I don’t think I would be very far from the truth if I said that for people who grew up in the 80s and 90s in Mumbai, Vegetable Manchurian (or Chicken Manchurian) with Fried Rice or Noodles would have been the first introduction to “Chinese” food. These were the days before globalization, before Indians were exposed to global cuisine in all its glories.
One of the most plaintive cries I ever heard from many of my friends who went to the US for the Masters was “Yahan Manchurian nahi milta! We do not get Manchurian here” Believe you me, it was plaintive and it was often. 🙂 Plans for what we will do when they are in Mumbai (even to date) is to have Manchurian.
The allure of the Manchurian cannot be expressed in words so I invite you to try this recipe.
- Finely Chopped Cabbage – 2 Cups
- Grated Carrot – 1/4 Cup
- Chopped Spring Onions – 1/2 Cup
- Chopped Spring Onion Greens – 1/2 Cup
- Finely Chopped Capsicum – 1/4 Cup
- Finely Chopped Garlic Cloves – 4 tsp
- Ginger Juliennes – 1 tsp
- Finely Chopped Green Chillies – 2
- Corn Flour – 7 tbsp
- Refined Flour or Maida – 1 tbsp
- Dark Soy Sauce – 3 tsp
- Sugar – 1/4 tsp
- Salt to Taste
- Oil for Frying
- Mix the shredded cabbage, grated carrot, 1/4 cup chopped spring onions, 4 tbsp of corn flour, 1 tbsp refined flour, 2 tsp garlic, chopped green chillies, and salt.
- Divide into 14 to 16 portions and roll each portion into a firm ball.
- In a small wok, heat enough oil to fry the Manchurian balls.
- When the oil is hot, deep fry the Manchurian balls in batches till they are golden brown.
- Set aside the Manchurian balls.
- In a wok, heat 2 tbsp oil to smoking point.
- Add the ginger, garlic, capsicum, and spring onions.
- Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add 1 cups of water.
- Add soy sauce, spring onion greens, salt and sugar.
- Mix well and bring to boil.
- Dissolve 3 tbsp corn flour in 1.5 cups of water.
- Add to the cooked gravy.
- Cook till the gravy thickens.
- Just before serving, add the Manchurian balls to hot gravy.
- Serve with fried rice.
- Vegetarian Chinese Fried Rice or Vegetable Fried Rice (aahaaramonline.com)
- Cabbage Manchurian (casuallycookingwithbinu.wordpress.com)
- Gobi Manchurian Gravy (mealisready.wordpress.com)
- Manchurian Idli (ourownrecipes.wordpress.com)
- Schezwan fried rice (mealisready.wordpress.com)