I am not sure how and when i was introduced to Manchurian but as interesting as the name of this dish is, I have always loved the taste and texture of it. Here is an attempt to re-create the dish with the Divine Spice Box twist to it.
As i set out to start writing about this dish, i though about finding the meaning of the word “MANCHURAIN” and was surprised by the description i got. Manchurian refers to anything pertaining to Manchuria, a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia (now this region is referred to as Northeast China). Amazing how we sometimes adapt to names so easily without knowing the history behind it. It was an interesting read for me.
Manchurian falls under the category of Indo-Chinese dishes. Usually, it is an adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to suit Indian tastes. The usual vegetarian variety of Manchurian that I have seen is a mix of vegetables, bind into balls and deep-fried. The same is sautéed with spring onions/bell peppers and served semi-dry with dipping sauce as an appetizer or is prepared in thick gravy and served along with a dish of fried rice or noodles.
When I thought about preparing this dish, i wanted to break away from the well composed look of this dish and make it look exactly the way it makes me feel when I taste it – tangy, spicy, lip-smacking, glorious and comforting.
I wanted to create a chaotic yet elegant appeal to it. To me, that is artistic !!
The recipe is fairly simple and gives a tempting and divine tasting dish in under 30 minutes. Perfect to go along with the fried rice or noodles, i have tried it as a filling for wraps and even samosas (might sound crazy :P) and it was just delicious.
The taste is so amazing that it leaves the taste buds asking for more and the mind keeps juggling out immense possibilities !!
It is indeed a delight for the vegetarians 🙂 Enjoy !
VEGGIE DELIGHT MANCHURIAN
Veggie Delight Manchurian
- 5-6 florets of Cauliflower (chunky and big sizes)
- 2-3 Baby corns – slit vertically into 2 parts each
- 1/2 cup Cottage Cheese (Paneer) . Can replace with Tofu
- 1/2 cup Carrots (optional) – cut into thick strips
- 1/4 cup All purpose flour
- 1/4 cup Corn starch
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- ginger -1 tsp grated
- Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp or as per taste. Can also use Chipotle powder for an interesting, smoky flavour.
- 1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)
- water for batter – 3-4 tsp
- Oil for deep-frying
- 2 Spring onions – white and green portions cut and kept separately
- 1/2 cup Green Bell peppers – Julienne
- 2 tsp soya sauce
- 1/4 cup tomato ketchup/tomato puree
- 3 cloves garlic – minced
- 1/2 inch ginger – grated
- 1 medium green chilli – finely chopped
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1/2 tsp raw mango powder / 2 tsp tamarind chutney. (Find the tamarind chutney recipe here)
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 2 tsp oil
- salt to taste
- Paprika / chilli flakes for garnishing
- In a bowl, add the all purpose flour, corn starch, salt, red chilli powder/chipotle powder, pepper, garam masala, grated ginger and a little water to make into a semi-thick batter. The batter has to be a semi-thick so that it sticks nicely to the vegetables. To this batter, add 1 tsp of oil and mix well. Adding a teaspoon of oil helps in making the vegetable manchurian fritters crispy and crunchy.
- Now, in a deep pan/ kadhai, take some oil for deep-frying and heat till hot. You can test the oil by adding 1 drop of the batter in it and see if the batter starts to fry instantly.
- Take 1 type of vegetable at a time. dip in the batter nicely and fry till golden brown. Remove and transfer in a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil. For an additional twist, you can pre-marinate the paneer/tofu in a mixture of spices for a spicier version.
- Once all the fritters have been done, take a wok pan and pour 2 tsp oil. Once the oil is medium hot, add in the green chillies, ginger and garlic and saute on high flame. Now to this, add the white portions of the spring onions and bell peppers. Saute for 1 minute.
- In a separate bowl, mix the vingear, soya sauce, tomato ketchup/tomato puree, tamarind chutney and corn starch and mix well. Add this to the wok pan.
- Once the gravy starts to thicken, reduce flame and add the fritters and mix gently. Depending on the required consistency of the gravy, add the water in to the gravy before you add the fritters. Fritters are not required to be cooked or else they will lose the crunch/crisp factor.
- Saute on high flame for half a minute. remove from flame. Serve immediately.
- Garnish with green portion of the spring onions and paprika. Serve with rice or noodles.
I love the way this dish looks and tastes ! It is aromatic, interesting and gives a street food appeal which adds a nostalgic charisma to it 🙂 I served this dish with Chinese Fried rice (i call my version, the Friday Fried rice, recipe to come soon !!). I used the left over veggie Delight Manchurian for pasta the next day and it was delicious.
One dish, so many possibilities. Make it yourself and let your imagination run wild 🙂