Vegetarian Manchurian – Indian Chinese dish!

 

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Do you know that there is nothing like a spicy and warm bowl of Indian Chinese food during winter like  soup or a dish called Manchurian or Hakka noodles which fall under Indian Chinese food category?

Indian Chinese food is adaptation of Chinese flavors and cooking techniques but suitable to Indian tastes. Originally, Indian Chinese cooking became famous or developed when Chinese immigrants moved to Calcutta now known as Kolkata  in 18th century. Chinese cuisine is very popular within Indian communities. It is really different from the authentic Chinese dishes and often influenced by Indian flavors.

If you are interested in learning more about the history of Indian Chinese Food then I would recommend this article.  It is interesting to know how one culture can influence others through food and has a wonderful result. With out further ado, try it for yourself with this recipe. Please don’t freak out with the list of ingredients.  I usually have most of them in my kitchen and I am sure you do too.

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Ingredients:

For the vegetarian balls:

4-5 medium sized shredded carrots

1/2 cups Shredded cabbage

1/2 cups shredded green bell pepper

1 tbsp Green Chilies

1 tbsp Ginger

1 tbsp Garlic

1/2 cup boiled rice

¼ cup bread crumbs

3 tablespoons Corn starch

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Oil for frying

For the Sauce:

1 tbsp oil

1/2 Green Bell pepper, cubed

1/2 onion, cubed

1 teaspoon Chopped green Chilies

1 1/2 teaspoon Chopped Ginger

1 1/2 teaspoon Chopped garlic

salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

3 tbsp Soy Sauce

2 tsp Corn starch

1 tsp sugar or honey

1/4  cup Scallions

1 cup water or vegetable stock

Garnish – Chili oil

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DSC_6393Method for the balls

Shred the vegetables using a food processor . Make sure you do not blend it and make a paste. Because it is easy to do so. In a separate bowl add corn starch, bread crumbs, boiled rice, vegetables, salt pepper, soda bicarbonate, ginger chili paste, soy sauce and mix well. Add two tablespoons of water if needed. First check whether you can form balls without adding extra water. There is usually water from the vegetables that helps bind everything together.

Make rounds about the size of tennis ball out of the mix and deep fry them until golden and crisp. Keep them aside till we are ready to serve them. Lot of times, I make a big batch and then once they cool down, store them in ziploc bags to and freeze them for future use. It saves so much time and the sauce hardly takes 10 mins to prepare.

Method For the sauce/ gravy –

Take oil in pan, saute the onions and green bell peppers. Add ginger, garlic and chilies. Mix well. Let it cook for couple of minutes and add soy sauce.

Dissolve 2 teaspoon corn starch in 1 tablespoon of water. Mix the cornstarch mixture to the pan. Add in the sugar, salt and black pepper and the 1 cup of water. Mix well. Let it simmer for sometime and add in half of the scallions.

Once the sauce thickens, add the fried manchurian balls to the sauce. Let it cook for two minutes and soak in the gravy. Garnish it with remaining half of the scallions. If I am making this dish for a party or so, I would only add the manchurian balls just few hours before serving so as to avoid them becoming more soggy and loosing its shape.

You can also freeze the sauce. Only thing you have to keep in mind is that once you defrost it, it will have thickened because of cornstarch so much that you need to add water and may be season it a little bit.

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I served them with hakka noodles. I will share the recipe some other day. But you can serve it with boiled rice. You can also make fried rice out of the gravy and balls and serve it as rice dish. Either ways you will love this dish.

Bon Appetite!

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