Sunday, April 29, 2012

Vegetable Manchurian for #SundaySupper

Have you ever been so in love with a certain cuisine since your childhood only to harshly discover later on in life that what you thought was authentic is actually not? Ok, I wouldn't put it so dramatically as 'harshly' but, it was big news to me when I tasted the real stuff.

I'm talking about the Chinese food I was head over heels for when I was a kid. Growing up in India, we had our own version of Chinese food, just like the rest of the world. I know the Chinese are shaking their heads at us as we continue to indulge in those but, it's hard to let go of dishes that were your favorites as a kid. I ain't giving up my version of Chinese food anytime soon!

My earliest memories are of when I was around 10-11 and we had these family friends (who're actually like family to us) who were patrons of this little Chinese restaurant in the city of Hyderabad called Nanking. For special occasions, Nanking was the one we turned to. It was like going to the fair for me. THE event. I didn't care what the others ordered but, I had to have my Chinese Chopsuey, Vegetable or Cauliflower Manchurian and Lemon Chicken. I was ready to cry murder if my wishes weren't granted. Somewhat along the lines of Sheldon and his chinese food. But, lucky for me, the Uncle (in India, everyone's an Uncle or an Aunty if they're much older than you, even if you're not related to them AT ALL) always asked me what I wanted and made sure I got it. They also had a home I loved to visit because I would stare in wonder and awe at all the things they had. I always laugh at kids who do that nowadays, but, when I remember the exact same thing I used to do, the laughter dies down a bit.

Anyway, fast forward a whole bunch of years to my move to Singapore. I thought I was going to eat Manchurian and Chopsuey every day of my life. I was excited. And then, I had the biggest awakening of my life. The Chinese food I was eating was NOT Chinese food! I felt like a fish out of water when I couldn't find my favorites in any of the restaurants. Internally, I was a mess because everything was so new to me and I couldn't find the food I took so much comfort in. The friends I made, stared at me blankly when I asked them if there was anything like Manchurian or Chopsuey. They thought I had lost my marbles. I'm also glad that they only found it funny and went on to become some of my best friends. And I went on to fall in love with REAL Chinese food too. So much so that I miss the real stuff more than the Indian Chinese I grew up with.

But, today it's all about going down memory lane and revisiting my favorite Manchurian and sharing it with all of you. Manchurian is basically deep fried fritters of either vegetables, cauliflower or chicken which is then soaked in a sauce. It is DELICIOUS. Here's the recipe. Excuse the pictures because I've been nursing a sick stomach and didn't have the energy to do the dish justice.

Also, don't forget to have a lookie at all the amazing Sunday Supper dishes my friends are sharing today...details after the recipe.

Vegetable Manchurian
(Recipe courtesy: Khana Khazana)

Ingredients and instructions:

  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup grated cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup grated cabbage (I used beans since I didn't have cabbage)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour/corn starch
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 2 green chiles, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Vinegar (white)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper

Combine the grated vegetables in a bowl. Add a little bit of salt and leave it aside for 5 minutes. This step is to draw all the moisture out of the vegetables and the salt helps you do that. After 5 minutes, squeeze out all the excess water using a muslin cloth or a kitchen towel. Transfer the vegetables back to the bowl. Add the flour, 1 tablespoon of corn starch and a little bit of salt and pepper. Mix well till you get a little dough consistency. Make tiny balls with the dough, no bigger than an inch, since the balls will grow when they're soaking in the sauce.

Heat oil in a frying pan and deep fry the balls till they're golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

In another pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil and saute the garlic and ginger for a minute in the oil. Add the chopped white portion of the spring onions and fry for a minute. Add the green chiles, stir a couple of times before adding the chicken stock. While you're waiting for the stock to come to a boil, add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and season with salt and pepper.

Mix the 2 tablespoons of corn starch with 1/4 cup water. Add this to the boiling stock slowly, while stirring, till the sauce thickens a bit. Let the sauce cook for 2 minutes. If the sauce looks too pale, add a little more soy sauce.

Turn the flame off and add the vegetable balls in. Garnish with the chopped green stems of the spring onion and let it rest for 15 minutes.


The really talented Isabel from Family Foodie hosts Sunday Supper every {you guessed it} Sunday on the interwebs with the hopes of bringing more families together for a lovely meal together on Sunday. She invented the #SundaySupper hashtag on Twitter that has now spread like wildfire across the globe with even celebrities tweeting about their #SundaySuppers. How cool is that now? Not even close to the wonderful food you'll see across our virtual Sunday Supper spread by a bunch of my buddies. Here's a sneak peek of what you'll find from us all, so don't forget to visit each person's site to enjoy the feast!

Lane from Supper for a Steal...Chicken Tortellini Soup Recipe

Sasha from Rambling Notebook...Crock Pot Curried Carrot Ginger Soup

Jennie from The Messy Baker Blog...Meatball Subs

Lyn from Lovely Pantry...Butternut Squash and Aspragus Risotto

Pam from The Meltaways...Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Carla from Chocolate Moosey...Sweet Chili Wings Recipe

Karen from Notes from the Cookie Jar...Chickpea Masala Sandwiches

Connie from Mrs. MamaHen...German Potato Salad

Anuradha from Baker Street...Blueberry Lime Bread

Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake...Creme Brulee French Toast

And for the best wine suggestions to go with all this amazing food, Eileen from Wine Everyday has some lovely advice on what would go best with these dishes!


  1. I have never had this. WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING TO MYSELF????

    I think the first time we meet, we should go for Chinese. Just sayin'.

  2. You did take me to my childhood memories. I loved Manchurian and chopsuey,never knew they don't exist in actual Chinese food.
    But the good thing is what ever food it is, it just taste wonderful. Your pictures are great and I wish If I can come over to your house for supper. I am sure there will be leftover:)

  3. LOL. We have our own version of Indian food here, too. No idea how authentic it is, but I sure do like it :)

  4. Gobi Manchurian is one of my favorite dishes, so I know I will love your recipe. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. That's what I heard about Chinese food. There's Chinese food, then there's our version of Chinese food. My favorite is General Tso's. I'm not sure if I've ever had Manchurian before. Maybe at a buffet. I think your pictures look great despite how you were feeling!

  6. It is difficult to accept it.. But authenticity is so vague right now. What is really authentic chinese chinese food? Although I had chinese food all my life, when I went to China, chinese restaurant, I know it tasted different. Maybe the herbs, the ingredients, maybe the touch of a familiar experienced chef or maybe the country itself. :)

  7. God I am in love with manchurian - all I eat when I go to India ;)
    Looks like I won't have to wait any longer I guess - tahnk you :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. This is a unique dish for me. I haven't had anything like this, but I am really excited to try. Thanks!

  9. I love your plates! But I bet I'd love that dish even more, it looks so good!!

  10. We Indians are so fond of the Indo- Chinese version that the authentic ones at times can disappoint our taste bud :)
    This is one of my fav and I love it with some plain fried rice.

  11. wow.. it's been a longggggggggg time. great job on the site. love vegetable manchurian, must be amazing since it's sanjeev kapoor's ... nice job.


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