Vegetarian Manchurian

Lately I have been trying to whip up new dishes with different textures and flavors in attempt to get my four-year-old to expand his palate and to get him to eat more varieties of foods. It has been quite fun to get him involved in cooking while learning. You will be surprised how much you can teach your kids while cooking. Surprisingly, learning is quite effective and fun when they are hands on.  

Vegetarian Manchurian is nearly everyone’s favorite whether they are vegetarian or not. This dish of vegetable dumplings in a glossy, rich brown sauce with bold notes of tangy, sweet, spicy and salty is impossible to resist and I can honesty say I have never met a person who could walk away from a plateful. In fact, if you ask an Indian what his or her favorite Indo-Chinese dish is, chances are, it would be a Veg Manchurian.

You don’t need to be an expert in cooking to prepare this recipe as it is very simple to make. Most Indo-Chinese dishes have lots of veggies in it and the same goes with Veg Manchurian. Honestly, you can mix and match veggies for this dish, but avoid using vegetables that can get too watery, like zucchini. Cabbage, carrots, onion, bell pepper, green beans are commonly used, however I tend to use whatever is available in the home keeping some common veggies.

You will be simply amazed how delicious these veggie balls are and very addictive on their own and I do indulge in chomping on a few before adding them to the gravy. You can serve this dish with fried rice or hakka noodles. Once you try this recipe, I guarantee you will be going for second servings and making it often!

Serving size -6

Per serving Calories 200, Fat 5g, Carbs 20g, Fiber 5g, Protein 5g

Ingredients

For veggie balls

½ cup cabbage, finely chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 bell pepper, finely chopped

½ cup kale, finely chopped

¾ cup all purpose flour

½ cup corn starch

¼ tsp black pepper

Salt to taste

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tbsp soy sauce

Oil for deep frying

For sauce

½ cup onion finely chopped

½ cup bell pepper finely chopped

¼ cup carrots, shredded

¼ cup green onions, finely chopped

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped

1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp green chilies, finely chopped

1 tbsp ketchup

1 tbsp red chili sauce

Salt and black pepper to taste

2 tbsp corn starch, ½ cup of water (Slurry)

1 tsp vinegar

2 tbsp EVOO

Method

For Veggie Balls

First chop all the veggies in the food processor (carrots, cabbage, onion, kale, bell pepper) or you can manually use it with knife. If you are using food processor then pulse until they are finely chopped. Squeeze out all the excess water out of the veggies. Once all the excess water Is out, add ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, soy sauce, all purpose, and corn starch. Mix it well using hand and try pinching together, you should be able to form a ball. If it is too sticky, then add more flour. If it is too crumbly then sprinkle little water for binding.

Start shaping the balls and heat the oil in a pan on medium heat for deep frying. Once oil is hot, drop few balls in it. Drop vegetable balls in it and keep moving them for even browning. Once fried and golden brown from all the sides, remove it to paper towel lined plate. Repeat the frying process for rest.

For Gravy

Take cornstarch in a bowl and add water to make a lump free slurry and keep it aside.

Heat EVOO in a pan over medium heat. Once hot, add chopped ginger, garlic, green chili, carrots, onion, bell pepper and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, soy sauce, water, and sugar. Mix thoroughly while adding the cornstarch slurry. Let it come to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes or till it thicken as per your liking consistency. Add vinegar and mix thoroughly. Add the fried vegetable balls and mix thoroughly until they are coated evenly. Add finely chopped green onions and mix well while letting it simmer for 1-2 minutes. Serve hot with plain rice, fried rice or hakka noodles.

Notes –

You are more than welcome to skip or add veggies of choice as long as you keep main veggies in it, which is cabbage, carrots and onion. If you are healthy conscious, you can use Airfryer or Appe pan to cook the veggie balls.

Airfryer – you can lightly spray the veggie balls and arrange them in single layer in the fryer basket. Airfry them for 15 minutes on 350F until they are golden brown evenly.

Appe pan – You can heat up the appe pan and lightly coat with oil and add prepared balls in the pan and let it cook on low to medium heat for 10 minutes rotating midway until golden brown.

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