Those of you who have been following my blog for some time now, shold know that I am a huge Indo-chinese food fan. And frnakly, most of the Indians fall into this category. The rich spicy taste native to this realm of fusion cooking is hard to resist, and if you haven’t tasted Indo-Chinese food yet, you are surely missing something. Today we talk about one of the most popular Indian chinese recipes – the Vegetarian Manchurian – its a soy-sauce based gravy thicked with cornflour, and has vegetable dumplings added to it to give extra flavor. This recipe and photo for Veg Manchurian comes from none other than the Indian food queen, Mrs. Tarla Dalal. She shares many more of these gems in her cookbook Easy Chinese Cooking, so be sure to check it out!
Manchuria, is a historical region of republic of China, that has seen the rise and fall of several dynasties, including an invasion by the great warrior Gengiz Khan. The recipe for manchurian, as you can see, derives its name from the native region of Manchuria, where it originated. Over years, the traditional recipe evolved to mimic the current fusion version, where Indian and Chinese spices come together to consitute a lip-smacking main course recipe that will woo your hearts and your palate!
Vegetarian Manchurian Gravy
3 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 1/4 cups carrot , grated
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 tbsp cornflour
5 tbsp plain flour (maida)
3 to 4 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 slit green chilli , finely chopped
salt – to taste
oil for deep-frying
1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped green chillies
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 cup clear vegetable stock or water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 cup of water
2 pinches of sugar
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
For the vegetable balls
Combine the cabbage, carrots, onions, cornflour, plain flour, garlic, green chilli, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix well. Shape spoonfuls of the mixture into small balls. If you find it difficult to form balls, prinkle a little water to bind the mixture. Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.
For the sauce
Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan on a high flame. Add the garlic, green chillies and ginger and stir fry over a high flame for a few seconds. Add the stock, soya sauce, cornflour paste, sugar and salt and simmer for a few minutes.
Just before serving, put the vegetable balls in the sauce and bring to a boil. transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with some chopped scallions and serve hot, with Vegetable Fried Rice or Veg Hakka Noodles.
Next time you are in mood to eat Indian, try looking up an Indian-Chinese fusion restaurant in your area, and go grab a bite. If you like the taste of soy, ginger, garlic, scallions and spicy food in general, you will love this fusion version of Manchuria.