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Here I’m back with another Indo Chinese favorite of mine…”Vegetable Manchurian“, this is a must try side for all type Chinese stir fried rice / noodle dishes. This is one of our all time favorites at home and guess must be the same at your end too, every time when we step into a Indian or Indo-chinese restaurants this will be like mandatory…of course we might choose between veg & non- veg. Chennai Adyar Liu’s Waldorf is my favorite spot to try the best Indo Chinese food, every summer vacation we used to go there for our treats and special occasions celebrations. They have quite a bit of delectable & delicious appetizers, main coarse and sides which you got to try! I’ve matched a bit in this recipe and gets wonderful reception everytime when i make it. So… give it a try and let me know! Both dry and gravy versions are just melt in your mouth type dishes and is very simple to make at home if you have the right sauces. Most of the restaurants use ajinomoto or MSG or mild alcohol for highlighting the taste, its totally up to you to choose, I’ve given other options to try under my notes, pls do check. Today i will be sharing dry version of vegetable manchurian which can still be converted to gravy if you wish.
|Ingredients for Veg Balls|
|Mixed Chopped / Grated / Shred Vegetables||3 cups (Carrot, Cabbage, Beans, Cauliflower, Spring Onions)|
|Ginger||1 Tablespoon (finely chopped)|
|Garlic Cloves||3 (finely chopped)|
|All-purpose Flour / Maida||3 Tablespoons|
|Corn Starch / White Corn flour||2 Tablespoons|
|Black or White Pepper Powder||1/4 Teaspoon|
|Dark Soy Sauce||1 Teaspoon|
|Absolutely no water – do not add any. If you prefer spicy add 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies.|
|Ingredients for the sauce|
|Spring onion (White part and light green part)||1/2 cup (chopped)|
|Ginger||2 Tablespoons (chopped)|
|Garlic||3 cloves (chopped)|
|Dry Red Chili or Green Chili||4 long variety|
|Red Chili Sauce||1/4 cup|
|Dark Soy Sauce||2 Teaspoon|
|Black pepper powder or White pepper powder||1/2 Teaspoon|
|Vinegar / Vodka / MSG (ajinomoto)||1 Teaspoon or 1 pinch|
|Brown Sugar||1 Teaspoon|
|Sesame Oil (for saute)||3 Teaspoons|
|Oil (for deep frying)||3 cups|
|Ginger (for garnish)||1 Teaspoon (julienned)|
|Spring Onions / Green onions (for garnish) green part only||1/4 cup (chopped)|
|Ingredients for extra sauce or gravy (optional)|
|Corn Flour||1 Tablespoon|
|This step is purely optional and can be added only if you wish to have more sauce or gravy. For dry version we do not need this step.|
OK, lets move on to the recipe. To make the Veg manchurian balls – Combine all ingredients from table-1 (for veg balls) in a wide bowl and mix well to combine. Do not add any water in this step- that will make the dough very sticky and will absorb more oil while frying. The water content in the vegetable should be fine to make the dough. Keep combining until it yields to slightly wet texture mixture (something like masala vada dough) Make small golf size balls out of the dough and keep aside. Heat oil in a kadai and start deep frying the manchurian balls till golden. Fry over medium flame for 3 minutes, when you see them getting slightly golden then remove and drain excess oil by placing them on a paper towel. Frying over high flame will turn the outside skin dark and inner portion won’t cook properly. Frying for long time also will make the balls really hard, so take care.
Now for the dry sauce – Heat oil in a pan kadai or wok. Keep the heat at medium high flame. Fryt eh spring onions, ginger and garlic till they are browned a bit. Add the red chili sauce, followed by soy sauce, salt, brown sugar & vodka / vinegar / ajinomoto. Pour in the 1/4 cup water and stir fry over high flame for few minutes until the sauces blend well and thicken a bit. Add the fried manchurian balls to the sauce and stir fry over high flame for few seconds and switch off. Garnish with chopped spring onions and julienned ginger jsut before serving.
Serve as an appetizer or side for any Chinese fried rice or Noodles dish! Enjoy 😛 😛 😛
Now if you want to convert this to a gravy type dish then dissolve corn flour in water from table-3 to make a thick solution and add this to the sauce and simmer for few minutes and then garnish.
- I know the fact that Ajinomoto or Vodka is not a good thing for health and its purely optional and is only mentioned to get the restaurant quality & taste. If you are making for little kids kindly please avoid using these.
- Substitute Ajinomoto / Vodka – add white distilled vinegar or 1/2 teaspoon white sugar or increase white pepper powder by 1/4 teaspoon.
- Adding Vodka is optional – it will evaporate by the time you finish cooking. You can substitute with 1/4 teaspoon of rice wine/ dry sherry / plain rice vinegar. All Indo Chinese resturants use some kind of mild alcohol in their dishes.
- Brown sugar gives nice caramel type brown color to the dish and also enhances the flavor quite a bit. Do try to use it!
- You can use regular white sugar if you don’t have brown sugar.
- I’ve used Chings Brand Red Chili sauce – its not too spicy and has tomato base in it. If you are using a different brand which does not have tomato then add 2 Tablespoons of tomato sauce.
- Dark soy gives color, body & saucy texture to the dish- you can also use light soy but may have to use more.
- All sauces has salt in it so add as mentioned increase only if necessary.
- You may choose to dry red chili or green chili or both.
- Do not add any water while making the manchurian balls- keep mixing until it forms a thick wet dough. Too runny dough will make the balls break while frying and drink lot of oil. Too thick dough will yield hard manchurian balls. Adjust consistency with extra flour or veggies depending on mess 😉