicum/Bell Pepper, finely chopped (about ½ cm pieces)
1 Green Chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
½ cup Maida/Plain Flour
½ cup Bread Crumbs
2-3 tbsp Corn Flour
¼ tsp White Pepper Powder (Adjust acc to taste)
2 tbsp Soya Sauce
Salt to taste
Oil for Deep Frying

For Sweet and Sour Sauce:
6 Spring Onions, thinly chopped
1 large Capsicum/Bell Pepper, cut into ½ inch pieces
¾ cup Cabbage, finely shredded
½ cup Sweet Corn (Optional)
6-7 large cloves of Garlic, thinly sliced
1 inch Ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
2 Green Chillies, finely chopped
½ cup Tomato Ketchup/Sauce
2 tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce (Optional)
2-3 tbsp Soya Sauce
2-3 tbsp Corn Flour, dissolved in ½ cup water
1 tsp Sugar (Optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tbsp Oil (Preferably Roasted Sesame Oil)

Common, pick one!

Or still better, make one for your loved ones!
Preparing the Veg Balls:
  1. Place all of the finely chopped vegetables in a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients one by one except for oil for deep frying.
  2. Mix them well using your hands till you get a crumbly mixture. Add salt to taste and mix them well.
  3. Next slowly add little water at time and start to combine the ingredients till you get sticky dough kind of texture. Make sure that you don’t add to much water as the balls will start to disintegrate when deep frying. The consistency whole mixture should be as that of chapatti dough and you should be able to make lemon sized balls without breaking them.
  4. Take a small portion from the mix and make small lemon sized balls and arrange them on a plate for deep frying.

Deep Frying:
  1. Next heat oil for deep frying and reduce the heat to medium to low flame. Gently drop one vegetable ball into oil at a time and deep fry them in batches of 3-4 balls at time. If the vegetable balls start to break, add 1-2 tbsp of corn flour to the mixture, mix them well and make small lemon sized balls.
  2. Fry them till they turn golden brown and crisp and place them in a bowl lined with kitchen towel to absorb excess oil.
  3. Alternatively, if you are not too keen on deep frying and are health conscious, you can bake them in an oven at 175 deg centigrade for about 20-30 minutes in a mid rack of the oven.

Preparing the Sweet ‘n Sour Sauce:
  1. Heat 2 tbsp of sesame oil in a wok to smoking hot. Reduce the heat to medium and add chopped garlic pieces. Stir fry them for about 15 seconds till they turn light golden.
  2. Immediately add finely chopped green chillies and let it cook for 10 seconds. Next add white parts of spring onions along with finely chopped ginger and stir fry for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add bell pepper pieces and stir fry them for a minute followed by chopped cabbage. Stir fry the cabbage for half to one minute.
  4. Mix in sweet corn, soya sauce, tomato sauce, sweet chilli sauce and give it a good stir.
  5. Next add about 2 cups of water and bring the mixture to gentle boil, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add sugar and then salt and pepper powder to taste and mix them well.
  7. Now slowly add corn flour dissolved in water to the gravy. Make sure that you keep stirring the whole mix while adding the corn flour water so as no lumps are formed.
  8. Let it cook for another 2-3 minutes and soon the sauce will start to thicken. Switch off the flame once the sauce comes to gentle boil.

  1. Transfer the sauce into serving dish and arrange the deep fried vegetables balls in it.
  2. Garnish it with chopped spring onion greens or coriander leaves and serve it hot with Veg Fried Rice or Schezuan Fried Rice or any Chinese Noodle dish and enjoy.
  3. Alternatively you can serve them in an individual bowl as an appetizer or starter too.

Veg Manchurians in Hot 'n Sour Sauce

Sia’s Notes:
  • I don’t cook my vegetables for long as I like the crunch bite in them. And also cooking them for long means losing its nutrition!
  • If the veg balls starts to crumble or disintegrate while deep frying, add 2-3 tbsp of corn flour to the mixture and mix them well. Corn flour acts as a binding agent and it will hold the shape of the balls when deep frying.


  1. Yummy! I have actually committed quite a few deep-fried sins this winter too ;) It is definitely worth it sometimes!!

  2. DELICIOUS to the core :) Simply mouth watering

  3. Fantastic Sia...Im finding it hard too but spring is not far!!!

  4. A beautiful dish! What awesome colors and flavors.



  5. mouth watering. feel like grabbing one...

  6. Yay! This is super yum! I love the clicks and wow my mouth just filled with saliva! :) Sia welcome back ! We missed you heaps! Soo good to have u back from the vacation! :)

  7. Yummy yummy. My kids will adore this.

  8. perfect manchurian...looks colourful and delicious!!beautiful click!

  9. Who can resist these inviting delights?

    The recipe ind detail, the photographs, take this page into the top Manchurian recipes, found in Indian food blogs.


  10. I adore vegetable manchurian but have never attempted to make it myself. I think that I'll try using your recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Looks delicious. Will surely try it out!

  12. I don't know how it tastes, but it looks absolutely gorgeous!

  13. hello I made it yesterday for super bowl party and It was too tasty ... all guest were asking about this dish :) thank you!

  14. @Jha, that's lovely :) Thanks for leaving your comment and letting me know :)

  15. Hi. I found this on pinterest and made it the next day. I was a bit confused as to what corn flour was and while making the veggie balls, i used corn meal, but then realized in the sauce part that corn flour is corn starch, LOL!! It all turned out really well, i baked the veggie balls and also added some crispy tofu to it.


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